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mediNEWSotago July 2018

A Message from the Dean

Peter Crampton imageTenā koutou kātou

Greetings and welcome to the winter edition of Medinews.

Our major preoccupation right now is the forthcoming accreditation process. As you are aware, this year the MBChB programme is due for an accreditation visit by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) acting on behalf of the Medical Council of New Zealand. This is a high-stakes exercise for the University and is significant for our reputation and for our graduates, as it allows them to practise in New Zealand and Australia.

An AMC Accreditation Review assesses our performance against a set of standards. The maximum period of accreditation is ten years. Otago first achieved this in 2008 and we are keen to repeat this.

The AMC process of accreditation differs from the University Quality Audit review, which focuses on quality improvement, and how this can be achieved. The AMC judges us against set standards—it is a summative rather than a formative assessment. Therefore, this is the time to show our strengths. We welcome hearing about where we can improve but urge you to tell us about your concerns and suggestions well before the AMC visit, so we can address or acknowledge them before the accreditation team arrive.

The AMC accreditation panel will be on site during the week of 6 August. Brief biographical details of the panel members are included below.

Keep warm everybody and enjoy the winter!

Ngā mihi mahana

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

AMC Accreditation 2018

AMC Panel members 2018:

KFosterPanel Chair: Associate Professor Kirsty Foster

  • General Practitioner
  • Associate Professor in Medical Education
  • Sub-Dean (Education), Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney
  • Associate Dean (International) and Head, Office of Global Health, Sydney Medical School

Interests in medical education and global health. Led teams to improve perinatal care in Macedonia, improve maternal and child health and health literacy through education in remote Vietnam, and headed a University of Sydney delegation to build clinical teaching capacity at two medical schools in Ghana. Research interests include health literacy, quality clinical education in low-income countries, interactive clinical education, and development of professionalism in physicians.

P_DohrmannDr Peter Dohrmann MBBS, Grad Dip Occ Env H, FRACS, FRACMA

  • Neurosurgeon and medical administrator
  • Director of the Neuroscience Clinical Institute at Epworth Healthcare, Board Director Eastern Health

Interests in strategic planning in complex healthcare settings, health practitioner regulation, corporate governance, clinical governance, credentialing, clinical audit, performance management.

I_MitchellProfessor Imogen Mitchell BSc (Hons) MBBS, SFHEA, PhD, FRCP, FRACP, FCICM

  • Dean, ANU Medical School
  • Intensive Care Specialist.
  • Senior Medical Advisor, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Vice Chancellor’s Award for teaching Excellence, an OLT citation for excellence in teaching, and nominated as a Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow and Taoiseach Public Service Excellence Award (Ireland). Developed a patient deterioration teaching program, COMPASS©, and contributed to the development of a new pre-med program, overhaul of the learning outcomes, implemented a biennial curriculum review and driven changes in teaching delivery including flipped classroom and eLearning.

C_CunninghamProfessor Chris Cunningham, BSc, PhD

  • Professor of Maori Health and Director of the Research Centre for Māori Health & Development at Massey University's Wellington Campus

Ngati Toa and Ngati Raukawa iwi. Was policy analyst with the Ministry of Māori Affairs and Education Review Office. Was Senior Advisor, Māori Health with the Ministry of Health for six-years. He has been significantly involved in governance of publicly funded organisations, being a Director of the Health Research Council of NZ, the Hutt Valley District Health Board, and the Quit Group. He is also a trustee of the NZ Cancer Control Trust and Hepatitis Foundation of NZ, a former member of the Bioethics Council of NZ, and former Chair of the NZ Drug Foundation. He currently serves on the Lottery Health Distribution Committee and Chairs the Māori Knowledge and Development Panel of the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF).

P_McNeilProfessor Patrick McNeil BMedSc MBBS PhD Grad Dip HEd FRACP

  • Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University
  • Rheumatologist

Was Associate Dean (Medical Education) at UNSW 2001-5.
Was the principal architect of the current UNSW Medicine curriculum, which places emphasis on graduate capabilities. Was chair of the UNSW Clinical Teaching Committee and coordinator of examinations including the Phase 3 Portfolio examination.

