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GENA725 Communication in Rural Hospital Medicine


This paper is designed to challenge assumptions and values that rural clinicians may hold on the themes covered in the paper, delivered through a residential workshop conducted on a remote Northland marae and online learning activities.

Who should do this paper?

Any GP or rural hospital doctor working (or intending to work) rurally will find this paper particularly relevant to their day-to-day practice. Students should be prepared to share and discuss their clinical experience and thoughts in a safe, supportive, and confidential learning environment. This is a 15 point paper that fulfils the requirement of the Academic Component of GPEP2 Programme.

Read more about the Academic Component of GPEP

RHM and GP Fellows will also benefit from taking this paper to access up to date evidence based clinical practice. 

This paper fulfils the RHM Fellows' triennium CPD programme requirements for both Cultural Competence and Clinical Attachment categories.

Paper Modules

  1. Communication
  2. Māori Health
  3. Health Disparities
  4. Other Cultures / Cross-cultural Communication
  5. Self-care
  6. Psychiatry
  7. Alcohol and Drugs
  8. Psychogeriatrics
  9. Palliative Care
  10. Death and Dying

Paper conveners

Yan Wong Rural Generalist, Balclutha
Rory Miller Rural Generalist, Whangamata


Mitty Neill Hokianga

Paper structure

The paper is delivered in four components: residential workshop, videoconferences, Moodle, and reading materials.

Residential Workshop

Dates: 1–4 March 2018
Venue: Pākanae Marae, South Hokianga
Start: Thursday 1 March, 2pm. Meet at Rawene Hospital.
Finish: Sunday 4 March, 1pm.
(GENA724 residential then starts on Monday 5 March at Rawene Hospital for those also doing GENA724.)

residential group photoStudents will be expected to have read at least some of the essential readings for the relevant sessions prior to attending the residential workshop.

Students are expected to bring a short scenario to present verbally to the group (5 minutes), illustrating how communication has (or may have) enhanced or impeded the care of the patient.

Accommodation and catering are kindly provided by the marae during the workshop. Students are required to contribute to the costs. Accomodation before or after the residential (if required) is to be arranged by the individual students.

Note that it may take most of a day to travel to and from Rawene, Hokianga. Although it is the students’ responsibility to arrange transport, there is an opportunity to co-ordinate transport options during the videoconference and through Moodle.


Zoom is the university’s preferred Internet-based videoconferencing platform.

Click here to learn how to use zoom 

A Zoom videoconference IT clinic has been arranged in order to sort out technical issues before the first teaching videoconference. It is also a good way to test Zoom and troubleshoot so that you can contribute successfully.

Videoconferences (total of 6) will normally be held on Thursday evenings.
The first 2 sessions are confirmed and other sessions are tentative.

Thursday 1 February Zoom clinic (for GENA 725, GENA724, and GENA726 combined)
7:30–8:30 pm

Thursday 15 February Introduction to GENA725 and Hokianga residential
7:00–8:00 pm

Thursday 22 March 7:00pm–8:30pm, Health Disparities, Prof Peter Crampton

Thursday 19 April 7:00pm–8:30pm

Thursday 10 May 7:00pm–8:30pm, Rural Mental Health, Dr Mark Lankshear, now postponed to 24 May

Thursday 7 June 7:00pm-8:30pm Palliative Care, Dr Warrick Jones


Access Health Sciences Moodle here.

Moodle is the university’s preferred platform for interactive internet based teaching. This is used extensively through the semester. 

Course resources, announcements, and case based discussion forums are accessed through Moodle. Students can also share resources on Moodle.

Click here to see a demonstration of Moodle 


We have tried to include readings that are thought-provoking and will challenge the values that underpin your practice, and some which are broader in scope than traditional medical academic readings.

Term requirements

  • Attend the compulsory residential workshop
  • Participate in 4 out of 5 the teaching videoconferences
  • Contribute weekly to Moodle



Overall quality of participation in the course will be assessed.

Written assignment

Based on a student’s own clinical experience, a 2,000 to 3,000 word essay on the theme of death and dying, discussing the issues faced by rural clinicians and the topics covered in this paper. Must include communication and cultural consideration in its broadest sense. Due Sunday 3 June 2018.


A case-based, short-answer exam will be run via distance on 21 June 2018 (tentative)

Important Dates

1–4 March 2018 residential workshop
3 June 2018 written assignment due
21 June 2018 (tentative) written examination


To enrol in this paper, please email the Rural Postgraduate Programme administrator
Email Bron Hunt