The Otago Medical School supports learning in Māori health to develop a medical workforce that meets the particular health needs of New Zealand’s indigenous people. The importance of Hauora Māori is recognised by its being one of the five programme domains used to organise the medical degree. All aspects of Hauora Māori are led by a dedicated team of Māori staff with considerable expertise in te ao Māori, ensuring that learning is guided by Māori values and philosophies; indigenous health, adding the perspective of international equity and cultural knowledge, and education, providing a strong theoretical foundation for learning.
Indigenous health learning includes both content dedicated to Māori and indigenous health issues and cultural competence, and collaborative content integrating these issues and competencies across the whole medical programme. Core content is supplemented with various learning opportunities within local Māori communities. Hauora Māori staff members have close links with local iwi that complement the University’s formal Memoranda of Understanding with iwi throughout the area in which Otago’s medical programme is based.
Hauora Māori outcomes
Otago's Hauora Māori curriculum encompasses indigenous rights, the impact of a colonial history on health status, the role of the determinants of health, Māori protocols and models of care, and roles and responsibilities to support health advancement.
Curriculum and pedagogical innovation
Otago's Hauora Māori staff are leaders in innovative curriculum and learning development, with several of their innovations in teaching having been incorporated into the curriculum, such as the integrated e-learning modules in areas of particular health disparity.
Otago staff have developed the Aki Hauora App for medical students to interactively learn Te Reo commonly used in clinical settings. This may be downloaded free by anyone interested in increasing their Te Reo vocabulary.
ALM students spend some time based off one of the main campus sites; opportunities include placements with iwi providers. These are arranged by students in consultation with their local Hauora Māori department.
Indigenous exchange electives
The international indigenous exchange electives allow Māori students to undertake their elective based in an area where indigenous health is particularly strong; students from other parts of the world which specialise in indigenous health are also accepted for electives in New Zealand.
Otago Medical School supports indigenous leadership and workforce development: Hauora Māori staff are indigenous, expert in the indigenous health medical curriculum, and with clinical and research health professional backgrounds. They work closely together and with other Māori and indigenous health providers, and are recognised internationally for their innovative research work. Research work includes active teaching research, development of curriculum on specific Māori health problems, and workforce development.
Otago's Hauora Māori teaching and learning expertise has been recognised internationally by the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) network, which is itself internationally recognised by its peers for its work in developing socially accountable indigenous health professional education programmes.
The University's close relationships with iwi include formal Memoranda of Understanding with both iwi and Māori health provider groups. These relationships help to develop curriculum content specific to Māori health, and to provide opportunities for students to learn about this curriculum within Māori community contexts and in Māori-led healthcare organisations.
Māori workforce development and the mirror on society
The University is committed to significantly growing the Māori health workforce in New Zealand, establishing the Māori Health Workforce Development Unit to support pathways from secondary school to professional programmes, including medicine. An initial goal of reaching parity between the MB ChB cohort and national demographics is now consistent, and increasing numbers of Māori doctors graduate each year.