Z_KecskesProfessor Zsuzsoka Kecskes MD, PhD, FRACP, AFRACMA, SFHEA

  • Deputy Dean, ANU Medical School,
  • Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Neonatology, Australian National University

Neonatologist. Her main research interest is the neonatal brain, and lately focused on quality and safety assessment and education. ACT Australian of the Year 2014 for her work with families to design a safe, family-centred Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the implementation of the NICUcam, a web-based system that allows parents and families to see their baby when they are not able to visit.


Associate Professor Joe McGirr MBBS, BSc, MHSM, FRACMA, FACEM

  • Associate Dean Rural, School of Medicine, Sydney, University of Notre Dame Australia

Originally qualified and practised as an Emergency Medicine specialist in Wagga Wagga before making a career in health administration, becoming Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Murray Area Health Service and then Director of Clinical Operations for the Greater Southern Area Health Service. Played a role in the establishment one of the first rural clinical schools in Australia in Wagga Wagga and oversees the medical school campuses in Wagga Wagga, Lithgow and Ballarat.
Was president of Australian Medical Students Association, 1982. Interested in French culture and language.

For more information about the OMS AMC Accreditation webpage.

Other news from around the OMS

Otago Medical School Medical Education Research Symposium 2018


The 2018 Otago Medical School Medical Education Research Symposium was held on Wednesday 6th of June. The purpose of the symposium was an opportunity to show the diversity of medical education research undertaken at Otago Medical School (OMS) combined with providing a space to promote future collaborations by sharing research findings and ideas with each other as a School, as Dr. Kelby Smith-Han convenor of the symposium notes:

“As Otago Medical School is spread over many campuses throughout New Zealand, comprising of different schools and centres, the symposium offered an opportunity to see who is doing what where and with whom in regards to medical education research. The overall feedback of the symposium was very positive, with people enjoying the time for networking and interacting with the varying research projects and/or ideas for current or future research endeavors.”

Roshit Bothara, 4th year medical student from the University of Otago, Christchurch was the invited keynote speaker and opened-up the symposium (pictured). Roshit gave an excellent address, overviewing his journey from immigrating from Nepal to studying medicine, and then his beginning into medical education research. Roshit’s research presentation from his BMedSci(Hons) work investigating the global health classroom was also well received. One of his themes was the synergies he gained from having supervisors who collaborated across a number of disciplines and campuses.

Invited guests Professor Jeffrey Smith (College of Education, University of Otago) and Dr. Vivienne Anderson (Higher Education Development Centre, University of Otago) each gave overviews of the scope of research interests at their respective organisations. This served as a beginning of illustrating possible collaborating partners, outside of OMS, when undertaking future education research activities.

The symposium had representation from all three main campuses and mixture of staff and student research. Presentation formats included oral presentations as well as Personally Arranged Learning Sessions or PeArLs - an interactive discussion format, developed and used by the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE). The range of research findings and ideas presented included investigating support available to parents studying their MBChB degree; evidence for ethnicity bias in medical students using assessment case scenarios; developing clinical reasoning; the utility of the biomedical curriculum in continued medical student learning, and whether mindfulness practice reduces diagnostic errors.

Otago Medical School funded the symposium together in partnership with ANZAHPE as a sponsor. If you would like to know more about medical education research at Otago Medical School or information about future symposiums, please contact Dr. Kelby Smith-Han at

Dr. Kelby Smith-Han
Medical Education Research Academic Lead
Otago Medical School, University of Otago.

Funding for medical education research @ OMS

Otago Medical School has established a fund for medical education research. The purpose of the fund is to foster active development of medical education research that will enhance our student's learning, staff development, and curriculum development and delivery.

Information regarding the fund along with an application form can be found at the OMS medical education research website.

Applications close on the 23rd of July at 5pm.

For inquiries about the fund please contact Dr. Kelby Smith-Han, Medical Education Research Academic Lead at

Ānana, now you know! University of Otago Poutama Ara Rau Seminar Series 2018

Our research theme enables academic staff to come together and share ideas, theory and methods that will further enable research excellence to be realised across teaching, research, and supervision to enhance student success. Poutama Ara Rau proudly introduces our special six-part seminar series for 2018.

