Welcome to this edition of mediNEWSotago.
It is a great pleasure to provide details of two recent Professorial appointments, and to welcome Professors John McCall and Bridget Robinson to important new roles within the Faculty of Medicine.
Congratulations also to those graduates of the Faculty who received awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2010.
Members of the Faculty had a very high level of success in the recent HRC funding round. Congratulations to all recipients of funding, and in particular to those who achieved Programme grants and extensions to Programme grants.
This edition of mediNEWSotago also has a report on the very successful NZMSA conference held at the end of May in Queenstown, and there are details of the development of new simulation facilities for clinical skills teaching at our Dunedin and Christchurch campuses.
I hope you enjoy reading about activities within the Faculty in this edition.
HRC grant successes
Overall there was very good success in the HRC grant awards for the Faculty of Medicine and for the University – congratulations to all those who received funding.
A new programme grant has been awarded to Professor Tony Blakely, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, for research into the best way to spend our limited health resources, entitled – Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme. Professor Warren Tate (Biochemistry) will be working with Professor Cliff Abraham (Psychology) at the University of Otago, Dunedin, investigating Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, also as part of a new programme grant.
Dr Dorothy Begg, Preventive and Social Medicine from (IPRU), University of Otago, Dunedin, has received an extension to a current Programme grant for further support for her research team’s extensive work, which includes three projects that focus on preventing injury and reducing the subsequent disability outcomes. Professor Andrew Mercer (Microbiology and Immunology) has received funding as an extension to his existing Programme grant, to continue his research which investigates the way in which pathogenic viruses pose major threats to human life.
Queen’s Birthday Honours 2010
Congratulations to the following graduates who received honours recently in the Queens’ Birthday Honours 2010. This years honours included:
CNZM (Companion of the Order)
Dr Hylton Legrice OBE, Auckland, for services to ophthalmology, music and the community.
ONZM (Officer of the Order)
Dr Leona Fay Wilson, Wellington, for services to medicine, in particular anaesthesia.
MNZM (Member of the Order)
Mr John Cameron Cullen, Auckland, for services to medicine.
QSO (The Queen’s Service Order – Companion of the Order)
Dr John Richard Delahunt Matthews, Auckland, for services to medicine and the community.
Professor John McCall, who has been appointed the first McKenzie Professor of Clinical Science at the University of Otago. A medical graduate from Otago, John joins the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences at the Dunedin School of Medicine after a career focused on liver transplant surgery including posts at King’s College Hospital, London and more recently the Liver Transplant Unit in Auckland as Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Auckland. More information: News and Events – Otago:
The Mackenzie Charitable Foundation has generously provided funding to support a Chair in Cancer Medicine at the University of Otago. After an international search, the Chair is to be taken up by Associate Professor Bridget Robinson, who graduated MBChB with Distinction from the University of Otago in 1977, Bridget received the Travelling Scholarship from the Faculty at the time of her graduation having graduated first in her class. Bridget has an outstanding research and clinical reputation in cancer care. She has held academic positions at the University of Otago, Christchurch since 1998, and currently also is Clinical Director for Medical Oncology for the Canterbury District Health Board. Bridget will take up the Chair in early August.
AMC Accreditation update – 2010 report
The Medical School Accreditation Committee of the Australian Medical Council met in May to consider reports on Accreditation status for individual medical schools.
The Periodic Report from Otago, submitted in March was reviewed. The Report was well received, and the Faculty has been informed that it continues to make very good progress with its curriculum activities. Further Progress reports will be required by AMC in the third and fifth years of the current accreditation cycle.
University of Otago – Faculty of Medicine, Heads of Departments meeting, 8 – 9 April 2010, Hunter Centre Dunedin
The 2010 Heads of Department meeting was held in the Hunter Centre in Dunedin near the end of April. The two day meeting provided an opportunity for reflection on the modifications to the undergraduate curriculum that had taken place during the past two years and to hear any feedback from ALM staff following the arrival of the first cohort of ELM students to the three campuses for their ALM programmes. Faculty initiatives and reports from Deans, a presentation from Stephen McKernan, currently Director General of Health, an update from the Vice Chancellor, Prof David Skegg, and also a session on research activities and the upcoming PBRF round were included in the programme.
Graduation and Award ceremonies
BMedSci (Hons) awards ceremony.
Those students who successfully gained study awards were presented with their grants at a function in the Hunter Centre recently. The Faculty of Medicine manages the distribution of the funds for the projects, scholarships and awards, which have been provided by generous donations for this purpose.
