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.

Vocational training in New Zealand

Vocational training in emergency medicine is undertaken through the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM). Once ACEM training is completed, the doctor is awarded the Fellowship of the ACEM (FACEM).

Am I able to apply to work as a recognised specialist in New Zealand?

To apply for vocational registration in emergency medicine, you need either:

  • the FACEM qualification; or
  • an international postgraduate medical qualification in emergency medicine, where your combination of qualifications, training and experience is assessed against the standard of the FACEM.

What standard will my training, qualifications and experience be compared against?

Specialists in New Zealand must complete 7 years of training and satisfy the requirements below:

  • 2 years of general medical experience
  • 1 year of provisional training in emergency medicine
  • 4 years of advanced training, during which the trainee must:
    • spend 30 months in an emergency department, including 6 months non-tertiary
    • (the trainee may spend up to 12 months at an emergency department overseas, most likely in the United Kingdom, subject to the approval of the ACEM)
    • spend 18 months in a non-emergency department, including 6 months of accredited anaesthesia or intensive care
    • gain experience in paediatrics, neonatal intensive care, medicine, surgery, rural medicine, retrieval medicine, hyperbaric medicine, education, toxicology and administration
    • complete a research project
  • submit logbooks to the ACEM
  • pass the FACEM primary examination before starting advanced emergency medical training
  • pass the FACEM final examination in the fourth year of advanced training
  • participate in the ACEM maintenance of professional standards programme.

Once a trainee has successfully completed all the examination and training requirements they will be awarded the FACEM.

I want to make a vocational registration application

To make a vocational registration application, please refer to the Vocational Registration Homepage and select the option appropriate for you.

Am I able to apply for other types of registration?

You may be able to apply for more than one type of registration. To find out which is the best fit for you, please use our self assessment tool.