Students praise uni study hub

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    Southland Learning and Research Centre administrative assistant Madge Storm at the University Study Hub ahead of its opening next Thursday. Photo: Abbey Palmer

    IN an effort to bring medical professionals and students together for research, a University Study Hub is to be set up in Invercargill.

    For more than 20 years, University of Otago students had been visiting Southland Hospital for hands-on, purpose-built medical training.

    On August 15, the hub would be officially launched as part of the hospital’s on-site Learning and Research Centre.

    Associate professor Konrad Richter, a colorectal surgeon and surgical oncologist based at Southland Hospital and associate dean Southland at the Dunedin School of Medicine, said the goal was to bridge gaps in communication.

    “It’s a space for honest academic discussions to be had in an open way. We want to build relationships between the hospital and the university, and for them to see it as an asset and an opportunity to come here.”

    Up to 25 students at a time and 250 a year had been visiting Southland Hospital for training, he said.

    “We want to provide top-notch teaching but we need the facilities, now we have this study hub for that.”

    The hub was home to lecture rooms, a study room, and fully-functional wards for realistic training.

    At the opening, attendees would have the chance to watch a dummy patient simulation play out, Mr Richter said.

    “The students have praised this building with a big smile. I don’t think the public knows this is not just a medical outpost, it’s a teaching facility for the university and quite a few clinicians and nurses do research in association with the university, or come here on their own.”

    Accommodation was available next to the building for up to 30 students.

    Seminars on popular and often controversial health topics were also held at the centre three times a year.

    Mr Richter said it was a rare opportunity for the public to ask direct questions to those in the medical field.

    The August 15 opening would be from 5pm with limited spaces, to RSVP email madge.storm@otago.ac.nz.

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