Making the most of locuming as a junior doctor in New Zealand

Locums in New Zealand

Embarking on a locuming journey as a junior doctor in New Zealand isn't just about advancing your medical career; it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique beauty, culture, and adventure that the land of the long white cloud offers. New Zealand, with its breathtaking landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to pristine beaches, provides a spectacular backdrop for those looking to blend professional growth with exploration and adventure.

Discovering Aotearoa: A junior doctor's guide

Exploring the "Great Outdoors":

New Zealand's diverse landscapes are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, skiing in Queenstown, or surfing in Raglan, locum positions can place you right at the doorstep of these incredible experiences. Seize your days off to explore the great outdoors and recharge amidst nature's wonders.

"Working as a locum with Medrecruit allows you to choose where and when you work, enabling me to live the life I want. Be it tending to patients, travelling around New Zealand, being outdoors, or seeing friends. Plus, you get paid well." Dr Sina Karimian on locuming in New Zealand.

Cultural immersion and community impact

Working in various communities across New Zealand, from bustling Auckland to the tranquil towns of the South Island, offers a unique window into the rich Maori culture and the warm, welcoming nature of Kiwis. As a junior doctor, you're not just passing through; you're becoming part of these communities, even if only for a short time, making a tangible difference in the lives of locals.

"I find working in remote areas really rewarding. You can make quite a big difference to patient care, just even in a one-off emergency visit because they might not have regular or easy access to a doctor." Dr Penzy Dinsdale on locuming in New Zealand

Professional development in diverse settings

Locuming across New Zealand exposes you to a variety of healthcare settings, from state-of-the-art hospitals in major cities to rural health clinics where resources may be more limited. This diversity enhances your clinical skills and adaptability and deepens your understanding of healthcare delivery in different contexts.

Flexible schedules for work-life balance

One of the greatest perks of locuming is the flexibility it offers. Tailor your assignments to align with your lifestyle and travel goals. Want to experience the winter season in Wanaka? Or perhaps you'd prefer to spend your summer exploring the Northland's beaches? The choice is yours, and the flexibility of locum work makes it possible.

"One of the pros of locuming in New Zealand is that I have been able to work at multiple hospitals (Greymouth, Palmerston North, Blenheim, Christchurch) and it has been a great way for me to see New Zealand and also experience different hospitals that I would consider working at in the future." Dr Laura Smith on locuming in New Zealand.

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Networking with peers and mentors

Each new placement is a chance to connect with medical professionals from various backgrounds and specializations. These connections can lead to lasting friendships, mentorships, and future job opportunities. The medical community in New Zealand is tight-knit, and locuming allows you to become part of this supportive network.

"I think my first experience in New Zealand and Palmerston North is probably the most memorable. I've met so many international doctors there, all from different backgrounds, who've started working in this challenging environment and have really thrived." Dr Cici Chenliu on locuming in New Zealand.

Tips for making the most of your locum experience

  • Be open to learning: Every new placement is a learning opportunity. Embrace the chance to gain new insights and skills from each setting.

  • Plan your adventures: Use your flexible schedule to plan travel adventures around New Zealand. Whether it's a weekend trip or a longer exploration during breaks between placements, make the most of your time in this stunning country.

  • Connect with locals: Immerse yourself in the local culture and community. New Zealanders are known for their hospitality and friendliness, making it easy to form meaningful connections.

  • Document your journey: Keep a journal or blog of your clinical and personal experiences. This serves as a fantastic keepsake and can be a valuable resource for other junior doctors considering the locum path.

"My top tip? Scan all the documents you need – your license, your health stuff, everything you might ever need so you have them ready if required. Different Occupational Health people want different things. So it helps to have all of the information and documents at hand." Dr Dolores del Estal on locuming in New Zealand.

"Probably the most important thing is to work out what the scope of a job is before you take it - I have done jobs where I am the solo doctor in the hospital overnight, which I knew what I was getting into, but I think for some people could be a surprise. Medrecruit is very forthcoming with information in this respect." Dr Laura Smith

Resources for locum doctors in New Zealand:

Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ): The MCNZ oversees the registration and ensures the competence of doctors in New Zealand. Their website provides essential information about registration processes, standards of practice, and continuing medical education for locum doctors. Visit MCNZ

New Zealand Tourism: Official site of New Zealand tourism, business, and investment. Activities, tours, maps and accommodation to plan your New Zealand locum working holiday. Discover New Zealand.

New Zealand locum doctor page: Explore our locum positions across New Zealand here. Featuring information on each of the different regions and activities for doctors to explore.

New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (NZRDA): NZRDA offers support and advice on employment conditions, contracts, and rights for resident doctors working in New Zealand, including those in locum positions. Check out NZRDA

Locuming as a junior doctor in New Zealand offers a unique blend of professional development, personal growth, and adventure. It's a chance to build your medical career while experiencing one of the world's most beautiful and diverse countries. So, pack your bags and prepare for an adventure that will enrich your life in ways you've never imagined.