Testimonials | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau


Gary Payinda MD FACEM and Kristy Wolff MD PhD FACOG

"My wife and I came to Northland from California intending to stay just six months. We extended it to nine months because we enjoyed our work at Whangārei Hospital. When we went back to the States and told our friends about our very positive impressions of New Zealand, they asked why we would even consider returning to practice in the U.S. We thought about it carefully, then came back for another locum stint while we completed the process of immigration and Australasian specialty certification. In 2010, we moved over permanently, and since then we've been very happy with our decision.

The commonsense Kiwi approach to national healthcare, malpractice, and physician reimbursement just made a lot more sense to us and created a work environment in which patients came first rather than billing and malpractice issues. We felt that much more of our workday was spent actually helping people, and we were working within a system that tried to take care of its citizens. Our jobs were rewarding, and because of the large catchment area of Northland, we saw interesting and varied pathology. We also had teaching opportunities that kept us more engaged than private practice alone would have.

On top of that, our two kids were enrolled in an excellent primary school in Maunu. We walk them to school and can bicycle to work. We've achieved the work-life balance that we were looking for. "


Dr Randall Cork

"Dixie and I came to New Zealand from Alaska, where we still have a house on the side of a mountain south of Anchorage.  I'm a retired Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, where I worked for 12 years as head of a very busy academic department.  After spending a few years in Alaska, we decided to see a little more of the world, so we came to New Zealand.  Northland appealed to us because of the warmer weather and the cultural opportunities, as we wanted to learn more about the Māori.  Recruitment and relocation were nicely handled by Char and Wendy, and we spent two months in Whangārei, and then moved to Kaitaia, where I'm now very happy providing anesthesia services for the local population at Kaitaia Hospital.  We couldn't be happier.  We live on the beach at Shipwreck Bay, and the cases keep me active.  I figure I have 15 years of good practice ahead of me, and I can't think of a better place to do that than right here."


Dr Alyson Primrose

"I am originally a UK based anaesthetic trainee who was living and working in Glasgow before moving to Whangārei.

I had just completed my Core training and came to work in New Zealand for a year as an Anaesthetic registrar. New Zealand appealed to me because its healthcare is similar to the UK and the fantastic outdoor life and scenery make it a great place to explore at the weekends and on days off.

Whangārei Hospital is a busy district general covering a wide range of specialities. It is a great place for an anaesthetic trainee as there is a lot of scope for enhancing your logbook numbers and gaining experience in paediatrics, obstetrics, trauma and orthopaedics. I found the department to be extremely friendly, helpful and supportive. The consultants come from a variety of backgrounds meaning they have a wealth of experience and are happy to teach both formally and informally.

I found the recruitment process straightforward as the staff were organised, welcoming and informative. It made the transition from the UK to New Zealand trouble-free for both myself and my partner. I was given a welcome pack on arrival which was packed with information both about the hospital and the surrounding area. It also had information on local clubs and events and became our fall-to guide during the first couple of months.

Northland is beautiful with a sprawling coastline, fantastic weather and welcoming people. There are activities to suit everyone. I took up surfing and joined bootcamp whilst my partner became an active member of the local tennis club. Whangarei is only a couple of hours from Auckland making it easy to explore the rest of New Zealand.

I will be extremely sad to leave both Whangarei and New Zealand as a whole. I would highly recommend the Anaesthetic department, especially to trainees looking for a wide variety of cases, with opportunities to work autonomously but with support available when required. Don't be fooled by the fact it’s a district general as it came at times be extremely busy but when surrounded by stunning scenery it’s hard to feel stressed. Will I be back? You bet! I’m already strategically planning a fellowship in New Zealand!!"


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