Medical and Health Sciences student stories
Bhavya Dhar, Bachelor of Health Sciences
Watch Bhavya talk about her experience as a Bachelor of Health Sciences student.
In particular, she describes how her studies with us made her highly employable.
Casey Mansson, Hikitia te Ora – Certificate in Health Sciences
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Awa
Casey is a graduate of the Hikitia te Ora – Certificate in Health Sciences (CertHSc). This was the first step towards her current programme, the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB).
I wanted to understand why there was a disparity in life expectancy between Māori and Pacific people and our counter ethnicities in Aotearoa. This fuelled my drive to pursue a career as a doctor.
“As I entered my high school years, I became aware that some ethnic groups had worse health outcomes than others. I wanted to understand why there was a disparity in life expectancy between Māori and Pacific people and our counter ethnicities in Aotearoa. This fuelled my drive to pursue a career as a doctor.”
A CertHSc was my first step
“My first step was the Certificate in Health Sciences (CertHSc). This was one of the best years in my educational journey. It was the perfect programme for someone like me, who wanted to be in a challenging university environment but wasn’t ready to take the huge leap into one of the two pre-med courses. The Cert is basically a microcosm of first year. The courses are designed to teach foundational knowledge that students will need in pre-med or another health-related programme.
“One of my favourite courses was Academic and Professional Development. I enjoyed this course because it provided me with the opportunity to learn the groundwork rules of University and how to manage my time professionally.”
Then I continued with the first year of a Bachelor of Health Sciences
“After CertHSc, I entered the Bachelor of Health Sciences so I could apply for the Medicine programme and begin my journey toward becoming a doctor. This will allow me one day to work closely with whānau in communities and reverse some of the disparities that I became awakened to in high school.”
Support for Māori and Pacific students
“Te Kupenga Hauora Māori and the MAPAS team here at the University have really supported me through my journey and helped me realise my potential, which I am very grateful for.”
Junius Ong, Medicine
Junius is studying for his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
When volunteering at a health centre in high school, I observed how rewarding and life-changing the profession can be.
“Becoming a doctor is a privilege. When volunteering at a health centre in high school, I observed how rewarding and life-changing the profession can be. Doctors see families during some of their lowest lows. Being equipped with the skills and knowledge to make a difference is precious. For me, that makes Medicine worth pursuing.”
Learning about anatomy
“I’m always learning something new. For instance we have the opportunity to perform cadaveric dissections. We’re all very grateful to the donors for the opportunity to learn so directly about human anatomy. It’s an extraordinary experience. Also, we have the amazing Medical Sciences Learning Centre – Whakaaro Pai. There we can handle a wide range of anatomy models and specimens. That’s a very useful supplement to our classroom learning.”
A great learning community at Med School and in Uni Accommodation
“I love how everyone here is so kind, smart and unique in their own way. Students and lecturers are willing to help you whenever you need a hand, and any competitiveness from first year has completely faded away. I’ve met some of the most amazing people. I’m so grateful to be friends and to share life-long experiences with them. Also, I’ve made many connections living in halls. I found settling into Auckland slightly difficult initially, but the hall environment made it much easier.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to be a PASS Mentor this year, helping out a few first years with their studies and their application to competitive programmes such as Medicine. It’s one of the most satisfying things to see the students you’ve helped inch one step closer towards their dreams.”
Duran Pouri Whiu, Nursing
Duran is now a graduate of the Bachelor of Nursing programme. He wrote this testimonial in his final year of study.
The University of Auckland stood out because of its reputation for producing leaders in the community.
“Family members who are healthcare professionals have inspired me to help people achieve wellness. When I thought about how to train for that, the University of Auckland stood out because of its reputation for producing leaders in the community.
“Completing a Bachelor of Nursing will open so many professional doorways. I can also see myself following the excellent postgraduate pathway offered at Auckland. This will lead to more opportunities for senior nursing roles. The bachelors programme integrates fundamentals of research, so it sets students up extremely well for postgraduate study.”
Great facilities and inspiring community
“The University provides amazing facilities, including comfortable study spaces and access to endless information. I’m also surrounded by people who aim high, which inspires my own passion for excellence.”
Settling in to Auckland life
“I came from the countryside near Hamilton. The move was huge, but it was great to live in the Halls of Residence. Moving to a new environment was hard, but I met some incredible people. I’m still extremely close with them, and we’ll continue to flat together over the next few years.”
Support for Māori and Pacific students
“As a member of MAPAS (Māori and Pacific Admission Scheme), I’ve had access to social, academic, emotional, and financial support to make studying away from home a lot more manageable.”
Nick Stuhlmann, Optometry
Nick is a graduate of the Bachelor of Optometry programme.
The support and encouragement from my clinical supervisors in my final year empowered me to make confident decisions as a new graduate optometrist.
“After graduation, following a successful clinical placement with Specsavers, I crossed the ditch to begin my career in Australia. Those first few months as a new graduate in the optometry workforce were exhausting but incredibly rewarding. The support and encouragement from my clinical supervisors in my final year empowered me to make confident decisions as a new graduate optometrist.”
Valuable personal connections
“My greatest concern was leaving the security of my supervisors and friends, but the relationships you build at University ensure you always have point of contact at your fingertips. That makes the transition from study to work much easier.”
“The University clinic provides a supportive environment to refine your skills and establish your clinical routine. That experience is highly transferrable to professional life, albeit in greater volume! The constant feedback and personal mentorship from my excellent supervisors helped me evolve from a university student into a young professional. My studies really helped me settle into my new career.
“The transition from University to professional life is momentous, but understanding that you are equipped with up-to-date knowledge and the fundamental skills to deliver excellent patient care really primes you for success.”
Ben Maloney, Pharmacy
Ben is now a graduate of the Bachelor of Pharmacy programme. He wrote this testimonial in his final year of study.
An incredibly versatile degree that married my interests in chemistry, biology, patient care and social science
“The BPharm appealed to me as an incredibly versatile degree that married my interests in chemistry, biology, patient care and social science. BPharm graduates work in a range of industries as the programme relates to the manufacture, prescription and provision of medicines.
“The thing I like most about the BPharm programme is the range of subjects taught, including population medicine, social science, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, law and ethics. Many of our guest lecturers are at the forefront of research and practice.”
Experiential learning placements
“My degree has prepared me incredibly well for entering the workforce through exciting experiential learning placements and a strong clinical and professional skills component. I particularly enjoyed a two-week placement with the Pharmacy Mental Health team for Waitematā DHB. I visited many sites where mental health services are delivered by pharmacists. I was able to develop my skills in a unique and interesting environment. It was an eye-opening experience that involved learning from a wide range of people in the workforce and applying what I had learnt in class to real life scenarios.”
Summer research scholarship
“I also had the opportunity to undertake a Summer Research Scholarship investigating formulations of a novel range of anti-cancer drugs. I developed research skills and am now interested in undertaking research in the future.”
“The Auckland Pharmacy Students Association runs many social events that create a strong community-feel.”