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Student mentors recognised with awards

Thursday 31 January, 2019

Those who teach and guide the next generation of healthcare professionals have been recognised for their hard work and dedication.

Six Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) staff members have been recognised for their supervision, teaching and care of medical students in 2018. Amongst the recipients were Chief Medical Officer Dr Hugh Lees and Oncologist Dr Richard North, who were both awarded Distinguished Clinical Teacher Awards from the University of Auckland’s School of Medicine.

“Hugh has been an excellent teacher of students for more than 30 years,” said The University of Auckland’s Head of the School of Medicine Professor Phillippa Poole. “In particular his cystic fibrosis clinics are frequently identified as a fantastic multidisciplinary learning opportunity. We are very grateful to Hugh for the creation and development of such an excellent learning environment.”

Dr North has been supervising 6th year medical students at the BOPDHB since 2015. His work includes assisting them with exams, tutorials, and caring for their well-being. Dr North’s dedication and passion for teaching ensures he prepares students in a thorough and pragmatic way for the workforce as young doctors.

University of Auckland student numbers at the BOPDHB have increased significantly from 10 (6th year students) in 2012 to 68 (4th, 5th and 6th year medical students) in 2019.

Others to be recognised with AUMSA (Auckland University Medical Students Association) staff-student awards include: Student Placement Coordinator Leonie Alley, Student Programme Coordinator Matt Sinton and Academic Coordinator Yvonne Boyes, and Te Kaha GP Dr Rachel Thompson. Dr North also received an AUMSA staff-student award.

Student Placement Coordinator Leonie Alley has received awards recognising her care and dedication in each of the last four years. Student programme Coordinator, Matt Sinton and Academic Coordinator, Yvonne Boyes manage the Rural Health Interprofessional Programme (RHIP) in Whakatāne. They have grown the five-week programme (run six times a year) substantially and nurtured the students in the programme to help ensure many choose to return to a rural hospital environment. There will be 76 students in 2019 compared to 39 in RHIP’s first year, 2013.

Also honoured was Te Kaha GP Dr Rachel Thompson who won the Dennis Pickup Clinical Teaching Award for her work with medical students on placement at the rural practice.

AUMSA Education Representatives Marcus Lau and Michelle Liem said staff-student awards were given out annually in recognition of educators that make a positive impact on students and their education.

Marcus and Michelle said the awards represented “the hard work and the highest standard of education that is given to University of Auckland medical students”.

Head of the BOP Clinical Campus Professor Peter Gilling, said the recognition of BOPDHB staff demonstrated the effort made to ensure students were well supported.

“At Whakatāne and Tauranga hospitals we are fortunate to be amongst the top sites in New Zealand for medical students to select as placements and for work,” said Professor Gilling.

“All staff contribute greatly as clinicians are committed to develop and supervise students and our Clinical Campus staff are outstanding in the service they provide for placements.”


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