This is a summary of training at Waikato Hospital and the Midland Rotation, as our trainees see it. This is an excerpt from "Anaesthesia Training In New Zealand Made Easy", written by the ANZCA New Zealand Trainee Committee:
Waikato is the main hospital in the Midland Rotation, providing tertiary services to a large geographical area in the central North Island. Trainees may rotate for one year to Rotorua Hospital or two years to Tauranga, but will return to Waikato for rotation through specialist services. Waikato DHB is a large 600 bed tertiary hospital providing a wide range of clinical experience to trainees.
The anaesthetic department is busy, friendly and academic. We have approximately 60 consultant anaesthetists and 37 trainees.
The clinical experience here is wide and the case mix load is extremely varied. IT and BT trainees will be allocated to lists with level one supervision and more experienced trainees will be assigned lists with level 2 and eventually level 3 supervision.
Module allocation is done by the SOTs and then the allocations are given to the rosterers who assign lists. Some modules are “protected” meaning that during this time there will be no afternoon or night shifts.
There are also allocations to the inpatient pain service and the Anaesthetic Assessment Clinic.
Senior registrars will be allocated to the Block (regional anaesthetic) service.
Level of supervision
Waikato DHB is an extremely supportive department and level of supervision is reflected in the level of the trainee as above.
Day shifts: 7.30am to 5pm.
Evening shifts: 4pm to 11pm.
Weekday night shifts: 11pm to 8am.
Weekend day shifts: 8am to 9pm.
Weekend night shifts: 9pm to 8am.
You can expect one to two periods of out of hours work in a calendar month. On evenings (4pm to 11pm) and weekends (8am to 9pm) there are two registrars rostered to main theatre and one registrar to obstetrics. Overnight there is one registrar in main theatre and one in obstetrics. Consultants are on site until 9pm and on-call from home overnight. Overnight there are four consultants on call (first, second, third and fourth on call) including a paediatric and cardiac anaesthetist. SMOs are very amenable to being contacted to attend overnight.
There is also a contingency “on call” registrar roster to cover short-term sickness that can be opted out of.
SSU and VOP opportunities and WBAs to achieve
There is ample opportunity to meet all SSU and VOP requirements in Waikato.
Teaching and exam preparation
There are extremely well run exam preparation programmes for Part 1 (Tuesday afternoon) and Part 2 (Wednesday afternoon) exams and this time is protected. Trainees based at Tauranga and Rotorua Hospitals travel to Waikato for these teaching sessions.
There are monthly simulation sessions at the Waikato Simulation Centre and Thursday is set aside for practical skills teaching sessions (ALS, paediatric life support, CICO, Echo, fibreoptic), which are on an ad‑hoc basis.
Once a month there is a CME and M&M meeting for the department. This is an opportunity to discuss difficult cases and present audit projects. Following these there is a registrar meeting to discuss any issues and feedback to the consultant group.
There is a monthly Journal Club, often held at consultant homes, and there is an informal roster for registrar presentations at this. Registrars of all levels are expected to present at least once a year.
Scholar role opportunities
All Scholar Role activities can be met at Waikato.
The Waikato Anaesthetic Department is made up of friendly and approachable SMOs who foster an extremely collegial atmosphere. Clinical work and opportunity is extremely varied here and enthusiasm and willingness to get involved will be rewarded with excellent training and learning opportunities.