Welcome to the Faculty of Medicine.
The medical school at the University of Otago is the oldest in New Zealand, and it is one of the longest established medical schools in Australasia.
The Medical School was founded in 1875, and it has now been in existence for more than 135 years. For nearly 100 years the Medical School was based solely in Dunedin. The School expanded from its Dunedin base in the 1970s, when two clinical Schools of Medicine were established as formal entities in Christchurch (1973) and Wellington (1977).
In the mid-1990s, the University of Otago Medical School became the Faculty of Medicine, comprising four component schools. These are: the Otago School of Medical Sciences, based in Dunedin, which contributes to courses in medical, health science and pure science programmes; and the Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington Schools. Initially the roles of the Christchurch and Wellington Schools were in teaching in the final three years of the medical undergraduate curriculum. However very soon after their formation they rapidly developed strong postgraduate teaching and research capabilities, features which are now common to all of the Schools.
Further changes, commencing in 2001, saw expansion of the roles of the Christchurch and Wellington Schools to include aspects of health sciences other than medicine. They were therefore renamed as the Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences and the Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences. From 2007, these campuses have been named the University of Otago, Christchurch, and the University of Otago, Wellington.
As part of the University of Otago’s Division of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine research and teaching programmes also benefit from and interact strongly with the expertise of the Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy. There is also a high level of collaboration with the Divisions of Sciences, Humanities and Commerce of the University of Otago.
The Faculty of Medicine has a well earned worldwide reputation for its high teaching standards and for the qualities of its graduates. It attracts first class teaching and research staff from around the world. It prides itself on the facilities and support it gives to students and on the calibre and dedication of its academic and clinical staff. Study options range from the Foundation Studies Year, which is designed to prepare international students for undergraduate study, to study of basic biomedical sciences, medicine, research degrees, training in radiation therapy, postgraduate nursing, bioethics, and highly specialised postgraduate courses for medical professionals, many of which are offered via distance learning.
The Faculty fosters a broad range of active research programmes on all three campuses. It has a wide diversity of research activities and themes. On average, the Faculty of Medicine generates just over 70% of Otago’s external research income annually, and its research income from external sources for 2010 exceeded $65 million.
A strength of research in the Faculty of Medicine is leadership and involvement in extensive national and international collaborations. Many staff have made major international contributions in their fields. Recent examples include genetic, cancer, and cardio-endocrinology research, free radical research, research into respiratory disorders, injury prevention research and public health research.
I hope you will take the opportunity to learn more about the range of research and study options available at the University of Otago and in the Faculty of Medicine, and I invite you to contact the Faculty for more information.
Professor Peter Crampton
Dean, Faculty of Medicine, and
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Division of Health Sciences
University of Otago