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A New Doctor for Ngāti Porou Oranga

We got to catch up with our new young Doctor Jake after a couple months on the scene at Ngati Porou Oranga to see how he's settling in at Ngāti Porou Oranga.

So Jake tell us where are you from?

Well I was born in Seoul - the capital of South Korea. My parents moved us (my brother and I) to New Zealand when I was 10 years old. They felt the education system in Korea was too competitive and didn’t want that for us. So they made the big decision to move us all to New Zealand. They stayed until both my brother and I got our medical degrees and then they moved back to Korea. My brother also lives in Gisborne. He is a dentist.

We settled in Hastings and I attended Frimley Primary school and then we ended up moving to Napier where I attended Taradale High School. Then on  to Dunedin and I went to Otago University to do Medicine. I've been a Doctor at 3 Rivers Medical and also in Wairoa too. Altogether I have been living here for about 20 years.

Why medicine? What made you want to be a Doctor?

Well one night I was reading in my room and my dad knocked on the door and said “Jake are you a doctor yet?” Just jokes - but on a serious note my parents definitely had a hand in it. They wanted us to be medical professionals.

How are you finding the job so far at Ngāti Porou Oranga?

Great! I really like the way we get sufficient time with our patients. The extra time allows us to get into more holistic care and into the background to see what’s going on in their lives and not just why they’ve come into the clinic. It lets extra pressure off a GP and allows us to bond with patients.

I also like the culture here with the staff and patients. When you help someone or do extra work people genuinely appreciate it and dont take it for granted. I feel like the patients are really kind too.

Do you think you will be here long?

Yeah! Well I have family here with my brother and sister in law and also friends here too.

Why do you like being a GP?

I get to meet new people everyday (I meet like 20 new people a day!)

And I like doing my best to solve the problems the patients come in with. I also really enjoy the staff here from the nurses to the mataora everybody is interesting and our collegial relationship is great. Hopefully we get a few more doctors in the near future too.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with anyone interested in pursuing a career in medicine?

When I was at the hospital I couldn't find a specialty I was interested in. Most people becoming Dr’s already kind of know that they want to be like a brain surgeon or other. At one point I considered moving away from medicine and finding a new job. Then I tried being a GP as a last resort and I loved it. So now here I am. The thing I enjoy the most is being out in the community. So for anyone wanting to be a doctor I think it’s important to not give up and keep trying to find where you belong! I can't even imagine what I’d be doing if I wasn't a GP.. maybe a plumbing or maybe I’d be an electrician.

Do you go back to Korea often?

Yeah I enjoy going back there. Catching up with my cousins and relatives. I like the food over there. You can't get some types of Korean food here in NZ so I really make the most of it. Last time I was there last year I went for a month and I put on 10kgs!

So when you’re not in the clinic, what do you do for fun?

I like going to different restaurants and trying food and cocktails! (laughs). I went to the new Tahu restaurant last night with my friend and we enjoyed lots of good food and cocktails. I like to take pictures of my food *shows pictures. I think you can tell I’m a foodie!

I also like playing table tennis but I haven’t played in ages! I was the King of table tennis at Wairoa Hospital Accomodation! So I’d like to play again soon some time.

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