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Executive 2018

Meet Dan – Communications Officer

10463771_10154293375350471_6766077961085852478_oNext up in our “Meet the Exec” series is Dan Leonard – our Communications Officer for 2015.    Dan grew up in Auckland and moved to Dunedin after living in Taupō for 8 years before deciding on a change in career from IT to medicine.







So what brings you to Med School?

I always wanted to be a doctor, even when I was a kid.   I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at the age of 6 months old and spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals growing up.   I still have a phobia of needles, but I’ve been working on that in the last year and am just about over it!    I’ve worked in IT since I left High School, owned two Domino’s Pizza stores and at one point looked at becoming a volunteer for St Johns, which is what got me thinking about a change in career.   I wish I’d done it earlier!    Contrary to popular belief I have no prior tertiary qualifications – so I had to battle it out with the HSFYers and suffer the dreaded UMAT exam.

What does a “Communicatons Officer” do?

This is a relatively new role at OUMSA.   Technology allows us to do some pretty cool things, the most important of which is to communicate ideas and information, keep in touch and aid us in our lifelong journey of learning.   The Communications team looks after the website, Facebook and social media, and assists events organisers and groups to get their message out to students and the public.   This summer I’ve redesigned our website, hooked it up to the uni login system and integrated the online store into our accounting system.   I also sit in on the Med Faculty IT E-Learning committee who plan new and future technology use in the medical curriculum.

You’re pretty well known in ELM circles and within the Med Faculty – how come?

At the start of last year Med School only had audio podcasts.   It was a bit of a disappointment after Health Sci – so I did some research and found some software that would allow us to do video podcasts.    This was met with some concern in parts of faculty as a good proportion of students decided to download podcasts instead of coming to certain lectures.   Many students have expressed their appreciation (I have even been kissed several times by both guys and girls) that they can now sleep in… on rare occasions of course!   Faculty do a lot of research into education, and have been looking at how video podcasts have affected learning and I’m interested to see how this year’s cohort have done in exams compared to previous years.

What do you like best about Med?

Med students are an awesome bunch of people.   I was scared in Health Sci that I would end up in med school with a bunch of stress freaks that studied 20 hours a day and were generally antisocial, however I am pleased to say that we’re an insanely supportive, fun and sometimes crazy bunch – especially the Med Revue crowd!

What other stuff do you get up to?

I’m really into my music – below is a YouTube vid of a performance I did during Health Sci.   If you’re into acapella hit me up!    You’ll usually find me getting involved in heaps of stuff like Med Revue and helping out with lots of things.   Rumour has it I may have even engaged in some “medcest” once or twice last year.   I drink way too much coffee.

Having been through ELM2, what is some advice you’d give to new students?

HAVE FUN!    Get to know people, get involved – so many meddies have a talent or skill other than being academic.   You’re not in Health Sci any more – have a life and enjoy your year!

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