Visionary leader, highly respected teacher, healer, mentor, tireless advocate and champion of Rural Health, Dr Pat Farry was unmatched in his efforts and contribution to Rural Medicine and General Practice education. His vision of sustainable and quality health services for rural communities and small towns of New Zealand was through education. He devoted much of his career to advocating and lobbying for improvements and funding for rural medicine. The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust was established in March 2010, with the purpose of continuing this legacy. › Continue reading…

After months of planning, the national rural health conference 2016 programme is live and Early Bird registrations are open. To visit the website and view the programme follow this LINK

The recently refurbished Dunedin Centre and town hall in the Octagon is the venue for national rural health conference 2016 to be held over four days from March 31 to April 3. The conference will be run in association with the New Zealand Rural Hospital Network and the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa NZ. The theme is Wai Ora, Healthy Environments.

Keynote speakers include Nigel Latta, Matt Vickers, Roger Strasser, Lesley Elliot, Alison Dewes and health Minister Jonathan Coleman has been invited to speak at the conference opening.

Come early to Dunedin and experience the Otago rail trail by bike

The Network in conjunction with the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust and Bike it Now are offering 2016 conference delegates the chance to experience the amazing Otago Rail Trail – on two wheels. As a special offer, conference delegates can experience a luxury or standard option, four-day/three-night Otago Rail Trail self-guided superior tour. Bike It Now will give 10 percent of any booking made through the conference to the Pat Farry Trust.

The tour dates are March 27-30, 2016 (Easter Sunday through Wednesday before the conference), with the conference running from March 31 to April 3, 2016. Interested? Email zn.gr1448909219o.npg1448909219r@bor1448909219

BOOK NOW for this offer as accommodation on the trail over that period is filling up fast.

Click HERE to find out more.

Bring your running gear to the conference too.

The Pat Farry Trust fun run and walk returns to the conference calendar in 2016. Further details of the course will be advised closer to the event.





Jono Paulin and Anna Charles-Jones, successful recipients of the Pat Farry Trust 2015 Travelling Scholarship.

The 2015 Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship has been awarded to two University of Otago School of Medicine students who will travel to Thurso and the Orkney Isles in Northern Scotland for eight weeks to further their rural health education.

Mr John Farry, chairman of the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust, announced that Mr Jono Paulin and Ms Anna Charles-Jones will both receive NZ$5,000 to assist their elective travel in August and September 2016.

“The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship assists young people to spend valuable time in innovative and challenging overseas situations, to return, and to become the new generation of idea generators here in New Zealand,” said Mr Farry.

The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust was established in 2010 to support the sustainability and quality of health services to rural communities.

One of the ways in which the Trust does this is by providing scholarships for undergraduate medical students who are considering careers as rural GPs, to travel internationally to observe new concepts, develop their own skills and share their learning with other students when they return.

Since 2010 the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust has raised NZ$140,000 through donations and NZ$50,000 through fundraising events to fund its awareness raising activities to provide scholarships and grants. To date the Trust has provided eight scholarships and eleven grants totaling just under NZ$50,000 to medical student recipients to pursue rural health educational experiences overseas.

Mr Paulin, from Invercargill, and Ms Charles-Jones, from Blenheim, are both fifth year students at the University of Otago School of Medicine Dunedin campus. Mr Paulin initially studied Physical Education at Otago before studying Physiology on a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States.

In 2015 both Mr Paulin and Ms Charles-Jones chose to spend their year based in Masterton as part of the Rural Medical Immersion Programme (RMIP).

The RMIP was established by Dr Pat Farry in 2007. Annually 20-25 medical students considering a rural based medical career choose real life experiential learning in one of six rural centres. Transferring to one of the centres to live for the year, students learn, under the guidance and mentoring of experienced general practitioners, rural hospital generalists and tertiary hospital specialists. The rural community becomes their own learning and living environment.

“The Rural Medical Immersion Programme has given me the taste for working in more isolated areas and I have absolutely loved it,” says Ms Charles-Jones.

“There is a level of innovation and problem solving needed when resources are scarce and I thrive on the challenge of making diagnosis and deciding how to treat patients when you are further away from tertiary care.”

In awarding the scholarships, Mr Farry noted the passion both Mr Paulin and Ms Charles-Jones expressed for a rural based medical career.

The Orkney Isles are 70 islands, 20 of which are inhabited, with an overall population of 20,000.

“In this setting, rural practitioners have to be pragmatic and highly skilled,” says Mr Paulin.

“Not only are clinicians in this area of Scotland tasked with providing primary care, but they must also have advanced pre-hospital and retrieval medicine skills. I believe spending time in Orkney and Thurso will challenge me to further my skills in these areas and set me in good stead for returning to New Zealand as a junior doctor.”

It is a big week for the duo with the announcement of their scholarships coming soon after completing their end of year exams and in the week leading up to their wedding. The wedding will be held at Ms Charles-Jones’ parent’s home in Blenheim on Saturday 14 November. The couple met at the University of Otago while studying medicine.


Claire Dooney: Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust


Tel: 027 632 0821



The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust has announced application details for its Travelling Scholarship for 2015/2016. The annual Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship awards up to $10,000.00, which may be divided between two recipients. The scholarship assists medical students to travel internationally to a rural situation to observe new concepts, develop their own skills and share their learning with other students when they return. › Continue reading…

General Medicine and Paediatrics

I feel like I have been a bit of a jack-in-the-box since my last blog. Taking the advice of one of the doctors, I have been moving about the hospital following the action so to speak. This has included spending quite a lot of time on the General Medicine ward and Pediatric ward to give myself a wide range of exposure to different patients and presentations before my time is up. Again, I have seen so many cases for which all I can think for the first few minutes is ‘wow!’ I takes a moment to absorb it all before the questions start falling out of my mouth. › Continue reading…

Maternity and Obstetric Emergencies

To start with this week, I have some excellent news on the man from my last blog who had the lower leg amputation. He is doing well, and looks a lot happier with life now that the pain is at a level where he is able to sleep. The stump is still oozing but it is hoped it will dry up over time. Fingers crossed. › Continue reading…

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