Becoming a doctor was not always a dream for Dr Brittany Tasesa Stanley-Wishart. However, her Samoan grandfather, David Stanley, always encouraged her to pursue medicine.
From the villages of Vaigaga and Savalolo, Mr Stanley’s father always wanted him to become a doctor but he was not able to. Brittany becoming a doctor was like a fulfilment of his fathers dreams for him. Brittany is also the eldest child and grandchild, which she says likely played a part in her pursuit of a career in healthcare.
Currently specialising in psychiatry, Brittany’s passions include encouraging and normalising conversations around mental health, especially for Pacific peoples, as well as marrying western concepts with indigenous and holistic practices.
Dr Stanley-Wishart is currently in her second year as a psychiatry registrar for the community team in Whakatane. Samoan and Cook Islands by descent, Brittany was born and raised in Wellington where she completed her schooling before graduating with a medical degree from the University of Otago.
She will be one of the guest speakers for the fourth instalment of the Pasifika Health Leaders Webinar Series, presented by the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) and supported by the University of Otago and the University of Auckland.
Dr Stanley-Wishart will share about her journey and the steps she took to choose her field of specialisation. Other guest speakers include Dr Etuini Ma’u (FRANZCP) and opening remarks from PMA Group director Dr Francis Agnew (MNZM, FRANZCP, FAChAM).
“I plan to be honest about my journey, especially the hard parts. I want to encourage the students to pursue what they are passionate about, which is not only where their hearts are but also what they enjoy doing.
If they love what they are doing then they will always find a way to assist our people through their work.”
At only 28, Dr Stanley-Wishart has already served in hospitals across New Zealand in General Surgery, General Medicine, Orthopaedics and Psychiatry. She is also a member of the Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
In addition to her medical career, Dr Stanley-Wishart is a ringside doctor for combat sporting events, a fashion model and is the Deputy Chair for Pasifika Students in Health New Zealand.
She strives to achieve so she can be a role model for emerging Pacific health professionals and inspire students to aim for leadership roles in the healthcare industry.
“The reality is that we need to have Pacific people in spaces who are making decisions for our people and to have our voices amplified. Our lived experience as Pacific people exceeds those who can only observe our lives from the outside.”
The fourth instalment of the Pasifika Health Leaders Webinar is on Wednesday 28 July from 5pm-6pm.
Join us in person at various hospitals and university locations or online via zoom. To register please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/858LDTZ
Date: Friday 16 July 2021