In specialty surg,

at Waikato you get to do plastics….. this is a fantastic run and you get to do suturing in the local theatre and all the consultants are very willing to teach. there is a leison clinic which is good to learn about all those skin lumps and bumps although most of what you see is BCC and SCC and melanoma. It is good to learn about burns and various skin flaps, although it's not part of the core curriculum so it's more of an interest sake.
(As of 2009 Plastics has been replaced by Urology…yup)

Urology was actually a really great run, possibly because they never had students before so were very keen to teach. All the consultants were friendly and the tutorials were superb and actually took place!

You also get vascular …. the consultants are generally friendly, some more than others. Depend on who you get, you might be expected to turn up to ward round at 7:30am. otherwise you can turn up at clinic at 9am at Hilda Ross, extremely convenient if you live there as well~! You are expected to pick up any patient file and see patients on your own then report to the consultant or reg and then if they are happy with your plan, they wouldn't even see the patient although you could always insist on it. They then will ask you to dictate a clinic letter. It's a great learning experience but throwing you into the deep end quite a bit!

ENT - the teaching you get is FANTASTIC!!!!!!! Mrs Francois Jean-Louis and Mr Andrew Currie are fantastic ENT teachers and although you will be told that their tutorials are not compulsory, I would NOT miss them if I could help it! With head and neck surgery, the consultants do expect you to know quite a bit of head and neck anatomy.

Ophthalmology - not so good in Waikato because you don't get as much of it and you don't get the lectures like the people in Auckland do. You basically have to study on your own and it's not easy because there is a lot to cover! You also don't get an ophthalmoscope to practice with either. This can be good or bad, the good is you don't get examine on it like the Auckland people do but then the bad is that you don't get to practice how to use one properly. Although the upside is, if you try go in clinics with consultants who got reg helping out with the clinic, then they will take you through how to use a slit lamp which is realistically a much more useful tool to learn if you were to assess the eye. However, as junior doctors, it's more important to know how to use a opthalmoscope as that will be what you have access to. The eye department in Waikato is looking at getting ONE ophthalmoscope for 4 students to share… so it's still far from ideal….

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