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GENA 728 Cardiorespiratory Medicine in Rural Hospitals


Cardiology and Respiratory Medicine presentations are common in rural hospitals and rural GPs. Many of them can be definitively managed in the rural setting. GENA 728 is therefore a busy 30 point paper.

Learning Objectives

On successful completion of this course, participants will be:

  • Familiar with the issues involved in management of common cardiology and respiratory medicine conditions (as expressed in the course themes) in a rural hospital setting, to a level that will ensure safe and effective practice for their context of practice.
  • Able to perform the appropriate procedural skills to a level that will ensure safe and effective practice for their context of practice.
  • Able to discuss the role of rural hospitals and rural hospital doctors in managing cardiology and respiratory medicine conditions, the resources appropriate for rural cardiology and respiratory medicine, and the range of procedures required for rural cardiology and respiratory medicine practice.
  • Aware of their learning needs for rural hospital cardiology and respiratory medicine practice, and able to plan their continuing professional development, including knowledge, skills, teamwork, local resources, and networks with base hospital.

Teaching methods

The class size is limited to 20 students in order to allow for small group case based work.
Set readings are provided at the start of the paper. The majority of these are recent review articles or current guidelines. These are divided into compulsory, recommended or mainly for reference.
Much of the work over the semester is done on Moodle, an interactive web based learning platform. Students draw on their day to day clinical work using the discussion board to discuss patient management and other issues with the whole class and the convenors.
There is one 6 day residential later in the semester. This includes a lot of case based small group work and practical sessions on ECG, ABG, NIV, ETT and CXR interpretation.


  • 3 written case based assignments
  • Mutlichoice examination
  • Mark for quality of participation in the course

Course Themes

Ischaemic Heart Disease
Cardiogenic Shock
Heart Failure
Atrial Fibrillation
Other Tachyarrhythmias
Bradyarrhythmias / Syncope
Pericarditis / Myocarditis / Cardiomyopathy
Valvular Heart Disease
Malignant Hypertension
Oxygen Therapy
COPD / Non-invasive Ventilation
PE and DVT
Pleural Disease
Cor Pulmonale and Domiciliary Oxygen
Sarcoidosis / Fibrotic Lung Disease
Bronchiectasis / Lung Cancer


Troponins / BNP / d Dimers

Reports of Specialist Investigations

ECHO Reports
Exercise Stress Test Reports
Angiography Reports

Procedural Skills

Emergency Electrical Cardioversion
Chemical Cardioversion
External Pacing
Emergency ICD Management
Exercise Stress Testing (Optional)
Draining Pleural Effusions
Non-invasive Ventilation

Contact Details

Paper convenors

Mark Smith Rural GP and rural hospital generalist, Central Otago
Garry Nixon Rural hospital generalist, Central Otago

Rural Postgraduate Programme administrator

Bron Hunt