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Medical students, senior doctors tackle workforce challenges


Embargoed until midnight Thursday 31 March

Medical students and senior doctors tackle challenges for the future medical workforce

Medical students at the start of their careers will join forces with some of New Zealand’s most senior doctors and dentists today to tackle challenges for the future medical workforce.

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) and the New Zealand Medical Students Association (NZMSA) are holding a joint one-day conference in Wellington today to look at the medical workforce now and in 2025.

“It’s the first time we’ve collaborated with medical students in this way and we think it’s a valuable opportunity to bring the two groups of doctors together, representing the current group of medical specialists and the next generation,” says Ian Powell, ASMS Executive Director.

“We obviously have a shared interest in ensuring New Zealand has a sustainable, well-resourced medical workforce now and in the future. With the way things are currently, we know the next generation stands to inherit a legacy of longstanding workforce shortages and significant resourcing constraints that will affect their clinical practice.”

He says the conference will focus on the type of medical workforce New Zealand needs in 2025, how it should be trained, and what the health system might look like then. The conference at the Wellington Medical School will be attended by ASMS and NZMSA delegates as well as representatives from a range of professional associations, colleges, the Ministry of Health and Health Workforce New Zealand. The programme includes presentations from Medical Council Chair Andrew Connolly, Otago University Medical School Dean Professor Peter Crampton and ASMS Research and Policy Director Lyndon Keene.

NZMSA President Mike Fleete says medical students want to understand the issues that will affect them later in their careers.

“The issues we will be discussing today are to do with the effective delivery of public health care in New Zealand, which affects doctors, their patients and the health system generally,” he says.

“With ever changing workforce demands, models of care and innovation, it is becoming increasingly complex to predict future health workforce needs, hence the importance of medical students getting to grips with these at an early stage of their training.”

The conference is open to the media and the presentations will be available online afterwards.


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