Dr Gábor Farkas "NZ is a wonderful country with a very unique vibe."
Dr Gábor Farkas is a General Practitioner who recently made the move from Ireland to live and work in New Zealand. Medrecruit supported him in making this big transition, we caught up with Gábor to have a chat about making the move, how his new life in New Zealand is going, and any advice he has for other international medical graduates looking to make the move.
Can you tell me a bit about you and why you became a doctor?
It was very important for me to do something meaningful, something that makes a difference. A doctor’s work changes a lot of people’s life every day. Whether you treat small health issues or serious illnesses, you can make people’s life better. In my family there are several doctors. My uncles and my brothers are General Practitioners, and my father is a veterinarian. Therefore, I had plenty of inspiration and support for becoming a healthcare professional. I also desired to experience the life in different parts of the world and being a doctor gives me freedom and I can live anywhere in the world.
What inspired you to make the move to New Zealand?
In my imagination New Zealand was always the most beautiful place in the world with endless green fields and incredible scenery but it seemed too far, and the process was too difficult, so I ended up in Ireland, which is an amazing island too, but closer and easier to move to. It was a great place to live and work, and our family expanded by two lovely kids. After six years of Irish life, we felt that this was not our final destination, and we missed the real summers. I was seeking for opportunities to make our original wishes come true and I found the Medrecruit and everything happened so fast from that point.
You have just arrived in Waihi Beach, what were your first thoughts when you saw your new home?
Telling the truth, it was dark and after 36 hours of travel with two small children I was barely alive, so I went to sleep in no time. Thanks to the jetlag I was lucky to wake up early enough to see my first sunrise and to look down the incredible view which was much more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. We live on a hill in a farmhouse with view of the whole town and the ocean.
How was the settling process?
I got lots of support from my workplace and neighbours and I also have experience with moving countries with two suitcases.
My colleagues organised an airport pickup and a welcome dinner for the whole family, so we felt so welcomed from the very first second.
My wife had a shopping list to transform the house to our home in a few weeks’ time and I started to visit the practice to get a better insight of the work environment and to meet all the doctors, nurses and receptionists.
How does life as a GP in New Zealand compare to Ireland?
Life and work as a GP is really challenging here compared to Ireland. I lived in a city with a big hospital, so the serious and urgent cases usually were handled by the A&E. Here in Waihi Beach, we are one hour from the nearest hospital, so the medical centre is the first point of contact for the most of the people who feel sick or have a health concern. Therefore, the doctors here treat a wider range of health issues. We provide non-surgical and surgical treatments, and we diagnose and treat skin conditions and skin cancer. That is a great opportunity for me to use my qualifications in dermatology and to face new challenges in my career.
How did Medrecruit support your move over?
After contacting Medrecruit I outlined my goals for them, and they created a plan and explained me what I needed to do to achieve them. Medrecruit sent me job opportunities considering all my preferences and after a few weeks they found me a job in this lovely town. They set a schedule for me with all the necessary actions I had to make to get here by the date we agreed with my new employer.
When the time had come, they led me through the whole process and the registration with the medical council and they helped me to collect all the required documents. Thanks to them it was quite easy to start a new career and a new life with my family on the other side of the planet.
Even a few months later they ask about how we are doing here, and they want to be sure that we are happy with everything.
Do you have any advice for other IMG GPs looking to make the move to New Zealand?
If you are thinking of moving here, I advise you not to hesitate because it is a wonderful country with a very unique vibe. It is amazing to go to the beach after work on a weekday or discover the geothermic miracles, picturesque landscapes and filming locations of my favourite movies in the weekends. It was one of my best decisions to start this adventure.