A third medical school?

Do we need another medical school? The University of Waikato thinks so and they have approached the government for funding.

The main reason we need another medical school is because we do not have enough GPs. A GP is a General Practitioner, also called a family doctor in some countries. This is the doctor you go to see for all your medical problems except for emergencies. Not only are there fewer GPs but also they are getting older. The average age for male GPs is 53 and for female is 47.

In the 1990s, about half of the medical school graduates became GPs. These days it is only about 15%. GPs run their own business and many doctors feel it is easier to work in a hospital where somebody else runs the business. New graduates who have a large student debt do not have the money to buy a medical practice.

There is also a big problem in small towns and rural areas. The University of Waikato wants to train new doctors in the communities where they already live. They would use 15 local clinics in the North Island to give these medical students experience in local communities.

At the moment, we bring in about 1,000 doctors from overseas each year. Most of them want to work in hospitals and most of them are here for a few years only to gain experience.

Note: there are currently 2 medical schools, one at the University of Auckland and the other at the University of Otago.


• approach (v, n) – to come close but here it means to make contact, meet
• student debt – from a student loan; medical students quite often have a very large debt because of the length of time it takes to train to be a doctor
• medical practice – a business where a doctor has rooms, a receptionist and sometimes a nurse; often several GPs work together
• local clinics – not clear what these are but maybe they are groups of GPs in a medical practice


Do you have your own GP in your country or do you go directly to a hospital?
How can medical graduates be encouraged to work in rural communities?

One Comments

  1. We usually go directly to a hospital in our country because we have our own family doctors.

    Medical graduates could find some local clinics, which they could not afford in rural communities

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