Dr Alec Ekeroma
MBBS, DipObs, FRANZCOG, FRCOG, MBA, MInsD, PhD
2017 PhD University of Auckland
2016 MinsD NZ Institute of Directors
2006 FRCOG Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists UK
1999 MBA University of Keele, Staffordshire, UK
1996 FRANZCOG Royal Australian & New Zealand College of O&G
1988 DipObs University of Auckland
1982 MBBS University of Papua New Guinea
1) 1997-present: Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland
2) 2003- present: Head, Pacific Women’s Health Research & Development Unit.
3) 1995-96: Hon Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Bristol, UK
4) 1993-95: Registrar, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall, UK
2012-present Solomon Islands
1987-present New Zealand
2002 Australian Capital Territory, Australia
1993-2000 United Kingdom
Research | Current
- Collaboration with the University of Otago looking at testing a Point of Care HPV test for cervical screening in Samoa.
- A survey in the use of smartphones in Gestational Diabetes patients in South Auckland
- Devising a prediction tool for the likelihood of a caesarean section delivery in nulliparous women in South Auckland's Middlemore Hospital.
- Mapping the Obstetrics and Gynaecology workforce in the Pacific Islands
- The Pacific Islands Cervical Cancer Survey
- A systematic Review of Cervical Cancer Care in Small Island Developing States.
Teaching | Current
Dr Ekeroma's teaching and course development contribution span the past 21 years and my approach has evolved from observation, feedback and reading. For about 10 of the 21 years, he was the only academic O&G in Middlemore Hospital responsible for scheduling and delivering the undergraduate teaching programme.
CURRENT TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES
University of Auckland
Year 2 Medical - Introduction to Gynaecology
Year 3 Pharmacy course - Drugs used in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Year 5 Medical - Topic-based tutorials, web-based teaching, examiner
Year 6 Medical - Supervisor, Middlemore Hospital
Diploma in O&G - lecture, web-based teaching, examiner
Research methods to clinicians
Faculty of Medicine, National University of Samoa.
INTERACTIVE CASE-BASED TEACHING
Dr Ekeroma's teaching is centred in the clinical knowledge and skills in obstetrics and gynaecology, although my brief is wide covering many aspects of Pacific Health. My main goal for teaching is to inform, inspire and challenge students in the science and art of my profession so they not only pass exams but become excellent clinicians who are keen for continuous learning. Those goals underline my teaching values to inspire, to motivate and to ensure that my students have the predisposition to do further research and to acquire an enquiring mind. Dr Eekroma's personal teaching style has evolved from observing and teaching students and clinical peers in Pacific Island countries where English is a second language and “students” are often experienced clinicians in a different cultural and resource environment. His teaching approach is to: impart specialist knowledge by clinical application - using clinical scenarios and cases to illustrate and ground knowledge; invite discussion and debate to encourage engagement; facilitated small group learning activities to problem solve or to explore; and to instil enthusiasm in the topic so as to inspire my students to perform further research on the subject. Small class sizes suit his teaching style better as he loves engaging with individual students. It suits my own personality better as well which has been commented by a mentor observing that he has a “very natural engaging manner.” Dr Ekeroma's views his role as an educator in a small class setting as a “facilitator”. Each student brings to the table a unique life story and a perspective of the particular clinical scenario that has been shaped by exposure to life events and an interpretation of their learning. As the facilitator, he enables the students, given time, to apply their perspective and learning to a given clinical scenario and encourage a debate or discussion. As with teaching Pacific students, Dr Ekeroma encourages engagement and contribution, even if that contribution was “story-telling” around a case seen or managed in the various clinical settings.
RESEARCH INFORMED TEACHING
Dr Ekeroms's areas of teaching are informed by the research he has performed or research evidence from online journals, literature and my huge library of downloaded papers in EndNote and Mendeley. He reads widely in the areas of his teaching and would have prepared a brief of what he needs to cover based on the learning objectives and outcomes of the teaching. Most of his comparative research in reproductive health is on Pacific peoples and he has used the themes from there to structure discussions of clinical cases especially where inequities in access and outcomes are discussed.
