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New Zealand Registration Exam [NZREX] for Overseas Doctors: Essential Details

Author: rxpg, Posted on Sunday, August 03 @ 14:35:47 IST by rxpg  

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Most of the overseas doctors need to pass the New Zealand Registration examination (NZREX) to obtain registration with the Medical council of NewZealand.

This examination essentially has three components.

English Requirement

A Pass within the last two years in one of the following:

  • TOEFL -
  • (OET)

Council may grant you exemption from this requirement if your first language/mother tongue is English and you have been educated and employed as a doctor in an English speaking environment.


Candidates should have passed the United States Medical Licensing Examination - USMLE Steps 1 & 2 or its equivalent, e.g. FMGEMS basic medical science and clinical science within the last five years before they can sit for the clinical component of NZREX.

Clinical Component

This test is known as NZREX.

Once all the three components are successfully completed , the candidate then can apply for jobs and obtain provisional registration.

Most of the overseas doctors need to pass NZREX and be eligible for registration before they can apply for Permanent Residence in New Zealand under points system.

Clinical component

This contains two sections


The examination is centered around a patient with a standard medical problem.


Assessment will consider the candidates history taking, methods and relevance of physical examination, accuracy of observations, ability to synthesise clinical information, appropriate use of investigations and attitude towards and communication with the patient.

Short cases

General Practice

Experienced actors simulate a patient with a problem commonly encountered in the general practice.

Assessment includes the ability to conduct the interview in a manner appropriate to the general practice setting, the correct use of investigations in the general practice setting and the acceptabilty of the candidates approach to and explanations to the patient including the involvement of the patient in reaching decisions about management.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The examination in Obstetrics is centered around a patient in the third trimester of a pregnancy which may be normal or abnormal.

The assessment includes the ability of the candidate to relate to and communicate appropriately with the patient.

The Gynaecological examination is in the form of Viva and occupies about 10 minutes of the total 30 minute examination period.

It does not include operative or surgical gynaecology.


This section is about 30 minutes revolving around a common paediatric patient and in most cases a parent/s will be present.

The assessment of the candidate includes communication with and attitude to the child and parent.

Surgery and Orthopaedics

This examination is in the form of VIVA entirely and lasts about 30 minutes. No patients are present.

Discussions are centered around common surgical and orthopaedic problems. Operative details are not required.


Experienced actors are used to simulate patients.

The candidate is given a brief indication of the general nature of the patients problems and the scene is set in a general practitioners consulting room.

Regulations for passing NZREX

NZREX clinical is a test of overall clinical competence.

Each discipline will be marked as an overall grade.

Each grade attracts set out marks.

Sample Cases

Clinical observer posts

The medical council permits the candidates eligible for the Clinical part of NZREX to under go observer posts (clinical attachments) prior to the clinical examinations to provide exposure to local practice.

The candidates should contact the individual hospitals to obtain attachment and seek permission from the medical council.

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  FAQ: Planning for NZREX
  FAQ: Are there jobs for foreign doctors after NZREX?
  FAQ: How does newzealand system work?
  FAQ: NZREX Aplication Processing Time
  Browse all FAQs

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Related Links
· New Zealand Immigration Site
· NewZealand Medical Association
· NZREX Forum
· NZREX Books on Amazon.com
· RxPG Book List for NZREX
· McLeod Clinical Examination
· New Zealand Jobs Online
· New Zealand Locums Online


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