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Types of vocational scope


Anaesthesia is the provision of anaesthetics, peri-operative care, intensive care and pain management to patients and can include the provision of resuscitation, retrieval/transportation (inter and intra hospital) and hyperbaric medicine to patients. Encompassed in this is the advancement of professional standards, patient safety, education and the advancement of the science and practice of anaesthesia, perioperative medicine, intensive care and pain medicine. Read more about Anaesthesia

Cardiothoracic surgery

Cardiothoracic surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients with disorders of structures within the chest including: the heart and vascular system, the lungs and trachea, the oesophagus, the diaphragm and chest wall. It includes the management of trauma and congenital and acquired disorders of these structures. Read more about Cardiothoracic surgery

Clinical genetics

Clinical genetics is the investigation, diagnosis of and provision of medical advice, assessment and management of patients in relation to inherited genetic and chromosomal disorders and predispositions. Read more about Clinical genetics


Dermatology is the study, research and diagnosis of disorders, diseases, cancers, cosmetic, ageing and physiological conditions of the skin, fat, hair, nails and oral and genital membranes. It includes the management of these by different investigations and therapies, including but not limited to dermatohistopathology, topical and systemic medications, dermatologic surgery, phototherapy, laser therapy, superficial radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy and other therapies that may become available. Read more about Dermatology

Diagnostic & interventional radiology

Diagnostic and interventional radiology is the diagnosis and treatment of patients utilising imaging modalities, including general radiography, angiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine and bone densitometry. Read more about Diagnostic & interventional radiology

Emergency medicine

Emergency Medicine is a field of practice based on knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting patients of all age groups with a full spectrum of undifferentiated physical and behavioural disorders. It further encompasses an understanding of the development of pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency medical systems, and the skills necessary for this development. Read more about Emergency medicine

Family planning & reproductive health

Family planning and reproductive health is the treatment of and provision of health services for patients in relation to contraception, reproductive health and associated primary sexual health issues. Read more about Family planning & reproductive health

General practice

General practice is an academic and scientific discipline with its own educational content, research, evidence base and clinical activity, and a clinical speciality orientated to primary care. It is personal, family, and community-orientated comprehensive primary care that includes diagnosis, continues over time and is anticipatory as well as responsive. Read more about General practice

General surgery

General surgery is a broad based specialty which includes the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients with disorders of the colon and rectum, upper gastro-intestinal organs, breasts, endocrine organs, skin and subcutaneous structures, blood vessels (including varicose veins) and the head and neck region. It also includes the early and ongoing management of trauma. Read more about General surgery

Intensive care medicine

Intensive care medicine involves the diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute, severe and life-threatening disorders of vital systems that are medical, surgical or obstetric in origin, and whether adult or paediatric. Read more about Intensive care medicine

Internal medicine

Internal medicine involves the diagnosis and management of patients with complex medical problems which may include internal medicine, cardiology, clinical immunology, clinical pharmacology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatric medicine, haematology, infectious diseases, medical oncology, nephrology, neurology, nuclear medicine, palliative medicine, respiratory medicine and rheumatology. Read more about Internal medicine

Medical administration

Medical administration is administration or management utilising the medical and clinical knowledge, skill and judgement of a registered medical practitioner, and capable of affecting the health and safety of the public or any person. This may include administering or managing a hospital or other health service, developing health operational policy, or planning or purchasing health services. Medical administration does not involve diagnosing or treating patients. Read more about Medical administration

Musculoskeletal medicine

Musculoskeletal medicine involves the diagnosis and treatment (or referral) of patients with neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction, disorders and diseases, most of whom present with acute or chronic pain problems. Read more about Musculoskeletal medicine


Neurosurgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients with disorders of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system including their supportive structures and blood supply. This includes the skull, brain, meninges, spinal cord, spine and pituitary gland. It also includes the management of traumatic, neoplastic, infective, congenital and degenerative conditions of these structures and surgical pain management. Read more about Neurosurgery

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Obstetrics and gynaecology involves the diagnosis and management of patients in the area of reproductive health and diseases, including but not limited to women’s health issues, maternal foetal medicine, gynaecological oncology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and urogynaecology, male sexual disorders, post and perinatal issues. It is also involved with treatment and health provision to patients in relation to contraception, reproductive health and associated primary sexual health issues, as well as primary and secondary pathology and physiology of the reproductive system and genital tract area. Read more about Obstetrics & gynaecology

Occupational medicine

Occupational medicine involves the study and practice of medicine related to the effects of work on health and health on work. It has clinical, preventive and population based aspects. Occupational physicians practise to ensure effective prevention and appropriate management of people with illness and injury due to work and industry; and the appropriate rehabilitation of people to facilitate their return to work.
Read more about Occupational medicine


Ophthalmology involves the diagnosis and management of patients with abnormal conditions affecting the eye and its appendages, including prevention of blindness, promotion of eye health and rehabilitation of patients with visual disability. Read more about Ophthalmology

Oral & maxillofacial surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgery involves the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non-operative) of patients with diseases, injuries and defects of the mouth, jaws and associated structures. This includes oral and maxillofacial pathology, trauma, dentoalveolar surgery, orthognathic and relevant reconstructive surgery, and facial pain. Read more about Oral & maxillofacial surgery

