New Zealand Medical Registration

The Medical Council of New Zealand has a history spanning over a century.

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Thinking about obtaining Medical Registration in New Zealand?

When it comes to the quality of life, New Zealand can be described as a ‘mixed bag.’ On one hand, you can experience the advantages of excellent weather, safety, general politeness, and a laid-back atmosphere. On the other hand, the high cost of living, isolation, skin problems, and limited career options for young people might be concerns.

Regarding the New Zealand healthcare system, the New Zealand Medical Council serves as the ultimate authority. The issuance of a practicing license is contingent on skill level and academic record.


Pathways for Medical Registration in New Zealand

As an International Medical Graduate (IMG), it’s crucial to note that New Zealand doesn’t have its own postgraduate entrance exam. However, regardless of the pathway you choose, you must hold a postgraduate qualification obtained by clearing PLAB/MCCQE/AMC CAT MCQ/USMLE. This is a prerequisite that cannot be bypassed. Additionally, even if you meet this criterion, you’ll need to pass another exam known as NZREX. Keep reading!

Different routes exist for International Medical Graduates to attain Medical Registration in New Zealand. Specifically, there are three distinct pathways for medical registration in New Zealand designed for different eligibility criteria and purposes. Traditionally, these pathways are referred to as Scopes by the New Zealand Medical Council.

Special Purpose Scope

This involves obtaining limited registration for a specific purpose such as training, research, or disaster management. Entry into the Medical Council Register NZ through this scope can be achieved via the following routes:

  1. If you are a Specialist from overseas and your qualification is listed in the NZ Medical Council approved list, you are eligible to apply. However, you must have an employment offer for 12 months or less.
  2. If you possess a Tele-radiology qualification, you can apply for this special purpose option. Eligibility requires a service contract with a health provider in New Zealand.
  3. You can visit New Zealand as a visiting expert for up to a week to invigilate an exam, teach, demonstrate, or assist in a procedure.
  4. If your country sponsors you, you can go to New Zealand for special purpose PG Training to gain skills and experience. This involves temporary registration.
  5. If you are part of an ethics committee in an NZ approved research project, you can stay and participate in that research for 2 years.
  6. Entry may be granted to assist in special situations such as emergencies and pandemics.

How to Register with the NZ Medical Council?

Regardless of the Scope you are eligible for, the process of obtaining registration to practice medicine in New Zealand remains the same.

  1. Firstly, utilize the registration self-assessment tool provided by the Medical Council of New Zealand to determine which pathway applies to you.
  2. Secondly, familiarize yourself with the details of the recommended Pathway identified by the self-assessment tool. As mentioned earlier, there are 3 scopes, each with different application processes based on candidate eligibility.
  3. Proceed with the application process, which involves filling out forms, submitting documents, and paying the required fees. Pay careful attention to avoid any inadvertent errors that could disqualify you.
  4. At this stage, you may undergo a pre-assessment interview.
  5. The New Zealand Medical Council reviews your application, and if you meet the criteria, the council will grant you Doctor Registration NZ.
  6. Upon approval, you receive a practicing certificate, allowing you to commence medical practice in New Zealand.

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