Otago Medical School Alumni Association
The Association is an Incorporated Society with charitable status and has a set of Rules originally established in 1975 and subsequently amended. We are a separate organisation to the University and the University of Otago Medical School, but have close connections with both. We work in collaboration with the School, and with the Development and Alumni Relations Office of the University.
The two major objectives of the Association are to stimulate interest in the historical and cultural background and the progress of the University of Otago Medical School and by so doing to assist in the advancement of medical education in New Zealand, and to collect and maintain archival material including records, artefacts and memorabilia for housing in an historical museum with intent to support the Otago Medical School in its role to advance medical knowledge.
All graduates of the University of Otago Medical School, MB ChB (NZ) and MB ChB (Otago), and all current and past academic staff across the three campuses are members of the Association. An Executive is elected yearly – any participation is welcomed from any of the campuses!
The Executive is Dunedin based, and meets regularly to manage the major current activities of the Association, which are a series of monthly Dunedin presentations on the history of medicine, and the management of the Association's stunning collection of artefacts.
The presentations are open to the public and are typically very good. Invited speakers from both inside and outside the University have an opportunity to share their areas of historical interest, and the growing audiences gain a deeper understanding of the international, national and local background to modern medicine.
The Association has a wonderful artefact collection that is currently in the process of being photographed and catalogued, so that digital displays on this website can supplement the physical displays of some of the material that the Association maintains in Dunedin Hospital. There is a considerable amount in storage, including some priceless articles such as a Lister Carbolic Sprayer, and a letter written by Florence Nightingale.
The Association no longer charges a subscription fee. It has some financial resources that are slowly being whittled down supporting the current activities including the salary of a part-time employee to continue the process of managing and cataloguing the collection.
The Association's previous major project was the production of a history of the Otago Medical School – "Anatomy of a Medical School" written by Dorothy Page, covering the years 1875 to 2000, published by Otago University Press in 2008.
The Association raised money for this project, and would now welcome any donations towards the completion of the current project to catalogue and electronically record the artefact collection.
We want to encourage alumni to be interested in and support the Otago Medical School. We have a very proud and deserved reputation for excellence extending back to our inception in 1875. Today, we stand on the shoulders of some of the giants of New Zealand and international medicine, as we contemplate what medical teaching is likely to look like into the future.
You may have ideas for projects that would support the School and the current staff and students. One class, for instance, has set up a Scholarship for medical students. The Alumnus Association would be pleased to help develop any similar ideas.
We encourage your involvement to any level you are able.
Dr John Adams