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​Medical Students at Medplus

Jan. 25, 2018

Medical Students at Medplus

Last year we were delighted to become a teaching practice, and have so far had 2 fifth year medical students work with us, Gisele and Harrison. The doctors at Medplus feel it is both their privilege and ethical duty to help train doctors of the future, and hopefully to enthuse them to work within primary care after they graduate. Dr. Fiona Brow has been their official teacher and mentor, but our entire staff have been actively involved in their time at Medplus. It has been an enlightening and positive experience for all of us and we hope that those of you who had contact with our students enjoyed them as much as we did.

Both of the students were very grateful to our patients for being so willing to spend time with them and assist their learning. I enclose a thank you letter from Harrison and a piece Gisele wrote for the newsletter regarding training of doctors.

Dear patients, families and staff of Medplus Family Medical Centre

From mid-September last year, I was fortunate enough to spend a month long general practice attachment at the centre as part of my 5th year at Auckland University Medical School. I would like to thank all of the patients who shared their stories and experiences with me and contributed significantly to my medical education. In particular, I appreciated the feedback that was given with patience and humility.

Highlights would have to include: seeing the parents again with their newborn baby having first seen them in the birthing suite 3 months earlier; a consultation with a friendly neighbour who I had known through my primary school years, and finally, reassuring the parents of a 1-month old child who had a rash. General practice, whilst a very challenging specialty due to the vast range of diagnoses one can see in a day, is also a very rewarding career path and something I will definitely be considering for the future!

I would also like to thank the centre staff for going out of their way to make me feel welcome and for the countless hours spent teaching me. As I am a Hauraki local, if any of you (staff and patients) see me around, please do say hello!

Happy New Year.

Warm regards


Training to become a doctor in New Zealand

The University of Auckland and the University of Otago are the only two Universities in New Zealand providing the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree (MBChB). There are two pathways to get into the programme; first year entry and graduate entry. First year entry in Auckland requires the completion of the first year of a Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) or Bachelor of Biomedical science (BSc), Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) and an interview. In Otago, students complete a Health Sciences First Year course (HSFY) and UMAT test; they do not have an interview.

Students can also apply to both universities under the graduate entry if they have completed a degree in NZ and have recently completed the UMAT test. After successfully gaining entry into the medical school, students complete two theory-based years learning medical and health sciences. The last three years involve clinical attachments to hospitals rotating through the different specialties (Medicine, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry and General Practice).

After completing the 6-year MBChB programme, students graduate as doctors and as house officers they work for two years, rotating through the different clinical attachments in hospital. They can then apply for a training programme for their preferred specialty and become a registrar. This training can take 4-6 years depending on the specialization. To become a general practitioner involves completing a 3-year training programme. After completing this, they become a specialist or consultant in their chosen field. From the start of medical school to the end of registrar training, it takes 11-14 years to finish.

For my 5th year in medical training I've been placed here at Medplus as part of my four-week general practice rotation. I've spent time with the receptionists, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, physiotherapists and the GPs learning about their role in the practice. The team has been excellent in working collaboratively to achieve the best care for their patients. I've had a wonderful time and would like to thank the staff and patients for providing me with an incredible learning experience.