My name is Richard Burgoyne and I’m a GP. I came to NZ in November of 2020.
Prudence found me a great job in the area I wanted to work. She was attentive to my needs, my strengths and I feel that she was insightful and a strong advocate for me. I’m very happy with my new job, and feel that I am being paid reasonably for my labors. Thank you Prudence!
What I love about NZ is the incredible landscape and very easy going people.
My patients are very appreciative of my time and expertise, curious about my personal history and respectful of my time.
The best part of NZ is their interest in culture and world events, even folks you might not expect this in -- farmers and contractors.
I miss my immediate family and very close friends in the US.
My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is:
1. Come with an open mind.
2. Be prepared to really practice medicine -- physical diagnosis and thoughtful history taking are very important. You will not be just doing referrals here -- you will be the cardiologist, urologist, rheumatologist. There is back-up by specialists, but there may be quite a delay before your patients are seen. I personally love this.
3. Don't even think about saving money -- just come for the experience and spend what you earn.
4. Make sure your employment contract includes plenty of vacation time so you can explore.
5. Do NOT accept Monday as your day off -- there are about 10 bank holidays on Mondays and you will miss out on a lot of free vacation time.
New Zealand has a very heterogenous society, but at the same time everyone looks out for each other and are (for the most part) respectful to others. There are so many political parties that society is not divided into two or three artificially distinct groups as we are in the US.
The major differences between your current role in NZ and your previous role in the US is I do a lot more procedures here. I prescribe WAY WAY fewer narcotics here. Patients are less neurotic about health maintenance. As a GP I cannot order MRIs or most CT scans which was frustrating at first but now I like as it pushes me to be more thoughtful regarding my history taking and physical exam. I don't think my patients have suffered. There is no malpractice industry here. If you make a medical error it will be investigated by the Medical Council but you will not be hounded by lawyers. Pathology is pathology, and most of the meds are the same.
Practicing medicine in New Zealand is more fun than in the US. I love being a doctor and learning new things every day -- even after 30 years. Many of the frustrations of practicing medicine in the US (liability anxiety, insurance company hoops to jump through, chronic "pain" patients) are not present in NZ. There are other frustrations, but in balance NZ wins. Come on over!