Wellington Intensive Care Unit

Te Rui Atawhai

Medical Students

Wellington Regional Hospital is a teaching hospital with medical students rotating through our department to learn about the management of critically ill patients.

Medical students have the opportunity to attend Intensive Care ward rounds, accompany the registrars to in-patient wards, Medical Emergency Team calls and the Emergency Department to assess acute referrals, observe procedures on the unit, and also accompany the flight retrieval team on acute inter hospital transfers.

Medical students eligible to attend ICU are derived from two sources:
  • University of Otago Wellington undergraduates
  • Overseas elective undergraduates from recognised medical schools
Medical students are eligible to attend in both their fourth year (during surgical attachment) and fifth year (as a Trainee Intern).
University of Otago Wellington
At present, fourth year students attend the unit for two consecutive days.

Since November 2011, fifth year students (Trainee Interns) have also attended as part of their six week EAC (Emergency & Acute Care) module, of which two of the Intensive Care Specialists are Clinical Supervisors. This allows them to follow individual acute medical & surgical patients through from the Emergency Department into the in-patient setting as well as witnessing any investigations or procedures they may undergo as part of their management. They are also allocated a day with the Patient At Risk service assessing acute referrals on the ward.

A written case report is required at the end of this module that contributes towards their overall assessment.

Students with a particular interest in Intensive Care Medicine may be able to take an elective in our unit by arrangement with the senior medical staff.


All medical students in Intensive Care are expected to attend the teaching sessions given by senior staff for ICU Registrars

We welcome students from other medical schools with recent student placements from the United Kingdom, Austria, Argentina, Germany and Ireland. We are usually able to provide up to two simultaneous places for undergraduates from overseas institutions, typically for a placement of 4 to 6 weeks length.
ICU Ward Round
The longer duration of this attachment allows a more structured approach to learning with expectation that the student will participate as a member of the ICU team under direct supervision from both junior and senior medical staff.

We expect students placed with us to prepare a case study for presentation to one of the senior medical staff at the end of their run. Previous students have published their case review in a peer-reviewed journal.

All administrative support is provided by the University of Otago and applications to spend time in our unit should be made through Ann Thornton (ann.thornton@otago.ac.nz), the Student Affairs Administrator. The university levies an administrative charge for applicants.

More information about electives in Intensive Care or other specialities within Wellington Regional Hospital can be found at the elective student information page on the University of Otago Wellington website.

This page was last updated on Friday, 01 June 2018 13:10:14