Central Australia Health Service specialities and rotations
The Department of Medicine at Alice Springs Hospital includes in-patient admission units of General Medicine, Renal Medicine and Rehabilitation. Onsite consult specialties include Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Palliative Care, Alcohol and Other Drugs and Cardiology.
There is an eight-bed Intensive Care Unit with Intensivist staff. Visiting Medical Specialities include: Dermatology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Thoracic and Sleep Medicine.
General Medicine Unit
The General Medicine Unit has approximately 250 to 300 admissions per month, spread across four medical teams.
General Medicine in Alice Springs is an exciting area in which to work – with no sub-specialty admission units it is an ‘all comers’ unit. This gives the work great variety. The challenge of working in a cross-cultural context with Aboriginal people adds complexity, challenge and an opportunity to learn about the world’s oldest extant culture in all its uniqueness.
Alice Springs Hospital is a referral hospital for the smaller Tennant Creek Hospital, 500 km to the north. Mostly patients are referred from remote Aboriginal communities when their care needs exceed those of the primary health care clinic. Patients at a distance from the hospital are retrieved by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The Alice Springs Hospital has strong links both to the Royal Darwin Hospital (1500 km to the north) and the tertiary hospital in Adelaide, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre (1500 km to the south).
The General Medical workforce includes Consultant Physicians, many with dual training and a sub-specialty interest. The registrar workforce is primarily rotating Basic Physician Trainees from Adelaide (Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre) and Sydney (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital).
Alice Springs Hospital has research affiliations with Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, which has an onsite facility, and the Menzies School of Health Sciences.
Flinders University has an onsite campus as part of their Northern Territory Medical Program, which is also situated on the hospital site.
Basic Physician Training
Alice Springs Hospital is a Level 1 accredited teaching hospital, and 12 of 36 months of basic physician training can be completed here. BPT positions are available to trainees PGY2 and above.
Trainees have access to the experience of General Medicine here as well as rotations with sub-specialty focus: Nephrology, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Intensive Care, Geriatrics, Rehabilitation Medicine, Oncology.
You can contact Dr Mary Wicks, Director Physician Training (BPT) by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.
Advanced Physician Training
Within the department of medicine there are advanced training positions in General Medicine, Nephrology, Cardiology (non-accredited position), Infectious Diseases (secondment from Barwon Health), Palliative care (non-accredited position), Endocrinology (non-accredited position, shared position between Alice Springs Hospital and Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute) and Intensive Care.
Alice Springs Hospital has three accredited Advanced Trainee positions in General and Acute Care Medicine.
- 6 months core – General Medicine
- 6 months Group B (Endocrinology, Renal Medicine)
- 6 months Group C (Cardiology and Senior Medical Registrar)
Practising general medicine in the Northern Territory is attractive due to the complexity of the medical illnesses as well as the challenging psychosocial and cultural circumstances. The average age of general medical patients is young in comparison to metropolitan hospitals, and the majority of Aboriginal heritage.
Trainees have access to a great variety of presentation in General Medicine as well as rotations through subspecialty areas not readily available to non-subspecialty trainees in larger centres, including senior trainee positions in Nephrology, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Intensive care and Palliative care. There are also options for being involved in outreach services and clinics. Trainees are encouraged to design a one or two year training program at Alice Springs Hospital, allowing them to experience different areas of Medicine within Central Australia.
There is an extensive education program incorporated into the Department of Medicine, including whole of department sessions, and sessions directed at junior staff level. Medical Registrars are involved in all aspects of teaching. There is also a strong focus on research in the department of medicine, and trainees are encouraged to partake in research as part of their positon – either smaller scale projects, or by becoming involved in one of the larger ongoing projects occurring in the hospital.
You can contact Dr Stephen Brady, Director of Medicine by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.
Alice Springs Hospital has two accredited Advanced Trainee positions in Renal Medicine.
