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Doctor exams a first for Tairawhiti

The country’s next generation of specialist doctors have sat demanding exams at Gisborne Hospital.

Eight “candidates”, eight examiners and 16 volunteer Gisborne patients took part in the first Adult Medicine exams to be hosted by Hauora Tairawhiti.

The candidates came from all around New Zealand although none were from Gisborne.

Gisborne doctors Joanna Wojciechowska and Inte Malik, both fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, were asked by the college to host exams in Gisborne because of the wide range of complex patients available in Tairawhiti.

Dr Wojciechowska was an examiner in Invercargill and Dunedin last year; Dr Malik was an examiner in Whakatane.

In the morning session, candidates spent one hour with a patient before preparing a complex management plan and had two “short cases’’ to examine the patient’s heart and nervous systems, and give their examiner their findings and a diagnosis.

Another one-hour session and two more short cases (respiratory and abdomen) were held in the afternoon.

“It was very tiring and stressful,” said Dr Wojciechowska.

Dr Malik said the candidates had finished their basic training and had since completed two years as junior house officers and three years as medical registrars.

The candidates had passed written exams and if successful in Gisborne would be eligible for another four or five years training to become specialists.

Hauora Tairawhiti chief executive Jim Green said the district health board was grateful to have such exams hosted in Tairawhiti.

“It further advances our place as part of the training programme for the next generation of specialist doctors in our community.

“It recognises the place that smaller, more rural health boards can have in the training of our next generation of specialists, and links to our new registrar positions at the hospital.

“We are very pleased that local people agreed to be part of the exam process as the soon-to-be consultants tested out their clinical skills in examining and diagnosing conditions,” said Mr Green.

“This is a wonderful contribution to the future and we are extremely grateful for the time and effort people put in to take part.”

EXAM TEAM: Preparing to assist medical candidates, examiners and volunteer patients during Royal Australasian College of Physicians examinations at Gisborne Hospital are (from left) Dr Joanna Wojciechowska, education assistant Radhika Openshaw, education officer Puto Tito, Dr Ashwin Ramji, Dr Inte Malik, registered nurses Tania Rolfe and Kirsten Brown, and clinical nurse manager Debbie Cordiner. Picture by Paul Rickard