Professor Jennifer Weller



Professor Jennifer Weller is Head of the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education at the University of Auckland, and a specialist anaesthetist at Auckland City Hospital.

She established the Masters program in Clinical Education. She has published widely in the field of workplace assessment, simulation-based education, teamwork and patient safety.  Building on her research programme in teamwork and patient safety, Professor Weller leads a national, simulation-based team training intervention for all members of operating room teams, currently being implemented across all New Zealand District Health Boards. 

Her involvement with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Education Committees has underpinned a research programme in workplace-based assessment, competency-based medical education and entrustment decisions in postgraduate medical education. 

Professor Weller is on the Editorial Board for the British Journal of Anaesthesia and an inaugural Editor for the new journal BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning. 

Research | Current

My research focuses on teamwork and patient safety, simulation-based education and workplace-based assessment with over 100 publications in these areas. My research has been underpinned by my practice as a specialist anaesthetist enabling me to translate many of the findings into effective initiatives in the clinical workplace.

Recent publications include: 

Garden AL, Weller JM. Speaking up: does anaesthetists’ gender influence teamwork and collaboration? British Journal of Anaesthesia 2017 119 (4), 571-572

Weller, J.M., Castanelli, D.J., Chen, Y., Jolly, B. Making robust assessments of specialist trainees workplace performance. British Journal of Anesthesia 2017 118 (2): 207-214

Castanelli D, Jowsey T, Chen Y, Weller JM. Mini-CEX in anesthesia training: Perceptions of purpose, value and process. Can J Anaes 63 (12), 1345-1356

Nakarada-Kordic, I., Weller, J., Webster, C., Cumin, D., Frampton, C., Boyd, M., Merry, A.F.  Assessing the similarity of mental models in operating room team members and implications for patient safety: a prospective, replicated study. BMC Medical Education 2016. 16 (1), 229

Weller JM,  Civil I, Torrie J, Cumin D, Garden A, Corter A, Merry AF. Can team training make surgery safer? Lessons for national implementation of a simulation-based programme. New Zealand Medical Journal 2016. October 14th.  Volume 129 Number 1443

Devcich, D. A., Weller, J., Mitchell, S. J., McLaughlin, S., Barker, L., Rudolph, J. W., . . . Merry, A. F. (2015). A behaviourally anchored rating scale for evaluating the use of the WHO surgical safety checklist: development and initial evaluation of the WHOBARS. BMJ Quality & Safety. bmjqs-2015-004448

Hu, W. C., Thistlethwaite, J. E., Weller, J., Gallego, G., Monteith, J., & McColl, G. J. (2015). 'It was serendipity': a qualitative study of academic careers in medical education. Medical Education, 49(11), 1124-1136.

Can I leave the theatre? A key to more reliable workplace-based assessment. Weller JM, Misur M, Nicolson S, Morris J, Ure S, Crossley J, Jolly B. (2014). British Journal of Anaesthesia, 112(6), 1083-1091.

Building the Evidence on Simulation Validity: Comparison of Anesthesiologists' Communication Patterns in Real and Simulated Cases. Weller JM, Henderson R, Webster C, Shulruf B, Torrie J, Davies E, Henderson K, Frampton C, Merry AF.  Anesthesiology 2014, 120(1):142-148, 20142014.

Weller J, Frengley R, Torrie J, Shulruf B, Jolly B, Hopley L, et al. Evaluation of an instrument to measure teamwork in multidisciplinary critical care teams. BMJ Qual Saf. 2011;20(3):216-22.

Weller J, Boyd M, Cumin D. Teams, tribes and patient safety: Overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare. Postgraduate Medical Journal 2014, 90(1061), 149-154. (Invited review)

Weller JM. Simulation in undergraduate medical education: bridging the gap between theory and practice. Medical Education 2004. 38 (1), 32-38 (250 citations)


Teaching | Current

In 2007 I launched an online post-graduate programme in Clinical Education, now with over 200 past or current students. My current teaching includes post-graduate taught courses and supervision of Masters and PhD students.  

Postgraduate supervision

PhD supervision

Henrietta Lee: A multidisciplinary perspective of effective communication in the operating room. Enrolled 2018

Ivana Nakarada-Kordic: Assessing mental models in Multidisciplinary Operating Room Teams: The Momento approach. Awarded 2017

Ali Almansour: The effect of Joint Commission International (JCI) Accreditation on Healthcare Service Quality: Empirical Evidence from Saudi Arabia Hospitals. Submitted 2017

Mpatisi Moyo: Does applying values add value? Evaluation of an educational innovation. Awarded 2017

Current Masters Students

Rachel Care: Otolaryngology trainees’ experiences and attitudes to work-based assessments.

Janak de Zoysa: Mini-CEX in undergraduate medical education. 