Renal medicine is one of the most fascinating areas of medical practice in the Territory. There are two accredited renal registrar positions and one non-accredited position available to non-renal trainees. In addition to ward-based care the renal team provides a clinical service to a large geographical region across Central Australia. Registrars travel to Tennant Creek, Yuendumu and smaller communities to conduct clinics.
As well as an eight-bed dialysis unit within the hospital there are patients on home dialysis and two community satellite dialysis units in Alice Springs, and one in Tennant Creek the registrar and consultants visit regularly. There are also remote dialysis services.
Registrar clinics include a weekly chronic kidney disease clinic and transplant clinic. The trainee will become skilled in vascular access techniques, renal biopsies, management of peritoneal dialysis catheters and fistulas. Trainees are also involved in the weekly interventional nephrology session where the unit provides angiogram, angioplasty and fistuloplasty services. There is a strong education program both within the renal department and as part of the department of medicine teaching.
You can contact Dr Cherian Sajiv, Head of Renal Unit by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.
Alice Springs Hospital has one non-accredited Cardiology Registrar position, generally filled by Advanced Trainees in General and Acute Care Medicine.
Cardiology at Alice Springs Hospital is a growing department with a strong focus on non-interventional cardiology (no interventional cardiology at Alice Springs). The high burden of cardiovascular disease and rheumatic heart disease remains an attraction for those interested in making a difference in the Territory. There are visiting Cardiologists at Alice Springs weekly (from Royal Darwin Hospital). There is a strong working relationship with Cardiology services at Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre (South Australia) who provide Alice Springs Hospital with angiogram and revascularisation services, specialist visits (including specialist electrophysiology) and Cardiac Surgery.
Cardiology services provided at Alice Springs Hospital include a fulltime Transthoracic Echocardiogrpahic Service and capacity for planned Transoesophageal echocardiography. Functional testing in the form of Exercise Stress ECG, Stress/Pharmacologic Echocardiogram are available. CT Coronary Angiography (non-emergency) and Cardiac MRI are also available. The Cardiology Registrar is actively involved provision of all services as well as Cardiology Outpatient clinics.
With the high prevalence of Rheumatic Heart Disease in Central Australia this is an excellent job to gain extensive echocardiogram experience, and Cardiology Registrars are strongly encouraged to partake in echocardiogram training and service provision.
There is also an outreach service which consists of a cardiologist, a registrar, an echocardiogram technician, and a cardiac nurse educator. This service regularly visits remote indigenous communities to provide clinical and echocardiography services, and allows trainees to partake in a unique experience.
There are opportunities to be involved in research conducted through Alice Springs Hospital, and trainees are encouraged to initiate smaller projects or become involved in larger ongoing projects already running within the hospital.
You can contact Dr. Nadarajah Kangaharan, Head of Cardiology Unit by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.
Alice Springs Hospital has one non-accredited Endocrinology Registrar position, generally filled by Advanced Trainees in General and Acute Care Medicine.
This is a shared position – 50% based at Alice Springs Hospital, 50% at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute (Alice Springs Campus).
Our endocrinology and diabetes team at ASH consists of two consultants (one permanent, two visiting) and two diabetes educators. Hospital work involves outpatient clinics (both diabetes and endocrinology), and ward consults of complex patients, and the registrar works closely with the diabetes educators.
The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute provides a specialist diabetes outreach service to 10 remote communities across Central Australia, and also provides a diabetes clinic at Central Australian Aboriginal Congress in Alice Springs. The outreach team consists of an Endocrinologist (visiting), diabetes nurse educator and registrar – visits also occur with the registrar and DNE. Outreach diabetes clinics involve complex patients, with multiple comorbidities, and can often occur in a diverse and sometimes challenging environment. It is an immensely rewarding experience, and unique to Central Australia.
You can contact Dr Elna Ellis, Consultant Endocrinologist by emailing MedicalRecruitmentASH@nt.gov.au.
Last updated: 07 December 2019
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