From sand dunes to beaches to rolling hills… and that’s just in an afternoon. English GP Dr Rebekah Doran now calls New Zealand home, and says when it comes to lifestyle, patient care, and opportunities, New Zealand is where she’ll stay. As PHCL medical director, Rebekah has experienced the lifestyle New Zealand offers GPs and their families. She says for those looking to progress their career in a healthcare system where innovative patient care is at the forefront of their workday, this is where you’ll find it.
Rebekah Doran had finished her GP training in England when she decided to go travelling. The newly qualified doctor and her husband found themselves in New Zealand. More than a decade on, three children later, and experience as a rural GP owner behind her, Rebekah is well and truly here to stay.
"We’d never go back,” she says. "As much as I am busy, the work life balance here in New Zealand is very different."
Rebekah is the medical director of all Primary Health Care Ltd (PHCL) clinics across the North Island, and it was her insight into the PHCL way of clinical operations which led her to reduce her GP hours and step into medical management.
"At PHCL, it’s all about the patient at the centre of the care, and that’s really important. The Health Care Home model enables GPs to be proactive in their patient care, and to deliver quality holistic care. It’s not just about the patient, it’s about the patient’s wider whānau (family), and their care is delivered by an extended team of doctors, nurses, medical centre assistants, clinical pharmacists and physicians."
The Health Care Home model also enables GPs to achieve a more sustainable work/life balance. “Here at PHCL, GPs have the ability to influence what their day looks like,” Rebekah says. “I can book in my own patients, which means no double or triple bookings; I can email my patients, conduct consultations via phone or video, triage patients when required… my day is really varied, but it’s manageable, and there is time to treat my patients as well as do the paperwork.”
As both a GP working within a PHCL practice, and as medical director of the network, Rebekah is excited about the innovative approach being taken to deliver quality health care. "PHCL is a very collaborative environment. Our teams across our clinics work together, we’re standardising systems between clinics, we’re actively involved in research and future development, we’re committed to being a network of forward-thinking practices," she says.
"But, we’re also supporting our staff to deliver the patient care each community needs, because they’re all very different. And, those communities are here in a beautiful country, where people are friendly and family oriented, where it’s easy to travel around, and where the work/life balance can be attained. Why wouldn’t you move here?"