This year’s WA Anaesthesia Continuing Education Country Conference was held from 9 to 11 June 2023 at the beautiful Cable Beach Resort in Broome, and was convened by Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. There were many delegates from interstate, taking advantage of the perfect Broome winter weather.
Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome, WA
The conference kicked off on the Friday evening with a Welcome to Country from a Yawuru Elder. It was great to see so many families and many of the children enthusiastically joining in. Music evoking Saltwater Country was provided by two of the famous Pigram brothers whilst delegates enjoyed excellent food by the pool.
Friday Night Dinner
The theme of the conference was “Inspiring Diversity in Anaesthesia”, with a mix of both scientific and some more non-technical presentations. The first lecture of the Conference was provided by Dr Sally Murray, Coordinator of the gender diversity service at Royal Perth Hospital. She delivered an excellent talk demystifying trans issues in health care. Dr Divya Sharma, a Consultant Anaesthetist and Director of Clinical Training at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, gave a practical framework for approaching conflict resolution, both professionally and outside of work, which was well received. Local Aboriginal Health Consultant David Pigram gave a fascinating talk on local Aboriginal health challenges in Broome.
The second session of the morning had a more scientific focus. Delegate feedback was very positive regarding the practical nature of these talks. Dr Brien Hennessy, Head of the Acute Pain Service at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, discussed non-opioid options in pain management. Dr Angela Palumbo, Consultant in Neuroanaesthesia, gave an excellent practical guide to emergency neuro-anaesthesia for the non-specialist. Dr Chris Mitchell, Consultant Anaesthetist at Sir Charles Gairdner, discussed environmental sustainability, reflecting on his experiences in bringing about a huge decrease in the use of nitrous oxide and desflurane.
Perhaps a little ambitiously, three talks were presented remotely via zoom (to keep the local Broome AV team on their toes). Dr Rita Agarwal, Professor of Anaesthesiology from Stanford in California, presented data on discrimination in medicine in America. It was great to see discussion between conference delegates and Rita around the work she had done in this area. Dr Ruchi Kabra, Consultant Interventional Neuroradiologist, presented the latest updates on mechanical thrombectomy live from Perth. Dr Adam Mossenson, Consultant Anaesthetist at St John of God Hospital Midland, gave a fascinating talk on delivering simulation training in low resource environments.
In the late afternoon, Dr Neville Gibbs skilfully chaired a panel on improving diversity in anaesthesia. Dr Angeline Lee spoke eloquently about the challenges facing carers in career progression. There was a lot of discussion between delegates and other panel members, Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Archana Shrivathsa and ANZCA President Dr Chris Cokis.
Panel discussion with Dr Neville Gibbs, Dr Archana Shrivathsa, Dr Angeline Lee and Dr Chris Cokis
Delegates enjoying the Saturday Evening dinner
The conference dinner on Saturday evening featured a highly competitive and amusing inaugural quiz night, hosted by local drag queen Jessica James. The food again was excellent. The Sunday morning started with a very peaceful early yoga session, beautifully located in the grass overlooking Cable Beach and facilitated by Dr Sally Murray.
The Sunday morning workshops, hosted by Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Consultants and Fellows had something for everyone with 4 separate streams. The CICO and “Broom’n Good Blocks” workshops both got excellent feedback. Dr Holger Holldack ran a high quality Awake Fibreoptic Intubation (AFOI) workshop with a state-of-the-art virtual reality trainer, transported from Perth. Dr Paige Bavich and Dr Russell Clarke ran an extremely well attended allergy workshop.
The conference convenors would like to thank all the presenters and facilitators for their time and effort in making this conference a success.
Dr Bridget Hogan and Dr Simon Hellings
In Western Australia, the WA Rotational Anaesthesia Training Program (RATP) undertakes its annual trainee selection process in late August each year.
Approximately 140 candidates applied to the WA RATP Selection Process. From their written submission, between 40 and 45 candidates are shortlisted and invited to progress to the next stage of the process.
Over three days at the end of August, candidates attend in person for their selection day, where a range of selection modalities are used to assess different aspects of the selection criteria. A combination of face-to-face interviews, a presentation and two simulation stations allow candidates to demonstrate their skills and their strengths in multiple ways.
Results from the written submission, the interview, the presentation and the simulations all form part of the final selection scoring, with between 10 and 20 candidates successfully appointed to the WA RATP each year.
This process uses numerous Consultant Anaesthetists and Simulation Fellows each year. Our thanks go to all the individuals as well as the Departments who support the process each year.
The WA ANZCA Office hosted the written examinations for the Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Diploma on 10 August, for the Primary Exams on 15 August, and for the Final Exams on 5 September. We wish all the candidates the best of luck!
Post Primary Evening
Dr Alan Ch’Ng, WA Deputy Education Officer and Consultant Anaesthetist at Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospitals Group, invited those who successfully passed their Primary Exam in the 2022.2 and 2023.1 sitting to attend an informal evening at the ANZCA Office in WA. The aim of the Post Primary Evening was to discuss how to prepare for Advanced Training, navigating the TPS and the requirements by ANZCA, as well as planning for the Provisional Fellowship year and beyond. The evening received very positive feedback from the attendees.
Pitstop for the Primary
The WA Trainee Committee organised a Pitstop for the Primary on Friday 23 June. At this interactive meeting, recent primary candidates share experiences, tips and strategies with those preparing for an ANZCA Primary Exam in 2024. It also provided a networking opportunity to help facilitate formation of study groups.
WA Final Exam Preparation Course
The WA Final Exam Preparation Course provides access to evening tutorials for up to 12 months prior to your final exam. Interactive, face-to-face, small group discussions about a wide range of topics are facilitated by specialists.
Registrations for the WA Final Exam Preparation Course for the Second Sitting in 2024 are now available online.
The introductory tutorial for this course will take place on Wednesday 20 September 2023.
Contact Ineke Krom, ANZCA WA Administrative Officer, if you have any questions about the course.