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The trainee intern year comprises four quarters, with 12 weeks per quarter. It is a preparation year, when students learn the skills to become a house surgeon.

Three of the quarters are ward and clinical attachments, and the fourth quarter is a free elective.

Ward management module

The ward management module consists of a six-week surgical attachment and a six-week medicine attachment.

The medicine attachment is on a medical run at Dunedin, Wakari, or Southland hospitals, and occasionally Timaru Hospital.

The Medicine attachments are:

  • Internal Medicine Team A
  • Internal Medicine Team B
  • Internal Medicine Team C
  • Internal Medicine Team D
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neurology
  • Renal
  • Cardiology 1
  • Cardiology 2
  • Older Person's Health Team A
  • Older Person's Health Team B
  • Older Person's Health Team C
  • ISIS, Wakari
  • Oncology
  • Haematology
  • Internal Medicine, Southland Hospital
  • Internal Medicine, Timaru Hospital

Trainee interns are responsible to the registrar and physician for the care of designated patients in the ward.

This includes admission, maintaining the medical records, and under supervision of the registrar, initiating investigations and treatments. Attendance at designated outpatient clinics is also required.

The major objective is to further develop students' skills in history and examination, defining patients' problems, initiating management under supervision, and presenting cases clearly and succinctly to consultants or registrars.

Attendance at regular tutorials, outpatient clinics, and teaching seminars is expected. Grand rounds and other activities may also be directed.


A Professional Attitudes and Summary of Achievement Form (PASAF) is completed at the end of the 6 weeks by the supervisor and signed by the student. A formal long case assessment is also undertaken.

JAD Iverach Memorial Prize in Medicine

This prize is awarded annually following a special clinical examination which the top students are invited to sit. The Iverach examination is a prerequisite for being invited to sit the Distinction examination in Medicine, which is a School-wide examination circuit, with up to six students sitting at each School (Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington).

The free elective

The free elective is three months when the trainee intern has a free choice of activity—medical, paramedical, or medico-social. It is an opportunity to experience different cultures, systems and often interesting and confronting situations.

All elective placements must be approved and signed off by the Trainee Intern Supervisor prior to leaving. Elective essays from previous trainee interns are available in the Library to assist students to make a choice.


Supervisors at their placement are required to complete an assessment form and this should be returned to the Department.

The student is expected to write an essay of at least 15 pages, which is submitted at the completion of elective and submitted to a panel to be judged for the VIP Travel Prize at the end of the year.

Further information

Further information on the ward management module or the free elective can be obtained from Professor Rob Walker or Mrs Jan Kettink.

Professor Rob Walker (Supervisor)

Mrs Jan Kettink (Administrator)
Tel 64 3 474 0999 ext 58505

Two medical students with their supervisor and a patient

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