A clinical supervisors rating form addressing 13 competencies was used to assess the clinical competence of graduates one year after qualification in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Data from 485 interns (97.2%) showed that graduates from the problem-based medical school were rated significantly better than their peers with respect to their interpersonal relationships, 'reliability' and 'self-directed learning'. Interns from one of the two traditional NSW medical schools had significantly higher ratings on 'teaching', 'diagnostic skills' and 'understanding of basic mechanisms'. Graduates from international medical schools performed worse than their peers on all competencies. These results were adjusted for age and gender. Additionally, women graduates and younger interns tended to have better ratings. Junior doctors have differing educational and other background experiences and their performance should be monitored.