Job Applications

The opportunities and pathways available to JMOs interested in anaesthesia can be a little confusing at first. Below is a list of some of the common positions on this journey. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong career paths and something can be gained from any experience, no matter how unrelated it may seem to anaesthesia.


  • Regional rotational schemes:
    • These are the most popular route to complete training in anaesthesia. Specifics vary between locations, though generally trainees on these schemes are guaranteed positions to meet their training requirements (provided exams are passed within reasonable timeframes).
    • Victoria (VATS)
    • New South Wales (NSW)
    • Queensland (QARTS)
    • South Australia / Northern Territory (SANTRATS)
    • Western Australia (WA)
    • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
    • Tasmania
    • New Zealand
  • Other accredited positions
    • Trainees not on a rotational scheme typically need to continue applying for positions to progress through training – sometimes referred to as ‘Independent Training’ or ‘Non-rotational Training’. The positions provide the same experience gained by rotational trainees but without the ongoing job security or the guarantee of meeting training requirements (e.g. experience in obstetrics and paediatrics).
  • Unaccredited positions
    • Positions that are not accredited for training time with ANZCA are generally used as a stepping stone from residency to accredited training, and sometimes as a fallback option for trainees unable to secure an accredited job. They pay the bills and help maintain skills but do little to directly further your career.
    • It’s a requirement to undertake at least 12 months between internship and commencing anaesthesia training. In some regions it is standard to gain 24+ months experience as an HMO/RMO, commonly a general year followed by a critical care year.
    • Anaesthesia
    • Critical care
    • Other (General, Surgical, Medical)
  • Locum
    • To be useful enough to be hired as a locum in anaesthesia, one needs to be capable of safe and effective independent clinical practice. Consultant locum positions are common, however, opportunities for trainees are few and generally only suitable to those in their final years of training who can work with Level 4 supervision.
    • Locum opportunities in ICU and ED are plentiful and commonly undertaken by anaesthetic registrars and residents with an interest in critical care.
    • There are many locum agencies the offer these opportunities, e.g.
    • Agencies often offer referral bonuses. Ask your friends and colleagues to share the love!
  • Research
    • In an increasingly competitive job market, research is one way to demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment. This can be undertaken at any level from student to fellow and in any field, though fields related to anaesthesia are likely to be looked upon more favourably (e.g. anaesthesia, intensive care, physiology, pharmacology).
    • Check out our Research page for more.


  • CV / Resume
    • CVadvice_AAApril2014 (link fixed 29 June)
    • Courses
    • Degrees
      • It’s become increasingly common in recent years for HMOs / residents to undertake higher degrees prior to applying to anaesthesia training. Commonly, this is either the Monash University Master of Perioperative Medicine or the University of Sydney Master of Medicine (Critical Care Medicine). Occasionally, others masters degrees are done, such as a Master of Public Health (offered at many universities).
        • Is this useful clinically? Probably minimally useful. The perioperative medicine degree is likely more useful but it’s not hard to find the same content much much cheaper elsewhere.
        • Is this useful for exams? No. You are far better off spending the time you would be working on the masters just studying relevant content – you’re going to have to learn it anyway and a formal degree structure is likely to be more distracting than useful and will include content that you don’t need for the exams.
        • Is this useful to get onto the training program? Possibly a little but it’s not a cost-efficient or time-efficient way to buff your CV. It has only become common because other residents have been doing it – not because it has ever been recommended by the College or any rotational schemes. Few anaesthetists think it’s a good indicator of a better trainee.
        • Basically, for most residents, I would not recommended doing a Masters degree unless you have a genuine interest in the content, a bunch of spare time, no financial stress (non-CSP masters degrees typically cost >$20,000), and no better ways to use your time and money to build up your CV. You’re probably better off doing some courses and getting involved with research, teaching, etc.
  • Interview
  • References
    • Most applications require 3 references
    • It is key that they know you and have worked with you enough to be able to assess your clinical and non-clinical skills (this means more than one or two lists!). It’s great if you have other experience with them (e.g. research) but they usually must also have supervised you clinically
    • Generally, it is better to have reasonably senior and respected individuals
      • Ideally all should be consultants
      • Professors and heads of department may be more impressive, however, this only makes a very small difference and it is more important to have referees who know you well and have positive things to say about you
      • Other appealing referees include supervisors of training, HMO/RMO term supervisors, office bearers within ANZCA/ASA/NZSA/AMA/etc.
      • Junior consultants are appropriate – a warm reference from a junior consultant is better than a tepid reference from a senior consultant
    • Most (2-3) should be practicing anaesthetists
      • This is not essential – people have successfully applied to the training program with 1 anaesthetist and 2 intensivists or emergency physicians as their referees
      • Any non-anaesthetists would ideally be working in critical care (e.g. emergency medicine, intensive care, retrieval medicine) but this is also not vital if they are strong references
%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close