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New Zealand

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) wishing to be assessed for eligibility for Vocational Registration (specialist registration) in order to practice as ophthalmologists in New Zealand must apply to the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). For details of the application and assessment processes please see their website.

RANZCO’s Role in MCNZ’s Assessment Process

As part of MCNZ’s assessment process, RANZCO is directed to provide either;

‘Preliminary Advice’ – based on review of the IMG’s application documents, or

‘Interview Advice’ – based on review of the IMG’s application documents and a face-to-face interview.

In both, RANZCO’s IMG Committee assesses the training, qualifications and experience of IMGs for ‘equivalence’ with the training and qualifications of New Zealand-trained ophthalmologists. Therefore, there is some scope for deficiencies in training to be offset by subsequent qualifications and experience. New Zealand trainees graduate as specialists equipped to undertake safe, unsupervised, comprehensive, general ophthalmology practice with experience in each of the 12 clinical areas of ophthalmology. It is recommended that IMGs familiarise themselves with the RANZCO Vocational Training Program and its Curriculum Standards in order to make an informed decision prior to application.

Upon completion of an assessment, RANZCO will provide advice to MCNZ, making recommendations as to whether additional assessment tasks should be undertaken in order to further determine ‘equivalence’, and whether or not an IMG applicant should be granted Vocational Registration.

Although RANZCO’s advice is taken into consideration, it is only a part of MCNZ’s process. The final decision on assessment task requirements and the granting of Vocational Registration is made by MCNZ.

Process Flowchart – Vocational registration for IMGs

Pathway to registration within a vocational scope for IMGs

RANZCO Fellowship Eligibility: Ophthalmologists Assessed by the Medical Council of New Zealand

Vocational Registration does not automatically lead to RANZCO Fellowship.

IMGs who have been granted Vocational Registration within the scope of Ophthalmology by the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) may apply for FRANZCO. Applicants are assessed by RANZCO under the same process as Specialist Recognition applicants. For further information see:

Please contact the Medical Council of New Zealand if you have further questions.

Last updated: November 29, 2022

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