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They described their actions as "understandable".
One person claiming to study medicine at the university anonymously posted to a website, describing a "gruelling and expensive degree" and questioning the educational value of some electives.
"If you do a surgical rotation in Europe, you will not be doing the surgery or doing anything remotely lifesaving.
"In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter if you spend six weeks following a doctor around like a lost dog, or only two weeks and spend the remaining four weeks travelling and getting cultural experience and a much-needed study break."
The post attracted hundreds of comments, some other students on the page asking how it was possible to trust a doctor who forged documents.
A formal investigation launched in September into Otago students not finishing their electives is complete.
Dunedin School of Medicine Dean Prof Barry Taylor announced on Monday 15 final-year Christchurch-based students were guilty of academic misconduct.
"Most of them have actually been there for a six-week period and there's obviously a week allowed for travel, so instead of five weeks the vast majority of them have only spent the one week in the centre where they were [supposed to be] and then they've produced a report suggesting that they were there for the full five weeks," he told RNZ yesterday.
Prof Taylor said the false reports were the most serious aspect of the case, and they put a "stain" against the students' futures.
All final-year medical students at the university undergo a three-month elective, which can be undertaken in New Zealand or overseas. Often, students undergo two placements of five or six weeks at a time, in different locations.
They receive a government grant of $26,756 for the entire year. However, if travelling overseas, they fund their airfares themselves, and they are not paid by the institutions in which they choose to work.
A university spokeswoman said the students would have to repay their grant at a rate of about $500 per week they had taken off.
A decision on whether the medical students concerned will be allowed to graduate will be made later this month.
Ethical considerations will also be addressed in that timeframe by the MB ChB Fitness to Practice Committee - which can refer individuals to the New Zealand Medical Council.
Despite comments on social media suggesting in previous years elective reports had also been falsified, Education Minister Chris Hipkins told RNZ the Tertiary Education Commission had spoken to Otago and the University of Auckland and it appeared this was an isolated incident.
An Otago university spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times it was not aware of other cases in the past.
New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association general secretary Dr Deborah Powell also said she understood the incident was a "one-off".
While students were observing rather than treating patients, the experience was still "hugely valuable", Dr Powell said.
If students chose a Third World country to travel to, they also already had six years' worth of medical knowledge to convey - more than many of the doctors in other countries might have, she said.