Emigrating to NZ (or Aus!) - lots of questions

Discussion in 'Australasia and Oceania' started by Elmer2, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. Elmer2

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    I'm a 1st yr med student in the UK.

    Can anyone offer any advice and information on moving to NZ to work as a doctor immediately after graduating from medical school in the UK?

    I've had a look at the NZ sites and understand I would need to undertake an internship there - presume this is F1 equivalent. How hard is it to get one of these? Is it any harder as an international graduate than a NZ med school graduate? How does the application process compare to that in the UK? What sort of things can be done to improve one's chance of getting an internship? And how does it work in terms of when you specialise or choose your specialty?

    Also = visas. How hard is it to get one of these to enable you to remain in NZ permanently. Again, I've looked at the NZ website. It appears to be a a points based system, I'm not sure how easy it would be for a newly qualified doctor to get the requisite 100 points - since I would have no work experience. Does anyone know more about this? I assume it would be the skilled worker class doctors would emigrate under. It seems that lots of people are emigrating to NZ / Aus as med school graduates, so I'd like to know more about how they are doing this with the points system as it is.

    Would I need to sit NZREX or any other exam?

    It seems that Aus / NZ have interlinked medical education & training systems - is it possible to apply to go to both at the same time? Obviously I would only actually go to one, but because the systems and registration are connected, it might make sense?

    Also, if I ever wanted to come back to the UK without F1 / F2 but assuming I had made it to the equivalent of consultant over there, how hard would this be?

    Any general comments on working and/or living in NZ would be appreciated. Of course I would visit as much as possible before deciding to do this, but I already know that the NHS is not for me, so I'm examining all my options. So any advice would be gratefully received.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    Hi there,

    Congrats on getting into med!

    Your questions are very specific which is a good thing but the rules may change by the time you finish med school.

    I do not know the details but I can tell you that once you have done some training in the UK, you can work in New Zealand as a medical resident (a post-intern position, post-PGY 1) quite easily if there is a position available in a hospital.

    As for staying in the long term, the short answer is if someone likes you a lot, you'll be able to find a way to stay no matter where you go.
     
  4. KevinL

    KevinL Junior Member
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    You would need to spend at least one year in the UK in order to gain general registration before you can work in NZ. No exam is required.

    There is a match for first year jobs, however this wouldn't apply to your situation - as far as I'm aware the only people who can apply are NZ graduates, Australian graduates and NZREX candidates (foreign trained doctors who have re-trained in NZ). Second year and higher jobs are a bit of a free-for-all - under the current climate, there's no shortage of vacancies though this may obviously change over the next five years.

    Most people who end up staying don't have any problems gaining a visa/residency/whatever under the points scheme. Similarly getting onto training schemes in theory isn't terrible, either - after arriving in New Zealand as a PGY2, you would still need to do a further year in NZ to gain full NZ registration, after which your options open up. Note that applying for jobs and applying for training are two different things - we have a lot more non-training jobs than there are in the NHS.

    The other option that may come up is that there are a few pilot projects under way looking at introducing rotations here that would be accreditable towards F1+F2 (though I'm not sure what year that applies to, and to what extent - we have enough trouble providing accredited runs to our own interns, mind you).
     
  5. sumina13

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    thanks a bunch kevin.
    based on the answers, I am reiterating a potential scenario (please correct me if it is wrong):
    - MBChB from the UK (4-6 years)
    - 1 FY in the UK
    - 2nd Foundation year in NZ (as PGY2) --> leading to registration in NZ
    - apply to jobs or training positions (at this point residency or visas for such posts should be ok)

    cheers
     
  6. JoeNamaMD

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    Doctors who have received their medical degree in the UK have few problems getting registered in Australia. Its another issue for US educated physicians.
     
  7. KevinL

    KevinL Junior Member
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    "based on the answers, I am reiterating a potential scenario (please correct me if it is wrong):
    - MBChB from the UK (4-6 years)
    - 1 FY in the UK
    - 2nd Foundation year in NZ (as PGY2) --> leading to registration in NZ
    - apply to jobs or training positions (at this point residency or visas for such posts should be ok)"

    Basically. The catch is that currently many contracts in the UK for new graduates are apparently for 24 months i.e. FY1+2 although I suppose one could always resign after 12 months (upon gaining general registration).

    Note that unless you secure rotations that are accredited for FY2 (this is apparently a work in progress), in theory you won't be able to return to the UK for training unless you complete FY2 regardless of how many postgraduate years you have done. This doesn't apply if you're a provisional fellow/consultant, mind you.

