Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Doctoral Studies in Clinical Education



The Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education has the capacity to offer guidance and supervision to those who wish to undertake a doctoral programme in the field of medical and health sciences education.

You can find information on regulations and enrolment for the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Medicine on the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences doctoral student guide page or doctoral programmes page.


There are two pathways available:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A programme of independent study focusing on in-depth and original research for the production of a thesis which specifically advances the scholarship and practice in the field of medical and health sciences education. 

Published materials can also be used to complete a PhD thesis.

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

A professional doctorate that provides the opportunity for experienced medical clinicians to undertake advanced study and research which can be directly applied toward clinical and practice issues. The MD is a supervised degree and is examined at the same level as a PhD.


Supervisory staff

CMHSE can offer academic advice in selecting an appropriate topic and guidance on research methodology as well as actively contributing to the supervision of students. While we are happy to consider proposals in any area of health professionals education, prominent research themes in CMHSE include:      


Simulated learning environments, with a strong focus on interprofessional teamwork and collaboration; assessment, including development and validation of measurement tools, workplace-based assessment and assessment of team performance; patient safety and human error, with a focus on observational studies, and development and evaluation of interventions to improve patient safety.  


Important research themes in CMHSE include: measuring quality of life and wellbeing amongst staff and students; investigating issues related to personal and professional development; promoting respectful and engaged communities of learning by addressing issues associated with workplace harassment; and considering complex interactions between learning behaviours.  


I have extensive experience in clinical and human factors research projects, including work on the cognitive ergonomic evaluation of medical equipment, teamwork functioning, patient safety, compliance with safety initiatives and the better understanding of the patient experience. I am also interested in the theoretical and practical aspects of the way people and technology interact in complex systems and organisations, and effects such interaction has on safety.  


I welcome the opportunity to supervise students who are interested in any of the following areas: communication (in all it’s marvellous facets), simulation training, anthropology, social aspects of health care, chronic illness, narrative medicine, arts and health, health care culture, ethnicity, knowledge translation, public health, and/or student/practitioner wellbeing. These are areas that I have research and/or supervision experience in.


My main research interests are focused on how clinicians and teachers better understand and improve learning and teaching in the clinical setting. I am interested in how learners develop core clinical skills, especially in the area of decision making and diagnostic reasoning, as well as how clinical teachers facilitate important learning experiences in everyday clinical practice. I also have particular research interests in support for junior clinicians as teachers, workplace-based assessments, and the development of career pathways in academic medicine.  


My key research area focuses on sociocultural factors that influence teaching and learning in a clinical context. For instance, how do emerging clinicians develop a professional identity; does professional identity enhance or hinder interprofessional teamwork; how is professionalism manifested in different cultural contexts. My other research areas include developmental and cognitive psychology, research methods, and evaluation of curriculum and assessment.  

Through our research network, additional supervision is available from other academics across the University. 

Admission requirements

To be eligible for a PhD, you are required to have completed a Master’s degree with First Class or Second Class (First Division) Honours at the University of Auckland or a degree that the University of Auckland considers to be equivalent and to demonstrate an ability to pursue doctoral level research.

To enrol into the MD programme you must have completed an MBChB at The University of Auckland or a degree that the University of Auckland considers to be equivalent.  The candidate should have demonstrated an ability to pursue doctoral level research in the field of medicine or medical science and, following the completion of their medical qualification, had at least five years experience in medical practice or in an area considered comparable by The University of Auckland.      


Scholarships are available.

For further information please contact: