PMA Webinars to encourage Pacific medical students & young doctors

Dr Lupe Taumoepeau FRACS, New Zealand’s only female vascular surgeon, will be the first guest speaker at the Pasifika Health Leaders Breakfast Webinar Series, an event established to help Pacific medical students decide which area of medicine to specialise in after their studies.

Dr Jitoko Cama FRACS, the chair of membership at the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), who are organising the online seminars, says the talks will be a valuable tool.

“For medical students, we want to encourage them and have them look at areas that they can specialise early on in their studies,” he says.

He says they are fortunate to have Dr Taumoepeau as the first guest speaker for the 45-minute presentation because the Tongan surgeon is a role model for Pacific students and can direct them in the right path.

“The seminar will start off with an introduction by PMA president Dr Kiki Maoate ONZM FRACS, followed by Dr Taumoepeau’s presentation. She will Introduce herself, describing what it’s like to be a vascular surgeon and give students advice of what to do if that’s the area they want to specialise in.”

“Most of our Pasifika students are still unsure what they want to focus on following their studies. By having people like Dr Taumoepeau speak to them, they can see how other Pasifika medical professionals got to be where they are and hopefully inspire and encourage our future Pacific medical professionals to do the same.”

The idea for the webinars came directly from Pacific medical students who wanted a resource for them to learn in a safe and comfortable environment.

“In a clinical setting, students might not ask questions as they might feel they are annoying the clinician. During these seminars we want to break down these barriers and hierarchy”, says Dr Cama.

The event is also a way to promote the Pasifika Medical Association and increase its membership of Pacific medical professionals, he says.

The webinars will be a monthly event and future speakers will include Pacific psychiatrists, anesthetists, neurologists and other specialists.

The first Pasifika Health Leaders Breakfast Seminar is on Wednesday 5th August 2020 at 7am. Join us in person at various hospital locations or for online registration visit


Date: Friday 31 July 2020