The Anaesthesia and Pain Management service is an accredited training site of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and an approved service for Faculty of Pain Medicine training.

We have a strong commitment to teaching, from an undergraduate medical student level to continuing medical Education for consultant anaesthetists.

The Anaesthesia and Pain Management service employs 24 accredited registrars and 10 advanced trainees and have overseas elective medical students, interns, residents, and Emergency Medicine trainees as well as seven overseas fellows. Registrars rotate through Albury, Western and Ballarat hospitals.

The service runs a weekly tutorial program, as well as regular journal clubs, sessions on transoesophageal echocardiography and morbidity/mortality meetings. Quarterly evening Education meetings feature in its program, as does a yearly symposium and annual audit.

Our staff continue to be heavily involved in education and training. Simulation and team training courses include fibre-optic intubation skills workshops, the Advanced Life Support (ALS) course and anaesthesia and ultrasound courses. An Annual Refresher Course is also held and attracts more than 150 anaesthetists from around Australia.

Anaesthesia Fellowships

How many Fellowships do you offer?

15

When is your intake?

Either at the beginning of February or August.

Can I work part-time?

Yes we are able to offer part-time positions.

Can I have either a 6 or 12 month Fellowship?

Yes we offer both. Some Fellows also extend their time to 18-24 months.

Do you consider overseas applicants?

You are eligible to apply if you are residing overseas. While we take a number of international Fellows each year, we do give preference to applicants who are Australian citizens or permanent residents. Overseas applicants must have finished or be within a year or so of finishing training in their home countries.

What type of Fellowships do you offer ?

We offer 3 cardiothoracic and 12 general Fellowships- the latter can be tailored to your interests (eg. neuro, trauma, head & neck / maxillofacial, regional, vascular etc.) We do not have obstetrics or paediatrics. For general Fellowships about 50% of your time will be spent doing lists you’ve requested, and the remainder will be spent doing other lists or covering out-of-hours. You are not rotated to Intensive Care or any external hospitals while undertaking a Fellowship with us.

I am interested in research and teaching. Do you offer any experience ?

We are very active in both across a number of sub-specialty areas…there is ample opportunity for you to get involved. All Fellows receive 5 hours of non-clinical time per week to develop these interests or to pursue other educational activities (eg. echo certification, higher degrees)

What are the hours and supervision like?

The working week is 43 hours. During weekday hours you are frequently rostered with a consultant on a 1:1 basis, or if you are working on your own there is an in-charge consultant available to help you. There is no on-call as such…when you are rostered for a night shift (Mon-Fri) you start at 1730 and finish at 0730 hrs. There are 2 consultants on-call: 1 for general and 1 for cardiac. The primary consultant is often present in the evenings or on weekends due to the volume of work. You are rostered with 2 junior trainees in the evenings, one of whom starts at 1200 and finishes at 2230, the other starts and finishes when you do. Saturday and Sunday nights and days are rostered to be done by the same Fellows concurrently (unlike the Mon-Fri nights which are one-offs) but they have been split into two 12-hour shifts. The primary consultant is exclusively available to you by telephone once they leave the hospital and they are readily able to return if required.

What about the Cardiac Fellowship?

We have one of the busiest cardiac surgical units in Australia. In the pat year we have performed 310 CABGs, 225 Valve cases, 70 major aortic operations, 30 adult congenital, 15 Ross procedures and 200 thoracic cases. We are a referral centre for the Royal Women’s and Royal Children’s hospital, so we also treat paediatric cardiac patients who are transitioning to adult care and we have the occasional parturient with cardiac disease. We also have cath labs which are busy with electrophysiological investigations and treatment and we provide anaesthesia services to them. We do not do heart and lung transplantation. We have a TAVI service which treats 8 or so patients monthly, and we have started a program of percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation and mitral valve procedures. We provide anaesthesia support for a cardiology lead extraction service.

Over 2 days a week of cardiac you could expect to do 2-4 pump cases, so about 70-100 cases in a year. Cardiac Fellows are expected to have, or plan to be working towards, an echocardiography qualification during their time with us…there is one offered through the University of Melbourne. We have at least 2 thoracic lists per week and are the thoracic surgical service for the co-located Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The cardiac Fellows are also on-call from Friday-Sun evening (when they are not on the main roster) to enable them to gain experience in any emergencies which arise.

What if English is not my primary language?

You may be required to demonstrate competency in English by providing evidence of satisfactory completion of the IELTS or OET examinations. Find out more about English language skills on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website.

How do I apply ?

The positions are advertised on the hospital website in mid-March / April, and are open until early June. Look for them on the Melbourne Health recruitment website.

You need to complete the online application form, attach a CV and supply 3 references using the standardised reference form which is on the website. We are happy to conduct telephone or Skype interviews for interstate or overseas applicants.

Anaesthesia training

How many first year specialty training jobs will you have?

We usually have around 8 registrar positions, although the final number depends on several factors. For these 8 positions we receive about 80-100 applications, and we short-list about 25-30 applicants for interview.

Where do you rotate to?

Our rotating hospitals are The Western Hospital in Footscray, Ballarat Base Hospital, and Albury hospital. In the first 2 years of your training, you could expect to do 9 months of anaesthesia at RMH, 3 months of ICU at RMH (a compulsory module for anaesthesia training), 6 months of anaesthesia at Western, and 6 months in the country at either Albury or Ballarat.

