Undergraduate teaching of anaesthesia occurs in about two-thirds of Australian departments of anaesthesia: however, student contact hours are limited compared with those of other disciplines. Seventy-five directors of anaesthesia were surveyed by written questionnaire concerning the time devoted in their department to undergraduate study and teaching of practice/skills to undergraduate students (40 responded). One hundred and sixty final year students were surveyed regarding career choice, anaesthesia skills taught them and role models identified during their training (101 responded). Most final year students had been taught and had learnt the basic skills of life support such as bag and mask ventilation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and intravenous cannulation. However, fewer were taught more specialized skills such as induction of anaesthesia and spinal anaesthesia. Positive role models in teaching anaesthetists were identified by 66% of students, more commonly if they were taught advanced skills, and were significantly associated with satisfaction with theoretical and practical training. For those students intending a career in anaesthesia (18%), 94% identified a positive role model compared to 65% who did not (P = 0.03).
- Anaesthesia, education: undergraduate