There's a new doctor in the house at Jabulani Medical in Wanganui.

Dr John Lufkin has joined Dr Andrew Brown in his practice in Wicksteed St and is the first new permanent full-time GP to join the centre.

Texan Dr Lufkin, 33, is from Austin, the capital of the Lone Star State, and came to Wanganui because he had a sense of adventure.

"I did a lot of my medical training internationally, and the bulk of that was in Mexico before finishing my training in New York.


"Once I did that, I went back to Austin and did my family medicine prerequisites and was interested in doing something else internationally.

"New Zealand was a great fit for me because you don't have to sit any entry exams, so it was a seamless move, me coming from the States to Wanganui."

He got to New Zealand via a staffing agency almost two years ago and started with Wanganui Accident and Medical and then at Gonville Health.

"I was splitting time between the two spots before coming here. Getting into a practice like this is fantastic.

"All of my training experience involved community care focus, but sometimes you can get a sense that there are too many patients and not enough doctors, and it can be frustrating for both the patient and the doctor.

"When Andrew approached me, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get in a smaller practice to develop that continuity of care," he said.

He graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and from there he started his medical training in Guadalajara in Mexico at a private university.

"It was an international programme and most of my classmates were either from the US or Puerto Rico.

"I was there four years and did a lot of medical training in Spanish so got a chance to become fluent in another language."

Then came a fifth training year in New York, some residency training and he finished it off with a family medicine programme back in his home city. Two years later he was in Wanganui.

"I love it here in Wanganui. It's a fantastic town. I've met some really nice people and have a girlfriend now."

He's also taken up mountain biking and tramping.