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Should primary care doctors find locum tenens work in New Zealand?


Selected comments from a thread discussing whether or not primary care doctors should do locum tenens work in New Zealand. Comments are taken from the subreddit /r/medicine on reddit.


A conversation has just popped up on reddit discussing locum tenens work in New Zealand. moon_buggy posted a few questions regarding locum tenens:


"Does anyone have experience with this? My attending told me about locum tenens jobs in New Zealand, and it sounds almost too good to be true. What is the downside? And is there one staffing company that is more reliable? There are several online, and I can't tell how legit they are."


We noticed some great answers and decided to highlight a few of our favorites. Be sure to reply with your own comments and advice below or mention us on Twitter @MedEconomics.


"I spent Dec 2011-Mar 2012 working at a district health board clinic on the south island of NZ. I am BC family practice and I cannot recommend this experience enough to anyone and everyone. Their need is primarily for primary care docs and the the NZ dollar strengthening as it has over the past few years it ends up paying almost what you would make in the US at an hourly rate. Add to that free lodging and a car and it is a pretty decent deal. Commit to six months and you can even get your airfare covered.   Gotta jet but will be back later to post in more detail or PM me if you have questions. The locums agency I used was pretty good and entirely helpful. As long as you are BC the rest is just a formality in terms of credentialing." via BetelguesePDX


"I apologize that this doesn't speak directly to your ambitions but my Dad (psychiatrist) recently had experience pursuing a locum tenens position in another state (US). He had pretty specific requirements, and the locum tenens positions didn't fit that criteria. He also found the recruiters to be generally a bit flakey. Ultimately, however, he found a position that worked out pretty well. He works 10 days every two months, which is just about exactly what he wanted. His hourly rate is also far higher than what he made in his regular practice.   Best of luck to you - New Zealand does sound too good to be true, doesn't it?" via pdxiowa


"I am currently doing locum tenens work in surgery until fellowship begins. I am working mostly in Indian Health Care facilities, but have personally considered and have had a good friend apply to New Zealand for surgery. From what we both know, it is a more relaxed atmosphere. The hours are about 40 a week at most facilities. When I looked into it, I needed to give the company a 6 months heads up, as the entire credentialing process takes that long. Also you need to typically fly out there to do a face to face interview before you are hired. And contracts are typically at least a year. The pay is also lower. That said, it's New Zealand, and everyone that has done it (from what I've been told) has loved it.   I have worked with a few locums companies, they all have been pretty good to work with, although as someone else mentioned, some can be very flaky. You can find a nice list of reputable locums companies here at If you are seriously considering locums tenens, apply to several companies, as the wider net you cast, they more job variety you may get. Good luck, hope this was helpful." via melovedonuts


Read more comments on the original thread.


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