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Career Focus

I am 40 years old, have passed the MRCOG exam part 1, and scored 7.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. What are the career opportunities for me in Australia and New Zealand?

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 12 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:s232
  1. Miriam Martin
  1. Kiwis STAT! medical recruitment Christchurch, New Zealand


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New Zealand

It all depends on where you obtained your primary degree. If it is one of six countries—the United Kingdom, Ireland, Eire, Canada, the United States, or Australia (but that really counts as a New Zealand qualification)—then you are eligible for work in New Zealand as a senior house officer or registrar. All you need to do is find a job and then you will be able to get a visa. If you are from any country other from the above you will need to find a job first and then come in under “exemption to policy.” I suggest you go to the New Zealand Medical Council website ( and go through the flow chart to find out if your degree allows you in under “exemption to policy.” Normally, hospitals like doctors to have about two years' experience in an English speaking country and a postgraduate medical qualification from one of the listed countries before they will offer a position.


You will have difficulty getting a position in some states if your primary degree is not from an English speaking country. However, states such as Queensland are a bit more flexible. Your part one membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG) is definitely in your favour, but you should have worked for at least one to two years in an English speaking country for most places to be interested in you.

Training scheme

The Australasian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will probably not recognise your MRCOG part one, and if you intend to remain in Australasia you will have to join the training programme there. The English programme will probably recognise time spent in New Zealand and Australia in accredited positions. You should contact the appropriate colleges for up to date information; my information on this issue relates only to anecdotal experiences that some friends have had when they came back from the United Kingdom. If you are close to finishing your training in the United Kingdom, I suggest that you finish it and then move to New Zealand or Australia once you are a consultant.

New Zealand and Australia offer some great opportunities. Don't forget, Australia has some fantastic places outside the main centres of Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane.

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