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Record Numbers To Start Specialist GP Training In 2024

In January 2024, 239 medical graduates will start their three-year training programme to become specialist general practitioners through The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

College President Dr Samantha Murton says, "This is the highest intake we’ve ever had. It is a testament to the joint efforts from the College, Te Whatu Ora and other organisations who have worked tirelessly to highlight the rewarding nature of our role and increase awareness about the essential mahi we do to improve health outcomes."

Past intake numbers to the General Practice Education Programme (GPEP) have sat at around 190 registrars. The 2024 intake is a welcomed 25 percent increase.

Andrew Slater, Chief People Officer at Te Whatu Ora says, "This is a fantastic step towards our target of 300 GPEP registrars by 2026. GPs are such an essential part of how we ensure exceptional primary care for our communities, so we are thrilled to see this level of interest in GP training.

"This is the largest intake in New Zealand’s history of GPEP registrars and is an illustration of the commitment and investment Te Whatu Ora has to the primary care workforce. Our focus will be on working collaboratively with the College and practices to support GPEP registrars as they go through the training."

Dr Murton says, "With 90 percent of medical conditions being treated in general practice, it is critical that we have enough specialist GPs right around the motu."

More GPs mean shorter wait times for appointments, less reliance on after hours and urgent care services, and eases the workload pressures so GPs can spend more time with those patients who need it.

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"The path to becoming a GP takes between 11-14 years so it is crucial we keep up the momentum so we can build a well-resourced workforce for the 4.9 million New Zealanders who are enrolled with a general practice.

"We look forward to welcoming our newest registrars in January and showing them why they made the best decision by choosing general practice," says Dr Murton.

The path to becoming a GP

  • Six years as a medical student
  • Two years (at least) postgraduate medical experience
  • Three-year general practice education programme run by The Royal New Zealand College of GPs
  • Fellowship assessment
  • Continued professional development and vocational training to annually renew a practicing certificate.


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