General Practitioner Rata Hauora

General practitioners care for, diagnose and treat the health problems of individuals and families in the community. 

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.

Physical Requirements

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

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.

Personal Qualities

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.

Subject Recommendations

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

General Practitioners can earn around $80K-$130K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a General Practitioner are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

General practitioners may progress to teach students. They may also own their own practice, often in conjunction with other general practitioners.

General practitioners can further develop their skills in areas such as:

  • emergency medicine
  • sports medicine
  • obstetrics (childbirth)
  • geriatric medicine (working with the elderly)
  • paediatrics (working with children)
  • palliative care (lessening pain).
General Practitioner