To qualify as a GP-Anaesthetist requires at least 12 months of superviseed anaesthetic practice (including some ICU or EM or retrieval), submission of a log book and a viva voce examination by a FANZCA and Rural GP-Anaesthetist.
Successful completion of JCCA requirements allows rural doctors to undertake elective anaesthesia for selected patients. Of course rural anaesthetists may also be called upon to assist colleagues as ‘the expert’ in management of an emergency airway.
One of the criticisms of JCCA training is that it is often delivered by anaesthetists! Whilst these are the experts in airway management, they may not ‘get’ the role of the rural doctor or appreciate the environment in which we work. Like it or not, rural doctors ‘are it’ when faced with a tricky airway at 3am – and they need to have the tools and training to manage not just selected ‘easy’ cases, but also to be able to deal with a difficult airway…often with minimum kit and no backup.
Aside from elective theatre and the occasional epidural, the most challenging part of the GP-anaesthetists work is usually in emergency work – and in this regard, we can learn a lot from Emergency Physicians and the Pre-Hospital Retrievalists. Check out the FOAMed section in Anaesthesia for more, as well as recommended blogs in the ‘Useful Resources’ menu.
The following books may also be useful
You may also be interested in this talk, which briefly explains the work of GP-anaesthetists and some of the difficulties they may face.