Victorian first: Regional Anaesthetics training program

In a Victorian first, GV Health is currently hosting its first intake of Doctor’s in a Regional Anaesthetics training program that allows trainees to complete the majority of their training in regional locations such as Shepparton, Ballarat and Albury. 

This has been a welcome game changer for Anaesthetics registrar Dr Shalley Robins, who was very keen to train regionally. “I really wanted to do my training in a rural setting, and the idea of living and training in Melbourne for a long period of time did not appeal to me. I thought my only regional training option would be to undertake GP training, but I wasn’t 100% convinced that I wanted to specialize in that area,” explains Dr Robins. 

Growing up in Castlemaine, Dr Robins graduated from the University of Melbourne Rural Clinical School in 2017 and fell in love with the work-life balance of regional Victoria. “It’s such a wonderful lifestyle, I can be engaged with my work, receive an excellent education and still enjoy my time outside the hospital,” says Dr Robins. “I am involved in such a variety of cases, and the department is very supportive of trainees and our development.” 

The Anaesthetics Regional Training Program was developed in collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anesthetists, GV Health, Ballarat Health and Albury Wodonga Health, with the involvement of Clinical Director of Anaesthetics at GV Health Dr Helen Roberts and ANZCA Supervisor of Training Dr John Hay. 

“The idea of regional specialist training has been around for a while,” explains Dr Roberts, “and we were keen to develop this concept in regional Victoria.” 

Dr Roberts and her colleagues feel that the program will benefit not only the trainees, but also the health service and regional communities as a whole. “We believe that by making training available regionally we improve the throughput of Doctors in Regional centers which in turn has a positive outcome on the number of specialists we are able to attract and retain,” says Dr Roberts.   

The competition for an Anaesthetics training position in Victoria is very high, and it is expected that this newly introduced regional training program will be highly sought after. 

Image: Dr Shalley Robins.