The 2019 PGY1 Representative election is underway.  As a fellow TI heading for PGY1, your vote counts!  Below are your candidates.  Voting period closes at the end of Sunday 1 December.   For more details, email

Alex Boyle

 "I was raised in Canterbury and will soon start my PGY1 year at Tauranga Hospital in the wonderful Bay of Plenty. Outside of medicine I am an avid skier, cricket follower and lover of the outdoors and- since moving to The Mount- a keen but poorly skilled surfer. I have previously held the position of Social Representative on the Auckland University Medical Students Association Executive, and I am particularly fascinated by post-graduate medical education and training.

I am passionate about the training and wellbeing of junior doctors, especially the growing mismatch between graduate numbers and training programme positions brought about by the significant increase in medical graduates over the last decade. More immediately, I am motivated to streamline the e-port/NZ Curriculum Framework to make it more valuable (something the DiTC is already working on), and to ensure career advice and clinically relevant teaching is available to pre-vocational junior doctors, a group whose training is often overlooked.

NZMA is the only organisation that advocates for doctors at all levels, and being the PGY1 Representative is a unique opportunity to provide a first year perspective to the greater medico-political decisions of the NZMA. I am fascinated by the wider issues that will impact our profession in the future such as developments in artificial intelligence and technology, and the impact nurse practitioners and physician assistants will have on junior doctor training, provision of care, and employment opportunities.

Given my passion for the issues junior doctors face, my former position on the AUMSA Executive, my interest in medical education and my hard-working and keen attitude, I believe I am a great candidate for this position."


Profile 1

 Conflicts of interest declared: Nil.


Bena Law

"My name is Bena, a name originating in Hebrew. After spending most of my first decade in Hong Kong, my family immigrated to New Zealand. Here, I was quickly immersed into the 'cultural melting pot' of Aotearoa where I grew to love spoken and written languages; German, Korean, French, Chinese, English… the way languages convey ideas and meanings unique to each culture. Music and visual art are the most universal languages in their ability to make us feel as a collective, so when not in hospital, I am most often found at jazz gigs and art galleries.

I love our class and our peers. The past six years have been a journey of enormous self-learning and development. Together we are undertaking the big step of becoming Aotearoa’s new generation of doctors. This is all so new and exciting, but it also brings new responsibilities and challenges. I want to build upon the connections we have already made, to listen, to get to know more about everyone's needs and wants. I have always held a passion for mental health, with my main focus on youth counselling, mentoring, and suicide prevention. This will be my first opportunity to advocate for us, as doctors, in the same way we exercise compassion and care towards our patients, and in the same way we show love and kindness to those in vulnerable positions.

I would be honoured to represent PGY1 as a family, built on the understanding that we are all individuals, spanning different ages, ethnicities, interests, and goals. With the knowledge that we stand on the shoulders of those before us, I will give this role my best to improve the experiences of all of us in this cohort now, and for the future generations of junior doctors."

Profile 2 

 Conflicts of interest declared: Nil.


Bill Lu

 Passion + Experience = Your Advocate 

"Kia ora, I am an Otago trained PGY1 based at Dunedin Hospital. I have previously studied and worked in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch. I settled down in Dunedin which has been home for the last 13 years. I was initially trained as a pharmacist at Otago Pharmacy School and worked in various settings such as Primary care, hospital, private as well as public sectors. I am heavily involved with multiple start-up projects and local community charitable organisations. When I do find a spare moment, I enjoy middle to long distance running and lifting weights in the gym.

I am passionate about fairness and mental wellbeing. Those are some of the key issues we are dealing with as junior doctors on a daily basis. Our experiences and needs can often be overlooked within the medical hierarchy due to inadequate advocacy. It can be a challenging task to represent junior doctors’ needs in a complex health care system.

I have over 10 years’ experience in our healthcare system with extensive experience in governance and advocacy. I have worked in primary and secondary healthcare systems in the past. I have also worked in private health sectors. I am currently the Vice President of the Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council. I am on the board of directors at Cargill Enterprise, the trading arm of Disabled Citizens Society (Otago). I have been an anti-harassment advisor to the NZ Army over the last 6 years and a member of their Wellbeing board. I am well versed in the health system and advocacy.

By voting me as your PGY1 representative, you are securing an advocate who has the passion and proven experience to work for you over the next 12 months. It would be a privilege to represent your voice within NZMA."

Profile 3

Conflicts of interest declared: Nil. 


 Jibi Kunnethedam

"Kia ora whānau,

I’m Jibi and I’ll be a PGY1 at Dunedin Hospital. I’ve been a med student at UoA and I’ve had the privilege to serve you all on the NZMA in the past as the NZMSA President and student rep on the NZMA board. The best part of these roles for me has been working with and hearing the diverse range of opinions we hold as a cohort of upcoming doctors.   

I’d like to put my hand up once again to continue advocating for you all as we make the transition into PGY1. I have experience under my belt and the ongoing passion to do the best for the people I represent, which is all of you! I’m sure I’m not the only PGY1 daunted at the prospect of becoming an actual doctor and I want to try and do my bit to advocate for a health system that caters for the matters that are important to us and our patients."

 Profile 4

Conflicts of interest declared: Nil.


 Jordan Tewhaiti-Smith

 "I grew up in the Wairarapa into a hard-working shearing family. I did my schooling in Dunedin, and have since grown a huge connection to the South Island which has lead me back here for my PGY1 year in Christchurch. I grew up knowing that Medicine was a career for me after my experiences within the health system from a young age were somewhat negative due to the pressures facing the health system. It was out of these experiences where I grew a passion for Māori health research. Out of work, my interests consist of family, food and cooking.

 I have achieved significantly within the Māori health and research space including my appointment as Commissioner for The Lancet’s Standing Commisison for Adolescent Health and Wellbeing and additionally receiving the John Mcleod Award for Excellence and Acadaemia in Māori Health Award. However, currently as I transition into becoming a doctor, I feel a sense of nervousness and urgency as I try to figure out how to navigate this space and figure out what my vocational training pathway should be, much like many other RMOs and trainee interns. Because of this and my experiences on high level governance boards, I can strongly advocate for our junior workforce on issues such as training and safety, with a realistic, no-nonsense approach. I am a committed and focussed person and have always been accountable to my community and peers, of which my PGY1 colleagues are a part of."

 Profile 5

Conflicts of interest declared: Nil. 



Michael Lee

"Hello I’m Michael

I have spent the past three years at Christchurch Hospital but I will soon move back up to Wellington for PGY1. I was born in South Korea. My family immigrated here when I was two years old. My parents chose to come to New Zealand because of New Zealand’s reputation as a free and safe society. I am proud to call New Zealand home and feel very lucky that I have grown up with influences of two such varied cultures; I believe this provides me with unique perspectives that I hope I can use to help others.

I am proud to call myself a junior doctor. The ability to help patients at their most vulnerable times places us all in a position of trust that is unsurpassed within other professions. We need to address the issue of burnout among junior doctors. I want to help support the move towards a clinical environment that better suits the needs of junior doctors and is aware of the need to support us– it is not enough to only write policies, we also need meaningful action. As a PGY1 rep of NZMA, I would aim to achieve this by advocating for more research into the health and wellbeing of junior doctors to identify key issues that apply to us all. Further, I would aim to be a person you can all feel comfortable approaching and I would actively seek to ensure your voices are heard. Without protecting our own health and wellbeing, and without ensuring we have a collective and fair voice, we cannot expect to carry out our roles to our full potential; this is not only harmful to us, but potentially to those we care for.

It would be a privilege to represent you all as the PGY1 Representative."

Profile 6

Conflicts of interest declared: Nil.