Psychiatrists treat patients and work with the patient's general practitioner and other primary health care providers, families and carers of patients, and the general community. The work of psychiatrists includes the prevention, management, and relief of suffering caused by a range of developmental, emotional, behavioural and cognitive disorders.
Training is primarily in the apprenticeship model, with registrars working alongside psychiatrist supervisors in multidisciplinary clinical teams. Clinical experience in a variety of areas is required, via rotation through training attachments in which experience is gained in adult psychiatry both in inpatient and community settings, consultation-liaison psychiatry in a general hospital, old age psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. Additional subspecialty psychiatric experiences may include rehabilitation, forensic psychiatry, drug and alcohol services, etc. During these attachments trainees must receive at least three hours of clinical supervision per week and at least one hour per week of individual supervision, for at least 40 weeks of the year.
There are about 80 trainees in Auckland and Northland. Whangarei is linked with the Auckland programme and has a satellite programme which recruits its own registrars and where it is possible to complete basic training, and some aspects of advanced training. All Auckland-based trainees are expected to rotate around a variety of inpatient units, community mental health centres and subspecialty teams across the three Auckland DHBs. It's important to have a car and to be able to drive, and to be able to use electronic records, as all our DHBs have these.
Training takes 5 years in total. The first year (Stage 1) is basic training in Adult Psychiatry, Then Stage 2 is years two and three - a series of six-month supervised runs in different subspecialties. Written examinations are usually taken in the 3rd-4th year and Clinicals (OSCEs) in 4th year. Various psychotherapy experiences are required, and a 10,000 word psychotherapy Case History and a Scholarly Project. In addition, during the first three years of training registrars must gain experience in several other areas and competencies, including cultural awareness, addiction psychiatry, the Mental Health Act and ECT administration and theory.
The final two years are called Stage 3 and 4th year is when various exams are completed. These last two years may be done in a subspecialty so as to achieve that subspecialty Certificate as well as the Fellowship qualification, and Leadership and Management experience is required in Stage 3. Fellowship is awarded on satisfactory completion of Stage 3, after a minimum of five years training.
To satisfy RANZCP requirements the Auckland Training Programme offers formal teaching sessions in all Stages of training. Trainees attend the teaching programme for one day per week each, for two university-style semesters of twelve weeks. The teaching programme is structured into 3-4 main streams according to registrar stage of training and uses a variety of teaching methods. Registrars from Whangarei often Skype in.
Registrars are required to manage training attachments at a satisfactory level and to make steady progress with required training tasks. Written performance feedback occurs every 3 months and rotations and other training requirements have to be passed so as to move from one Stage to the next. Formative workplace-based assessments done with supervisors are a feature, and provide both verbal and written feedback to shape skills and competencies.
For more information, see the Auckland Regional Psychiatric Training Committee website and on the Royal New Zealand College of Psychiatrists website.
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Initial queries about registrar posts in Whangarei (which is linked to the Auckland training programme) should go directly to Dr Verity Humberstone in Whangarei.⇡ Top
Queries about the Auckland Training Programme and about recognition of previous or overseas training should be directed to: