About the Job

Consultant Rheumatologist 0.5 FTE and 0.5 FTE General Medicine – Timaru

This is an opportunity for a ‘DEER’ (Dedicated, Empathetic, Educated Rheumatologist) Rheumatologist to replace the current incumbent planning to retire by 31 March 2023. 

This position is for a clinician whose primary goal is to put the patients first and is prepared to go the “extra mile” to continue to a develop rheumatology practice which was started here in December 1991 by the current Rheumatologist. 

The position involves conducting five to six rheumatology clinics per fortnight, supported by a Specialist Rheumatology Nurse, with easy access to the Departments of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Orthotics, Pharmacy, Day Ward for infusions, in a well-equipped District General Hospital.  This position also involves being available to provide advice to General Physicians, GPs, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Emergency Physicians and if necessary, inpatient consultations during normal working hours on weekdays. 

It is also possible and required if relocating from overseas when making an engagement into this role, for us to consider including an additional 0.5FTE part-time component of General Medicine/Internal Medicine to this appointment, (i.e. involving inpatient work and on-call responsibilities, with any such details to be negotiated). This could effectively create a full-time post and a minimum of 30 hours per week is required to meet medical council requirements when relocating as an overseas specialist.

Outside the Te Whatu Ora position, there are opportunities to participate in a Rheumatology Therapeutic Clinical Trials Centre established in 1996, run a DXA scanning service and private practice.  These opportunities are outside the remit of this advertised position. 

The current Rheumatologist in Timaru will continue in these activities and is only retiring from his position at the Hospital, but would encourage the new Rheumatologist to join him in these other opportunities.  He is also available to help a newly qualified Rheumatologist settle into the above position in Timaru if necessary. 

We consider ourselves lucky to have a tight knit team of Physicians who enjoy being part of a well-run department, supported by keen RMOs eager to learn, along with great Nurses and Allied Health staff who ensure the patients receive the care and attention they deserve. 

Our Physicians have discovered the secret of maintaining an enviable work/life balance by coming to work and live in Timaru, where despite our service being small by many standards, it is certainly big on teamwork, camaraderie, (including regular after-hours socialising), and clinical challenge in a true general Rheumatology sense.

We serve a district population of approximately 60,000 in a General Hospital facility, (which has just commenced a significant refurbishment programme), providing our local community with critical 24/7 services such as A&E, ICU/CCU, General, Orthopaedics, ENT surgery, O&G, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Geriatrics, Oncology and Palliative Care, plus of course, General Medicine and many of its sub-specialities. 

Currently, we are a team of nine general medicine specialists, each of the team having an additional sub-specialty focus, that currently includes Neurology, Chest Medicine, Diabetology, Gastroenterology and Cardiology. 

The New Zealand employment environment is very supportive of time for continuing medical education, to allow growth of sub-specialty interests.  The current Rheumatologist has been able to develop his current practice with good support from management of the DHB and the local community during the past 30 years, establish a leading Rheumatology Clinical Trials Centre and start a DXA scanning service for the local district. 

He also runs Outpatient Rheumatology Education Classes for patients with newly diagnosed inflammatory arthritis.  The environment in South Canterbury has proven to be conducive to developing a leading rheumatology service and academic professional pursuits except for basic science research. 

When not working, the multitude of opportunities literally on our doorstep for pursuing recreational interests are second to none, (such as skiing, fishing, sailing and a host of other pastimes almost too numerous to mention).  When people first arrive in Timaru and start experiencing the true lifestyle on offer, a common reaction we hear is almost one of disbelief that you can have it so good and all so conveniently accessible. 

Why not experience this for yourself and become engaged in your passion for Rheumatology while also having the personal time available as a part-timer to dedicate to a life outside clinical commitments, that allows one to truly relax and enjoy family and friends. 

We think you would find that Timaru ticks many boxes (including some you possibly didn’t realise you wanted). 

You will need to be Vocationally Registered (or eligible to become Vocationally Registered) with the Medical Council of NZ in Internal Medicine to be considered for this position.

if you are interested in this position, please apply online and attach an up to date copy of your CV for consideration. 

For a discussion about this role or
other opportunities contact Alasdair today.

alasdairl@headmedical.com / 0131 357 1848

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