PMA Scholarships 2023 recipient, Genevieve TuiSamoa: Papa'ali'i Dr Semisi Ma'ia'i University of Otago Scholarship
Updates / Community, 18 Jan 24
Genevieve TuiSamoa is in her final year of medicine at the University of Otago. She stands as a testament to resilience, familial influence, and a deep commitment to Pacific health. Ms TuiSamoa was a recipient of the Papa’ali’i Dr Semisi Ma’ia’i University of Otago Scholarship 2023. She reflects on her journey and the impact of her familial roots on her pursuit of a medical career.

A woman of diverse backgrounds, Ms TuiSamoa beautifully articulates the complexities of her identity, stating, “Physically, home has been in both Auckland, Hamilton, and a small rural town called Kihikihi, and each place has given me different blessings and people and experiences in my life that have shaped me to be who I am today.”  

Her spiritual definition of home as something carried within, a philosophy that sustains her in times of uncertainty, reveals a depth of character that extends beyond geographical boundaries. 

Medicine was not just a personal choice for Ms TuiSamoa, it was the fulfilment of her grandmother's dream. Raised by grandparents who migrated from Samoa in the 1950s, she acknowledges their sacrifices as the foundation of her opportunities. In the face of personal loss and the passing of her grandmother, she made a promise to herself to become a doctor. 

Describing the emotional moment of receiving the PMA scholarship, Ms TuiSamoa shares, “It was definitely the lift and reassurance that I needed that day and in the greater scheme of things too.”  

She expresses gratitude for the scholarship, emphasizing how it has given her the confidence to persevere in her medical journey. The recognition from the Pacific community, especially in a field as demanding as medicine, serves as a powerful motivator. 

With a focus on her aspirations, Ms TuiSamoa outlines a two-fold vision for Pacific health: growth in the Pacific health workforce and the realisation of a future where socioeconomic factors no longer dictate health outcomes. 

Looking ahead, Ms TuiSamoa aims for leadership in public health, the Ministry of Health, or medical education. Her goal is not only to become a specialized doctor but also to understand the systems requiring development and contribute to transformative change. Her vision extends beyond personal success, aspiring to be part of a collective effort for the betterment of Pacific health. 

In the words of Ms Genevieve TuiSamoa, her journey is not just about fulfilling her dreams but about standing on the shoulders of giants—her grandparents and parents—and uplifting the generations to come.