What's it like to be a General Practitioner?
A General Practitioner (Rata Hauora), or GP, is a medical professional who works with patients in clinics and private practices. They often build long-term relationships with patients and families who use them as a point of contact for all their health needs. General Practitioners must have a broad knowledge of all kinds of medical issues and know the correct tests and specialist referrals to make for their patient. When examining patients with life-threatening conditions, General Practitioners will typically refer them to a specialist or hospital.
Tasks and duties
- Consulting with patients about their medical needs.
- Administrating basic medical treatments, such as injections, immunisations, wound dressing, stitches and minor surgical procedures.
- Keeping detailed, up-to-date records of patient treatments and interactions.
- Researching trends in treatments and medications.
- Advising patients on diet, nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle habits that prevent illness.
- Arranging admission of patients to hospitals where necessary.
General Practice is a specific field of medicine and requires several years of education and training.
Complete a six-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB).
Work in a hospital for two years as a supervised junior doctor to gain a broad knowledge of the medical profession.
Complete three years of specialist training in General Practice.
Pass exams to become a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.
Register with the Medical Council of New Zealand. All doctors, including General Practitioners, must hold current registration in order to legally practice medicine in New Zealand.