Dr Letava Tafuna'i
I was born in Samoa after which my family then moved to Dunedin where I spent the first 5 years of my life whilst my dad trained in psychiatry. We later moved back to Samoa where I enjoyed being brought up in the warm sunshine and surrounded by smiles of the Pacific! I completed Medical School in Fiji, and after returning to Samoa to practice for several years moved to Auckland, and then Australia where I’ve been for the last 11 years.
I’ve practiced in Auckland, North Shore and Waitakere in the North Island, and in Australia at Cairns, and Canberra hospitals. In the hospital environment I’ve worked extensively in adult general medicine in particular cardiology, palliative care, aged care, respiratory, neurology, nephrology, oncology, eating disorders, and endocrinology. Cairns saw me take up a teaching position in 2014 with James Cook University Medical School as a clinical lecturer in medicine for senior medical students (years 4 – 6) which I enjoyed before moving to Canberra.
I have two sons whom I embrace as my great accomplishment in life. To be more present for them I later moved into General Practice which took us to Wagga Wagga in NSW where I completed a Diploma in Child Health during my General Practice training. There I also enjoyed growing in a completely different area - working in Aboriginal Health for the last year and a half. On completion of my General Practice training, I decided to return to Dunedin to bring up my sons, and work within an area close to my heart – Pacific Health. I work part-time as a Professional Practice Fellow with the Centre of Pacific Health at Otago University, teaching within the Medical School.
I enjoy outrigger canoeing, strength and conditioning, and any exercise that gets me outdoors. However, my most favourite hands down pastime is standing on the sidelines with my ‘rugby mum’ (or other) cap on supporting the young men in my life!