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The Student Affairs Office provides support to students to work at the best of their ability throughout their training.

We are located within the Student Support Hub on the 5th floor of the UOC. Support is also provided in Timaru and Nelson.

Students can contact the Medical Education Unit and Kim Pasley, ADSA, if they have any issues impacting on their academic performance or wellbeing.



Issues we can assist with:

  • Financial hardship
  • Need help and don't know where to go
  • Professional behaviour
  • Navigating studies witha disability, physical illness or accident
  • Mental health issues
  • Intimidating behaviour
  • Learning difficulties
  • English as a second language.
  • Advocacy at Student Progress meetings

Make an appointment with Kim using your student email or


The MEU office also follows up and assists with:

  • Leave from the course
  • Exam results
  • Withdrawals and readmission to the medical course
  • TI transfers

Associate Dean (Student Affairs)Kim Pasley

Dr Kim Pasley

Tel +64 3 364 3613
Mob + 64 21 279 2246

Associate Dean (Nelson)Kirsten Coppell

Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell

Mob +64 21 279 1641

Health Sciences Associate Dean (South Canterbury)Ben Simpson image

Ben Simpson

Mob + 64 22 444 4640

Services for medical students

Free counselling

Available through MPS (for all medical students). Freephone 0800 225 5677, option 3. The EAP counselling service is available 24/7 for all University of Otago students. Freephone 0800 787 286

Puāwaitanga counselling service

Puāwaitanga is a free telehealth counselling service available to all enrolled students, across all campuses.

They can support students with feelings of anxiety, low mood, relationship problems, grief, addictions, low self-esteem, or low confidence.

Appointments can be held with a counsellor anytime between 9am–9pm, seven days a week.

To book an appointment

Students can call 0800 782 999 (free phone in New Zealand) or enrol online to arrange an appointment (a University of Otago student ID number will be required).

More about counselling services

GP visits at Christchurch doctors

Free for Commnunity Services Card holders, otherwise NZ$20. Referrals available for free psychologist appointments.

More about GP services

Kaiawhi Wairua|Campus Chaplain

Sheila Mark is available to meet with both staff and students. Email

Chaplaincy plays a vital role in providing emotional and spiritual support to staff and students regardless of belief or background. We are trained professionals who offer confidential and non-judgemental, guidance, counselling, encouragement and comfort to individuals facing a range of challenges, such as illness, trauma, grief, and moral distress.

Prayer rooms

A Muslim prayer space is on the 7th floor of the UOC building. In the hospital there is a chapel and a quiet space on Level 1, Waipapa.

Report a concern

Confidential concerns regarding poor professional behaviour can be submitted through the 'report a concern' tab on the Student Affairs page on Moodle.

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