Beyond City Limits: Tasmania
06 October 2023
For the Spring 2023 edition of the ANZCA Bulletin, we visited Tasmania to talk to anaesthetists and trainees who live and work there.
The Tasmanian Anaesthetic Training Program (TATP) provides anaesthesia training at all three Tasmanian Health Service (THS) hospitals – Royal Hobart, Launceston General and the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie. It has between 30-35 positions each year including up to seven provisional fellowship positions.
Trainees and fellows from Royal Hobart, Launceston General, and North West Regional hospitals tell us why they love living and working in Tasmania.
Consultants, heads of department, supervisors of training (SOTs) and trainees all highlight the collegial and supportive approach to training in the state through the TATP. The bonus of beaches, mountains, food, wine and culture is increasingly becoming a significant drawcard for trainees and consultants wanting to live and work in Tasmania.
According to specialist anaesthetist Dr Lia Freestone, Chair of the TATP and an ANZCA Rotational Supervisor at Royal Hobart Hospital, the Tasmanian program is unique because all trainees are included in and supported by the TATP and are assured of structured generalist training and dedicated exam support across the state’s three hospital sites.
“We really are blessed in Tasmania. It’s not only a beautiful place but the anaesthesia training in Tasmania is quite special. The Tasmanian Anaesthetic Program has been in place since 2009 and it is one of the few, arguably the only rotational training program that provides one program for the whole state, for all trainees and that is unique,” she explains.
“Every trainee in the state and the three training sites are all looked after by the TATP and the program provides all their training requirements -- all their clinical time and all their volume of practice -- but it also provides other important needs such as support and collegiality. The level of consultant engagement also makes the training program stronger.
“It’s these things − support, collegiality, wellbeing and our strengths as a small intimate program where we know you really well and you know us really well. This means we can customise the approach to training, including flexible training options as you need them so we can look after you as an individual, not just as an ANZCA trainee. That aspect of our program is very special.”
Dr Freestone believes the anaesthesia trainee exam results speak for themselves with the TATP trainees often performing well above average compared with other states and territories. And she says the support from the state’s hospitals’ heads of department, SOTs and the Tasmanian consultant body has helped make the TATP such a success.
“We ensure that targeted exam support is provided to trainees and the consultants are heavily engaged in the process too. It means we can optimise and tailor support for all our trainees.”
You can read more about Tasmania’s anaesthesia training program and meet the state’s trainees and anaesthetists in the Spring 2023 ANZCA Bulletin.