Royal Darwin Hospital specialities and rotations

RDH critical care jobs

Critical care at Royal Darwin Hospital covers the following positions.


The training positions available in anaesthesia offer a range of experience hard to match anywhere else in Australia. The Department provides anaesthesia for a wide range of surgery including all specialties except cardiac.

Approximately 12,000 procedures per year are done in seven operating theatres. 15% of cases are paediatric and there is a large amount of maxillo-facial surgery allowing development of fibre-optic intubation skills not readily available elsewhere. There is also a large amount of trauma including neurotrauma managed completely within the hospital. Many of the obstetric cases are complicated including patients with severe rheumatic heart disease. Trainees are well supervised and those showing aptitude will be given some independence with ready access to assistance. Many of the staff have an interest in regional anaesthesia with access to ultrasound to assist with nerve blockade as well as evolving point of care cardiac assessment.

The department can also provide training for anaesthesia relating to the acute pain service, radiology procedures including MRI and ECT for mental health.

Exposure to chronic pain management and hyperbaric medicine can also be organised.

The department also has links to the Retrieval Service operated by Careflight and the intensive care unit and can facilitate training and clinical exposure to these areas for suitably experienced doctors.

Anaesthetics Registrars

The Department has Registrar positions that are accredited for training with the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA). Trainees rotate from the South Australian/Northern Territory Rotational Anaesthesia Training Scheme (SANTRATS) in Adelaide as well as with the Northern Rotation of the Queensland Anaesthesia Rotational Training Scheme (QARTS). Additional positions are for RACGP advanced rural skills posts training to be GP Anaesthetists. There remains the ability to appoint Anaesthesia trainees directly to RDH who have significant experience elsewhere in Australia or overseas.

The RDH Department can also appoint Senior Registrars/Provisional Fellows to meet ANZCA requirements.

Weekly anaesthetic tutorials are conducted with three hours of protected teaching time. Special tutorials for the primary and fellowship examination are also arranged.

Supervision is always readily available, with specialists rostered on-site until 10pm, 7 days per week and on-call after that time.

Anaesthetics Residents

There are anaesthetic RMO positions which are for 3 month terms unless in preparation to be a GP Anaesthetist (6 months RMO prior to 6 months Registrar). These can be part of a critical care stream or for advanced emergency trainees accredited to their training. Residents are closely supervised and supported in theatre, always being paired with a consultant or senior registrar.

GP Anaesthetists are trained to be prepared to meet the Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA) requirements of ANZCA, RACGP and ACCRM. Weekly anaesthetic tutorials are conducted with three hours of protected teaching time.

For further information on resident or registrar positions you can contact Dr Brian Spain, Director of Anaesthesia by emailing

Emergency medicine

The Emergency Department at the Royal Darwin Hospital sees approximately 70,000 patients a year of which about 25% are children. The casemix is unlike other tertiary EDs in that the patients are younger and the levels of trauma and severe sepsis are amongst the highest in Australia. Indigenous Australians account for 30% of attendance and 50% of admissions. The emergency department staff are supported by a psychiatry team, social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, pharmacist, indigenous liaison officer, security staff and hospital police constable.

RMOs, interns and medical students are supervised by registrars and consultants. Staffing of the Department consists of consultants, registrars, residents, interns and medical students.

The roster is 40 hours per week in 10 hour shifts so there is plenty of time to visit the sights in and around Darwin on your three days off per week. When in the ED there is a 24 hour registrar presence. Consultant staff aim to provide a supportive, enthusiastic, educational and safe working environment. They are available 24 hours a day with extensive "on the floor" presence.

Emergency Medicine Residents

Hospital resident rotations through the ED are for 3 months at a time and can be arranged through

For RMOs who want more emergency medicine experience (6-12mths) or want to enrol in the ACEM Certificate (6-9 months) or Diploma (6 -18 months) applications can be made through

Residents in Emergency Medicine rotate through our majors, resus, fast track, paediatric and extended emergency care areas. RMOs will also rotate through the new Palmerston ED which will open in August 2018. RMOs are rostered three hours of protected teaching time each week incorporating practical workshops, invited speakers and high fidelity simulation training. There is additional training for ACEM Certificate and Diploma candidates.

