Trainee Positions at Palmerston North

Training Positions : 1

Core Position Descriptions

One FT advanced neurology trainee

Hospital Information

Palmerston North Hospital is a teaching hospital associated with both Auckland and Otago medical schools. Located in the city of Palmerston North, it is the main regional centre covering the southern central north island of New Zealand from just north of Wellington reaching up to Taranaki and Gisborme for some specialty services. The general patient catchment area comprises a population of 180,000; this extends to over 300,000 for neurophysiology and over 50,000 for the Regional Cancer Treatment Service.

The Department of Neurology collaborates closely with Wellington and Hawkes Bay neurology and regional meetings occur on a regular basis. We also have very close ties to Wellington Neuro and Vascular surgery.

Department Beds


Department Clinics

in excess of 10

Department Specialty Clinics

TIA - EMG - Dystonic syndromes - Epilepsy

Department Meetings

Neuroradiology and MRI conference
Neurophysiology MDT meeting
Stroke MDT meeting
Neurology Service Meetings
Internal Medicine Grand Round
Postgraduate Medical Society meetings

Department Staff

Dr Annemarei Ranta (1.3 FTE)
Consultant Neurology and Clinical Head
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education
University of Otago - Palmerston North

Dr Pietro Cariga (1.0 FTE)
Consultant Neurologist
Neurology Training Supervisor1 FT advanced trainee

The department also includes:
0.5 house officer
3 PT neurophysiology technicians (total of 1.3 FTE coverage)
1 FT neurology nurse
1 FT secretary/PA
1 FT receptionist
Acute stroke team on site including 0.5 FTE occupational, physio- and speech and language threpists and a FT stroke CNS

Junior Staff Positions In Neurology

1 house officer 0.5 FTE

Trainee Responsibilities

Please note the trainee in this centre will not be required to take part into the acute take and on-call rota for medicine. This is a position fully dedicated to neurology training.

2 to 3 neurology clinics/week (initially fully supervised).

2 to 3 (flexible) sessions of inpatient care and inpatient consultations, initially fully supervised by the consultant with progressive levels of independence

attend weekly internal medicine grand round

protected time to attend weekly postgraduate medical society academic meetings

attend RACP advanced training meetings (videoconferencing facility available)

Selection Criteria

We are looking for a highly motivated individual who enjoys active learning and working as team member. We base selection on demonstration of prior excellence and commitment to patient care as well as evidence to support that the individual works well with others and respects team members regardless of duties and station. Our department is small and we thus depend on a collegial and supportive enviroment which extends beyond the consultants and junior doctors and includes also the technologists, nursing, allied health professionals and secretarial staff.

Philosophy Of Training

Drs Ranta and Cariga have a strong background in medical education and genuinely enjoy the teaching and training of junior doctors and medical students. Our hospital and patient volumes are certainly large enough to provide ample learning opporunities, but at the same time we manage to maintain a relaxed and flexible environment and aim to meet every team member's needs and goals. Registrars are not seen as a worker bee to assist the consultants, but rather as an intellectual stimulant and learning occurs in all directions in our department. The advanced trainee is fully integrated into the team and will be expected to make independent decision with the reassurance of continuous consultant back up whenever needed. Our goal is to train neurologists who are fully capable of independent practice in a wide variety of aspects of neurologic care with a primary focus on solid general neurological skills.

We see completing a core training year at Palmerston North Hospital as an excellent opportunity to prepare a trainee for a practice in a more rural or remote setting without having to rely on tertiary input unless exceptional circumstances arise. Both consultants also have a very active research record and contine to pursue these interests alongside their clinical practice. We provide registrars with opportunities to participate in independent projects and welcome and support any of their own ideas whenever feasible.

Other Information

The department is evaluating the possibility of increasing the number of consultants in the near future. Successful trainees, providing a mutually satisfactory relationship is established with the department, would be seriously considered for the prospect of long-term retention.


Dr A Ranta - Dr P Cariga;
Phone : +64 6 3508623

Palmerston North
Private Bag 11036
Manawatu Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442
New Zealand