Frequently Asked Questions


Can training be flexible or part time?

Yes, the NZOA supports trainees who wish to train part time. Each request for part-time training is considered on a case-by-case basis by the Education Committee considering the reason for the request and the part-time load that you wish to work.

What if I need to take a break during my training?

Trainees can request an interruption to training for family, research, illness, and other reasons.  Interruptions can be taken for six months and all requests are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Education Committee.

Is there support for me as a Māori trainee?

Ngā Rata Kōiwi is the organisation formed of Māori Orthopaedic surgeons who are active within the NZOA and in the Māori community to encourage and support students and young doctors into a career in Orthopaedics. They also support the trainees coming through to make Orthopaedics a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place for Māori to be.

Where will I be placed during my training?

When you apply to the program, you will be asked to nominate your preference for the first year of your training.  You may be offered a training post in one of these preferences. During your training, you will rotate between hospitals in New Zealand. 

How competitive is orthopaedic surgery training?

Orthopaedic surgery is one of the more competitive surgical specialties.

How many attempts can I make at selection into orthopaedic training?

From 2022 applicants are permitted a total of three attempts at selection into the NZOA Training Programme.  As attempt is deemed to be an application through to the interview stage but was unsuccessful.  After a third unsuccessful attempt, applicants will no longer be eligible to apply for selection into orthopaedic training in New Zealand.  Previous attempts prior to the 2022 application year are not part of the 3 attempts i.e. 2022 is considered the first attempt.

What are the selection requirements for orthopaedic training?

For the current Selection Regulations and more information about the selection process for the orthopaedic surgery training program visit the Apply to the NZOA Training Programme section of this website.

Is orthopaedic surgery an appropriate career choice for women?

Read about four of our female orthopaedic surgeons and trainees in this blog written by Joyce Guo.  Share the experiences of Dr Karen Smith, Dr Margy Pohl, Dr Nikki Hooper & Dr Jessica Mowbray.

Do I need to have passed the Clinical Exam to apply?

Candidates applying in 2023 for the 2024 training year will need to have successfully completed the Clinical Exam (CE) at the time of application.

What events do I attend as a trainee?

Among other events offered, all trainees attend compulsory training weekends that are held in different hospitals during the 5 years training, including a SET 0/1 (OHE course) held at the end of each year, SET 1 specific Training Weekend held at the beginning of the year and two SET 2-5 training weekends per year, one beginning and one end of year.