"Life in New Zealand is epic!"
Dr Fiona Sim, originally from Scotland, is now working as a locum doctor with Medrecruit. Fiona approached Medrecruit when she was still living in the United Kingdom and we placed her in an urgent care permanent role as an IMG. Now she has residency and is able to locum, travel the country, and take some time off in between.
We caught up with her to find out about what it was like moving to New Zealand as an IMG with Medrecruit and what life in New Zealand is like for an international doctor.
Can you tell me a bit about you and how you became a doctor?
I am from Scotland! I trained at The University of Aberdeen and completed foundation training in Glasgow. I always knew I wanted to take some time to explore after FY training & went to Costa Rica as an expedition medic before doing the Tropical Medicine Diploma in Liverpool. As Covid hit, plans shifted from Madagascar to a rural hospital in Scotland before moving out to NZ.
Medrecruit helped you move to New Zealand as a doctor, can you tell me a bit about that process?
It was a well-supported and smooth process. At the time, there were limited jobs in New Zealand with border closures but Jess and the team helped me find a job both in Urgent Care an area that suited me, and a location that suited me. She then helped with all the paperwork, immigration, and my many relocating questions!
What is life like for you now in New Zealand? Are you happy you made the move?
It's epic - the balance is definitely more tipped in favour of life than work. I thought I'd come over for a year but it's almost been two!
You recently undertook a five-week cycle tour. Can you tell me a bit about that?
The idea came on a sunny morning's cycle commute to Christchurch Hospital. I love a challenge (even more so anything that someone reckons I wouldn't be able to do!) and had been reading about the 'Tour Aotearoa'. The route sees riders cycle the length of New Zealand, ~3000km, from Cape Reinga to Bluff over a mix of roads, gravel tracks, and some easy, to some gnarly, mountain bike trails. It gave me the perfect combination of getting outside, being on my bike, and exploring NZ. We set off in early October with some sun, some torrential downpours, and a few ferocious headwinds along the way but endless scenery for mile after mile. 34 days and many character-building rides later - from Podocarp forests to huge mountain passes and coastlines - we rolled into Stirling point at Bluff, finishing one adventure by making plans for the next!
You are now working as a locum doctor with Medrecruit, can you tell me a bit about what this is like?
It gives me the freedom to choose not just when but where I'm working too. There are loads of opportunities available and it has been very well supported.
Fiona's first locum gig has been arranged in the beautiful beachside town of Nelson. Fiona's partner lives in Nelson so her Solution Specialist, Sophie, helped her find a role in this region.
If you are looking to make the move to New Zealand to live and work as a doctor, register for our free service, and one of our dedicated IMG team will be in touch. They can assist you in everything from finding a role, to immigration and set you up for a successful relocation.