Welcome to the March 2015 
Early Learning in Medicine Newsletter

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ELM Newsletter • March 2015

The ELM Programme is already nearing mid semester and this year there are 300 students enrolled in year two of the MB ChB programme. The increase in numbers over the past five years has been as a result of the NZ Government initiative to increase the number of doctors in the medical workforce. With the addition of a few international students the 2015 Year 2 class has now reached the maximum number for the University of Otago Medical School.

New academic initiatives this year include three e-Cases in the year two cardiovascular block module aimed at improving the delivery of concepts from the medical sciences and the use of real life patient scenarios. The HIC programme is continuing to engage students in community based learning and linking theory to practice while the Clinical Skills programme is introducing new technology to record student interview sessions for subsequent analysis and reflection. Initiatives are also being investigated to support students across the ELM programme in their studies.
The University Senate recently voted in favour of the Faculty of Medicine to be re-named as the University of Otago Medical School. The name change is yet to be fully implemented but is aimed at distinguishing the Otago Medical School as a leading provider of medical education nationally and internationally. 

Staff updates

Clinical Skills Convenor, ELM appointed
We are pleased to announce that Dr Helen Chignell has been appointed as the Convenor for the Clinical Skills Programme Module in ELM. Helen has been the Deputy Convenor for the Clinical Skills Programme since 2010 and is a graduate of the University of Otago Medical School. We look forward to her new leadership role in the ELM Programme. Associate Professor Geoff Cutfield, having stepped down from the role in March, will continue to contribute to the programme as a clinical skills tutor for ELM.

Other staff news

New tutors in ELM
Welcome to new tutors in ELM; Dr AnneMarie Tangney and Dr Helen Davies who have both taught in the ELM programme previously. Also joining the ELM Programme this year are Raewyn Lesa, who has a senior nursing background and is currently undertaking PhD studies, and Dr Juliana Lawlor who is a medical graduate from Brazil and is teaching in the Clinical Skills Programme.

Fiona Hyland has joined the Medical School as the new MB ChB Assessment Manager. Fiona has worked previously for ten years in the Dietetic Training Programme within the Department of Human Nutrition, and more recently for the Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme and the Graduate Research School and Centre for Innovation. Fiona's role is the overall responsibility for both ELM and ALM assessment processes and policies and main contact for the Assessment sub-committee of FCC. She can be contacted by email at or phone: (03) 479 8594
Shirley Skinner will sadly be leaving us after nearly 30 years service with the Medical School. The ELM programme staff are certainly going to miss her greatly, as she has provided so much administrative support for us all, from accounts to catering assistance. We wish Shirley all the very best for her new adventures back in Belfast. A farewell function will be held before she leaves on 10 April. 

2015 ELM Tutor symposium builds on success

The recent tutor symposium was well attended and attendees reported that this year's speakers and workshops were a great way to begin the ELM teaching year, especially for new tutors. Tony Barrett, Medical Education Advisor for ELM will be running regular staff development sessions over the coming year.

New Hauora Māori Centre blessed

The new Hauora Māori Centre was recently blessed in a ceremony that celebrated the long awaited development of the Centre within the completely refurbished premises on the corner of Frederick and Cumberland streets. The new Centre will house academic and support staff as well as offer much improved space for meetings and activities run by Kōhatu which provides an important focus for Hauora Māori within the Dunedin School of Medicine. Associate Professor Joanne Baxter, the Director of the Centre thanked those involved in the project and guests enjoyed a superb breakfast in the Centre following the blessing of the building.

BMedSc(Hons) Awards 2015

Eleven students who completed their ELM studies in 2014 have chosen to spend 2015 undertaking a research project for the BMedSc(Hons) degree.  The group was recently invited to a celebratory afternoon tea to announce their scholarship awards and Dean of Faculty and Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Crampton congratulated the students and commended them for taking the opportunity to carry out medical research as part of their professional studies. The students chosen topics range from current medical ethics issues to in depth studies in applied biomedical sciences. 

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