For further information on emergency resident positions contact:

  • Dr Adrienne Deans, Deputy Director of Emergency Medicine, RDH
  • A/ Prof Didier Palmer OAM, Director of Emergency Medicine, RDH & Top End Health Service

Emergency Medicine Registrars

RDH ED is maximally ACEM accredited for specialist training as a Major Referral Hospital (24 months adult emergency medicine training and the paediatric log book). There are well established rotations to intensive care, anaesthetics, medicine and retrieval. Other rotations (e.g. paediatrics, O&G, surgery, psychiatry, orthopaedics) can be arranged on an individual basis.

The Palmerston Regional Hospital will open in August 2018 and we anticipate accreditation for six months as a regional hospital.

Registrars are rostered four hours of protected teaching time each week. There are separate teaching programs focusing on primary and fellowship exam preparation. Weekly simulation training is incorporated into the teaching program. The program is supported by 3 Co-DEMTs, a wellness program, a mentoring program and a gender equal consultant workforce.

RDH also houses the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC). EMST, APLS, ALS, ATTT and MIMMS courses are available through the NCCTRC.

For further information on emergency registrar positions contact:

  • Dr Adrienne Deans, Deputy Director of Emergency Medicine, RDH
  • A/ Prof Didier Palmer OAM, Director of Emergency Medicine, RDH & Top End Health Service

Intensive Care Unit

Royal Darwin Hospital has the only Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the Top End of the Northern Territory. It services a population of 180,000 in an area of more than 500,000 square kilometres with 6,200 kilometres of coastline, from East Arnhem to the Kimberley. RDH is the forward receiving hospital for Northern Australia and plays a major role in disaster management in the region through the National Critical Care & Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC).

RDH ICU is a mixed Adult/Paediatric Level 3 ICU with 18 beds. In addition to Paediatrics, the case mix includes sepsis, trauma, and neurosurgery. Cardiac Surgical Services are scheduled to start in 2019/20. There are 1200 admissions annually. The ICU Department employs 8 ICU Specialists, 1 ICU Fellow, 7 ICU registrars and 5 ICU RMOs.

Indigenous Australians are one third of the population of the Top End but represent more than 50 per cent of the intensive care patients. Many Indigenous patients come from remote communities. There is a strong emphasis placed on cultural sensitivity in the ICU.

RDH ICU is accredited for general, paediatric (AP12), neurosurgery and trauma training in the new CICM curriculum. In addition CICM has recently accredited RDH ICU for a Transition Fellow position.

RDH ICU has cardiac echo qualified ICU specialists on staff, including CICM qualified assessors. The ICU runs an echo training program for registrars and the ability to provide support for higher ultrasound qualifications.

The unit is accredited for 12 months advanced training in the Pre-2014 Curriculum (C12).

We are an active member of the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group with a full time research coordinator and an active research program.


The Royal Darwin Hospital offers an RMO pathway to critical care training. This will generally be available to those who have demonstrated an extended service commitment greater than 12 months. Interested applicants will need to apply through RDH Medical Recruitment by emailing

ICU Registrars

The registrar role is suitable for PGY 3-4 CICM, ANZCA or ACEM trainees. It provides the opportunity to complete up to 12 months as ICU registrar and up to 12 months acute general medicine. 100% of candidates who have sat the CICM Primary while at RDH have passed. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to apply for 12 months anaesthesia training. Trainees may also consider Careflight Registrar options.

Selection Criteria

RDH ICU registrar applicants will need to fulfill the following criteria:

  • PGY 3-4 or above
  • ICU experience of 3-6 months
  • Airway experience
  • College membership
  • Exam Progress:
    • For ICU trainees evidence of progress towards the CICM primary.
    • For ACEM registrars success at college primary. ACEM trainees not enrolled in CICM should apply through RDH Emergency Department in the first instance.
  • A mixture of other experiences in acute medicine/ED/paeds or remote medicine are also useful for potential ICU registrar applicants.

Courses such as ALS, APLS, EMST, and BASIC are good preparation for an ICU registrar post.

Further information relating to RDH ICU training

Please email with attention to:

  • Dr Sid Agarwal Deputy Director ICU & CICM Supervisor of Training or
  • Dr Resy Van Beek ICU & CICM Supervisor of Training

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Last updated: 07 December 2019

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