Excitement amongst young doctors with the first Pasifika health webinar

Twenty-six-year-old junior doctor Supilate Mikaele is looking forward to attending the Pasifika Health Leaders Breakfast Webinar Series, to learn more about the industry and hear from fellow Tongan health professional Dr Lupe Taumoepeau FRACS, New Zealand’s only female vascular surgeon.

“I know I will benefit from Dr Taumoepeau’s talk and hear about her experiences. I look up to people like her and support initiatives which encourage the development of Pasifika doctors.”

Dr Taumoepeau is the first guest speaker at the inaugural monthly seminar, which aims to help doctors like Supilate, who have just started their medical careers and are looking to explore their specialisation options.

“I love being a doctor because it feels good to have a purpose, have responsibility, and the ability to help our people.”

Supilate graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from The University of Auckland School of Medicine and has been working at Middlemore Hospital in the orthopaedic ward for the past year. She is also the recipient of the Pasifika Medical Association’s Dr Leopino Foliaki University of Auckland Scholarship. 

Despite having a position at Middlemore, Supilate has yet to choose a specialty and says the seminar will be valuable in helping her decide which path to take.  Future speakers will include Pacific psychiatrists, anesthetises, neurologists and other specialists.

“I’m interested in becoming a surgeon in the future and so I’ll be working towards that.”

She says the seminar will also help her connect with other members of the Pasifika Medical Association. Being a young doctor, she says the organisation is valuable in connecting with like-minded Pacific medical professionals and building industry networks.

“When you’re going through medical school, you can feel like a minority. Being involved with the PMA allows you to reach out and get in touch with people who are similar to you and can relate to your experiences. It also gives you that extra confidence that you can achieve.”

She says being a recipient of a PMA scholarship is contributing to her future career goals, which she hopes will include opening up her own community clinic.

“That’s the dream, to set up my own clinic for everyone. I’m also planning to go back to the Pacific and work in the hospitals there as well.” 

The first Pasifika Health Leaders Breakfast Seminar is tomorrow, Wednesday 5th August 2020 at 7am. Join us in person at various hospital locations or for online registration visit https://membership.pacifichealth.org.nz/event-3923092

#pmafamily Date: Tuesday 4 August 2020