Unique course opens medical students’ eyes to other disciplines

Unique training programme teaches tikanga Maori plus seven areas of medicine.

Unique training programme teaches tikanga Maori plus seven areas of medicine.

File photo

MEDICAL students working in Gisborne and at Wairoa Hospital are learning about other health disciplines and Maori tikanga in a unique training programme.

Hauora Tairawhiti’s Interprofessional Education Programme (IPE) features students in their final year of study across eight disciplines; dental, dietetics, medical, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy and oral health.

Normally 12 students are based at Hauora Tairawhiti and four or five at Wairoa Hospital for about five weeks.

“Every year we welcome five intakes of students to the programme,’’ said IPE administrator Rose Schwass. “During the programme they work in their chosen field, as well as working within the seven other areas.

“Our IPE programme is unique because it gives the students an opportunity to not only learn about their field of study, but also develop an understanding of how other disciplines work. The students are here for practical, hands-on education, not to sit around a whiteboard making notes.”

The IPE was set up by the University of Otago and Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in 2012. The programme also focuses on rural health care, chronic conditions management, and principles of Hauora Maori.

“IPE programmes are a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates to learn the importance of patient-centred, team-based care,” said IPE leader, Dr Patrick McHugh.

“An interprofessional approach to healthcare has been shown to improve patient-centred approaches and outcomes. By encouraging the students to think ‘interprofessionally’ at this stage in their education, we hope they will continue to work like this throughout their career.”

Mark Kopua, of Hauora Tairawhiti, said the students received a unique opportunity to learn about health care in a predominantly Maori community.

“Not only does this teach them about Maori tikanga, it also encourages students to appreciate that everyone’s culture is different, and it is important to be sensitive to an individual’s beliefs.”

MEDICAL students working in Gisborne and at Wairoa Hospital are learning about other health disciplines and Maori tikanga in a unique training programme.

Hauora Tairawhiti’s Interprofessional Education Programme (IPE) features students in their final year of study across eight disciplines; dental, dietetics, medical, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy and oral health.

Normally 12 students are based at Hauora Tairawhiti and four or five at Wairoa Hospital for about five weeks.

“Every year we welcome five intakes of students to the programme,’’ said IPE administrator Rose Schwass. “During the programme they work in their chosen field, as well as working within the seven other areas.

“Our IPE programme is unique because it gives the students an opportunity to not only learn about their field of study, but also develop an understanding of how other disciplines work. The students are here for practical, hands-on education, not to sit around a whiteboard making notes.”

The IPE was set up by the University of Otago and Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in 2012. The programme also focuses on rural health care, chronic conditions management, and principles of Hauora Maori.

“IPE programmes are a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates to learn the importance of patient-centred, team-based care,” said IPE leader, Dr Patrick McHugh.

“An interprofessional approach to healthcare has been shown to improve patient-centred approaches and outcomes. By encouraging the students to think ‘interprofessionally’ at this stage in their education, we hope they will continue to work like this throughout their career.”

Mark Kopua, of Hauora Tairawhiti, said the students received a unique opportunity to learn about health care in a predominantly Maori community.

“Not only does this teach them about Maori tikanga, it also encourages students to appreciate that everyone’s culture is different, and it is important to be sensitive to an individual’s beliefs.”

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