Medical Training Programs
In Royal Darwin Hospital at present, there are 16 interns and approximately 48 prevocational trainees. The basic terms in the internship year are Medicine and Surgery. In addition to the latter, the interns choose two further three month terms in Emergency, Psychiatry, Orthopaedics and, if available, Obstetrics and Paediatrics. The infrastructure of intern training includes a general three - five day orientation prior to commencement of the year, an individual orientation to the particular department where the interns works and supervision by a nominated intern supervisor during his/her term in that department.
The Intern Supervisor is not necessarily the consultant of the team to which the intern is attached but rather the overseer of training in the department and may be responsible for up to three interns. A "Term Description" is prepared by the intern supervisor to facilitate guidance and feedback on the intern's progress during that term. This document contains the philosophy of the unit, an outline of the intern's responsibilities and goals. The latter includes an outline of the skills and clinical conditions, that the intern at the end of the term should be able to confidently manage with varying levels of supervision to independent performance. The Term Description is not exhaustive, to allow recognition of the value of the basics and the unique nature of learning by clinical exposure in varying settings. The key to intern training is supervised apprenticeship, with clearly defined goals and provision of feedback on clinical and professional development.
Complementary to the training within the individual departments, is a general education program for the resident medical officers (interns and other prevocational doctors). This consists of weekly tutorials and monthly workshops. They are interactive sessions based on practical problems encountered in clinical practice e.g. "The Breathless Patient".
They have been designed by resident medical officers for resident medical officers. The workshops include a cultural awareness program, advanced CPR, interpretation of electrocardiograms and chest xrays, a trauma course, stress management and workshops on ENT, ophthalmology and other disciplines.
There is an active General Clinical Training Committee which oversights the training and includes representatives from a wide range of areas.
Resident Medical Officers
There are active training programmes for junior medical officers in addition to the general education program referred to above under "Interns" which consists of weekly tutorials and monthly workshops and is available to all rmo's. There are 6 positions in Diploma of Obstetrics and 4 positions in Graduate Diploma of Indigenous and Tropical Child Health. A number of rmo's undertake MPH studies through Menzies School of Health and James Cook University. There are also programs designed for urban and rural general practice training. All posts are recognised by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners for Fellowship Training. For information on assistance with study leave refer to the "Condition of Service" booklet.
The terms accredited for Specialist training are General Surgery, Ophthalmology, Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Mental Health, Microbiology, Anatomical Pathology, General Pathology (Microbiology year), Paediatrics, Obstetrics, Orthopaedics, Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Anaesthetics, Emergency Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine, ICU, ENT and Radiology.
Employment at Royal Darwin Hospital gives the opportunity to develop broad clinical experience and improvement in practical skills in all these areas.
Royal Darwin Hospital and Alice Springs Hospital are teaching hospitals for the Northern Territory Clinical School of the Flinders University School of Medicine. There are academic appointments at Royal Darwin Hospital in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, and Allied Health. Clinicians in Emergency Medicine and Anaesthetics have academic status. At Alice Springs Hospital, there are academic appointments in Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery and Obstetrics. There are 16 students from Flinders based in Darwin for their third year of the Graduate Entry Medical Program and 8 students from James Cook University.