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Courtney Hore (Ngāi Tahu, Te Arawa) - Medicine (2009)


posted by Alastair McLean on 4 April 2012

Courtney Hore’s parents told her at an early age that if she put her mind to it and worked hard, she could do whatever she wanted.

It’s advice and encouragement that has paid her handsome dividends.

Courtney was in her final trainee intern year of the Otago University Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery when she received the John McLeod Scholarship.

Having benefited from Hauora Māori scholarships in previous years, Courtney was aware there were separate excellence awards. But she never thought she would get one.

‘I was surprised when I got the John McLeod Scholarship. I didn’t even think I was in contention,’ she said.  ‘It felt good to be a recipient, quite an accomplishment. But it also comes with a responsibility as well.’

She’s also very pleased to have a Māori health-focused award, as she has a strong interest in Māori health and Māori health research.

Courtney has taken part in research on a number of topics, including stroke services for Māori, cognitive impairment, deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis and the resilience of indigenous health workforces in New Zealand and Canada. She was also a member of the clinical team for the Hauora Manawa Community Heart Study in Wairoa and Christchurch.

‘My focus is broad at present but I have a strong interest in both medical education and developing practice that is responsive to the needs of indigenous people,’ she said.

Currently working as a house officer at Christchurch Public Hospital, Courtney has developed a strong interest in anaesthetics.

‘You have to put so many years into specialising -- I want to get the right one for me and I want time for my family as well,’ she said.

‘I love anaesthetics and hands-on procedures. It has huge opportunities, is interesting work and other people working in the field have lots of positive things to say about it.’

Anaesthetics is an area in which few Māori specialise and Courtney acknowledges it could be difficult to have the same level of Māori collegial support as in other fields, such as general practice or public health.

However, she believes the relationships she has developed with other Māori health professionals and her ongoing association with Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa - Māori Medical Practitioners Association will help provide her with that support.

Courtney said she enjoyed medical school and the challenges it offered. She sees a career path full of opportunities.

In the years ahead, she aims to complete her training and get practical experience overseas. But she expects to return to Christchurch to continue working and ‘then find some time to have some children’.