Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMG's)

The following is a general outline of the regulations applying to medical professionals who wish to work in New Zealand. All medical practitioners intending to work as such are required to be registered by the Medical Council of New Zealand.

Who Needs to Be Registered?
  • Service providers - including general practitioners and specialists
  • Trainees in an approved training programme
  • Sponsored trainees
  • Visiting researchers
  • Visiting teachers
  • Emergency workers
Types of Registration
The following are the classes of registration that may be approved. There may be restrictions on the extent of practice allowed under the different classes of registration. These will be authorised by the Medical Council.
  • Interim
  • Temporary
  • Probationary
  • General
  • Vocational
  • Registration of Overseas Trained Doctors
Before applying for registration:
The following requirements for general registration are established under Sections 13 and 33 of the Medical Practitioners Act 1995. The standard is that of a New Zealand or Australian trained doctor.
  • You are a NZ resident or intend to immigrate to New Zealand
  • You have a medical degree from a university listed in the WHO World Directory of Medical Schools
  • You are registered, or entitled to be registered, in your own country
  • You have completed a 12 month rotating internship year in your own or another country following graduation
  • You do not have specialist training, qualifications or experience that would be recognised for vocational registration
  • You have passed the New Zealand Medical Registration Examination, NZREX Clinical, within the last three years.
  • You are fit to practise medicine under the Medical Practitioners Act 1995
  • You must satisfy all the above requirements to become registered.
Entry Criteria for Vocational Registration
  • All applicants must have passed or been given exemption for an approved English test
  • Have a post graduate ‘speciality’ certificate
  • Have practiced as specialist
  • Can show evidence of having undertaken ongoing continuing medical education
Vocational Registration Process for Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Apply to Medical Council of New Zealand
  • The application is usually referred to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Interview with RACS likely
  • RACS reports to the Medical Council
  • Medical Council makes final decision
Possible Outcomes
Given vocational registration after 12 months probationary registration
24 months probationary registration plus exit examination
Training not equivalent - the applicant is referred for general registration
General registration
Medical degree from Australia, UK or Ireland is generally approved
Those with a non approved degree may be required to sit usmle 1 and 2 then the NZREX examination
Note: The above is a very general outline only and the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association takes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Any qualified medical practitioner from overseas wanting to work in New Zealand is strongly advised to visit the Medical Council of New Zealand website www.mcnz.org.nz or contact the Medical Council to obtain full details of the requirements and the procedures that are required to be followed. It also contains detailed information on how overseas graduates can get registration to work in New Zealand.