Employment & Registration

Applicants for vacancies in New Zealand must be registered with the New Zealand Medical Council.  If you are outside New Zealand and considering applying for vacancies/Fellowships here you should read on:-

Who Needs to Be Registered?

  • Service providers - including general practitioners and specialists 
  • Trainees in an approved training programme
  • Sponsored trainees
  • Visiting researchers
  • Visiting teachers
  • Emergency workers

Types of Registration

The following are the classes of registration that may be approved. There may be restrictions on the extent of practice allowed under the different classes of registration. These will be authorized by the New Zealand Medical Council.

  • General
  • Vocational
  • Provisional
  • Special Purposes

Registration of Overseas Trained Doctors

Before applying for registration:

The following requirements for general registration are established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. The standard is that of a New Zealand or Australian trained doctor.

  • You are a NZ resident or intend to immigrate to New Zealand
  • You have a medical degree from a university listed in the WHO World Directory of Medical Schools
  • You are registered, or entitled to be registered, in your own country
  • You have completed a 12 month rotating internship year in your own or another country following graduation
  • You do not have specialist training, qualifications or experience that would be recognised for vocational registration
  • You have passed the New Zealand Medical Registration Examination (NZREX Clinical), within the last three years.
  • You are fit to practise medicine under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 ~You must satisfy all the above requirements to become registered.

Entry Criteria for Vocational Registration

  • All applicants must have passed or been given exemption for an approved English test
  • Have a post graduate ‘speciality’ certificate
  • Have practiced as specialist
  • Can show evidence of having undertaken ongoing continuing medical education

Vocational Registration Process for General Surgeons

  • Apply to Medical Council of New Zealand
  • The application is usually referred to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Interview with RACS likely
  • RACS reports to the New Zealand Medical Council
  • New Zealand Medical Council makes final decision

Possible Outcomes

  • Given vocational registration after 12 months provisional registration
  • 24 months provisional registration plus exit examination
  • Training not equivalent-the applicant is referred for General Registration
  • General registration
  • Medical degree from Australia, UK or Ireland is generally approved

Those with a non approved degree may be required to sit USMLE 1 and 2 then the NZREZ examination to apply for vocational training.

Any qualifed medical practitioner from overseas wanting to work in New Zealand is strongly advised to visit the Medical Council of New Zealand website or contact the Medical Council to obtain full details of the requirements and the procedures that are required to be followed.

Note: The above is a very general outline only and the New Zealand Association of General Surgeons takes no responsibility for any errors or omissions.