FEEDBACK FROM STUDENTS TO MOFIDY TEACHING STYLE AND CONTENT
Dr Ekeroma has used feedback from students to reflect on every aspect of his teaching and courses. Patterns of feedback have been used to modify courses and where modifications are not possible (e.g. lack of team structure in Middlemore Obstetrics and Gynaecology clinical service) a structured learning environment for students was preferred at the risk of flexibility with rosters. Dr Ekeroma encourages and monitors feedback and effects immediate change where the change was considered a high impact change for positive learning outcomes such as introducing formal teaching in Year 6.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AND FEEDBACK
I have supervised undergraduate students in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Middlemore Hospital for the last 21 years and between 2003-2012, I planned, organised and performed most of the teaching myself. Since 2012, I have been the Year 6 coordinator and supervisor at Middlemore. I assisted Maria Vitas (manager of the South Auckland Clinical Campus) to develop a detailed booklet to guide students during their run and to develop a system of coordination that has seen individual students systematically rostered to clinical activities and bedside teaching. The changes were made in response to student’s feedback about the lack of team structure in our clinical department. Students have easy access to me by text and email. Feedback from the students has been positive and these were invariably referred to in summarised feedback reports as ”Ekeromatous”.
Dr Ekeroma's primary goal for supervision is to grow and mentor students and junior colleagues so that they are able to contribute to solutions in clinical practice and to build the capacity and capability of the research workforce in his discipline in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands. Since Dr Ekeroma was awarded his PhD in May 2017, he is seeking opportunities in collaboration with colleagues in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and across the Pacific Islands, Pacific Studies and at Pacific Health, School of Population Health to co-supervise Masters and PhD students.
SUPERVISING RESEARCH STUDENTS
Dr Ekeroma has mentored several University students with their selective and summer research work.
He has also served as an advisor in PhD projects for University of Otago and Auckland students.
POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA STUDENTS
Dr Ekeroma has supervised many Diploma in O&G students in Middlemore and arranged for four Pacific doctors from Samoa and Tonga to do the Diploma with the University of Auckland by securing their scholarships and clinical attachments.
Dr Eekroma supervised the registrars in the clinical department and he was a RANZCOG training supervisor for ten years to 2008. He supervised them on ward rounds and clinics, in the operating theatre and with research projects. Dr Ekerona has published two papers with registrars and is working with three registrars with their research projects.
OVERSEAS STUDENTS AND RESEARCH
Dr Ekeroma supervised many visiting overseas students from UK Universities.
He has coordinated and co-supervised visiting Pacific midwives who have clinical attachments in Middlemore Hospital funded by the Brian Spurrett Foundation. All the midwives are required to perform Quality Improvement Projects on their return home and have these assessed in conjunction with an assessor from the Brian Spurrett Foundation.
Dr Ekeroma has provided opportunities to supervise selective students in research and clinical skills and has collaborated with A/Prof Faafetai Sopoaga of Otago University in her medical students learning Pacific culture by engaging with Pacific families in the community setting.
Dr Ekeroma gets immense satisfaction to witness his students complete their degrees and grow into leaders in their fields. For many of his Pacific students, this is a great achievement for not only themselves but also for their families and communities.
Distinguished Service Medal (RANZCOG) 2015
Excellent Service to Pacific Health (by the Pacific Medical Association) 2006
Leadership & Management Programme for Senior Clinicians (by DHBNZ 2005
Sponsorship Programme (RCOG) 1993
World Health Organisation Fellowship Award 1987
New Zealand Scholarship Award 1977
Areas of expertise
Stillbirth, Research Capacity Building, Pacific Womens Health, Vitamin D, Medical Curriculum, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, Global Health
My professional and personal life have been that of service. Service to the profession, service to Pacific Health and service to Pacific organizations.
To the Profession:
2008-2012: On Council of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Member of the:
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Committee
Women’s Health Committee
Asia Pacific Committee
NZ Affairs Committee
Serving on Council and four other committees of the College gave a privileged insight into how a peak professional educational body operates both externally and internally in developing policies and processes. I assisted in developing College statements on the Women’s Health Committee, deciding assistance direction and policies on the Asia Pacific Committee, monitor, and comment on NZ issues on the NZ Affairs Committee and develop professional development practice and policy on the CPD committee. The Council was the approvals body for all College policies where I represented NZ interests as one of the three NZ councilors. I also represented Pacific interests on all the committees.
