Waikato Hospital as seen over lake Rotoroa

Introduction and Overview:

The Waikato Hospital Part 1 FANZCA Course is an annual, two-week course designed to help prepare candidates to pass the Primary FANZCA examination. The course consists of a mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, interactive group sessions and tutorials. Interspersed with this are frequent simulated examinations, both written and oral. The course assumes that you already know the main syllabus points: we have a strong focus on exam technique and practice which requires a good working knowledge already.

The 2019 Course will take place from 24th June 2019 to 5th July 2019. Applications will open in January. Please see “Latest News” for further information, and please check this website frequently for updates and changes.

If you are attending the course, please read this website thoroughly. All the information you need is here, but each year we have candidates who stumble because they have missed some of it.

Course Format:

student girl

The course is designed to give candidates the very best chance of passing the Primary FANZCA examination. Some of the course comprises syllabus content, although the syllabus is huge, and we cannot expect to cover it all. We do, however, attempt to concentrate on what we think are the most important areas; areas which are generally poorly tackled in the exam, or generally poorly understood by the candidates.

In addition, a great deal of our content is geared toward practice for the actual examination. This content focusses on developing good examination technique, and in simulating the actual examination: written, MCQ and viva components. Candidates will normally have daily viva practice and daily short-answer question (SAQ) practice (which we will mark and return).

We strive to make the standard of our practice examinations match the actual standard of the exam itself. The course is intensive and the standard is high. We attempt to provide all candidates with detailed feedback on their performance in the course as a means of focussing their effort for the actual examination.

We expect all candidates to attend all parts of the course.


Who is eligible?

The course is open to anaesthetic trainees from New Zealand, Australia or Asia who intend to attempt the Primary FANZCA examination in the near future. The course has 20 places.

We will only accept applicants who are registered to attempt the exam at the next sitting (August 2019). We believe our course is very good at getting people “up to speed” in time for the exam, but we recognise that the momentum drops off after a while.

We usually have many more applicants than places, so we usually give priority to people who haven’t been on other courses, and we would not usually allow you to attend this course more than once.



The course will be held in the Teaching Room of Level 4 of the Waiora Building. This is a large, dedicated room which is available to us for the duration of the course, which is equipped with computer projection facilities. Each candidate can occupy their own desk space for the duration of the course. The adjacent Anaesthetic Department has toilets, a small kitchen, and a social hub area, as well as study space and a small library.

We will provide lunch each day, as well as nibbles at break times.


Teaching Content:


We strive to provide candidates with all of the teaching content in the course. Each candidate will be given a USB chip on the course, which we will update with the contents of all the lectures as the course proceeds. In addition, course content will be updated daily from a Dropbox. This should free up candidates from the need to write down every single fact, and concentrate only on the important detail. As a bonus, the USB chip includes all of the previous year’s lecture content. Some lecturers prefer to deliver paper handouts.

We provide each candidate with a lever-arch file, a pad of A4 paper, and a pen.



The format of the examination evolves year by year. Our course is constantly changing to meet the needs of candidates and we collect detailed feedback on every single component of the course to ensure that the standard is always high.

If you have a problem during the course, speak to one of the course organisers and we will do our best to sort it out. The feedback we have received about the course has been very favourable.


How to Prepare for the Course:

While we hope that all of our candidates will be successful in the exam itself, this course cannot pass the exam for you. There is no shortcut for studying the syllabus and working hard for several months before the exam itself. Therefore we cannot recommend highly enough that you have already studied all the major areas of the syllabus before you attend the course.