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RACP and Te ORA show commitment to Māori medical workforce

Press Release – Royal Australasian College of Physicians

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa (Te ORA), the Mori Medical Practitioners Association, are pleased to announce the two recipients of the 2012-2013 summer studentship program.RACP and Te ORA show commitment to New Zealand’s Māori medical workforce

26 June, 2013

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa (Te ORA), the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, are pleased to announce the two recipients of the 2012-2013 summer studentship program.

The studentships are a joint initiative between the RACP and Te ORA and were developed as a way to positively promote the physician workforce as a career pathway to Māori medical students.

Studentship recipient Cara Lucas researched why Māori doctors choose their particular path, investigating the challenges Māori doctors face when choosing to become a physician. Cara will present her research at the upcoming Te ORA Hui-a-Tau, being held in Wellington from 27 to 30 June 2013.

The second studentship recipient, Hugh McHugh, undertook a literature review to explore the question, ‘Does cultural competence in physicians improve patient outcomes?’

According to Dr Leo Buchanan, Chair of the RACP Māori Health Committee, both pieces of work will contribute to a further understanding of the Māori workforce.

“Increasing the Māori medical workforce is critical for further improving the health outcomes for Māori, and this is an area where the Māori Health Committee is firmly committed,” Dr Buchanan said. “We are glad to have the opportunity to work in collaboration with Te ORA in order to recruit and retain Māori medical students.

“The research initiated by Hugh clearly illustrates the important gaps remaining in our research knowledge about the links between cultural and clinical competence. This research also shows the need to for local research on this question within New Zealand and Australia.”

According to Te ORA Chief Executive Officer, Terina Moke, Cara’s research in particular will help both organisations to identify patterns of challenges and barriers for Māori medical students. “One of the benefits of this joint initiative is being able to use the research to develop relevant resources in order to more successfully promote the physician pathway to students,” Ms Moke said.

“The RACP and Te ORA are proud to help support Māori medical students through this studentship program and to use the research results to strengthen and guide further cultural competence initiatives for our Māori medical students.”

The RACP and Te ORA would now like to encourage Māori medical students to apply for the upcoming annual summer studentship program to be completed over the 2013-2014 summer period. Two studentships, both worth $5000 will again be available for this year and details of the research topics will be confirmed in July. Details will be available on the Te ORA website

To be eligible for these studentships, you must be:
• Of Māori ethnicity
• A medical student at a New Zealand medical school
• A member of Te ORA
• Available to complete the studentship research over the eight week summer period of 2013-2014

Successful applicants may also have the opportunity to present their research at the 2014 Te ORA Hui-a-Tau.

For further information on the 2013 Te ORA Hui a Tau (27-30 June), please visit their website:

About The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP): The RACP trains, educates and advocates on behalf of more than 14,000 physicians – often referred to as medical specialists – and 6,000 trainees, across Australia and New Zealand. The College represents more than 25 medical specialties including paediatrics & child health, cardiology, respiratory medicine, neurology, oncology and public health medicine, occupational & environmental medicine, palliative medicine, sexual health medicine, rehabilitation medicine and addiction medicine. Beyond the drive for medical excellence, the RACP is committed to developing health and social policies which bring vital improvements to the wellbeing of patients.

About Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa (Te ORA): Te ORA is a unique organisation representing Māori medical students and doctors working as clinicians, researchers and teachers. With approximately 300 active members, Te ORA represents the majority of the Māori medical workforce. Te ORA’s vision is to provide Māori medical leadership to the health sector to effect Māori health development.


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