Hi my name is Charlie (short for Charlotte) and I am a trainee registrar in Psychiatry.
I came to New Zealand in October 2017 from the Netherlands.
The easiest part of the process was finding the job! Which is surprising I know. The whole process took about 8 months and the most challenging part was getting the Visa in time.
My first impressions of NZ were the lovely weather and beautiful natural surroundings.
One of the things I love is that everyone says “no worries” when you ask them to do something or apologize for something and they actually mean it!
Something I do miss is being able to cycle everywhere.
My advice is if you are planning to come to NZ is to figure out how your medical degree translates to NZ and to make sure you have a recruiter that can politely hound people on your behalf.
Overall the difference to me work wise isn’t huge, Registrars still work hard and long hours, the difference is that my partner and children are much happier here which means that coming home is much nicer J I find there is a lack of bureaucracy compared to the over complicated Dutch system, but I have noticed there is also less funding.
From a psychiatric standpoint NZ is far less psycho-dynamically orientated and it can be quite difficult to find psychotherapy for patients. On the other hand there is a much greater feeling of social responsibility for patients and families are more engaged with patients which makes a large positive difference.
Are there any similarities that have helped you orientate/transition easily?
The lack of hierarchy and informal way of dealing with things is quite similar to the Dutch situation.
People are very forthright and tend to tell you what you are doing wrong to your face making office politics much easier to navigate.
Is there anything specifically done differently in NZ that has interested you and the way you practice your profession?
Family or Whanau is involved in many aspects of patients care and individualisation is less sought after and prized here. This leads to a more paternalistic attitude that offers many more options for mentally ill patients without insight.