NZ Committee, RANZCOG
As Chair of the NZ Committee of RANZCOG (Feb 2006-Nov 2007), I was responsible for:
· Established Workforce Working Group to address O&G workforce issues nationally
· Established Lay Person on to the Committee
· Started Maori Advisory Group to advise the NZ Committee on Maori Women’s Health
· Improved communication with members by launching a fortnightly email bulletin (PENZIVE Newsletter)
· Initiated a dialogue with midwives and the College of Midwives leading to work on an MOU
· Formulated and enforced research-based policies to promote excellence of care in women’s health.
· Represented the College on many national forums including the Council of Medical Colleges, NZ Medical Council and Ministry of Health.
· Spokesperson for the College and coordinated media interviews and press releases.
· Dealt with and assisted peers who had professional and personal issues affecting performance
I have been a Training Supervisor for the College in Middlemore Hospital for seven years and have been an examiner for the specialist exams from 2003 to 2012 (9 years).
NZ Medical Council
I have contributed to the NZ Medical Council in discussions on vocational registration and have been a member of the Performance Assessment Committee and the Vocational Assessments Committee of the Council for the past two years.
I have also been an examiner for the NZREX exams of the Council for a period from 2002-2010 (8 years).
Pacific Health & region
Pasifika Medical Association
As a founding member of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), I launched the first conference of the Association in 1997. I was voted President of the PMA for four years in which time I was responsible for:
· Initiating and supporting a mentoring programme for Pacific medical students
· Establish a database of Pacific health workers in NZ
· Launched the PMA website and Newsletter (The Pacific Drum)
· Advocated for Pacific people’s health and health professionals
· Planned or supported annual conference of the PMA
· Liaised with Pacific providers to form a network for Pacific health
· Supported the University’s Vision 2020 and Maori and Pacific Admissions Scheme programmes
RANZCOG Pacific CPD Program
I established the first Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPD) for O&G specialists working in the Pacific Islands. With the assistance of RANZCOG, and funding from FIGO and AusAID, we developed a CPD programme for Pacific specialists, which on satisfactory completion, they were offered the status of Associate Membership of the College. The programme had an uptake of 80% of all O&G specialists in the Pacific and the first 13 candidates were awarded Associate Membership certificates in September 2007.
Pacific Women’s Health Research and Development Unit (PWHRDU)
I established the Pacific Women’s Health Research and Development Unit (PWHRDU) which was launched in Auckland in September 2006 at the Pasifika Medical Association conference by Prof Iain Martin, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and representatives of Counties Manukau DHB. The Unit was a joint venture between the University and the CMDHB but it became a University only entity in 2009 and has a governance group. The goals of the Unit are to stimulate and support research into Pacific Women’s Health and improving Pacific workforce capacity in reproductive health. The Unit has advocated for Pacific women’s health and have made submissions to two Parliamentary Select Committees and at various forums. The Unit has a small research programme and received major funding for a research project in 2008. The Unit supports Pacific students and researchers in women’s health.
Pacific Society for Reproductive Health Charitable Trust (PSRH)
I oversee the Secretariat of the Pacific Society for Reproductive Health Charitable Trust (PSRH), which was moved to the PWHRU in 2005 and registered with the Charities Commission since 2008. The Secretariat is run by a part-time Executive Officer and volunteers under my guidance and supervision. Financial support is provided by RANZCOG and donations. The Secretariat provides support to the President and Executive and implements agreed plans. The Society coordinates educational activities for its members who are Pacific reproductive health workers through workshops, the biennial conference and Pacific workers to NZ. The Society is also a strong advocate for maternal health in the Pacific and in 2009, I authored a submission from PSRH and RANZCOG to the open enquiry by the NZ Parliamentary Group on Population and Development. The inquiry’s report entitled Maternal Health Matters, contains our recommendations and we have advocated for their implementation.
I was the Hon Treasurer from 2005 to 2011 and was voted President from 2011 to 2015. As Treasurer and President, I have overseen the growth of the Society in both numbers and influence in the region. We continue to evolve as we address the educational needs of our members and as we advocate for women’s health in the region.
Pacific Health Research & Development Foundation Charitable Trust
I am the founder of the Pacific Health Research & Development Foundation Charitable Trust (2008), which aims to assist funding for research in Pacific Health. The Trust has a board comprised of Pacific health researchers in NZ.
525 Remuera Obstetrics & Gynaecology
I have a private practice that has been providing support to South Auckland Lead Maternity Carers for 13 years to 2011 and during that time provided subsidized or free care to Pacific women who are not eligible for public care. The practice continues to serve a fair number of Pacific women both from Auckland and from the Pacific region with affordable care.
