Selection criteria for Australian and New Zealand medical specialist training programs: another under‐recognised driver of research waste

TASMAN Collaborative
Med J Aust 2022; 216 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51558
Published online: 20 June 2022

To the Editor: We read with interest the letter by Withers and colleagues1 highlighting the research waste generated by the inclusion of research in the selection criteria for specialist training in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • TASMAN Collaborative

TASMAN Collaborative

Lorane Gaborit1

Melissa Park2

Kyle Raubenheimer3

Laure Taher Mansour4

Cameron Wells5

Chris Varghese5

William Xu5


1 Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

2 Gosford Hospital, Gosford, NSW

3 University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, WA

4 University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA

5 University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


We thank the following members of the TASMAN Collaborative team for their useful comments on the manuscript before submission: Jordi Elliot, Sarah Goh, Aiden Jabur, Claire Lim, Isabella Ludbrook, Jonathan Obertas, Upasana Pathak, and Jainil Shah.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Withers C, Noble C, Brandenburg C, et al. Selection criteria for Australian and New Zealand medical specialist training programs: another under‐recognised driver of research waste. Med J Aust 2021; 215: 336‐336.‐criteria‐australian‐and‐new‐zealand‐medical‐specialist‐training
  • 2. Hunter SPARTAN Collaborative, QUEST Collaborative, STARC Collaborative, et al. Trainee‐and student‐led research networks: promoting research skills and competency through collaboration. ANZ J Surg 2020; 90: 2177‐2179.
  • 3. Ahmed WUR, Mills E, Khaw RA, et al. Collaborative student research efforts provide a solution to research wastage. BMJ 2019; 364: l795.
  • 4. Bhangu A, Kolias AG, Pinkney T, et al. Surgical research collaboratives in the UK. Lancet 2013; 382: 1091‐1092.
  • 5. SUNRRISE Study Group on behalf of the Northwest Research Collaborative and the West Midlands Research Collaborative. An international pragmatic randomised controlled trial to compare a single use negative pressure dressing versus a surgeon’s preference of dressing to reduce the incidence of surgical site infection following emergency laparotomy: the SUNRRISE Trial Protocol. Colorectal Dis 2020; 23: 989–1000.
  • 6. POSTVenTT Study Collaborators. Postoperative variations in anaemia treatment and transfusions (POSTVenTT): protocol for a prospective multicentre observational cohort study of anaemia after major abdominal surgery. Colorectal Dis 2022; 24: 228‐234.
  • 7. STARSurg Collaborative. Students’ participation in collaborative research should be recognised. Int J Surg 2017; 39: 234‐237.
  • 8. General Surgeons Australia, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Selection regulations: 2022 Australian selection to surgical education and training in general surgery for 2023 intake. GSA, 2022.‐%20FINAL%20v2%200.pdf (viewed May 2022).
  • 9. General Surgeons Australia, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Training regulations: General Surgery Education and Training Program.‐03‐07%20March.pdf (viewed May 2022).


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