Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Kaupapa and graduate profile

The vision and mission of the medical degree (MB ChB) are shared with the Division of Health Sciences and Otago Medical School. Its distinct kaupapa and its graduate profile were  confirmed after consultation with stakeholders and interested members of the community.

Otago MB ChB kaupapa

The Otago Medical School medical degree (MB ChB) prepares students to graduate as doctors committed to the provision of high-quality, patient-centred, evidence-based medical care within the New Zealand health care system and wherever they practise. Students will graduate with the professional, clinical, biomedical and psychosocial foundations to practise collaboratively as doctors, and to undertake further training in any field of medicine.

The Otago Medical School delivers a socially accountable education programme that emphasises graduate commitment to improving the health of individuals and communities, to equitable health outcomes and to the Treaty of Waitangi.


Kei te whakarite te tohu paerua (MB ChB) o Te Kura Hauora o Ōtākou i ngā ākonga kia tohua ai rātou hei ngaio hauora, hei kirikawa oranga, hei tākuta kia kounga te whakaratotanga atu o tō rātou tauwhirotanga tūroro i te pūnaha hauora o Aotearoa, o hea atu rānei.

Ka tohua ngā ākonga ki te tūāpapa o ngā pūkenga haumanu, ngā pūkenga rongoā-koiora, me ngā pūkenga mātai hinengaro pāpori kia mahinga tahi hei tākuta ki ērā atu kaimahi hauora, a kia kore e mutu te whakangūngū i tērā, i tērā āhuatanga hauora.

He hōtaka mātauranga e aro atu ana ki ōna hapori kia whakanuia te ūnga titikaha o te ihu kua whakaputa i a ia e whakapiki atu ana i te hauora o tēnā tangata, o tērā iwi, o tērā hapori ki te taumata whakataurite kua tonoa ai e Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

^ Top of page

Otago MB ChB graduate profile

On completion of the Otago University MB ChB programme, the graduate should be competent to practise safely and effectively as a first year doctor (intern) and have an appropriate foundation for further training in any branch of medicine. Specifically, the graduate should have the following skills and attributes:

1.  Personal Attributes

1.1 The capacity to be a critical thinker, capable of weighing, evaluating and integrating new information into their understanding of issues. (Critical Thinking, also Research, Lifelong Learning, Scholarship)

1.2 The ability to evaluate their own professional functioning and to act to remedy limitations of knowledge, skills and attitudes throughout their career. (Lifelong Learning)

1.3 The ability to extrapolate from knowledge and principles to solve new problems. (Critical Thinking, also Scholarship)

1.4 An awareness of their professional obligations and limitations, and a willingness to seek help when these limitations are reached. (Self-motivation)

1.5 The ability and willingness to learn and to appreciate that learning continues throughout life. (Lifelong Learning)

1.6 The ability and willingness to facilitate the learning experience of individuals, groups and communities, both within and beyond the health sector. (Communication, Teamwork)

1.7 Information literacy, including the ability to locate, evaluate and use information in a range of contexts. (Information Literacy)

1.8 The ability to be organised and the skills for time management, so that time and resources are used effectively and efficiently. (Self-motivation)

1.9 A dedication to appropriate ethical behaviour, based on a well developed awareness of their own moral values, and knowledge and application of principles of medical ethics. (Ethics, also Scholarship)

1.10 An awareness of their own needs as a person, how health needs might impact on competence to practice and an ability to access appropriate support or healthcare for themself. (Ethics; Self- motivation)

1.11 A commitment to the fundamental importance of the interdependence between research, medical knowledge and professional practice. (Interdisciplinary Perspective; Research)

1.12 A commitment to advocate for the health needs of individuals and communities based on current best practice approaches. (Environmental Literacy)


2. Interactive Attributes

2.1 A caring and empathetic attitude to others. (Communication)

2.2 Respect for, and an ability to co-operate with colleagues, competence in teamwork and leadership, and an understanding of the roles of other health professionals and healthcare teams. (Interdisciplinary Perspective, Teamwork)

2.3 A respect for patients and a dedication to work with patients to optimise their health and wellbeing. (Communication, Teamwork)

2.4 Respect for, and an ability to respond to, the cultural context and aspirations of patients, colleagues, other health care workers and communities. (Cultural Understanding)

2.5 An understanding of and an ability to respond to the obligations of the Treaty of Waitangi. (Cultural Understanding)

2.6 Oral and written communication skills, including an ability to communicate effectively with individuals, groups and communities, both within and beyond the health sector. (Communication)

3 Disciplinary Attributes

3.1 A sound knowledge of the philosophical, scientific and ethical principles underlying the practice of medicine and an ability to apply this knowledge as part of competent medical practice. (Ethics, Scholarship)

3.2 A sound understanding of the legal framework surrounding medical practice in New Zealand. (Environmental Literacy)

3.3 A sense of social responsibility and an understanding of the contribution of doctors, health services, quality improvement activities, society and political influences to the health outcomes of patients. (Environmental Literacy, Interdisciplinary Perspective)

3.4 A commitment to the principles of patient-centred medicine. (Communication)

3.5 Knowledge of factors impacting on inequalities in health outcomes. (Environmental Literacy, also Cultural Understanding)

3.6 Knowledge of factors impacting on the health status of Māori, Pacific people and other cultures. (Cultural Understanding)

3.7 Skills in eliciting, documenting and presenting the history of a patient’s problems and the relevant physical examination findings. (Communication)

3.8 Skills in problem solving and formulation of differential diagnoses. (Critical Thinking)

3.9 Skills in the safe and effective management of common medical conditions, including: informing and negotiating, the performance of relevant clinical procedures, assessment of prognosis, prescribing skills, knowledge of drug therapy and care of the dying patient. (Communication, Scholarship)

3.10 Skills in the management of emergencies and other serious medical conditions. (Communication)

3.11 An awareness of, and the skills to manage, uncertainty in medical interpretation and decision-making. (Communication, Critical Thinking)

3.12 An ability to maintain proper boundaries between personal and professional roles. (Ethics)

3.13 An understanding of the role played by individuals and society in the development, surveillance and prevention of disease, and the maintenance of wellbeing. (Interdisciplinary Perspective)

3.14 A sense of social responsibility and an understanding of the roles and functions of healthcare institutions in the social and political environment. (Environmental Literacy)

3.15 An appreciation of the global perspective of medicine, and an informed sense of the impact of the international community on New Zealand and New Zealand’s contribution to the international community. (Global Perspective)

Italics map to the University of Otago Graduate Profile's distinct attributes.

University of Otago Graduate Profile