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Working in New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand

Get information on medical registration and how to find work in one of the most popular destinations for UK doctors.

  • Registration

    There are two medical schools in New Zealand, one is based in Auckland (Auckland University Faculty of Medical Health and Sciences) and the other in Dunedin (Otago School of Medical Sciences). The former has a branch in Waikato and the latter also has branches in Christchurch and Wellington.

    In New Zealand there are no registration categories (eg full registration, specialist registration). Instead, doctors are registered in a 'scopes of practice'. Your scope of practice will depend on your qualifications, experience and the purpose and duration of your employment in New Zealand.

    All new registrants (except New Zealand and Australian graduates who have completed an internship in NZ or Australia), regardless of seniority, must work under supervision for a period of time in New Zealand to become familiar with the New Zealand Health System. During this time they are registered within a provisional general scope of practice and their performance will be assessed by senior consultants. They will be required to complete certain requirements to be registered within a general scope.

    New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREX)

    If doctors do not satisfy the requirements for registration within a provisional general scope of practice, another option may be to sit the NZREX.

    To be eligible to apply to sit NAZREX, candidates must:

    • hold a medical degree listed in the Avicenna International Medical Education Directory
    • meet English language policy requirements, which may include completing the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System)
    • have passed the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 (Clinical Knowledge)

    In addition they may also:

    • have passed the Australian Medical Council MCQ examination
    • OR have passed the Professional and Linguistics Assessments Board Part 1, administered by the General Medical Council within the last five years

    Vocational registration

    Doctors who satisfy the requirements for admission to a branch or sub-branch of medicine (specialties) can apply for provisional vocational registration. The doctor's qualifications training and experience will be assessed by both MCNZ and the relevant New Zealand or Australasian College and a period of supervision or assessment may be required before the doctor is granted registration in a vocational scope. In New Zealand, general practice is considered a branch of medicine, therefore GPs can apply for vocational registration.

    In New Zealand all applications for registration (except vocational) are processed only when a doctor has a confirmed job offer under supervision in an approved hospital, practice or educational institution. The registration application should be submitted to the prospective employer, who will check it and send to the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) with a supporting application.

    Registration and the NZREX examinations are regulated by the MCNZ.


  • Finding a position

    The New Zealand Rural GP Locum Scheme arranges locum placements for rural general practitioners.

    Find out more


  • Further information

    Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
    Email: [email protected]

    Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmology
    Email: [email protected]