A Tokoroa doctor is struggling to fill a job that offers a young GP the potential to earn an $400,000-plus a year.

A survey by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in 2015 found 37 per cent of rural practices had a vacancy in 2014 compared with 42 per cent of urban practices, but that vacancies in rural practices took longer to fill.

Chief executive Helen Morgan-Banda argued that it was only slightly more difficult to attract GPs to rural areas. However, they were more likely to be male, older, working longer hours and trained in South Africa or Britain.

"The feedback that we get from registrars and other young doctors who have worked in rural practice is that most of them have enjoyed the diversity of the practice and being part of the community, and would consider it a career option."

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