UK GPs say moving to New Zealand has helped beat burnout

UK doctor in New Zealand

UK GPs are struggling, with burnout rates on the rise and the cost of living increasing it is no wonder more and more UK and Irish doctors are making the move 'Down Under' where the sun often shines and you get four weeks of annual leave.

British and Irish trained GPs are in demand across Australia and New Zealand - this is because both countries currently have a shortage of doctors, particularly in rural areas or smaller communities.

In short, qualified and experienced doctors from health systems like the UK National Health Service (NHS) and Ireland’s Health Service Executive/Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte (HSE) can find great job opportunities. This is because the health systems and qualifications between the four countries are comparable, so it is easier for governing bodies to ensure training requirements and other essential standards have been met.

If you would like to know more about medical pathways to New Zealand, please read this article.

Why UK & Irish GPs are moving to New Zealand

There are multiple reasons why UK doctors are migrating to New Zealand, the first of which is the ability to work part-time and the generous annual leave.

General Practitioners in New Zealand get four weeks of annual leave (which they are expected to take!) and most General Practitioners only work 32 hours a week, with 1 in 5 weeks on call (dependent on the clinic).

This means you'll have lots of time to reclaim work/life balance by exploring New Zealand or spending time with family.

New Zealand GP practices offer protected admin time, this means you can set aside dedicated admin time and don't have to stay late to complete it (or squeeze it in between patients!)

Last, (but not least) if you are looking to become a practice partner, GP practices in New Zealand provide many opportunities to do so.

1. The New Zealand lifestyle

Find out why New Zealand is ranked at number 10 in the top countries to live in the world. Renowned for its quality of life and adventurous outdoor lifestyle New Zealand is a safe and community-centric country - perfect for raising a family.

Kiwis love getting outdoors and often spend weekends or days off getting active on hiking or biking trails, if that wasn't enough we have world-class views and world-class wine!

2. The career opportunties

New Zealand offers a wealth of career opportunities for International Medical Graduates (IMGs), especially in areas experiencing doctor shortages, like rural and remote communities. IMGs can fill critical roles in general practice contributing significantly to the healthcare system.

The country provides a supportive framework for IMGs to obtain registration and integrate into the healthcare workforce, including comprehensive orientation programs and professional development opportunities. New Zealand's diverse, multicultural society also presents a unique environment for GP IMGs to practice culturally-sensitive medicine, enhancing your skills and broadening your medical perspective in a globally recognised healthcare system.

3. The work-life balance

New Zealanders favour work-life balance, making this one of the key attractions for healthcare professionals making the move.

The country's emphasis on quality of life resonates through its medical profession, offering IMGs manageable work hours and a supportive work environment. This balance allows doctors to enjoy New Zealand's stunning natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle, contributing to overall well-being and job satisfaction.

The healthcare system's patient-centric approach ensures that doctors can provide quality care without the burnout often experienced in more high-pressure environments, making New Zealand an ideal place for IMGs seeking a fulfilling career and a well-rounded life.

Hear from other IMG GPs who have made the move:

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.

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.

Dr Nicky Anto is a general practitioner (GP) who recently moved to New Zealand to escape burnout, seeking a better work-life balance, and a more outdoorsy lifestyle.

That elusive, beautiful unicorn of a concept called ‘Work-Life Balance’ I mentioned earlier? Turns out it exists after all! I work 3 days a week, have the energy to meditate and exercise most days, have lost 12 kg (intentionally; fear not fellow medics), and go exploring or hiking most weekends.

GP, Dr Fraser Smith grew up in Derby, England. He has always been a big fan of adventure and the outdoors. He recently made the move to live and work as a GP in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Medrecruit assisted him in finding a role .

My first thoughts were, wow, we now live in paradise! We always dreamed of moving to somewhere with a Mediterranean climate, with great food and wine but we can’t speak Italian!

We will hold your hand every step of the way

We understand that making the move down under is a big life change, and that's why we will hold your hand every step of the way.

The first step is to register with Medrecruit and tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are looking to find in New Zealand. Perhaps you are seeking a sea-change, and a community to raise your family in - or maybe you are looking for an adventure and you want something near a ski field.

Whatever you are looking for - we can help!

Next, our dedicated IMG team will present you with suitable opportunities and information about the regions where the opportunities are located, so you can make an informed decision.

We have an in-house immigration advisor who will help you with your visa application and a team to assist with medical registration and making sure you have all your paperwork in order.

Then finally, when all the paperwork is sorted, we will help you organise your flights and accommodation for arrival.

We will support you in your journey from the moment you register - to the moment you walk into your new GP role in New Zealand.

What's more, our service is entirely free.

If you are a UK doctor who has been thinking of making the move, register here to start a conversation.

Find out everything you need to know about moving to Australia or New Zealand in our free IMG Guide.
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Medrecruit Editorial Team
13 July 2022Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor