Interns get a dose of provincial medicine

15 March 2016

A group of twelve trainee intern medical school students completing their final year of Medical School are getting on-the- job experience in Taranaki, thanks to a new partnership between the University of Auckland and Taranaki District Health Board (Taranaki DHB).

Dr John Doran, Taranaki DHB Paediatrician and academic coordinator said, “The aim of the new agreement is to introduce students to the concept of living and working in provincial NZ. This broadens their experience base and prepares them for their roles as house surgeons at the end of the year. “

But it’s not just the students who benefit from the placements here in Taranaki. The placements provide further opportunities for clinical staff to engage in teaching and mentoring of young doctors. This complements the DHB’s well- established training programmes and highlights opportunities for ongoing education for all staff to further enhance the level  of   care   provided   for   our  patients.

Charles Hunt, Taranaki DHB Human Resources Manager said, “The benefits of these placements also extend into the community, particularly general practice and rural medicine, and this will complement their experiences working in a range of other provincial healthcare settings. These students will be more likely to return to provincial DHBs and into specialities   that   are   harder   to   recruit   for.”

All twelve students have been placed in various medical teams throughout the DHB and work under supervision of consultants and other team members, completing course requirements which will allow them to graduate at the end of the year.

Teams include Paediatrics, Adult Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry, Emergency Department, Maternity and General Practice, which the students rotate through each quarter. The students also have the option to be placed in other medical disciplines including overseas attachments and Radiology.

Taranaki DHB has had a partnership with University of Auckland for Trainee Intern placements in Paediatrics for over 30 years,  however  in  the  past  students  were  only  placed  within  Taranaki  DHB  hospitals  for  six  week  periods.

One of those students, Dr Maihi Brown chose to return to Taranaki after a placement here during his sixth year of study. “I enjoyed the Taranaki Base Hospital environment so that definitely influenced my decision to come back here. I’m also from a small town, so working in the Taranaki province appealed to me. It has everything you need without the hustle and  bustle  of  a  big  city,”  said  Dr  Brown.

It is anticipated that student numbers will increase over the coming years to a maximum of 16 final year students, in addition to another programme for fifth year medical students which is projected to start in 2018.


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Last updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2016

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