Orthopaedic surgery

Orthopaedic surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, ligaments, tendon and peripheral nerves). It includes the management of trauma to the musculoskeletal system and the management of congenital and acquired disorders. Read more about Orthopaedic surgery


Otolaryngology, head and neck surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients with disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. This includes cancer of the head and neck (excluding the eye and the brain), disorders of the salivary glands and thyroid gland, disorders of hearing, balance, swallowing, speech, snoring/sleep apnoea and aspects of facial plastic surgery. Read more about Otolaryngology

Paediatric surgery

Paediatric surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of children (usually up to 15 years of age) who may require surgery. It includes non-cardiac thoracic surgery, general paediatric surgery, oncological surgery, urology in children and the management of congenital abnormalities both ante-natally and in the neonatal period. Also included is the management of major trauma in children. Read more about Paediatric surgery


Paediatrics involves the assessment, diagnosis and management of infants, children and young people with disturbances of health, growth, behaviour and/or development. It also addresses the health status of this group through population assessments, intervention, education and research. Read more about Paediatrics

Pain medicine

Pain medicine is the biopsychosocial assessment and management of persons with complex pain, especially when an underlying condition is not directly treatable. Read more about Pain medicine

Palliative medicine

Palliative medicine is the medical care that improves the quality of life of patients and their families and whanau facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness. The focus of palliative medicine is the anticipation and relief of suffering of patients by means of early identification, assessment and management of their pain and other physical, psychosocial and spiritual concerns. In particular, it affirms life, regards dying as a normal process and intends to neither hasten nor postpone death. Read more about Palliative medicine


Pathology involves the assessment and diagnosis of patients with diseases. Includes anatomical pathology (including histopathology), chemical pathology, general pathology (a mix of anatomical and clinical pathology), genetics, haematology, immunology, and microbiology (including virology). Read more about Pathology

Plastic and reconstructive surgery

Plastic and reconstructive surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients requiring the restoration, correction or improvement in the shape and appearance of the body structures that are defective or damaged at birth or by injury, disease, growth or development. It includes all aspects of cosmetic surgery. Read more about Plastic and reconstructive surgery


Psychiatry involves the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients with psychological, emotional, or cognitive problems resulting from psychiatric disorders, physical disorders or any other cause. Treatment interventions provided by psychiatrists will include biological, psychological and existential modalities. Psychiatrists also undertake supervision and consultation with other health professionals, working with a broad range of issues. Read more about Psychiatry

Public health medicine

Public health medicine is the epidemiological analysis of medicine concerned with the health and care of populations and population groups. It involves the assessment of health and health care needs, the development of policy and strategy, the promotion of health, the control and prevention of disease, and the organisation of services. Read more about Public health medicine

Radiation oncology

Radiation oncology is the medical care and management of patients with cancer and other medical conditions through the conduct and supervision of radiation treatment, advice and provision of palliative and other supportive care, and advice and provision of other non-surgical cancer; advice and provision of other non-surgical cancer treatment including cytotoxic, hormonal and other drug therapies; participation in clinical trials and research related to cancer management. Read more about Radiation oncology

Rehabilitation medicine

Rehabilitation medicine is the medical care of patients in relation to the prevention and reduction of disability and handicap arising from impairments, and the management of patients with disabilities from a physical, psychosocial and vocational viewpoint. Read more about Rehabilitation medicine

Rural hospital medicine

Rural hospital medicine is determined by its social context, the rural environment, the demands of which include professional and geographic isolation, limited resources and special cultural and sociological factors. It is invariable practised at a distance from comprehensive specialist medical and surgical services and investigations. A broad generalist set of skills, knowledge and attitudes are needed to deliver optimum patient outcomes in rural hospitals. Unlike rural general practice, rural hospital medicine is orientated to secondary care and is responsive rather than anticipatory and does not continue over time. Read more about Rural hospital medicine

Sexual health medicine

Sexual health medicine is concerned with sexual relations, including freedom from sexually transmissible infections (STIs), unplanned pregnancy, coercion and physical and psychological sexual discomfort. Its practice encompasses a wide range of factors that contribute to STIs, sexual assault, sexual dysfunction and fertility. It also promotes sexual health of the community through education, advocacy, screening and diagnostic testing. It has a clinical perspective and a public health approach. It includes the treatment of individuals and the contact tracing and treatment of their sexual partners. Read more about Sexual health medicine

Sport and Exercise Medicine

Sport and exercise medicine is the medical care of the exercising individual, including the assessment and management of patients with musculoskeletal injuries and medical problems arising from sporting activity. Sport and exercise physicians possess expertise in general medicine, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, plus allied sport sciences including nutrition, biomechanics, exercise physiology and sports psychology. Read more about Sport and Exercise Medicine

Urgent care

Urgent care medicine (formerly known as Accident & Medical Practice) is the primary care of patients on an after-hours or non-appointment basis, where continuing medical care is not provided. Read more about Urgent care


Urology is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative) of patients with disorders of the urinary tracts in males and females, and male genital organs. It also includes the management of trauma to these organs and the management of mail sterilisation, infertility and sexual dysfunction. Read more about Urology

Vascular surgery

Vascular surgery is the diagnosis and treatment (operative and non operative, including endoluminal techniques and interventional procedures) of patients with disorder of the blood vessels (arteries and veins outside the heart and brain) and the lymphatic system. It also includes the management of trauma and surgical access to the vascular system. Read more about Vascular surgery

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