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Medical students' fitness for registration

We have no jurisdiction over medical students however your conduct and health prior to graduation can affect your future eligibility for registration as a medical practitioner.

Here are some ways in which your eligibility for registration may be affected:

  1. Under Section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, (the Act) you must be fit to practise medicine. This refers to your conduct and health, your English language ability and your medical skills and knowledge.
  2. The medical school Dean is required to advise us of any doctors who may not be fit to practise due to physical or mental ill-health.
  3. When applying for registration, we ask you questions relating to your fitness for registration. We ask similar questions when you apply to renew your practising certificate. The Act allows for penalties (of up to $10,000) for false declarations or representations. Failure to give this information could jeopardise your right to registration.

We are particularly concerned about the health of young doctors, and that dealing with drugs can expose students and young doctors to the risk of abuse of substances or conviction or crime for drug usage or sale.  The Council's Health Committee takes a constructive approach to doctors who become addicted to drugs or alcohol and works with them through a monitoring programme to ensure early recovery.

We have a policy on transmissible major viral infections. Screening for HBV (hepatitis B virus) is strongly advised. If you believe you have been at risk of contracting HBV or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) you should be aware of your serological status. We encourage you to be vaccinated against HBV.

Transmissible major viral infections (December 2008, 38.1 KB)

If you are concerned about your future eligibility for registration and have something you may need to declare, speak with the Dean or contact the Registrar at our Wellington office (toll free ph 0800 286 801).

In the past ten years no one qualifying at a university medical school in New Zealand has been denied registration on the grounds of lack of fitness.

Some have declared convictions (eg, drink driving) or health conditions (eg, psychiatric or other illness) and we have obtained reports to ensure that the new doctor has appropriate support, and if necessary, therapy, and the public health and safety is not at risk.

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