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ProCare Awards For Top Maori and Pacific Students

ProCare Awards For Top Maori and Pacific Students

The annual ProCare Prizes in General Practice have been awarded to the top-rating Maori and Pacific medical students in last year’s General Practice and Primary Health Care segment of the undergraduate course at the School of Medicine, University of Auckland.

The awards were presented to Deborah Brunt (Maori) and Michael Burling (Pacific) at a special ceremony at ProCare’s Grafton offices on June 16. Deborah and Michael had each scored the highest marks in the General Practice segment during their fifth year undergraduate medical course in 2005.

ProCare has presented the Prizes in General Practice to the top-rating Maori and Pacific medical students since 2003. The awards are intended to stimulate interest in general practice as a career among Maori and Pacific students.

Dr Tom Marshall, the chair of ProCare Health, says that Maori and Pacific Island populations suffer an increasing health risk yet there is a severe shortage of qualified Maori and Pacific Island GPs in New Zealand.

“Our Maori and Pacific populations are under-represented in New Zealand’s GP workforce so we hope the awards will help stimulate an interest in a career in general practice,” says Dr Marshall.

Each of the winners gets $2000 which can be used to pay registration fees, transport and accommodation to the annual conferences of the Te Ohu Rata Aotearoa and the Pacific Medical Association.

Deborah Brunt
Deborah Brunt (25) was born in England of Ngai Tahu descent and came to New Zealand at 15 years of age. She is currently taking a year off her studies to care for her two young sons, aged two-and-a-half years and seven months. As well as looking after her two young children this year, Deborah is doing part-time research in child health at Auckland University. She will begin her trainee intern year in 2007. Deborah lives in Mt Roskill.

Michael Burling
Michael Burling (22) is currently a trainee intern at Middlemore Hospital. Raised in Tonga, he is a champion surfer who moved to Auckland to study medicine. His surfing achievements saw him named Tonga’s Sportsman of the Year this month. At Auckland University, Michael was involved in mentoring younger Pacific and Maori students through the medical course, and in recruitment drives encouraging Pacific and Maori secondary school students to consider careers in health. He has also been part of the interview process for students applying for entry through the Maori and Pacific Admission Scheme (MAPAS). Michael lives in South Auckland


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