In the third year, all trainees in Victoria enter the OPATS scheme (obstetric and paediatric anaesthesia training scheme). After this, most trainees choose to come back to RMH. Most of 4th year is spent at RMH, although 3-6 months at Western is not uncommon. While we try to ensure that no trainee will spend more than six months in the country and 3 months in ICU over their entire training, this may not always be possible depending on the numbers at each year level.

We are usually able to accommodate requests for additional training time in the country or ICU. In the latter case, for example, for trainees completing dual FANZCA and JFICM qualifications.

The fifth year of training has more flexibility in terms of how it can be completed. A number of our trainees choose to return to RMH for this year.

How do you determine who gets short-listed?

All the applications are scored by the Supervisors of Training at RMH. Our short-listing process is based on the ANZCA (Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists) document “Guidelines for the Selection of Trainees”.

Essentially we will be focusing on your academic background, your participation in continuing medical education & teaching, research, quality assurance activity, and your references.

I don’t have much or any anaesthesia experience, and I don’t have my first part exam, am I still able to apply?

Having anaesthesia experience is not a pre-requisite. . . although having some may make it easier for you to decide that this is the specialty for you. Some applicants are working towards getting their first part exam, or indeed may already have passed one or both components of their exam…while this demonstrates some commitment, it does not factor heavily in our selection.

The minimum requirements to apply are that you are registrable in Victoria as a medical practitioner, and that you have at least 24 months post-graduate general hospital experience (the College refers to this as Prevocational Medical Education and Training, of which only a maximum of 12 months can be in the areas of clinical anaesthesia, ICU or pain medicine).

Do you have any HMO Critical Care positions?

We have 2 HMO Critical Care positions. The year consists of 3 months each of anaesthesia, ICU, emergency and relieving. The anaesthetic rotations will be in the first 6 months of the year. These positions are suitable for either second or third year HMOs.

If you are applying for a registrar position but would consider an HMO Critical Care job should you be unsuccessful, please submit an application for both positions. You will only be invited to one interview. If you have submitted an application for both positions and only receive a registrar interview, that means we will still be considering you for a Critical Care position. Conversely, if you only receive a Critical Care interview then your registrar application has been unsuccessful.

In general, the HMO applications are scored using similar criteria to the registrar applications. Should you be short-listed, you will be invited to an interview in the Department of Anaesthesia. The interview panel usually consists of the Director, Deputy Director and one or both Supervisors of Training.

When are the interviews?

The registrar interviews are usually around July-August. The exact date is determined following a meeting at ANZCA which is attended by representatives from the training hospitals around Melbourne.

Interviews for the HMO Critical Care positions will usually be a few days to 1 week prior to the registrar interviews.

If you are short-listed but happen to be interstate/overseas we can conduct a phone interview. The interview panel for registrar positions consists of either the Director or Deputy Director of our Department, the Supervisors of Training from RMH, Western, Ballarat and Albury, and an ANZCA representative from the RMH Department of Anaesthesia.

RMH participates in the match process for BTY1 positions which is co-ordinated by ANZCA. This takes place about a week after interviews at the major teaching hospitals have been completed.

What kind of work do you do at RMH?

Most adult surgery is done at RMH, with the exception of obstetrics & gynaecology. We have a busy pain unit, and are one of the 2 trauma hospitals in Victoria. We have an excellent mix of elective operating and a large emergency case-load. Our rotating hospitals also have obstetric / gynae and paediatric lists.

What about teaching?

All trainees at RMH have 5 hrs a week of training time, which occurs on Friday mornings. The Department has a weekly morning meeting which alternates between morbidity & mortality, journal club, and research. Following this we have tutorials designed to be of general interest to all trainees. Later in the morning there is specific teaching targeted at those sitting examinations. Each of the rotating hospitals has its own tutorials.

I am a current BTY1, BTY2 or ATY1 trainee elsewhere and want to move to RMH - is this possible?

It is difficult to predict whether we will have positions available. Openings usually occur if our trainees decide to move elsewhere, or take time off for other reasons - this may not become apparent until well into the year. In any case, we would strongly encourage you to apply.

I am an overseas applicant and am interested in applying - am I eligible?

We have a lot of interest from local applicants for our year 1-4 anaesthesia training positions. We would currently only consider non-Australian citizens or permanent residents if they have full registration with the Australian Medical Council. There are a number of pathways towards obtaining this certificate. Please see the Australian Medical Council website for details.

If you are an International Medical Graduate Specialist, you would first need to be assessed by the Overseas Trained Specialist scheme of ANZCA, and your application would then be considered on its merits taking into account the assessment of ANZCA.

We do, however, employ a number of overseas trainees for our Fellowship (year 5) positions. These trainees are highly experienced, have completed most or all of their training in their own countries, and have the necessary seniority to be able to deal with both the most complex clinical work and theatre management responsibilities of a major teaching hospital. If you believe you are suitable for such a position, you should contact the Supervisors of Training.

I would like to come and look around the Department and have a chat, is this possible?

We will not be seeing anyone individually prior to interview, unless they are already working at RMH or one of our rotating hospitals.

If you have any questions which are not answered here, please feel free to email the Supervisors of Training.

How do I apply?

Our application process is internet based. Positions will be advertised on in the careers section of our website.

If I'm unsuccessful can I get any feedback?

Due to the large number of applicants, we do not have the time or resources to give individual feedback to those who are unsuccessful. Given the level of competition, failure to be short-listed is usually due to inadequate information in the CV, less than outstanding references or a combination of the two.