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Doctor finalist in Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards

For immediate release
15 August, 2008

Doctor named as finalist in 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards

Extreme ski champion, doctor, and now business owner, Dr Sam Hazledine, has been announced as a finalist in the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards today.

The award is New Zealand's most prominent global business award aimed at recognising successful entrepreneurs and highlighting their contribution to the New Zealand economy.

Dr Hazledine is the managing director of MedRecruit, a medical recruitment agency he set up in 2006.

The 29 year old set up MedRecruit as he wanted to create a solution for junior doctors who were growing increasingly frustrated with the restrictions placed on them by the medical system and were exploring other options off-shore, leaving New Zealand with the current junior doctor shortage.

"I am thrilled to be announced as a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. The fact I have got this far is testament to the fact that what MedRecruit is providing for junior doctors is what they need right now - namely the ability to have a life and a career", Dr Hazledine says.

With a head office that 'walks the talk' - Queenstown - the company's audacious attitude and business approach has seen its net profit grow by 8600% in just over a year.

Dr Hazledine says he is excited about the next step of the competition, a 'Dragon's Den' style interview with the judging panel in Auckland in September.

"I don't know who the other finalists are but I do know that junior doctors are loving the service we are providing them and MedRecruit is going from strength to strength, so I'm hopeful that I'll do well in the next stage," he says.


Key dates in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards
• Announcement of finalists (15 August 2008)
• Announcement of category winners (12 September 2008)
• Announcement of winner (23 October 2008)

More about Dr Sam Hazledine

Twenty nine year old Sam Hazledine holds himself to the highest standards in all aspects of his life. He persists until he is successful in everything he partakes in; from graduating from Otago Medical School in 2003, to convincingly winning the New Zealand Extreme Ski Championships by skiing the most dangerous lines and dropping a 90 foot cliff thereby qualifying for the World Tour later that year, to starting and growing MedRecruit into a successful profitable business at awesome speed.

Sam does not see obstacles as problems, rather as opportunities to overcome and to grow. In 2002 he sustained a life-threatening head injury which put him in a coma for two days. Doctors said he would probably not function at a high level again and that it was unlikely he would be able to return to medical school and he would certainly never ski again. Sam didn't buy into this! Within two months he was back at medical school and one year later he won the national freeski title.

After realising his dream of winning the national extreme ski title in the winter of 2003, Sam started work as a junior doctor. He quickly saw that the medical system was not adapting and catering for the changing lifestyle demands of the new generation of doctors entering into medicine, and this was leading to an alarming 25% of medical graduates leaving New Zealand within three years of graduation.

After one-and-a-half years working in the hospital system as a salaried doctor, Sam decided to go locuming. He dealt with the big medical recruitment agencies and found their service lacking. All the agencies paid lip service to lifestyle, but none could actually deliver it to doctors. None of them had an objective way to match doctors to work that suited not only their careers, but also their lifestyles.

Sam saw the opportunity to help doctors achieve a lifestyle in medicine and an idea was born. But, for the idea to succeed, Sam had to approach it in a completely novel way compared to the established, traditional, agencies. To deliver what doctors really wanted Sam had to create a lifestyle-centric agency that had an objective way of matching doctors to jobs that matched their lives and careers.

Sam's idea was met with disapproval from the medical establishment who wanted junior doctors to continue to ask no questions and do as they were told. The biggest medical recruitment agency in New Zealand actually threatened Sam, warning him of the competitive environment he was getting into and making it clear they would do what they could to ensure he failed.

Despite this, Sam knew what doctors needed and weren't getting, and he wanted to deliver it to them. He also knew that innovative marketing was needed to get his message to doctors and he was determined to make it a success.


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