From Ireland to New Zealand (in the middle of a pandemic)

IMG Dr Eugene Low

Dr Eugene Low has recently moved to New Zealand. Now working as a House Officer in the Northland region, he’s originally from Malaysia and graduated in Ireland before deciding to expand his experience and skills in another country.

After hearing about Medrecruit from a friend, Dr Eugene worked with our specialist International team to complete the paperwork and make the move. We gave him a call to find out how he’s found living and working in New Zealand so far.

Why New Zealand?

I hadn’t been to this part of the world and I’ve heard really good things about New Zealand from people who had come over here to work. It’s a really beautiful country so I thought it would be a really good experience to come over here and start a new position.

What processes did you go through to get to New Zealand and start work as a doctor here?

Basically, after I made the decision to move to New Zealand, I got in contact with Medrecruit and the rest is history!

You guys are so good at organising everything. I was with Sarah and Anna. They were really amazing, really good at organising my paperwork, finding a placement for me, working with the medical council. And you guys give immigration advice too, as part of the package, so that was really good. Everything was really smooth… apart from the pandemic bit, so I’m a bit later than I planned, but it’s still good.

How did you hear about Medrecruit?

From a senior, actually. He’s from the same Alma Mata (the same university) as me and he was working in Malaysia and then Ireland and then he made the move to New Zealand a few years back. He was the one who recommended Medrecruit to me. He said you were very professional and that New Zealand is a very nice place to start with when working abroad.

Where are you currently based in New Zealand?

Whangārei. It’s so far so good. It’s a really nice place. It’s a small town, so that’s quite different to where I grew up and where I studied. I grew up in Penang (Malaysia), which has around two million people, and then I spent time in Dublin (Ireland) which is a big city as well.

Everyone has been really friendly here so far and I love the weather here too; it’s not too hot, it’s not too cold. It’s just right! And there’s loads of places to visit.

What kind of work are you doing?

I’m working as a House Officer in Rehab at the moment. I’m interested in medicine so this is a really good role to start with, to get my bearings. Everyone has been really good, very supportive, the hospital is really understanding.

How is practising medicine in New Zealand different to other experiences you’ve had?

It’s always different when you move between different countries but medicine is still medicine. There are certain things, like medication, which might be called something different but overall, it’s more or less the same. It took a bit of time to adjust and I’m still in that process, but I know it’ll be okay.

How about the lifestyle – do you have any hobbies, do you like to ski?

I’m looking forward to it, I think I’ve missed the boat with skiing because it’s spring now… I arrived in mid-July and started work at the end of July so I haven’t had much time to get around yet. But I’m into hiking, going to the beach, which is amazing, the views are stunning!

Maybe next year, I’ll do some skiing. At the moment, especially with the lockdown in Auckland, it has been tricky to travel.

Has anything surprised you about living and working in New Zealand?

Not really. The only real difference is that when you work in a small town, it is very different to working somewhere like Auckland or any other cities where there’s a lot of public transport. So, I think the first thing I realised is that you need to get a car in New Zealand. I keep thinking ‘oh, I’ll just get the bus…’ but everyone has a car here and you need to have one… even for just getting your groceries, it’s difficult. But I wouldn’t say it’s a problem. It’s a great way to get around.

Second-hand cars here are pretty affordable compared to other countries and a lot of Kiwis drive really old cars. It’s not a problem.

Do you have any tips for other doctors thinking about moving to New Zealand?

If you’re thinking about moving, you should definitely consider New Zealand. I think a lot of doctors think about Australia but I think New Zealand is an amazing choice. It’s a beautiful place, a beautiful country especially if you like the outdoors. It lacks big city life but you get a different feel over here – if you’re thinking about it, come over to New Zealand. It’s a good choice.

Thinking about making the move? Register today to speak to a member of the team about the process.

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Rachael Walsh
19 July 2022Article by Rachael WalshMedrecruit Editor