If you are a junior doctor currently completing the last part of your Foundation Training Programme, you will more than likely already be thinking of your options for next year. Many junior doctors take this opportunity to experience working elsewhere for a year so that they can combine working, travelling, sight-seeing and exploring – a welcome break before they start specialty training!
For many, New Zealand is a destination of choice due to its weather, beautiful landscapes and laid-back lifestyle. New Zealand is a popular country as it is easy to travel around by car or public transport, allowing you to easily explore many different areas on your days off.
The New Zealand medical year begins in November each year, and normally applications for jobs open in April. However, there is a slight change this year due to COVID-19. The national recruitment campaign across the country has been delayed and applications will now open in June. This means that if you are considering applying for a job in New Zealand, it will be later in the year than normal before you find out if you have secured one.
With this in mind, it is a good idea to use this extra time wisely and plan ahead to ensure you are as prepared as possible so that there are no delays when it comes to applying for roles. Some things to take into consideration that you can do now:
- Review your CV – in order to highlight your experience as much as possible and stand out from other applicants, ensure you have a detailed CV which highlights all of your clinical skills, knowledge and experience for each rotation you have completed. Ensure you include the names and locations of hospitals you have worked in and a little detail of the hospital/department is always beneficial (for example, is it a large/small hospital, how many patients would you typically see on a weekly basis, etc.). Be sure to add in details of any research and audits you have completed, presentations and teaching you have done and any relevant committees that you are involved in.
Jobs in New Zealand are competitive, so it pays to put as much information on your CV as possible as this will give you a better chance of obtaining an interview.
- References – The Medical Council of New Zealand have a strict policy around reference requirements. You are required to provide 3 references, and most hospitals will ask for these at the time of your application. Your referees must be Supervisors that you have worked for during one of your rotations. You can also include an Educational Supervisor. As Consultants are often very busy and can take time to reply to these types of requests, it is worth contacting them now to ask their permission to be a referee. This way, they won’t be surprised when they receive an email request and will be more likely to complete the reference, which will result in your application being processed quicker by the hospital. Hospitals won’t offer a job to you until they have received all of your references back.
- Locations – research different locations around the country so that you have a good idea of areas you would be happy to live and work in. This will allow you to narrow your job search and only apply for positions in locations you are happy with. Jobs in larger cities often attract more applicants which means more competition. Think of the benefits of working in other areas – smaller hospitals allow you more one-on-one time with senior medical staff, more exposure to different types of presentations and more opportunities to progress your career faster within a shorter timeframe.
- Jobs – many positions at PGY3 level are rotational positions (similar to your Foundation Programme) and so have a think about what fields are of most interest to you and what you really want to get out of your year abroad. The more flexible you are, the more options will be available to you. Often hospitals will try to match you up with rotations in your preferred specialties, however sometimes this is not possible, and they require you to be flexible depending on the requirements of the hospital.
Using this extra time to your advantage will allow you to be more prepared when the time comes to starting your applications. New Zealand’s job market has remained stable throughout the last few months and the number of international doctors applying for jobs is likely also to remain high.
The process of moving to a new country can be overwhelming with so much information to take in and things to consider. Head Medical can advise you on all aspects of an international move – from information about the size and services of different hospitals, what different locations are like to live and work in, costs to take into account when moving abroad, as well as eligibility requirements for different registration pathways.
We are here to help with any questions you may have – please contact Leona Young on +44 7825 303392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org