Another group of fifth-year medical students were welcomed to Te Tai Tokerau this week with a pōwhiri at Terenga Paroa Marae in Whangārei.
This is the 15th year of the Pukawakawa training initiative to encourage more graduating doctors to Northland, giving them valuable experience in regional and rural health care.
The ground-breaking partnership was established by the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and the Northland District Health Board in 2007. Pukawakawa placements are extremely sought after, with 24 students selected on the basis of their interest in regional or rural medicine
During their fifth year, each student spends time in Whangārei Hospital and time in one of the rural hospitals in Kaitaia, Bay of Islands, Dargaville or Rawene. The students also experience working with GPs in outpatient settings, as well as a range of community health expert practitioners.
In addition to helping them understand the unique skills and challenges in practicing rural medicine, the placements help students develop their own links with the Northland region.
Peter Thomas, Acting General Manager - Māori Health, with Professor Papaarangi Reid, Tumuaki and Head of Department of Maori Health at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.