Hauora Māori (Māori Health) is taught as a vertical module in the fourth and fifth (Advanced Learning in Medicine) years of the undergraduate medical curriculum at the University of Otago. The course, which builds on a theoretical grounding gained in the earlier (Early Learning in Medicine) curriculum, aims to ensure positive health outcomes for Māori populations by equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively engage with Māori patients. Students are required to demonstrate cultural competency in clinical practice, to understand the basis of ethnic disparities in health, and to become effective agents in the reduction of these disparities.
The University of Otago, Wellington, is one of three clinical schools within the Faculty of Medicine delivering the Advanced Learning in Medicine curriculum. At the Wellington clinical school two key components of the course comprise a Noho Marae (overnight marae stay) for contextual cultural learning (Huria 2012) and small group ‘case-based learning’, which is used to promote students’ critical thinking and decision-making skills (Boehrer & Linsky 1990). A similar program has been developed by the staff at the other University of Otago campuses, particularly the University of Otago, Christchurch, where staff members have pioneered many of the Hauora Māori clinical teaching methods (Lacey et al. 2012; Pitama et al. 2007).