What should I consider when I am choosing where to study and what are the advantages and disadvantages of studying at medical school in New Zealand?
I’m currently a 5th year medical student at The University of Auckland and have talked to many Australian and U.S. medical students about this.
Medicine as a career is held in very high regard in New Zealand when compared to other countries, for a combination of reasons.
Firstly, Medicine in New Zealand can be a 6 year undergraduate degree, as opposed to the 4 years undergraduate followed by 4 years postgraduate for a total of 8 years in the US and many other countries.
Rankings-wise, both The University of Auckland and The University of Otago medical schools rank highly amongst the global rankings, with Auckland ranked 70th in the World and Otago slightly behind in the 101-150th band.
Medicine in NZ has less of an emphasis on high work hours when comparing with the US, Australia and most of the world - while you still definitely work hard, there is more of a work-life balance as opposed to other countries.
Finally, medicine in NZ is a particularly secure career, with a current national doctor shortage and over 95% of domestic students getting a job in NZ right after graduation, with plenty of progression opportunities as a doctor.
I am off course slightly biased as a student at The University of Auckland, and the top U.S. Universities are great options if you have the ambition to attend some of the top medical schools in the world and the patience/finances to go through 8 years of study there.
NB. It is possible to transfer from NZ to the US and vice versa as a doctor, it does require extra exams and paper work which can be challenging - so make sure to think through your decision carefully and decide on where you would like to be practising Medicine.