8 Jun 2018

More Maori and Pasifika training to be doctors and dentists

9:26 am on 8 June 2018

The number of Maori and Pacific students training to be doctors and dentists has skyrocketed at New Zealand's Otago University.

The University said that between 2010 and 2016, there was a 179 percent increase in the number of Maori students and 133 percent increase in Pacific students studying the professions.

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Photo: 123RF

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences, Peter Crampton, said the increase had been driven by strategies aimed at achieving increased engagement with these communities and processes supporting academic attainment.

In 2012, the university implemented the 'Mirror on Society' selection policy to ensure a diverse student intake that reflected the ethnic and socioeconomic realities of the communities which students go on to serve.

Professor Crampton said the benefits to New Zealand society of having a diverse healthcare workforce were based, in part, on the observation that the sociodemographic characteristics of students influenced where they chose to practice and which populations they served.