We invite staff and post-graduate students from any discipline who are interested in exploring how to better incorporate Māori knowledge and Māori pedagogies into the tertiary curriculum and classroom to join us in our seminar series. Presented by leading Otago Māori academics you will be shown how they have successfully done this in their specific discipline.

Our first seminar will be given by the 2015 Prime Minister’s Supreme Award winner for Excellence in Tertiary Teaching and in Kaupapa Māori teaching.

Seminar One: "Everything you've wanted to know about the Hauora Māori curriculum"

  • Lead by Associate Professor Suzanne Pitama
  • 11.00am Monday 9th July 2018
  • Ground Floor Seminar Room, University of Otago Christchurch Campus
  • ​For those at University of Otago Dunedin campus please join us in the Centre of Innovation Building, CFI Seminar Room
  • For those staff wishing to join from off campus, please connect via zoom:​

Ngā mihi
Dr Karyn Paringatai, Associate Professor Suzanne Pitama and Professor Jacinta Ruru (Theme Co-Directors) and Inano Walter (Theme Coordinator)​
On behalf of the University of Otago Poutama Ara Rau Research Theme

For more information email:​

Visit by Professor Lara Varpio July 9-11

Professor Lara Varpio, Director of Health Professions Education Research (USUHS), will visit the OMS on 9-11 July to provide insights from her research on health professions education units and careers in Canada, USA, the Netherlands and beyond. For further details contact


The meeting this year is in Hobart and preceded by the 2nd MECC-MELANZ Symposium on 1 July. A number of OMS staff are attending this meeting, which is one of the main conferences in Australasia dedicated to medical education. The 2018 meeting is entitled Sustainability for Health Professional Education.  See ANZAHPE 2018.

ELM News

zahto87pTony Zaharic has been appointed to the position of Assessment Convener, Centre for Early Learning in Medicine (CELM) here at the Otago Medical School. Tony has an outstanding record as a teacher, currently with the Department of Biochemistry and has won many awards and distinctions for his teaching and contribution to the medical programme and the biomedical sciences including many OUSA Teaching awards. In addition to this he has published his research and developed innovative ways for teaching and presented at many international conferences. Tony will take up the role at the start of semester two and his office will be in the Sayers ELM office suite on the ground floor of the Sayers Building. Tony can be contacted by email:

KathrynMcACELM offers a warm welcome to Dr Kathryn McAuley, who has recently started in the department as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Kathryn will be working with Dr Jon Cornwall, Education Advisor for CELM, on a NZ Law Foundation funded project examining public attitudes to the posthumous utilisation of healthcare data. The project will be running for the next twelve months.

Karen Browne recently completed nine years as Administrator for Clinical Skills and we wish her well in her retirement. The ELM Clinical Skills team welcomes Ekky Haque and Kirstin Champion as administrators for the programme.

ALM News

New appointments in Education Unit at UOW

Tehmina_Gladman_0048Tehmina Gladman has been appointed Education Advisor for UOW. Tehmina started in the field of Experimental Psychology and taught for many years, developing an interest in technology and staff development. Before becoming the education adviser, she had the role of eLearning Facilitator, working with staff to develop their use of elearning tools to enhance teaching and learning. In her new role Tehmina will work with staff on a range of educational matters including the planning, development, delivery, assessment, and evaluation of courses; professional development; research with an educational focus; and confirmation pathway processes.

R_GraingerRebecca Grainger has taken on the role of Associate Dean Medical Education for the UOW campus. Rebecca is a rheumatologist who has worked as a senior lecturer at UOW since 2009. During this time she has enjoyed being a teacher in the undergraduate MBChB programme, postgraduate distance-qualifications in rehabilitation and in post-graduate medical education. Her academic interests include outcome measures in arthritis, non-pharmacological management of musculoskeletal disease, use of information technology solutions to optimise care for people with chronic rheumatic diseases and for use in medical education. Rebecca is passionately committed to the best health outcomes for all New Zealanders and see a contribution to providing an outstanding experience for OMS medical students as a very meaningful way to achieve this. In addition, Rebecca is the Chair of the Board of Health Informatics New Zealand and a Trustee for Health Navigator, a national web-site for New Zealanders to get trusted health information.

See also the May / June edition of PULSE for news from the Division of Health Sciences' departments, schools, and faculties.