Editorial Board Membership
Chief Editor, Pacific Health Dialog 2017-current
Chief Editor, Pacific Journal of Reproductive Health 2015-current
Editorial Board, Journal of O&G Research 2002-ongoing
Appointments to Professional Bodies
2012- 2014. OUM Working Group and Chair of the Curriculum Subcommittee. Appointed by Samoa’s Health Minister to lead curriculum review in view of change governance. Performed curriculum review with Prof Tim Wilkinson of Otago University. Completed report March 2013.
2011-2012 Council Member, Oceania University of Medicine (OUM). Appointed by Ms Gould on advise of Samoan Prime Minister.
2010 – 2014. Member, Perinatal & Maternal Mortality Review Committee. Appointed by Minister of Health, Hon Tony Ryall.
2010 – 2011 NZ Medical Council Panel of Assessors to assess the Appearance Medicine Branch of the College of General Practitioners. Invited by Chair of NZMC.
2008-2011 Member, National Advisory Screening Committee, Ministry of Health. Appointed by the Director-General of Health
Professional Societies Responsibilities/Membership
President, Pacific Society for Reproductive Health Charitable Trust 2011-2014
Councillor, Royal Australian & New Zealand College Obstetricians & Gynaecol 2008-2012
Hon Senior Lecturer, The Liggin’s Institute 2010-ongoing
Member, Asia Pacific Committee, RANZCOG 2008-2012
Member, Continuous Professional Development Committee, RANZCOG 2008-2012
Member, Women’s Health Committee, RANZCOG 2008-2012
Member, Interview Panel Overseas Trained Specialists, RANZCOG 2004-2012
Member, Performance Assessment Committee and Vocational Assessments
Committee, NZ Medical Council 2008-2015
Chair, Organising Committee, Asia and Oceania Federation of O&G and
Pacific Society for Reproductive Health March 2009
Hon Treasurer, PSRH 2006-2011
Chairman, NZ Committee of RANZCOG 2006-2007
President, Auckland Division, NZ Medical Association 2005-2006
Chair, Management Team, Pacific CPD RANZCOG 2002-2016
Chair, Maternal & Perinatal Healthcare Committee of Asia Oceania Federation of OG 2000-2005
Member, MOH’s Advisory Group into Maternity & Neonatal Information Systems 2000-2004
President, Pacific Medical Association, NZ 1998-2002
Member, Working Party, Guidelines Development, NZGG 2001-2003
Visiting O&G Consultant to the Samoa Government, NZODA 2000-ongoing
Member, NZ Committee of RANZCOG 1999-2012
External Examiner, Masters Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fiji National University 2012
Examiner, Specialist Exams, RANZCOG 2002-2012
Lead Examiner in O&G, NZ Medical Council 1998-2005
Diploma in Obstetrics, UoA 1997-ongoing
5th Year Medical Students, UoA 1997-ongoing
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Committees/Responsibilities
Head & Founder, Pacific Women’s Health Research & Development Unit 2005-ongoing
O&G Course Organiser, Overseas Doctors Programme 2001-2005
Member, FMHS Equity Committee 2000-2003
Interviewer, MAPAS Medical School Admissions, 1998-2001
TAHA Board – Well Pacific Mother and Infant Service 2010-2012
Trustee, Ta Pasefika PHO 2006-2010
Chair, South Seas Healthcare Trust 2004-2008
Trustee, South Seas Healthcare Trust (SSHT) 1999-2010
Director, South Auckland Maternity Care Ltd 2002-2011
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Ekeroma, A. J., Shulruf, B., McCowan, L., Hill, A. G., & Kenealy, T. (2016). Development and use of a research productivity assessment tool for clinicians in low-resource settings in the Pacific Islands: A Delphi study. Health Research Policy and Systems, 1410.1186/s12961-016-0077-4
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Hill, Lesley McCowan, Boaz Shulruf, Timothy Kenealy
- Ekeroma, A. J. (2016). The impact of a health research workshop and other interventions on Pacific Island clinicians’ research productivity The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
- Ekeroma, A. J., & Mathai, M. (Eds.) (2015). The Pacific Emergency Maternal and Neonatal Training Manual (1st). Auckland, New Zealand: Pacific Society for Reproductive Health. Pages: 128. 10.18313/pjrh.2015.906