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Medical Leadership Development Seminar Paving Way

New Zealand Medical Students’ Association

Media release

Medical Leadership Development Seminar Paving the Way
-Students launch new initiative-

The future leaders of the medical profession will gather in Wellington this week.

Seventy medical students, chosen out of more than 200 who applied, will take part in the inaugural New Zealand Medical Leadership Development Seminar (MLDS) on July 21-23. The Seminar aims to provide skills and inspiration to medical students with the potential to become leaders in their profession and society.

“The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) believes medical students have the power and opportunity to develop skills that will help them become effective advocates for positive change, both in medicine and the wider health arena,” says Xaviour Walker, President of the NZMSA which is organising the event.

Speakers include a wide range of political and medical figures, including former Cook Islands Prime Minister Sir Tom Davis, the first Cook Islander to qualify as a doctor in New Zealand, and who later worked as a research physiologist with senior appointments including developing the US space programme.

MLDS will be only the second time that medical students from around the country have ever convened together.

The seminar follows on from a similar and highly successful event in Australia last year. Rosemary Wyber, one of three New Zealand students selected to attend the Australian seminar, is now MLDS convenor.

“We hope by providing students with opportunities such as MLDS we can continue to encourage an interest in the important area of leadership, thereby empowering medical students to be active participants in determining the health outcomes of New Zealanders, both while at medical school and as doctors in the future,” says Ms Wyber.

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) has given its emphatic support for the event. “Today’s medical students are tomorrow’s doctors, and the New Zealand Medical Association is proud to support this excellent initiative which will encourage and help medical students develop their leadership potential,” says NZMA Chairman Dr Ross Boswell.

Participants will hear from a wide range of speakers, including MPs Dr Jackie Blue and Sue Kedgley, the Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson and recently resigned CEO of Waitemata DHB Dr Dwayne Crombie. There will also be the opportunity for interactive discussion and workshops with speakers, as well as a dinner with Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright and Brigadier (Dr) Brian McMahon, whose distinguished army and medical career has seen a tour of active duty in South Vietnam, as well as acting as Honorary Physician to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and participating in numerous humanitarian roles.

There are a range of topics in the seminar, covering four key themes of ‘leadership in medicine’, ‘the politics of health’, ‘Maori and Pacific Island health’ and ‘medical education and workforce’. The event will be opened by the Minister of Health, Hon. Pete Hodgson, at a cocktail gala in Parliament on Friday 21 July.


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