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College Of GPs Introduces New Options For Training More Rural Hospital Doctors

The Division of Rural Hospital Medicine, part of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, has introduced a new scheme that will help doctors train faster to become Rural Hospital Doctors if they’ve already specialised in emergency medicine, primary care, or internal medicine.

The ‘prior specialist pathway’ will offer an accelerated way to obtain Fellowship of the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine by recognising the experience and training these doctors have already completed.

Dr Samantha Murton, President of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners says, "New Zealand’s rural communities are facing a healthcare crisis with more than a quarter of all rural practices being short staffed and this is a practical way that the College can encourage more doctors to train to work rurally.

"Having recognition of prior specialities, where the experience is relevant to rural hospital medicine, will open options for more doctors to train as Rural Hospital Doctors and ideally boost numbers in this important field of community medicine," she says.

To be eligible to apply for the prior specialist pathway doctors will need:

1. General registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand

2. Fellowship in primary care, emergency medicine or internal medicine

3. A qualification from either New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, or the United States of America

4. To have held their qualification for at least two years.

Doctors can apply anytime but decisions about applications will be made twice a year. The next cut-out off date for applications to be reviewed is Tuesday, 9 February 2021. Applications can be made through the College’s website:


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