Annual prize recognises top Māori and Pacific medical students
17 December 2019
For recent graduates Nathaniel Carter and Opetaia Aati, they haven’t just left University with a medical degree—they also have a ProCare Annual Prize in General Practice under their belts.
Both Nathaniel and Opetaia received a $2000 prize for receiving the highest grade of any Māori and Pacific student respectively in the General Practice attachment of the MBChB Part V, which they both completed in 2018. The goal of this prize is to stimulate an interest in general practice as a career among Māori and Pacific students—a field which both graduates are keen to pursue.
Nathaniel was enticed by the variety and scope of general practice, working with patients across a range of ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures and languages.
“General practice is a rewarding career founded on whakawhanaungatanga,” explains Nathaniel. “It presents an important opportunity to advocate for the equitable health outcomes of Māori and Pacific people both at and beyond the interpersonal level.”
General practice… presents an opportunity to advocate for the equitable health outcomes of Māori and Pacific people both at and beyond the interpersonal level.
Throughout his studies, Nathaniel met many general practitioners who had originally trained across a broad spectrum of subspecialties, as well as general practitioners who went on to train in a specialised area later on in their career.
“I want to fit general practice into my career but I am yet to decide whether this will be earlier or later. It is reassuring that it is always a rewarding option that I can pursue when the time is right.”
For Opetaia, the biggest drawcard for pursuing a career in general practice is the opportunity to provide long-term care for patients and their families.
I have found that the physicians who have the greatest satisfaction from their work are the ones who have invested the most into building strong relationships with their patients.
“I have found that the physicians who have the greatest satisfaction from their work are the ones who have invested the most into building strong relationships with their patients. This is a career that I inspire to have as a doctor.”
Opetaia’s prize was further acknowledged at the 2019 SunPix awards, which recognise outstanding individuals in the Pacific community. In his acceptance speech, he encouraged the attendees not be limited by anyone’s opinions of them. “You can do anything you set your mind to,” he said. “Dream big, and you have what it takes to achieve great things.”
ProCare is a large primary care network of qualified family doctors, nurses and general practice teams across the Metro Auckland area covering the three District Health Boards. ProCare is passionate about improving health outcomes and reducing inequalities for Aucklanders, with a focus on Māori and Pacific communities. The have been sponsoring these prizes since 2003.
Previous winners are:
|Nathaniel Ivan Carter and Opetaia Junior Brian Aati
|Logan Alexander Morgan Poloai and Matthew Ryan Adair||2017|
|Harrison Bell and Ana Blakelock||2016|
|Annika Metua and John Hayter||2015|
|Hohepa Cumming and Shavonne Faava Duffy||2014|
|Richard Boon and Jonathan MacColl||2013|
|Cherie Michelle Wyatt and Faoa Pamela Gatoloai||2012|
|Christian Josef Wieser and Natasha Bansal||2011|
|Moana Taylor and Brendon Ah Wong||2010|
|Leah te Weehi and Mele Tupou||2009|
|Fiona Shepherd and Tony Muller||2008|
|Lela Elizabeth Pasisi and Benjamin Ian Cribb||2007|
|Matua Jansen and Hugh Winters||2006|
|Michael Burling and Deborah Brunt||2005|
|Monica Nua and Marcia Walker||2004|
|L’Ondine Tukuitonga and Lillian Fraser||2003|