What You Need to Know About the Medical Council of New Zealand Registration Exam (NZREX)

If you're an experienced doctor looking to practise in New Zealand, the NZREX Clinical is the registration examination you'll need to sit and pass.

Every doctor in New Zealand (including overseas doctors) must be registered to practice medicine, but what if you're not eligible for registration under any other pathway?

That's where the NZREX Clinical comes in. This is our registration examination that all doctors must sit and pass in order to practice medicine in New Zealand.

If you're an experienced overseas doctor looking to register with the Medical Council of New Zealand, here's what you need to know about the NZREX Clinical.

As an experienced doctor, you may be eligible to sit the NZREX Clinical if you:

- have completed your medical degree from a non-accredited medical school, or

- are not eligible for registration under any other pathway.

The NZREX Clinical is a two-part examination consisting of a written and clinical component.

To sit the examination, you must first submit an application to the Medical Council of New Zealand along with the required supporting documentation. Once your application has been approved, you will be able to register for the examination.

The written component of the examination is made up of four papers, each covering a different topic. The topics are:

You will have three hours to complete each paper. 

The clinical component of the examination is made up of two stations, each lasting 15 minutes.

At the first station, you will be asked to take a history from a simulated patient.

At the second station, you will be asked to examine a manikin.

You will be assessed on your ability to gather relevant information, make a diagnosis, and explain your findings to the patient.

The NZREX Clinical is a pass/fail examination. To pass, you must achieve a passing score in both the written and clinical components.

If you do not pass the examination, you may reapply to sit the examination after a minimum of three months.

Please note that even if you pass the examination, it is likely to be difficult for you to secure a postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) training role with an accredited training provider (District Health Board) in New Zealand. The number of PGY1 roles is limited and priority is given to graduates from New Zealand and Australian medical schools.

Securing a PGY1 role with a DHB is your only pathway to registration as a doctor in New Zealand. This is regardless of your previous experience. This means it might take you a long time to find a job after passing the NZREX Clinical.

If you have any questions about the NZREX Clinical or the registration process, please contact our visa experts at Provisas. Although we are immigration experts, still we can point you in the right direction.

In the end, as an overseas doctor looking for work here, you would need a work visa and valid licenses to come here. Book a consultation with us to know more. 

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