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Department of Population Health
Fourth Year Undergraduate Programme

The Public Health module includes a variety of important public health topics and is run over a four week period, the last week being at the National Addiction Centre.

Students meet public health practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds both at the medical school and at a variety of off sight visits.

This module aims to enhance the understanding of wider social, environmental, economic and political determinants of health.

The module aims to cover the elements in public health which are essential to medical training and future careers and addresses the questions that influence the health of the communities in which we live:

  • The determinants of health
  • Health protection and promotion
  • Organisation and funding of health care in New Zealand
  • Research methods in public health
  • Global health issues
  • Population screening
  • Public health ethics
  • Public health in practice

AMI Prize

Established in 1994 by donations from the AMI insurance Company. The prize is awarded annually to the 4th Year student (from 2015) who has the best achievement in the Pubic Health module as determined by consideration of results from the final examination and assessment of module work.

2016 Alexandra Beedie

Alexandra Beedie AMI Prize winnerI have always considered preventative medicine incredibly important. The public health teaching we had in the 4th year course was unlike any we had had before and I was so grateful for all the people we met, the things we saw and the opportunities we were given.

I learnt so much more about the factors that influence people’s health before they even see a doctor and this course has made me much more passionate about addressing inequities in health, especially in our own communities.

2015 Kate Magner

Kate Magner AMI Prize winner"I have long had an interest in public health, and in how social, political and economic factors affect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

My Public Health attachment strengthened my understanding of the social determinants of health and the ways in which an individual patient’s context can inform their health status, health behaviour, and health seeking practices.

With relevant content and enthusiastic teaching, the module taught me tangible methods for applying the principles of public health in my future clinical work.

It also highlighted for me the role that I, as a future doctor, can play as an advocate for my patients within the healthcare system and more broadly for the social, political and economic issues that underpin our population’s health"

2014 Andrew Curtis

Andrew Curtis AMI Prize winner

"My attachment in Population Health gave me a deeper appreciation of what ‘health’ really means and what are the key determinants of it.

Jen Desrosier's great teaching helped me make the connection from the big picture aspect to how I can best work with individual patients. It also helped me to understand what health means in it's context.

Learning about the stark truths in our world also motivated me to be more of an advocate for health, which will be key aspect  and responsibility as a future doctor.

2013 Samantha Benson-Pope

Samantha Benson-Pope

"I graduated from Otago University Medical School at the end of 2014. I have always had a passion for population health and it was a lovely surprise to be awarded the population health prize in my 5th year of medical school.

Since graduating I have been working as a house officer at Christchurch hospital and am currently working in Gastroenterology. I have completed placements in both Orthopaedics and General Surgery.

At this stage I am planning to specialise in one of the internal medicine specialties through the college of physicians. I also hope to have a role in public health advocacy and decision-making in the future.