Junior Medical Officers

Our Junior Medical Officers (JMO) Management Office oversees day-to-day management of JMOs, Medical and Surgical Registrars. Junior Medical Officers include interns and residents who are allocated to five terms at the start of the year across the Hunter New England Local Health District network of hospitals. Calvary Mater Newcastle is one of six hospitals in the district managing JMOs, Medical Trainees (MT) and Surgical Trainees (SET) and typically has 29 JMOs, 15 MTs and 3 full time SETs and 2 to 3 part time SETs in each term.

Departments where JMOs and Trainees are supervised include:

  • General Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology
  • Haematology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Medical Oncology
  • Palliative Care
  • Gastroenterology
  • Drug and Alcohol Services

Our Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Anaesthetics are also allocated a number of network Senior Resident Medical Officers and Registrars on a term rotational basis.

Calvary Mater Newcastle continues to remain accredited by the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) to supervise JMOs with the annual HETI report accepted without conditions.

The Junior Medical Officer Team at Calvary Mater Newcastle has a diverse range of specialist staff to assist you through your training.

  • Director of Medical Services – Dr Ralph Gourlay
  • Director of Prevocational Education and Training – Prof Ian Whyte
  • Clinical Dean – Dr Tim Walker
  • Director of Physician Education – Dr Michael Hayes
  • Director of Surgical Training – Dr David Logan
  • Director of Emergency Training – Dr Nicholas Dafters and Dr Brett Squires
  • Junior Medical Officer Managers – Regan Penglaze and Brad McDougall
  • Emergency Department Executive Assistant – Amy Phelan
  • Intensive Care Unit Administrative Officer – Amanda Dean

Contact numbers:

Education Program – Calvary Mater Newcastle prides itself on being a tertiary level teaching hospital with a well-supported education program and highly skilled educators across the campus. Every JMO has the opportunity to attend all education activities hosted at the hospital. In addition to the formal program we have opportunities for JMOs to attend Grand Rounds, journal clubs and regular teaching at formal morning handover, M&Ms, Cancer MDTs, and Quality and Safety Committee meetings. The Departments of Medicine and Medical Oncology also provide weekly formal lectures specifically for junior doctors.

JMO Quality and Safety Program – The aim of this program is to provide JMOs with the knowledge and skills to lead changes that will enhance patient outcomes, increase the reliability and consistentcy of safe clinical practice, and improve the overall quality of health care delivery. This program supports JMOs to complete a quality assurance project that will directly lead to improvements in their department/unit. Ultimately enabling JMOs to be more actively involved in addressing quality and safety issues in patient care, and empowering JMOs to improve their own clinical practice. Click here to download the Calvary Mater Newcastle JMO Quality and Safety Toolkit.

Participation in Research – Calvary Mater Newcastle has academic, teaching and research affiliations with the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute. We are also a member of NSW Regional Health Partners which is an accredited NHMRC Centre for Innovation in Regional Health (CIRH). JMOs are able to access a number of research workshops, education and training programs which are advertised on a weekly basis. Our Research Office is able to provide support with ethics, data collection, reporting and analysis, statistics, health informatics and health economics. Access to a senior supervisor for investigator led research studies is via the DPET, DCT or Clinical Dean. Click here to read our Translational Research Strategic Plan.

Fatigue Risk Management – Calvary Mater Newcastle, in collaboration with Hunter New England Local Health District, has developed a Fatigue Risk Management Framework which was implemented in 2019. This framework allows both the hospital and the JMO to recognise and respond to signs of fatigue and lowered alertness, control the associated risks, and potentially prevent a fatigue related incident from occurring. When fatigue is reported as an issue, this triggers our managers to action and review controls at each level to ensure JMOs are working sufficiently. Where an error or incident does occur, the relevant investigation promotes a ‘blame free’ culture where feedback from mistakes is provided as an educational opportunity for clinicians to improve. Managing fatigue related risk during junior training years is essential to supporting the dual role of the learner and health care provider. Click here to download the Fatigue Risk Management Toolkit.

Sleep Pod – In February 2019, Calvary Mater Newcastle became one of the first hospitals in Australia to install a sleep pod in our Residential Medical Officers quarters. This is designed to encourage doctors in training who balance shift work and study to manage their fatigue levels and wellbeing. Evidence-based research shows short periods of rest and rejuvenation can reduce fatigue. The hospital supports napping strategies as a way to minimise risk and improve performance.

JMO Wellbeing and Mental Health – Since 2017, Calvary Mater Newcastle has implemented a number of strategies to improve JMO wellbeing, recognising the importance of work-life balance and stress management. We have supportive processes in place to ensure equitable access to leave and ADOs, and adherence to the NSW Health rostering best practice. We offer JMOs corporate membership to a number of local gyms through Fitness First and one of the JMO on-call room’s houses a treadmill for gentle exercise during shift work. We provide mentoring peer support networks, access to physician development coaching, and have an established JMO Forum with the Executive for JMOs to raise any issues requiring support. The hospital runs a number of mental health awareness initiatives including a dedicated ‘RUOK’ day, #CrazySocks4Docs day, and promotion of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Promoting professionalism and addressing unacceptable behaviours – Calvary Mater Newcastle is committed to building a culture of safety and excellence by promoting professionalism and addressing unacceptable behaviours. Calvary Mater Newcastle considers bullying, discrimination and harassment unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated under any circumstances. We have implemented the ‘Statement of Agreed Principles on a Respectful Culture in Medicine’ as well as the Speak Up for Safety Feedback System, for managing behaviours that undermine patient safety. This system is based on the Promoting Professionalism program from Vanderbilt University Medical College, and also allows people to provide feedback for those who promote safety. In 2020, Calvary Health Care began working with the Cognitive Institute program to support the roll out of Speaking Up for Safety™ across all hospitals.

Speaking Up for Safety™ programThe Speaking Up for Safety program helps health care organisations overcome entrenched behaviours that can lead to poor patient outcomes. The program achieves culture change from within, normalising collegiate, two-way communication to prevent unintended patient harm.

Through a mandatory one-hour training session, all staff working across Calvary Mater Newcastle develop the skills and insights to respectfully raise issues with each other when they are concerned about a patient’s safety. The session covers a technique known as the Safety C.O.D.E™, which allows a person to convey both respect and concern in a progressive way when addressing a safety concern. For more information, please see your manager or talk to one of the trainers. You can also watch the Speaking Up for Safety training video here.