8 Jul 2013

Positive effect of trainee doctor scheme praised

2:01 pm on 8 July 2013

Otago University says requiring its trainee doctors to spend a weekend in a local Pacific household is having a positive effect on the host families.

Pacific families in Dunedin have helped to train more than 200 medical students over the past three years.

A new survey shows hosting the students has led to healthier eating, particularly more vegetables.

The associate dean for health sciences, Fa'afetai Sopoaga, says it's also encouraging the children to think about university and careers in health. That's particularly important, she says, because not many local Pacific children attend Otago University, and only one has gone through medical school in the past decade.

Dr Sopoaga says the families enjoy hosting the students and she hopes it will help make them better doctors.