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Overseas doctors outnumber Kiwis

Overseas doctors outnumber Kiwis

Overseas-trained doctors were 62 percent of those who sat the Primex for general practice in 2002, slightly up on the previous year.

The Primary Examination for membership of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is held annually in November, with both written and clinical examination of the skills needed for general practice.

In a reversal of the previous year, 52 percent of the total 143 candidates were men. Seventy percent of the 143 who sat Primex passed in 2002, up from 67 percent the previous year. Just five failed both sections of the exacting examination.

College director of professional development Peter Morrow was pleased at the numbers of second-time candidates who succeeded.

“Standards for Primex are very high,” he said, “yet candidates had obviously prepared well.”

Nearly 88 percent of candidates passed the written section, 78 percent passing the clinical section. The clinical result was up from 72.6 percent the previous year. In the clinical section actors assist in simulating consultations, presenting with various symptoms.

Most candidates prepare for Primex by either studying through the College’s fulltime programme for registrars, or through the seminar programme where much of the training is working alongside mentors in general practice.

Having passed Primex and become Members of the College, GPs can then enter the two-stage Advanced Vocational Education programme, seeking Fellowship of the College. With that granted – seldom under 12 years from the beginning of study – Fellows may apply to the Medical Council of New Zealand for vocational registration, which entitles them to practise independently as a GP.

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