Nineteen students undertaking BMedSci (Hons) studies during 2010 received awards to assist with research across a range of exciting topics at all four schools. This is the largest number of BMedSci students for any one year in the history of the programme. Professor Don Roberton presented the awards to the students who were joined by friends and family as well as their supervisors.
From unemployed truckie to doctor
Dr Eli Leckey completed his MBChB recently and graduated on Saturday 22 May, after a long journey of study which began after he was made redundant as a truck driver. Without the required NCEA papers for entry to University, Eli began his studies at Polytechnic, before completing health science first year papers and then a BSc prior to gaining a place in the professional medical programme here at Otago. TV1 followed this journey and broadcast the item on national television, the link can be viewed at TVNZ’s on demand site
Congratulations to Eli and the other medical graduates who have completed their studies recently.
Medical students feature in the NZ Pavilion, 2010 World Expo, Shanghai
A group of ELM students took part in a video production, which is currently screening in the New Zealand Pavilion as part of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Under the theme ‘Better City, Better Life’ Dunedin, a sister city to Shanghai, was chosen because of the educational focus, natural surroundings and its historic buildings. The short clip shows a group of medical students studying an anatomy model in the historic Lindo-Ferguson building’s anatomy museum and forms part of the video. Thanks to Associate Professor Dorothy Oorschot (Head of Department Anatomy & Structural Biology, for permission to film in the anatomy museum.
Medical Students for Global Awareness (MSGA)
Medical Students for Global Awareness (MSGA) had their official launch this month, with two fund-raising events back to back. On Thursday 6 May they held an “Oxfam Coffee Break” evening at the Hunter Centre as part of Fair Trade Fortnight. Fair trade coffee and hot chocolate were served, baking was available to buy, and a humanitarian film was screened. The evening was a huge success, raising $902.60 for Oxfam.
On Friday 7 May, it was off to the Cook for a med stein with a twist; everyone needed to bring a can of food to gain entry. Sophie Bridge, coordinator of MSGA Otago, delivered four boxes of food to the Dunedin Salvation Army Food Bank the following week.
NZMSA Conference 2010: Outside the Box
Written by Michael Chen-Xu, Adapted for Medinews by Caitlin Glue
The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association Conference this year was held from the 21st-23rd of May in Queenstown. This was the first year Conference had been held outside a city with a medical school, and was also the largest Conference to date with 158 delegates in attendance.
The theme for this years’ Conference was “Outside the Box”, encouraging the delegates to explore opportunities available to them as future health professionals. The conference had four key themes,: “Working Outside the Box”, innovative ways of working after graduating from medical school; “Living Outside the Box”, looking at incredible achievements performed in life outside of medicine; “Learning Outside the Box”, hands on sessions teaching delegates practical skills; and finally “Thinking Outside the Box”, exploring exciting new medical research and technology.
The Conference began with an Amazing Race where delegates not only had the opportunity to bungy jump, jetboat and participate in various eating competitions, but were also given the chance to meet fellow medical students from around the country. This was a fantastic start to the conference and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The speakers during the weekend included Dr. Catherine Mohr, engineer and world leader in clinical robotics; Professor Donald Evans, world-renowned bioethicist and President of the International Bioethics Committee for UNESCO; and Dr. Erik Monasterio, a doctor and mountaineer who shared breathtaking photos of his many adventures. Delegates also had the chance to participate in a number of workshops including a Wilderness Medicine Scenario, a suturing workshop, and a leadership session hosted by Dr. Ben Johnson.
Given the challenges we face as medical students, and the challenges the profession faces as a whole, the importance of both thinking and living “outside the box” cannot be underestimated. Furthermore, it is not until we challenge ourselves to get outside our self-imposed boxes – be they in life, in work, or in play that we are able to fully reach our potentials. Before we can do this, we have to become aware of our limits, and the boxes both society and we as individuals place around ourselves. Through the various inspirational speakers, the breakout sessions, and the opportunity to spend time with other highly motivated students, Conference 2010 challenged and empowered medical students to think outside the box. This was summed up nicely by Dr. Catherine Mohr in her keynote address “… If you’ve got the courage to reinvent yourself over and over and over again, and the courage to push through onto the other side, to go and do what it is you really want to do, you will be able to take up the mantle; you will be able to go out and love what you do and save the world in the process.”
