Earlier this year, Dr Rupert S. made the decision to leave the UK behind for a 6 month post as Consultant Paediatrician in Dunedin, located on the South Island of New Zealand. He started his post in May and has been in touch to share his experience and give some useful tips too:
Having got fed up with it, I like many others retired from the NHS. I signed up with Head Medical who have been a very courteous, professional and helpful organisation. Getting the job in the first place is something we all understand, but it does seem to occur in a bit of a vacuum. Head politely keep you up to date. Once you have the job then they really kick in, preparing you for what is required to get registered which is an enormously convoluted process and highly iterative. Mine took approximately three months. Gemma and Carol and the rest of the team were working hard at it, including a little trip to Carlisle to hand over my visa so that I could leave the next day.
Off to Dunedin, it really is the Edinburgh of the South, but with many more and steeper hills, penguins, sea lions, seals and albatrosses.
Working in the mixed university/ clinical environment is stimulating and great. The people are lovely although I am yet to tune into the fully fluent New Zealandish accent. It's a great thing to do, even though it is a long way from home, made easier thanks to Skype.
I arrived in time for winter, and it is a bit chilly, but skiing and rugby as well as the opportunities offered by a university town make this really good. Thanks to the Head team for all their support and help.
Once here there are certain little tips which may help:
- You will need a tax number in order to be paid. You can get the number from the AA (motoring) and it takes two days if you pay $10NZ.
- Bank accounts are much easier to set up. Passport, driving licence and proof of an address are all that is required. I set mine up, with the account on hold until I got my permanent address.
- I am only here for six months, but I would say that you need a car. I may see the country via helicopter due to neonatal transfers but that is a bonus, otherwise shop around for an old jalopy. They often have high mileage but are not wrecks.
To read more about our Doctors' experiences, head over to our testimonials page.