Whakatāne and Rotorua hospitals have landed the top two spots in a list of the preferred places to work by graduating doctors.

Tauranga Hospital also made the top 10, coming in at number nine in a list of 20 national hospitals.

Each year the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association asks final year students at New Zealand Medical Schools to rank their preferences for which hospital they wish to start work in as a qualified doctor.

Whakatāne Hospital came out on top of the list as the preferred employer with twice as many applicants as positions.


Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) medical director Hugh Lees said junior doctors were highly valued at Whakatāne, Rotorua and Tauranga hospitals.

"We are delighted to learn that Whakatāne has been rated as the top choice hospital for first year doctors in 2018. The choice of where people apply to work is a personal one and there are a number of reasons which are often given for choosing Whakatāne."

Lees said Whakatāne fostered close working relationships between junior doctors, senior doctors and other staff and provided a wonderful opportunity for a broad range of clinical experience for doctors starting their careers.

"Being a smaller more rurally-based hospital, junior doctors will often be the first person a patient will see and so they will quickly gain valuable experience in diagnosis of complaints.

"Whakatāne is also a new hospital, only being opened in 2014, so is very much a modern working environment."

He said it was interesting to note that three out of six new doctors due to start working with the BOPDHB soon were involved in the RHIIP (Rural Health Inter-professional Immersion Programme) in 2017.

This programme allows healthcare students from a range of disciplines, including medical students, to spend time in the Eastern Bay gaining valuable experience.

"All in all it's a great place to work with a lot of things going for it. Whakatāne is a small but growing town and there is definitely still that community feel there. And it's also the sunshine capital of New Zealand so there is the lifestyle element to consider as well."

Jenny Martelli, Emergency and Medical Management Services manager at Lakes District Health Board said it was pleasing to see Rotorua Hospital continued to be a popular choice for final year medical students.

"As the years go by a number of these doctors make the decision to return to Rotorua to work as consultants and become permanent members of our Lakes communities," Martelli said.

Overall rankings
1. Whakatāne Hospital
2. Rotorua Hospital
3. Nelson Hospital
4. Wellington, Kenepuru, Hutt & Masterton Hospitals
5. Whangarei Hospital
6. Christchurch Hospital
7. New Plymouth Hospital
8. Middlemore Hospital
9. Tauranga Hospital
10. Auckland City Hospital
11. Gisborne Hospital
12. Palmerston North Hospital
13. Timaru Hospital
14. North Shore & Waitakere Hospitals
15. Hastings Hospital
16. Dunedin Hospital
17. Waikato Hospital
18. Invercargill Hospital
19. Wairau Hospital
20. Whanganui Hospital