Retention measures how long doctors remain practising in New Zealand after they are initially registered. We calculate retention rates for doctors by looking at new registrations each year and then checking whether those doctors still held a practising certificate at yearly intervals (based on the date they registered).
Explanation of terms used in this dashboard
We calculate the retention rates for doctors by looking at new registrations each year and then checking whether those doctors still held a practising certificate at yearly intervals (based on the date they registered).
We express the retention rate as a percentage. If 100 doctors are in the initial cohort and 90 doctors hold a practising certificate in the following year, the retention rate is 90 percent
The entry pathway is the pathway by which a doctor first qualified for registration in New Zealand. Council has three main types of registration (what we call scopes) - vocational, general, and special purpose. Within each scope there are multiple application pathways. Each pathway has specific requirements that doctors need to meet in order to be registered.
Please see the following section of our website for more information on our scopes and pathways:
We collect ethicity data from doctors as part of the workforce survey, completed by doctors at the time of renewing their annual practising certificate. Doctors can choose not to report their ethnicity. Ethnicity data has been linked with registration data to enable reporting on the demographic breakdown of registered medical doctors.
Doctors can report up to three ethnicities. However, when we report data, we assign each doctor a single ethnicity using a simplified version of Statistics New Zealand’s prioritisation standard. The ethnicity we use in analysis is the one reported by the doctor with the highest priority.
The priority order is:
- Pasifika (Pacific Island or Pacific Peoples)
- Other non-European
- Other European
- New Zealand European/Pākehā.
The Council supports the right of people to identify with non-binary genders and have this reflected in their official record. Doctors can update their recorded gender identity at any time through the myMCNZ portal.
There are a small number of doctors on the register with a current practising certificate who identify as gender diverse - four as of 30 June 2023. We have not presented these doctors as a separate group when data has been broken down by gender because of the small size of the group, and the need to preserve privacy.
Gender is a complex area. Not all doctors who identify as a different gender from what they were assigned at birth will have chosen to identify as Gender Diverse. Some will have chosen to record the gender with which they do identify (eg Male or Female).
Representativeness of survey data
Our workforce survey has a very high response rate - 98.1 percent in 2022. We believe the response is representative and that valid conclusions can be drawn from the data. We make this assertion based on the population size and demographic comparison of the survey data with register data.
The size of the population for our survey is the number of doctors with a current practising certificate - 18,963 as of 31 March 2023. For a population of this size a response rate of 98.1 percent should provide 99 percent certainty. Demographic comparison of the survey data to medical register data shows only very small differences.
See our workforce survey reports for more detail: