A Rotorua medical centre has enlisted the help of its patients to find a new doctor through an unconventional job advertisement.

The Owhata Medical Centre hopes to capture the attention of a doctor with its video of patients asking a series of questions directed at potential candidates.

Owners Dr John and Ata Armstrong have provided health care in Rotorua with a whanau-focused touch for four decades and have recently expanded their business into new premises, requiring more staff.

John Armstrong said they had tried traditional advertising but that didn't work, so decided to make a video to illustrate to doctors what it would be like to work at Owhata Medical Centre.


"We wanted to include our patients, so we invited them to be involved, and they were very happy to do so.

"We treat patients from all socio-economic groups, but have a particular focus on families that may be struggling, so we are after a doctor with the right skills and the right heart for the job," he said.

Dr John Armstrong. Photo/Supplied
Dr John Armstrong. Photo/Supplied

The video was shot at the Owhata Medical Centre and took three hours to film.

There were no scripts involved, patients were asked to speak from the heart. The result was an authentic, heart-warming video through which doctors could get a taste of what it would be like to work there.

Questions patients asked included: Will you be interested in my mokopuna's health, as well as mine? Will you make me feel better? Can I tell you anything, without judgment? And, will you help me look after my whanau's health?

Practice manager Ata Armstrong said all involved were thrilled with the resulting video and hoped it will attract a suitable doctor for the unique practice.

"Our team walk the talk. Nurses transport patients to specialist appointments if they require assistance and John will often make house calls to elderly patients, at no extra cost, in situations where there is no family around to help.

"The clinic also offers a free drop-in service on Wednesday afternoons," she said.


"So the doctor we are looking for is extra special, this is more than a job, it is a vocation. Our medical approach is grounded in whanau and aroha and always takes into account our patients' overall mental and spiritual wellbeing."

Ata Armstrong said politically there was a lot of focus on supporting the most vulnerable, so it was an exciting time for a new doctor to be part of such a pivotal time for the community.