Health Career Pathways Project

The Medical Schools Outcomes Database and Longitudinal Tracking (MSOD) project

The MSOD project is a landmark study. Internationally it is the first study to collect data on medical students at the commencement of study, at graduation, and into the postgraduate years.

Project Aims

To collect data from medical students in Australia and New Zealand in order to explore associations between medical course experiences and career aspirations and pathways. The information gained will inform curriculum development and future medical workforce planning. The project aims to provide information to assist in the resolution of current issues such as the equity of workforce distribution, and the sufficiency of internships, vocational and specialist training pathways to meet career interests as well as the health needs of the public.


The Medical Schools Outcomes Database and Longitudinal Tracking Project (the MSOD project) began in 2005 under the auspices of the Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand, the peak representative body for Australian and New Zealand medical schools.

The University of Auckland and the University of Otago joined the project in 2007, with the support of the Ministry of Health’s Health Workforce New Zealand and the New Zealand Medical Students Association, and the approval of the universities’ Human Ethics Committees. In 2019, the Ministry and the universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding on sharing de-identified MSOD and workplace data to better forecast workplace demographics.

The MSOD project collects information from medical students’ demographics and career intentions and influences on entering medical school, and then at graduation and one-, three-, five- and eight-years after graduation. The type, location, and duration of clinical placements and electives undertaken by participants are collected from their medical school.

Using this longitudinal data the MSOD investigates how the characteristics of students entering the medical school, their experiences while at medical school, and their pathways through pre-vocational and vocational training influence their career destinations. The information gained will be of major importance in curriculum development and in developing more accurate information for future medical workforce planning.