I've originally graduated from University of Otago and have undertaken my clinical years at the Christchurch School of Medicine. I've completed all my training in New Zealand and I have experience working in Christchurch, Waikato, Timaru and currently I'm working at Auckland hospitals.
I like Anaesthesia because it is hands on, patient orientated, technically focused and it requires multi disciplinary team care of the patient. I enjoy the operating room environment as there is collegiality and a lot of team work. There is also a lot of immediacy in Anaesthesia. The result of your 'handy work' happens virtually within seconds to minutes, so you can see what you do actually make a difference and I get a lot of satisfaction from doing what I do.
The Anaesthesia training is based on the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetist guidelines. It is a five year programme, which is a modular system. The modular system is broken up into sub specialities and topics, where you must achieve educational goals for the modules. In addition to the modules, there is an EMAC course and a formal research project.
The Auckland training programme consists of approximately 90 training posts and includes the ability to rotate across all the hospitals in the Auckland region. One of the major differences of working in the Auckland region is that a trainee may undertake all of their training requirements within the Auckland region. The hospitals have three year training accreditation hence you cannot complete your training in one hospital. Working in the Auckland region allows you to rotate across three major hospitals which also allow you to complete your training in one city.
There are two major exams, Part I and Part II. The Part I exam is for your basic sciences and is orientated around a lot of pharmacology, and physiology. The Part II exam is an exit exam and is much more clinically focused. Auckland trainees have continuously maintained higher pass rates than the Australasian average. This may be due to having a number of study groups going at any one time as well as having protected teaching time and having highly motivated specialists and fellows enthusiastic towards teaching. We also deal with high acuity cases due to being a tertiary/quaternary referral hospital, so overall, you will gain better experience.
We also facilitate for provincial postings in Whangarei and Taranaki. The provincial postings offer diverse experience for the trainees. I've never come across a trainee who hasn't enjoyed working in a rural placement. The smaller environment offers opportunities to take on more responsibilities and get to experience the provincial lifestyle such as surfing, hiking or fishing.
When I'm not working, I like to play tennis (I used to organise a business house tennis group with the Anaesthetists in the team), squash and cycling. I'm also an avid movie watcher and a skier. What I can say is there is always something going on socially if you want to get involved. We have an annual Registrar dinner at the end of the year which is always a good party.
If you are intending to specialise in Anaesthesia, come talk to me. If you can also get a run in Anaesthesia, ICU or HDU, do it. Most of the Anaesthesia SHO applicants have had experience working one year either as a Medicine Registrar Emergency Registrar. This is because Anaesthesia contains such a broad spectrum of practise; it helps to have experience in all specialties.