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ANZEF Grant Round 2023 Recipient Project

Mentoring workshop in Auckland for Māori and Pasifika future applicants to the Vocational Training Program

Led by Dr Justin Mora, RANZCO Māori and Pasifika Eye Health Committee – AU$3,000

The RANZCO Māori and Pasifika Eye Health Committee (MPEHC) advocates for Māori and Pasifika eye health in Aotearoa New Zealand. One aim from RANZCO’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi Action Plan and Pasifika Eye Health Action Plan is to improve Māori and Pasifika representation within the ophthalmology workforce.

There are few Māori and Pasifika ophthalmologists in New Zealand and RANZCO’s long term aim is to have their numbers match their proportion of the population; 17% and 7% respectively.

Obtaining entry to ophthalmology training is highly competitive. In 2022 there were 145 applicants to the RANZCO Vocational Training Program (VTP) for only 35 places across Australia and New Zealand. Multiple mini-interviews comprise a critical 35% of the total grade. After short-listing, an additional interview is undertaken by the New Zealand selection panel. While First Nations applicants have a guaranteed interview, their performance is critical to being accepted into the training program. Interview training and preparation could make a critical difference.

With this grant, members of the MPEHC will coordinate a one-day mentoring workshop in Auckland for Māori and Pasifika junior doctors who are interested in pursuing ophthalmology training. The day will be an opportunity for whakawhanaungataunga, a chance for prospective ophthalmologists to meet and build relationships with ophthalmology consultants and registrars. The selection process will be discussed in detail to best prepare these future VTP applicants for success in the selection process and strengthen the pipeline of Māori and Pasifika candidates into ophthalmology training. In the long term the MPEHC sees this as a key support day for all Māori Pasifika peoples both in training and considering training.