Advanced Training

Vocational Training - Gastroenterology and Hepatology

The Gastro Trainee Selection applications will open from Monday 19 April 2021 and close on Sunday 30 May 2021. All registrations must be received by 31 May 2021


If you are applying to enter advanced training please send your CV and the names of three referees to

Please use the CV template as attached here -  CV template.

You are encouraged to use our template letter to approach a local gastroenterologist to support your application. Download the letter here

If you needs more information, please email Anna Pears as soon as possible. If required, Anna will help the trainee make contact with a local gastroenterologist for a confidential chat about training and what’s involved for a career in gastroenterology.


If you are a current advanced trainee please send your CV and include the names of your current and previous supervisor in your CV.


The Interviews will be held on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 July. Interviews for new applicants will be held at Auckland City Hospital. Interviews for current trainees will be held remotely via video conference.

Factors / Attributes to help make your application more appealing to the shortlisting panel 

NZ Gastroenterologist support.

  • We encourage you to reach out to a local gastroenterologist.  Local support from within the speciality is important. Download a template letter here

Demonstrated commitment to overcoming inequity, understanding the health needs of tangata whenua and integrating Te Tiriti o Waitangi into clinical practice.

Gastroenterology experience and Endoscopy.

  • Any experience in gastroenterology and/or endoscopy is good … but is not essential so don’t fret if you haven’t ever touched a ‘scope.  The gastro experience could be audit/research, attendance at endoscopy lists, or having worked with a general physician-gastroenterologist. This encourages candidates to seek out experience and exposure to gastroenterology so that they can be sure this is the career pathway for them.

Regional experience. 

  • If you have worked in peripheral hospitals in your training, then you are more likely to return there as a consultant.  We need gastroenterologists in our regional centres. Hence, spending 6 to 12 months in one or two smaller regional hospitals is encouraged. This would means experience as a house officer or registrar in Aōtearoa hospitals other than metropolitan Auckland (North Shore/Waitakere, Auckland City, Middlemore), Waikato, Wellington/Hutt, Christchurch and Dunedin hospitals.

Appreciation of the importance of a diverse workforce. 

  • Diversity means lots of things to lots of people. It is important that a group of specialists needs to reflect the patients we look after, and the teams that we work with. What does diversity mean to you? 


  • Research is important and an integral part of medical education and training as a Registrar and as CPD when a consultant.  Exposure to research at an early stage in your career is desirable.

Leadership, teamwork and working with multidisciplinary colleagues.

  • Leadership roles of any sort, (and also being an effective follower) help prepare a candidate for a career in gastroenterology, a busy and demanding speciality. Teamwork is an essential part of gastroenterology work every day, working with many different colleagues from different disciplines to come together and provide excellent care for patients. 


  • Teaching (delivery or organisation) and being a mentor to others is another key aspect of a career in gastroenterology, and another desirable aspect. 



The RACP Education Supervising Committee is the Aotearoa NZ Advanced Training Subcommittee (ATS) in Gastroenterology.

Please go to the RACP website  for more details about the curriculum.

RACP Contact:

Chair of Aotearoa New Zealand Advanced Training Subcommittee : Dr Derek Luo

Definition of Speciality

Gastroenterology and hepatology are branches of internal medicine (usually practised together) that are concerned with prevention, investigation and therapy of and research into illnesses involving the intestine, liver and other associated organs.

General Principles of Training

  1. Advanced training in gastroenterology should provide broad experience in as many aspects of gastroenterology and hepatology as possible including management of patients with a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders; gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures; gastrointestinal and hepatic imaging; pathology and physiological investigations; clinical nutrition, and gastrointestinal surgery. It is desirable that trainees undertake supervised research during their advanced training. The majority or all of advanced training can be undertaken in hepatology. It is desirable that trainees spend no more than 2 years in one training position.
  2. Trainees are required, at the completion of advanced training, to have achieved levels of consultative and technical skills, which will allow independent practice as a gastroenterologist and/or hepatologist.
  3. New Zealand trainees are encouraged to undertake part of their training outside New Zealand.

Components of Training

Core Training

A minimum of 2 years must be spent in full time clinical training positions with responsibility for patient care under the supervision of a trained gastroenterologist. Training should include management of gastrointestinal and hepatological emergencies. A suitable training position should include the care of outpatients (ambulatory care) and inpatients in gastroenterology and hepatology at a training site that provides regular clinical meetings, QA activities and meetings with other departments particularly diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, histopathology and surgical groups.

It is desirable that trainees gain experience and exposure in as many as possible of the following areas:

• gastrointestinal motility disorders, diverticular disease and functional illnesses including oesophageal motility and intestinal transit studies; 
• acid-peptic disease;• diseases of the pancreas and gastrointestinal hormones;
• gastrointestinal inflammatory disorders including idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease and disorders caused by infection including those associated with human immunodeficiency;• malabsorption syndromes including breath gas analysis;• gastrointestinal malignancy and premalignant disorders;• disorders of the biliary tract and ERCP;• viral hepatitis;• immunological disorders of the hepatobiliary tract;• drug-induced disorders of the liver and gastrointestinal tract; 
• chronic liver disease, portal hypertension and liver biopsy; 
• hepatobiliary malignancy;
• gastrointestinal endoscopy and gastrointestinal bleeding;• clinical nutrition;
• alcoholism and drug addiction;
• imaging of the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary systems including performance of abdominal ultrasound examinations; and
• liver transplantation.

Non Core Training

The ATS may approve a maximum of one year of non core (elective) training which may be undertaken in clinical training in other disciplines (e.g. psychiatry, general medicine, immunology, microbiology, etc.), or research. In New Zealand the ATS will prospectively approve, on a case by case basis, only those rotations that are closely related to gastroenterology.

Procedural Skills

It is desirable that trainees should become proficient in upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and colonoscopy with polypectomy. Some trainees will also undertake training in ERCP and endoscopic ultrasound.

Trainees must, in addition to technical proficiency, have a clear understanding of the role of endoscopy in patient management achieved by attendance at radiological and histopathological teaching sessions and relevant operations. Trainees must develop an understanding of the principles and practice of disinfection and sterilization of modern endoscopic instruments. Training in gastrointestinal endoscopy is assessed independently by the Conjoint Committee for Recognition of Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (NZCCRTGE), a national committee with representatives of the NZSG, RACP and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).


Trainees are strongly encouraged to undertake a period of supervised research in basic or clinical sciences. All trainees will have to submit a project for assessment during their training period. Training in research can be conducted as a non core period of training and may be part of a research program conducted with the aim of achieving a doctorate (PhD, MD) or other higher degree(s). Up to one year of the 3 years of advanced training may be undertaken in research. Extended periods of research will not be regarded as part of core advanced training in gastroenterology and hepatology.

Training Sites

Any site for advanced training in gastroenterology and hepatology must provide the staff and facilities necessary to provide the content of the training program outlined above. This means that advanced core training will usually be undertaken in a level 3 teaching hospital but other positions will be considered individually and may be suitable for a period of training. Training sites will be visited by a member of the ATS and by a gastroenterologist from another institution at intervals of up to 5 years.