NZMSA Conference aims to provide an opportunity for medical students from across the country to be inspired by acclaimed local and international speakers, and the chance to network and build relationships with each other.
Buildings and Redevelopment
The Campus Master Plan
The consulting architects, DEGW, recently unveiled the Campus Master Plan, which sets out strategies for the future development over a 25-year period for the University of Otago, and its campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington. The plan includes a detailed analysis of the various precincts and their role in the campus. In the report attention is given to South Precinct, which encompasses the Health Sciences Division and the historic buildings, which are symbolic of the University of Otago’s role in medical education. Projects noted in the plan are the redevelopment of the Adams, Sayers and Wellcome buildings, which form the heart of the Precinct, and extensive redevelopment and expansion of the University’s campuses in Wellington and Christchurch. For further details the Master plan is available from the University web pages.
Plans also are underway to upgrade office facilities in the Sayers building, which now houses not only the administration offices for the Faculty of Medicine and the Otago School of Medical Sciences, but also the Faculty Education Unit and the ELM Convenors and tutors.
New Skills Laboratories – Dunedin School of Medicine
The new Otago Clinical Skills Laboratory, located in the Fraser Building, Dunedin Hospital, was officially opened recently and offers a greatly improved training facility for clinicians and students associated with the University and Southern District Health Board. Initial planning for the upgrade began in 2007 and work started on the project earlier this year. The centre comprises twelve consulting rooms and a waiting room, with a new simulated hospital room and tutorial spaces. The $600,000 upgrade and supply of new equipment for the centre was made possible with funding by the University, the former Otago DHB and also generous donations by a number of local groups including; the Knowledge Centre, the Otago Community Trust, the Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust and the General Medical Staff Trust.
New Skills / Simulation centre – University of Otago, Christchurch
An excellent new Skills laboratory has also been completed at the University of Otago Christchurch campus, and the official opening was held on Monday, 28 June. Plans are underway for construction for a new Clinical Skills facility at our Wellington campus in the near future. See the link on TVNZ for a recent news item on this.
New accommodation for General Practice and Rural Health – Dunedin
The Department of General Practice and Rural Health have moved into new premises on Hanover Street in Dunedin, opposite the Hercus Building. The new office spaces, seminar rooms and teaching facilities include the equipment used for communicating with the rural students via telepresence technology. The building is shared with the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine’s Injury Prevention Unit.
Did you know (DYK) flyers
Some of the recent changes to the ELM curriculum have been summarised for Faculty and teaching staff associated with the University by way of flyers which have been distributed to the three campuses and are also available via the MEG website. These provide a brief overview of aspects of the ELM course that potentially affect the approach and skills of ALM students from 2010. Flyers are being produced and distributed on a range of topics over the coming year.
Four flyers have been produced this year, including – Did you Know…
• what consultation skills the ELM students have learnt?
• what are the challenges for the 2010 students entering 4th year?
• about the clinical examination skills being taught in ELM?
• incorporating clinical reasoning into ELM encounters
To view these flyers and download copies, see:
ELM Healthcare day – 13 May
The ELM Year 3 students took part in a successful Community Healthcare day at the Glenroy Centre in the Dunedin Town Hall on 13 May. Organised as part of the Healthcare in the Community programme module, students provided free consultations and health checkups for members of the general public under the supervision of the ELM teaching staff. The Mornington PHO and Well Dunedin PHO provided a CVD risk assessment clinic, to which the patients could be referred if necessary. Some Interprofessional Practice was provided with the inclusion of Dietetics students to provide nutrition advice, and Physical Education and Physiotherapy students who discussed exercise options with the “patients”. The day was also supported by community groups who provided information and demonstrations on exercise options within the community. Sport Otago provided information about the Green Prescription to facilitate exercise opportunities for the members of the general public.
The organisers of the day, Dr Monika Clark-Grill (HIC Lead Tutor – Year 3), Dr Hamish Wilson (HIC Programme Module Convenor), and Margaret Sykes (HIC Administrator for ELM Year 3) agreed the day was very successful and offered the students a real ‘doctor-patient’ experience as well as an opportunity for a free health check to locals. The event received financial sponsorship from the Integrative Health Trust Otago and the Taieri & Strath Taieri PHO.
If there is any information that you would like to be disseminated to the Faculty in mediNEWSotago, please contact Jacqui Bradshaw, Administrator & PA to the Faculty Manager, Faculty of Medicine at email@example.com