Trainee Positions at Christchurch

Training Positions: 1
Elective Training Positions: 1 movement disorders
Fellowships: 1 movement disorders

Core Position Descriptions

The Neurology Advanced Training position is one of two clinical neurology registrar positions in the department. The two registrars alternate between 8-week attachments to either the Neurology Ward Team or the Neurology Acute Team. The Ward Registrar works under the supervision of the Ward Consultant and attends to day-to-day management of neurology ward patients, with the assistance of the Ward House Surgeon. The Ward Registrar also attends one general and one subspecialty neurology outpatient clinic weekly and two formal consultant ward-rounds. The Acute Registrar is supervised by the Acute Consultant and is responsible for GP calls, ED referrals including stroke thrombolysis calls and ward consults. The Acute Registrar attends three acute neurology clinics weekly. The acute neurology clinics are directly supervised by the Acute Consultant. Patients are booked no more than one week in advance. These clinics work well to minimise unscheduled GP referrals to the ED.

The Registrar will participate with the Consultants in a roster of regular educational programme commitments, including a weekly journal club, and weekly neurology/neurosurgery clinical presentation meeting. Other regular educational meetings include a weekly neuroradiology review meeting, weekly ward patient management review meeting and fortnightly neurophysiology review session, alternating between EEG and EMG/NCS.

The advanced trainee registrar will be freed from routine clinical duties to attend a weekly neurophysiology clinic and will have the opportunity to perform NCS/EMG and report EEG under appropriate supervision.

Subspecialty clinics that are available for the trainee to attend include: TIA/cerebrovascular clinic, Movement disorders clinic, MS clinic, Botox clinic, paediatric neurology.

Elective Position Descriptions

A movement disorder elective/fellowship position is available under the supervision of Prof. Tim Anderson at the adjacent New Zealand Brain Research Institute NZBRI ( Enquiries should be directed to Prof. Anderson ( Functional imaging using an in-house 3T MRI is one strength of the Institute. Elective trainees will participate in movement disorders clinics and research and Botox clinics. Over the period of their appointment, the trainee will have the opportunity to participate in the full range of neurology department activities listed above, including neurophysiology clinics and subspecialty clinics with a schedule to be arranged to suit the individual trainee. Trainees at fellowship level in particular will have the opportunity to work toward a higher academic degree if desired.

Hospital Information

Christchurch Hospital is one of New Zealand's largest acute and tertiary referral hospitals. It is the only acute hospital for the greater Christchurch city with an acute catchment of approximately 400000 people and serves as a tertiary referral centre to a broader population of the South Island. A full range of hospital services are provided, including cardiothoracic and Neurosurgery. Neurology and Neurosurgery share a 28-bed ward. Neurology runs the acute stroke thrombolysis service and also admits most "young" stroke patients, the remainder of stroke patients being admitted under General Medicine. All stroke patients are housed in the acute stroke unit, on a separate ward. Subarachnoid haemorrhage patients are admitted directly to neurosurgery. The neurology ward has a dedicated video-EEG monitoring room. The hospital has an on-site 1.5T MRI and access to the 3T MRI at nearby NZBRI which has perfusion imaging capability. 64-slice VCT capabilities include CTA, CT perfusion and 3-plane volumetric CT reconstructions. Carotid Duplex ultrasound is available for ambulatory patients within 24 hours as well as for inpatients. There are two interventional neuroradiologists and three clinical neuroradiologists. The Neurointerventional service routinely performs aneurysm coiling, stent-assisted coiling, and AVM occlusions and has the capability to perform carotid artery stenting and other intracranial interventions when required. There is a close relationship with the vascular surgery service who provide a Rapid Access Carotid Endarterectomy (RACE) service. The cardiology department provides a transcatheter PFO closure service for appropriate patients. There are two paediatric neurologists.

Department Beds


Department Clinics

Trainees attend 2-3 clinics per week

Department Specialty Clinics

Cerebrovascular, movement, Botox, MS, paediatric, neurophysiology

Department Meetings

Journal club - weekly
Neurology/neurosurgery clinical meeting - weekly
Ward case management review - weekly
Neurophysiology review - fortnightly
Neuroradiology review - weekly

Department Staff

Five Consultants: Drs Parkin, Avery, Mason, Fink; Prof Anderson.
Two Registrars
1.5 House officer
One Clinical Neurophysiologist
Three Neurophysiology technicians

Junior Staff Positions In Neurology

Two Neurology registrars: acute/ward, one Neurology Ward House-officer, 0.5 Neuroscience house-officer (share with neurosurgery)

Trainee Responsibilities

Acute rotation: GP calls, ED referrals, Ward consults, Acute Clinics
Ward rotation: Ward patient management, Supervision of house surgeon, Consultant ward rounds, General and subspecialty clinics.

Active participation in departmental educational activities.
Clinical teaching sessions for medical students.
Regular neurophysiology clinics.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for energetic trainees who have an enthusiasm for learning. Interpersonal skills, honesty and integrity are highly valued attributes, as well as a diligence in executing patient care responsibilities.

Trainees will be expected to have passed the FRACP written and clinical examinations.

Philosophy Of Training

We value our trainees highly and aim to support them to achieve their goal of becoming excellent consultant neurologists and colleagues. The presentation of patients to consultants by registrars is seen as a key learning opportunity. Ready availability of supervising consultant staff is important to ensure both the best feedback and learning for the trainee and the best care for the patients. Trainees are encouraged to formulate their own provisional diagnosis, investigation and management plans for presentation to their consultant and to follow-up on learning needs identified by these clinical interactions. The advanced training supervisor will assist the trainee to maximise their clinical experience during their appointment, including assistance with the design of rotations through subspecialty clinics. Participation in the monthly ANZAN Brain School programme is expected and will add structure to the training. The trainee will be expected to sit the American Academy of Neurology Residency In Training Examination (RITE) to provide themselves with an objective academic appraisal of progress against international standards.

Neurology Training In State

Other Information

Christchurch not only offers the trainee an excellent clinical and academic experience but also an enviable lifestyle. The 'small city' size and simple geography offers a relaxed family-friendly living environment with affordable housing and easy transportation. The city is flanked by the ocean and hills providing immediate access to a multitude of recreational activites with the bigger mountains only an hour away by car.

Contact details

Dr John N Fink
Phone : 03 364 0940

Department of Neurology
Christchurch Hospital
Private Bag 4710
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand