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mediNEWSotago December 2016

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

A Message from the Dean, Peter CramptonPeterC

Tēnā koutou kātoa

This is the sign-off for 2016! Thank you everyone for a marvellous year in the life of the Otago Medical School.

We have ended the year with the graduation of 273 new doctors from Otago. Amongst these new graduates were 8 Pacific doctors and 45 Māori doctors. New Zealand’s medical workforce is on the verge of some rapid and very exciting changes in terms of the number and proportion of Māori doctors. The graduation ceremony this year marks a significant inflection point – we expect at least this number of Māori and Pacific doctors to graduate each year from now on. My hope and expectation is that within the next decade it will be normal for New Zealanders, when they enter the health system, to be treated by a Māori or Pacific doctor. I would like to thank and congratulate our Māori leaders and our Pacific leaders, our staff and of course the students for their hard work and dedication in making this possible.

Notable events this year have included the review of ALM (report pending), the adoption of new, clearer and stronger policies to combat bullying in learning environments (see below), a name change for the Otago School of Medical Sciences to the School of Biomedical Sciences, continuation of our work on strengthening our orientation around social accountability, continuation of our work with the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Samoa, consideration of a new medical oath (to be decided on next year), the completion of a significant report on general practitioner training capacity, the appointment of a lead role for developing strategy for simulation based education across all our campuses, and the establishment of the Centre for Interprofessional Education…and much more. Thank you to all staff and students who have contributed to these important projects.

I wish everyone all best wishes for a happy, warm, restful and safe summer break with family and friends.

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

MB ChB Graduation 2016

2016-TopMBChBstudentThe 2016 graduating class were awarded their degrees on Saturday 10 December, and at the pre-graduation ceremony for the graduands taking the Medical Oath, the top student was awarded the OMS Alumnus Association prize. This year, Crystal Diong was presented the award by Dr John Adams as President of the Association and Professor Sunny Collings, Dean of UOW. Congratulations to Crystal, who also graduated with Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours, First Class; and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, with Distinction.


Staff news

MHerring-farewellA retirement function was held this week, to thank Margaret Herring for her long association with the medical school and south campus in her role as Custodian & Caretaker, which she has held for over 40 years. Staff thanked her for the way she has provided such a wide range of support and assistance to ensure the buildings and environment operate efficiently including; sorting out car parks, cleaning up any mess left by students and staff, as well as very important roles such as raising the flag at half mast over the Lindo Ferguson Building in respect to the passing of a staff member. Margaret also coordinated 13 years of fire alarm practices. Margaret will be greatly missed and we wish her all the best for her yet to be determined retirement plans, although we hope this will involve a well deserved holiday and travel.


For the latest news on OMS staff successes and research, as well as other OMS news see the latest edition of PULSE

Preventing bullying in learning environments

The final document from a workshop on ‘Intimidating Behaviour in the Clinical Environment’ held with Otago Medical School staff and student representatives in December 2015 is now available. The document contains a summary record of the conversation at that workshop, and details recommendations on policy and procedures to reduce and deal with intimidation towards medical students. The document has been endorsed by the Otago Medical School Executive, and will now be implemented across the three Otago Medical School campuses, in a process managed by the Associate Deans of Student Affairs and the Otago Medical School administration. The processes outlined to encourage reporting of intimidating behaviour and consequential procedures to review and deal with reports, complement and augment what is already in place across the University and the DHBs. The Otago Medical School is strongly committed to encouraging and supporting positive behaviour and the further development of excellent learning environments. We wish to create confidence amongst our extended community in being able to talk about and notify instances when things go wrong, so that a foundation of mutual respect and care can be enhanced and maintained. It is noteworthy that our own discussions have ended up reflecting principles and interventions very similar to those that have been developed and, in some instances, evaluated in other organisations. We look forward to the recommendations in this document supporting an experience of excellence for our students, and consequently an enhanced healthcare environment for their future patients and further improved teaching quality for the next generation of students. The full report can be downloaded here.

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