Completed Masters students

Caroline Stone: The capabilities desirable in New Zealand osteopaths managing paediatric patients

Wayne Hazell: Observing Emergency Medicine Multitasking, “Observation” and Feedback

Peter Flieschl: Are Senior General Practice Registrars prepared to train and work within Palliative Care Teams?  The Barriers and Benefits

Timothy Brake: Culture and implications for crisis management training

Nav Sidhu: Undergraduate Medical Education in Anaesthesia

Carley Jones: Impact of an interprofessional student interview and review on subsequent patient management

Doctor of Medicine Supervision 

Phillip Cornish: Supraclavicular regional anaesthesia revisited


Australasian Visitor and Douglas Joseph Professor, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, awarded in 2016 for "Multidisciplinary Operating Room Simulation-based Team Training: implementation and evaluation of a national patient safety intervention". 

Rank Visiting Lectureship, Royal College of Anaesthetists, UK, awarded 2017

Teaching Excellence Award for Collaboration in Teaching. University of Auckland 2012

Harry Daley Research Award for best research proposal, ANZCA, 2011. “The effectiveness of video-based training to improve teamwork behaviours in acute care: a randomised controlled trial.”



I am Chair of The School of Medicine Research Committee, a member of the School of Medicine HODs Committee and a member of the FMHS Education Committee. I have previously chaired the FMHS Education Committee and have been the FMHS representative on the University Education Committee and the University Teaching and Learning Committee. I am a member of the Medical Programme Assessment Sub-Committee and Evaluation Sub-Committee and actively contribute to project work on these committees. I am a member of the Medical Programme Board of Studies and the Clinical Education Board of Studies.


Areas of expertise

Interprofessional teamwork and patient safety

Simulation-based Education

Workplace-based Assessment

Medical Education

Committees/Professional groups/Services

I contribute to the training, assessment and research through my professiona to Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) including the Education and Training Committees and the ANZCA Research Committee. I am the current Chair of the Education SIG, and have previously chaired the Simulation SIG. I have been an examiner for ANZCA Final Examinations since 2004, and sit on the Final Examinations Subcommittee, responsible for the final examination process and delivery. My most significant College contributions have been the introduction, implementation and ongoing maintenance of simulation-based training (EMAC) and workplace-based assessment.  

My contribution to the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) includes full-day, workplace assessments of overseas medical graduates for suitability for independent practice in New Zealand. In this role, I advised on development of the assessment process, using my experience in workplace-based assessments, and contributed to changes in the assessment forms. As a member of the MCNZ Education Committee, I led review panels for hospital accreditation for junior doctor training, and acted as the New Zealand representative on AMC accreditation panels for two specialist colleges.  

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Minehart, R. D., Foldy, E. G., Long, J. A., & Weller, J. M. (2020). Challenging gender stereotypes and advancing inclusive leadership in the operating theatre. British journal of anaesthesia, 124 (3), e148-e154. 10.1016/j.bja.2019.12.015
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Sinclair
  • Castanelli, D. J., Weller, J. M., Molloy, E., & Bearman, M. (2020). Shadow systems in assessment: how supervisors make progress decisions in practice. Advances in health sciences education : theory and practice, 25 (1), 131-147. 10.1007/s10459-019-09913-5
  • Jowsey, T., Beaver, P., Long, J., Civil, I., Garden, A. L., Henderson, K., ... Weller, J. (2019). Towards a safer culture: implementing multidisciplinary simulation-based team training in New Zealand operating theatres - a framework analysis. BMJ open, 9 (10)10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027122
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Sinclair, Tanisha Jowsey, Alan Merry, Ian Civil, Jane Torrie, Kaylene Henderson
  • Castanelli, D. J., Weller, J. M., Chander, A. R., Molloy, E. K., & Bearman, M. L. (2019). A balancing act: The Supervisor of Training role in anaesthesia education. Anaesthesia and intensive care, 47 (4), 349-356. 10.1177/0310057x19853593
  • Jowsey, T., Malpas, P., & Weller, J. (2019). Learning from death. British journal of anaesthesia, 123 (1), 12-14. 10.1016/j.bja.2019.03.002
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Phillipa Malpas, Tanisha Jowsey
  • Weller, J. M., & Long, J. A. (2019). Creating a climate for speaking up. British journal of anaesthesia, 122 (6), 710-713. 10.1016/j.bja.2019.03.003
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Sinclair
  • Castanelli, D. J., Moonen-van Loon, J. M. W., Jolly, B., & Weller, J. M. (2019). The reliability of a portfolio of workplace-based assessments in anesthesia training. Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthesie, 66 (2), 193-200. 10.1007/s12630-018-1251-7
  • Medvedev, O. N., Merry, A. F., Skilton, C., Gargiulo, D. A., Mitchell, S. J., & Weller, J. M. (2019). Examining reliability of WHOBARS: a tool to measure the quality of administration of WHO surgical safety checklist using generalisability theory with surgical teams from three New Zealand hospitals. BMJ open, 9 (1)10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022625
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alan Merry, Derryn Gargiulo, Simon Mitchell


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 2, Room 2042
New Zealand

Web links