General Practitioner
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
9d ago

Pay for general practitioners varies depending on experience, hours, location and the number of patients they see.

  • General practitioners under supervised training (house officers) usually earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.
  • Entry-level general practitioners (registrars) usually earn between $85,000 and $120,000.
  • Qualified general practitioners can earn between $95,000 and $180,000.
  • Senior general practitioners and those who own private practices can earn between $180,000 and $250,000.
  • Source : New Zealand Medical Association, 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    General practitioners may do some or all of the following :

  • consult with and examine patients, and diagnose their problems
  • treat individuals and families over extended periods
  • advise on health care and prevention of illness
  • perform minor surgery
  • prescribe and administer medicines
  • keep medical records
  • refer patients to other health services when necessary
  • liaise with ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) over accident and injury claims
  • train and supervise doctors working towards their general practitioner exams
  • screen at-risk groups for diseases such as cervical cancer and diabetes.
  • Skills and knowledge

    General practitioners need to have :

  • excellent communication and people skills
  • knowledge of anatomy and how the human body works
  • knowledge of different diseases, illnesses and injuries
  • knowledge of medicines and treatments, and the effect these have on patients
  • diagnostic skills
  • up-to-date knowledge of new research, treatments and practices
  • knowledge of medical ethics and law
  • cultural competency to work with people of different ethnicities.
  • General practitioners who run their own practice may also need to have small business knowledge and skills.

    General practitioners :

  • usually work regular business hours and may be on call for some patients
  • work in clinics and health centres
  • often come into contact with diseases and bodily fluids
  • may travel to other towns or countries for conferences. Rural general practitioners and those who make house calls travel locally.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a general practitioner you need to :

  • complete the Health Sciences First Year programme at Otago University, or the first year of either the Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Auckland University
  • complete a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Otago or Auckland
  • work for two years as a house officer (supervised junior doctor) in a hospital
  • complete another three years of specialist training and examinations to become a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.
  • You also need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

    The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

    Secondary education

    NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include maths, chemistry, physics, biology and English.

    Personal requirements

    General practitioners need to be :

  • patient and concerned for others
  • able to work well under pressure and remain calm in emergencies
  • able to make good decisions, and solve problems
  • good at time management
  • able to keep information confidential
  • able to show empathy and compassion, and relate to people from various cultures and backgrounds
  • understanding of other cultures' attitudes to medical treatment.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for general practitioners includes :

  • work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in a clinic
  • work in a pharmacy
  • work with community groups that involves a wide variety of people.
  • Physical requirements

    General practitioners need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and good hearing.


    General practitioners need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

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