Regional-rural programme at the University of Auckland

In 2008 The university of Auckland introduced Pūkawakawa. A year 5 regional immersion programme based in Northland NZ.  Early outcomes show that postgraduates who participated in the program are very likely to be working in rural and regional areas with an intention to work in general practice and rural medicine. Thanks Faseeh, maybe we will see you back one day.

Kia Ora! I’m Faseeh Zaidi, a 5th year medical student studying at the University of Auckland. As part of the Waikato Regional-Rural programme this year, I had the privilege of doing a 5-week selective placement at Taupo Hospital in Rural Medicine. I spent time both in the Emergency Department (ED) and the in-patient unit. While in the ED, I gained a better understanding of the principles of emergency medicine and how to evaluate and manage acutely unwell patients. This gave me a good opportunity to develop confidence in assessing undifferentiated patients and improve my communication skills in terms of presenting and handing over patients. I have also gained more confidence and become more proficient in core procedural skills such as taking bloods, putting in IV lines, suturing, plastering, and using Point of Care tools to rapidly assess patients. In the in-patient unit, I was able to follow the course of a patient’s management including their ongoing functional recovery and rehabilitation. Every week we would have team meetings to discuss the challenges in rural practice and different ways to address these challenges. Outside of the hospital setting, I faced my own struggles of isolation and uncertainty. However, I was able to explore the richness of the town life and make my experience worthwhile. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement at Taupo Hospital and would definitely consider an opportunity to gain more experience in a rural setting in the future.

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