Can I work as a Physician in New Zealand if I have completed my Physician training overseas?
If you have completed a primary medical degree and specialist training to become a Physician overseas, you may be eligible to practise in New Zealand. To practise in New Zealand an overseas trained physician (OTP) must be assessed by the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).
How do I apply?
To practise as a Physician in New Zealand you must first apply to the MCNZ to be assessed for vocational (specialist) registration. The MCNZ may refer your application to the RACP to assess whether your training, qualifications and experience are equivalent to those of a New Zealand trained Physician. The RACP acts as a Vocational Educational Advisory Body (VEAB) for the MCNZ.
Please refer to the MCNZ website for fees for registration to practise in New Zealand.
What is the process for assessment to practise as a specialist in New Zealand?
To practice as a Physician in New Zealand, you must:
Apply to the MCNZ to be assessed for vocational (specialist) registration
Before submitting an application for vocational (specialist) registration, read the MCNZ registration in New Zealand policy.
The MCNZ will assess and determine the outcome of your application. You cannot apply directly to the RACP.
After you apply, the MCNZ may refer your application to the RACP to conduct a paper-based review of your application and provide preliminary advice about whether your training, qualifications and experience are equivalent to those of a New Zealand trained Physician.
2. Attend an interview with RACP
The RACP interviews all overseas-trained specialists who apply for vocational (specialist) registration when they arrive in New Zealand. The MCNZ will ask the RACP to contact you to arrange your interview.
The interview explores your previous training and experience. The interview panel will explain the assessment process and the Australasian training system, and answer any questions you have.
After your interview, your interviewers will complete an interview report and send it to the New Zealand OTP Unit for consideration by the New Zealand OTP Assessment Committee.
3. The RACP New Zealand OTP Assessment committee will review your application
The RACP New Zealand OTP Assessment Committee will review your documentation (including your application, interview report and referees' reports
The New Zealand OTP Assessment Committee will then send final advice to the MCNZ about your application.
4. Be advised by the MCNZ on the outcome of your application
The MCNZ will decide the outcome of your application. The decision made by the MCNZ about your application for vocational (specialist) registration will be one of the following three options:
- Option A (Supervision Pathway)
- Option B (Assessment Pathway)
- Option C (Not equivalent to a New Zealand trained Physician
Find out more about what each option means in the assessment of overseas trained physicians/paediatricians (OTPs) in New Zealand information sheet
5. Complete assessment/supervision (6-18 months)
Option A (Supervision Pathway) - complete satisfactory supervised practice (6-12 months)
Option B - complete satisfactory supervised practice (12-18 months), and assessment, (normally a Vocational Practice Assessment)
Option C - if you are determined not equivalent to a New Zealand trained Physician, the MCNZ will advise you about your registration options
6. Gain vocational registration
Gain your vocational (specialist) registration (after you complete all the requirements of the MCNZ). The MCNZ will contact you when you have completed all requirements.
How do I become a Fellow at the RACP?
Physicians who gain a full vocational scope of practice through the Medical Council of New Zealand may be eligible to apply for Fellowship of the RACP.
For more information about this process and Fellowship requirements, please contact the OTP Unit in New Zealand on:
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about your assessment process.