NZMSA was established in 1972

See an article here from its initial set-up:

We have a proud history of representing medical students, and there have been a few highlights along the way


In the early 90s the big issue for med students was getting a job at the end of it all. In the middle of 6th year all the TIs would write individually to all 21 DHBs and apply for house surgeon jobs. The DHBs would pick who they wanted and job offers would be made. Unfortunately, because the job offers came over a period of months, TIs would hold out in hope of getting the DHB they really wanted to work for. This meant that other people were still scrambling to fill unfilled jobs the day before they were meant to start work! The ‘system’ was a mess and TI’s spend 6th months juggling applications, CVs, phone calls and an unhealthy dollop of uncertainty about where they were going to end up.

In 2003, following years of work by NZMSA, the murky job market was tidied up by a matching system called ACE (Advanced Choice Employment) which continues today. Under the ACE scheme TIs send one job application and CV to ACE along with the ranked preferences of which DHBs they’d like to work for. ACE forward the applications to the appropriate DHBs who then rank their list of potential applicants. A giant ACE computer then matches the rankings of the applicants with the ranking of the DHBs. The system doesn’t alter market forces and competition, but it does make the logistics of it simpler for everyone involved. Satisfaction with ACE is high and 98% of students get their top 3 choices. NZMSA is really proud of having been behind an initiatives’ which has made such a difference to the stress and quality of life for 6th years.

Trainee Intern Grant Increase

Our other major achievements have been working on student debt. In 2005 NZMSA, NZUSA and NZMA funded research about how much debt medical students graduate with and how it impacted on them. The research was compiled into the Doctors and Debt Casebook and presented to politicians and universities. Partly as a result of our lobbying, the TI grant was increased from $16,756 to$26,756 later in 2005… Which means you’ll be ten thousand better off when you eventually make it to 6th year. We’re pretty proud about that too!

Medical Leadership Development Seminar/Conference

In 2006 NZMSA ran the first Medical Leadership Development Seminar. This was the first chance for New Zealand medical students to come together and hear about all the things that don’t quite fit into the usual curriculum. A second MLDS ran in 2007 and was a great success. In 2008 we went for a different spin and renamed our annual conference “Conference 08”. This generic and easy to apply name has stuck, and each year we now select a new theme to go along with it! In 2009, the theme was The Art of Medicine – this looked at what it means to be a doctor outside of the strictly biomedical point on view.