Taranaki DHB ranked second most preferred hospital by graduating doctors
Taranaki Hospitals (Taranaki DHB) have come second in a survey that ranks graduating doctors’ most preferred hospitals
to work in.
Gillian Campbell, Taranaki DHB COO said, “Coming second as most popular hospital out of 20 DHB’s is really exciting and
is a credit to the hard work our team puts into the training and support of junior doctors when they arrive to work at
Every year, graduates of New Zealand medical schools rank their preferences for which hospital they wish to start work
at as a qualified doctor (Resident Doctor or RMO). The number of graduating doctors choosing which hospital as ‘number
one’ against the number of positions available for employment gives a consistent measure of the popularity of hospitals
amongst the newest doctors.
Using this method, Taranaki Base Hospital (Taranaki DHB) has taken the number two spot as preferred employer for 2017.
Rotorua Hospital (Lakes DHB) was number one and Wellington came third and was also voted the most preferred of the
Mrs Campbell said, “To add to this success, only last week we had the Medical Council accreditation team visiting our
hospital to audit the training and support we provide to our junior doctors. They were very complimentary of the
training and support provided by Taranaki DHB and its staff and in particular Dr Jonathan Albrett’s innovative first
year doctor’s Acute Skills Teaching Programme,” added Mrs Campbell.
This is not the first time, this programme has been recognised. Last year anaesthetist and intensive care specialist, Dr
Jonathan Albrett received an award for innovation from the National Health Round Table for his First Year Doctors Acute
Skills Teaching Programme.
The teaching programme aims to provide support for first year doctors while they transition from medical school, to
working in a hospital and providing acute care for deteriorating patients on the wards.
Dr Albrett said, “The programme has been running for more than two years so it is pleasing it has been recognised. I
couldn't have started the programme on my own and it’s a team effort that has made it a success, with support from my
colleagues and the Hospital Management Team.”
“Once I had the idea, I spoke to my Manager and they supported it. I got the programme up and running and it works and
has definitely added to the quality care and improvement culture our DHB adheres to,” Dr Albrett added.
The idea to develop the teaching programme came from analysis of international and local data that showed the majority
of first year doctors often feel under-prepared when caring for acute and deteriorating patients independently.
“First year doctors have trained hard for six years and are very capable, they also have plenty of support via
consultants who they can call at any time for advice. However, first year doctors naturally lack the on-ward experience,
so when they are caring for acute or deteriorating patients this can be challenging for them,” explained Dr Albrett.
Altogether, Dr Albrett has trained for 15 years at Auckland Medical School and at Taranaki Base and Waikato Hospitals to
become an anaesthetist and an intensive care specialist.
“Regardless of my years of training, no amount quite prepares you for the experience you gain working on the wards,” he
With this in mind, Dr Albrett’s idea was to provide a supportive teaching forum where doctors build on from what they
already know, by discussing scenarios and be offered suggestions to help them manage situations before they experience
them under pressure on the ward.
“It teaches doctors supplementary skills to help them quickly identify, escalate and treat patients who deteriorate on
the ward, which ultimately will help to improve patient outcomes,” said Dr Albrett.
Taranaki DHB will start its fourth round of the Acute Skills Teaching Programme with the new in-take of first year
doctors who arrive in November 2017.
“In the last few years Taranaki Base Hospital has been seen as a popular destination for first year doctors and has
attracted a high calibre of applicants. Part of my reasoning for initiating this programme was to attract these doctors
and provide them this training and support.”
Taranaki DHB has made the training a priority to highlight the importance of looking after its first year doctors and it
has been very well received by this group.
Dr Jonathan Albrett works at Taranaki Base Hospital and also for one week every two months at Waikato Hospital. Jonathan
completed his post graduate diploma in Clinical Education with Distinction at the University of Auckland last year.