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mediNEWSotago December 2015

mediNEWSotago keeps staff, students, and other stakeholders up-to-date with developments at Otago Medical School.

A Message from the Dean

Tēnā koutou kātoa

2015 has been a fantastic year for the Otago Medical School with numerous successes to celebrate. Of note this year we have officially (re)adopted our new (old) name, the ‘University of Otago Medical School’ to replace ‘Faculty of Medicine’, commenced our social accountability self-evaluation, reviewed the resource allocation model for ELM and ALM, introduced an annual statement of expectations for ELM and ALM, commenced a review of IT, commenced a refresh of the curriculum masterplan, and commenced a process of reviewing and strengthening the management and governance of ELM.

I am sad to report the recent passing of a person who was highly influential in the life of both the Medical School and the Division of Health Sciences, Professor David Stewart. I have written to David’s family on behalf of the Medical School and the Division of Health Sciences to express our sorrow and sympathy for the passing of David. Following is a summary of some of David’s contributions during his long career with the University.

Initially David came from Sydney to Dunedin in 1971 (as an Associate Professor) to set up the nuclear medicine department in the hospital. He was an outstanding clinical teacher and leader, and was regarded as very much a leading light amongst the clinical teachers of the time. It was no surprise that he was appointed to the Mary Glendining Chair of Medicine in 1974. David made many major contributions to the University, including holding a number of very senior leadership roles during times of considerable change in the Medical School and in the Division of Health Sciences. Even before he had very senior jobs, however, he was extremely influential – as Geoff Brinkman’s Deputy in the Faculty of Medicine, and then as the chief support for John Hunter during his years as Assistant Vice Chancellor (Health Sciences). David played a key part in bringing Physiotherapy into the University (from the Otago Polytechnic) and in the establishment of both the School of Pharmacy (as a separate entity) and the programme in Medical Laboratory Sciences.

In 1988 nine Faculties of the University were reorganised into four academic Divisions, each headed by an Assistant Vice Chancellor. David was the second Assistant Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences following John Hunter, and for the five-year period 1991-1995 David held the combined roles of Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences.

In 1995 Graeme Fogelberg’s Working Party on the Faculty of Medicine recommended appointing a separate Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and thereafter David continued solely in the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor. The Working Party also recommended separating OSMS and DSM. David’s steady and foresighted leadership through those times of relative turbulence very much helped provide the foundation for the strong position that both the Division of Health Sciences and the Otago Medical School now occupy. It was always David’s vision to have a suite of professional courses in health sciences, so that students from throughout New Zealand would see the University of Otago as an attractive option for studying Health Sciences First Year.

I note that after he finally retired from the University, David again worked for several years as an endocrinologist at Dunedin Hospital.

In summary, David’s principal senior roles included:

  • Appointed Mary Glendining Professor of Medicine: 1974-1982
  • Dean of the Otago Medical School (now two separate schools, the Dunedin School of Medicine and the Otago School of Medical Sciences): 1986-1990
  • Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (now known as the Otago Medical School): 1991-1995
  • Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Division of Health Sciences: 1991-1998
  • Appointed member of the Board of Healthcare Otago: 1998

I have related the above timeline of key appointments because it provides a very clear reminder of the substantial and sustained contributions that David made to the University.

On a personal level David is remembered with warmth and fondness by many members of staff. The legacy of his skill, energy and commitment is appreciated and remembered by staff of the Otago Medical School and the Division of Health Sciences.

I wish everyone warm season’s greetings, best wishes for a lovely summer break, and happy times with family and friends.

Nga mihi mahana

Professor Peter Crampton Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Division of Health Sciences & Dean, University of Otago Medical School

Other News:

MB ChB Graduation Ceremony 2015

The MB ChB graduating class of 2015 celebrated their achievement at this year’s University graduation ceremony held on Saturday, 5 December. Dr Greg Macleod, an Otago graduate himself, addressed the final year medical class along with other new health professionals, and spoke of the need to maintain a strong sense of empathy when working with patients over the course of their working lives as Doctors.

Otago Medical School Alumnus Association Prize

At this year’s medical graduation Annelise Neal was awarded the Otago Medical School Alumnus Association prize as the top graduating MB ChB student. The Otago Medical School congratulates Annelise on her outstanding University success and wishes her all the very best for her future medical career. Dr John Adams, President of the Medical Alumnus Association, presented the prize to Annelise. 

Masterplan for the Otago Medical Course of the Future – Revised

The “Masterplan for the Otago Medical Course of the Future” has been revised by the MB ChB Curriculum Committee (MCC) and recently endorsed by the OMS Executive, following a review of the document and feedback from staff and student representatives. The revised Masterplan aims to set the vision and direction of the medical course. It also highlights the many exciting changes and improvements that are taking place to enhance the quality of the Otago medical programme in both ELM and ALM.  It is aimed to guide those involved in designing, improving and delivering the course and should be referred to when considering changes. 

The Masterplan will be reviewed again in 2018.