Gisborne Hospital top with junior doctors

30 June 2016

A review of hospitals by the New Zealand Resident Doctor’s Association (NZRDA) put Hauora Tairāwhiti’s Gisborne Hospital on top for Resident Medical Officer (RMO or junior doctor) experience.

The NZRDA is the only organisation in New Zealand solely representing the interests of junior doctors. They are run by resident doctors, for resident doctors, and every year they publish a comprehensive review of all DHBs, to give prospective RMOs a snapshot into what they might expect from a stint working there.

A Resident Medical Officer (RMO) is a person who has graduated from medical school as a qualified doctor and is undergoing further training to become fully qualified in whatever specialist field they choose. Hauora Tairāwhiti has 18 RMOs working throughout Gisborne Hospital. Most will work in Gisborne for 1-2 years before choosing a speciality and moving onto larger DHB’s who can accommodate specific education needs.

The 2016 NZRDA Hospital Review called Hauora Tairāwhiti the “champion” of all the DHBs. The review said that Gisborne Hospital was the first to introduce safe rostering, had a helpful RMO unit, great support from senior doctors and provided opportunities for clinical experience.

Despite the glamour of big city hospitals, smaller DHBs like Tairāwhiti are a popular choice amongst graduating doctors, as they get to do much more than they would at a larger facility. The report said that working at Gisborne Hospital was “hands on admitting and doing procedures. There’s good support and encouragement to learn, plenty of day-to-day opportunities.” In addition to the clinical experience on offer, Gisborne also ranked high as a great place to live, according to the report “ Your old friends might not be here but there’s a great collegiality and a great social environment outside of work (and plenty of new friends in Gisborne).”

Dr Shaun Grant is one of RMO unit who work with the junior doctors while at Gisborne Hospital, he commented; “Gisborne Hospital has always been a popular choice with RMOs as they have the opportunity to work closely with consultants and have more hands-on experience. Hauora Tairāwhiti is also fortunate to have a fantastic RMO co-ordinator who has helped create a safe and supportive environment for junior doctors. Gisborne Hospital is the only hospital in the country to have implemented safe rostering which includes split nights (ie. no longer working 7 nights in a row) and not working more than 10 days in a row. Add all these elements to a small team of committed RMOs working in sunny Gisborne, and we have the ingredients for an amazing educational experience which is sought after.”

The review is an unofficial assessment of previous and current RMO experiences. It is published to help prospective doctors decide where to apply, and informs those who have already committed to a place with Hauora Tairāwhiti, what they can expect. Reviews of each DHB are based on a number of topics including; helpfulness and friendliness of the RMO unit, cafeteria, car parking, city living, rosters and SMO support.

So many people at the hospital work together to create a fantastic working environment for the junior doctors; from the cooks who remember to put their food aside, to the nurses who help them out, and the Senior Doctors who take the time to teach.