    In my limited experience visas/residency isn't too much of an issue under the "skilled migrants" section of the immigration act. You should also consider what field you want to work in - obviously some areas are more competitive than others, and local graduates may have an edge in some of the more popular specialties - meaning it may take a bit longer to get onto specific training schemes than your average joe.
     
  8. sumina13

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    thanks again.
    would you know if it is at all necessary that one does rotations in NZ while in the MBChB course? Or could one just have the 1 year FY in the UK and still make it under this scheme?

    thank you again!
     
  9. KevinL

    KevinL Junior Member
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    There's no shortage of work at the moment, although that may change by the time you graduate as Australia are expected to graduate a -lot- more doctors by 2010 or so (something like 2000 more by 2015 from memory). Emigration from Australia to New Zealand has traditionally been fairly scant, mind you.

    There's no requirement to do rotations/elective/whatever while you're at medical school, although it certainly wouldn't hurt. There's usually a recruitment drive a couple of times a year where people from local hospitals run a roadshow in various locations in the UK - it's usually advertised in the BMJ, and probably worth popping along to.
     
  10. sumina13

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    thank you ;)
    would you recommend going to NZ for residency instead of completing residency elsewhere (say the US for example) and then trying to go to NZ?

    is NZ looking for IMG who are willing to work in rural areas or would you say that there is equal opportunity for more urban areas? by the way, my areas of interest is psychiatry and neurology.

    best
     
  11. KevinL

    KevinL Junior Member
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    If you're planning to work in NZ long-term, you'd be best off training in NZ/Australia/UK. One can argue the pros and cons of the US training system until the cows come home, however it's fairly clear that early super-specialisation is not very well geared towards the way the hospital system works here. Probably not such a big deal for psychiatry, mind you.

    There's no shortage of work in both urban and rural centres - in fact, the greatest demand (at least in terms of vacancies) currently seems to be in Auckland. Again, this may not be the case by the time you graduate - especially with the number of UK doctors moving across after failing to secure training positions.
     
  12. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    I agree if you want to work in NZ in the long term you should train in Australia or NZ.

    But, training in the US doesn't make you a super-specialist in an area of medicine. You are just able to become a super-specialist in an area of medicine.
    It's not just about early specialization. Doctors who do practice in Australia and were trained overseas as specialists just work as a specialist in Australia after some time as a registrar in their area. They may have to do an intern year.

    Also, 3rd year medical students in the US and Canada take 3-4 patients a week. They are on call. And by on call, this doesn't mean you hang out with your registrar for 24 hours - you admit patients, write in their note and manage. You don't get to do that in Australia until you're an intern. Even then, you don't stay for 24 hours (which is nice). Australian interns are shift workers. They have night float. It's pretty awesome.
    And being an intern is a paper-pushing job. The best of the 1st year clinical students in the Australian medical schooling system could easily function as an intern.

    For specialist doctors to thrive in big cities in Australia, they become specialists in a smaller area of medicine. Some orthopaedic surgeons for example end up only operating on hips and knees in Sydney. It's quite common.

    The hurdle lies in the fact that you need to write the advanced exams to be recognized in the different colleges. After 10 years of training, the majority of people want to make money and start/support their families.

    I don't think the majority of people understand how long medicine is. For hospital based specialties, you can't just pack your bags and move here and there as easily as you think.
     
  13. sumina13

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    i have searched the RANZCP and google but i can't get a clear answer. Could someone tell me if AUS or NZ offer combined residency programs in Psychiatry and Neurology, alike some places in the US?

    many thanks!
     
  14. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    Short answer without researching is 'no'.

    Many of the combinations in Australia are different from the ones in the US.

    For example, the US has combined IM/EM programs.

    Australia lumps together breast and endocrine surgery - in the US and Canada they are solely breast surgeons.

    etc. etc.
     
  15. sumina13

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    that's somewhat disconcerting...if in the US you can do both in 5-6 years, in AUS/NZ it would take 10-14 years to do that.

    do you know if psychiatry or neurology is combined with any other program in AUS/NZ?

    if anyone know of other combined residencies in AUS, please post them here.
    So far...

    SURGERY: breast and endocrine (vs. only breast surgery in the US)
     
  16. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    I wouldn't call that a combined residency - more like a fellowship you can pursue after you do your training in general surgery.

    A combined residency in Australia would be closer to the ICU/Emergency Medicine, or Anaesthetics/Emergency Medicine, or ICU/Anaesthetics etc offered by the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care.
     

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