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Adam Faatoese 2019 thumbnail

Pacific Heritage:
Samoan (Elisefou, Sapo'e & Saleimoa) and Tuvaluan

Currently Studying: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB)

Talofa lava, my name is Adam Pouiva Faatoese. I was born and raised in Dunedin. Like many students today, I am a first generation NZ-born Pacific Islander, my parents moved from Samoa to give their children greater opportunities. I am the youngest of five siblings, and the second to have attended university. I am currently in my 5th year of a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree here at the University of Otago, Wellington.

I began my “scarfie” life in 2013 where I studied for a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biochemistry. In the beginning, I had no idea in what path I wanted to take after university, only knowing that I enjoyed and excelled in science throughout high school. As I progressed through my BSc, while chopping and changing majors along the way, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do something that really helped my community and specifically, our Pasifika people. With a little encouragement from family and friends, I knew that medicine was what I wanted to do. Three years have passed, and I had graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Genetics.

After applying for postgraduate entrance into Medicine in my final BSc year, I was accepted and began my new journey in 2016. Ever since, there has been no looking back. Studying medicine has definitely taught me not only from an academic point-of-view, but also has helped in my own character building. It has made me more confident, outgoing and allowed me to have a better time management and relational skills. Having moved to Wellington for the completion of my degree, it has provided me with even greater opportunities including completing a summer studentship under Dr. Dianne Sika-Paotonu looking at the usefulness of a certain tumour marker (circulating tumour DNA) for early cancer diagnosis in the Pacific.

Throughout it all, it has been an enjoyable journey, one that is coming to an end but it has opened doors to better opportunities. My advice is to work hard but to also enjoy it while it lasts, as it will all be worth it in the end. As the new proverb goes - “Do the Mahi, Get the Treats!”

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