Prior Specialist Pathway

Have you completed your training in another specialty and/or country? The Prior Specialist Pathway (PSP) is designed for specialist doctors who wish to gain Fellowship of the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine (FDRHMNZ) and vocational registration in New Zealand. 

The pathway offers an accelerated pathway to Fellowship, made up of core and individualised clinical and educational components.

Step 1: Eligibility

To be eligible for the prior specialist pathway you must have:

  • General registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand
  • Fellowship in primary care, emergency medicine or internal medicine
  • A qualification from either New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom or United States of America
  • Held your qualification for two or more years 

Step 2: Complete an application form

PSP applications are open throughout the year with two cut-off dates (February and August).
The next cut-off date is 1 February 2022.

How to apply
To apply, please send your completed application form and required documentation (see below) to

Once your application has been received, the College we will send you an invoice. Please pay the invoice by the due date stated, applications that have not been paid will not be reviewed.

Documentation required
You will need to provide the following documentation along with your application form:

  • Confirmation of New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency status
  • Confirmation of current MCNZ Practising Certificate
  • Confirmation of current New Zealand employment details
  • Certified copy of your Fellowship—certificates can be certified either by a Justice of the Peace, the issuing organisation/education provider or by a Fellow of the DRHM.
  • Any additional required as part of PSP application form completion

Fees (excluding GST)

Application fee                        $600*
Interview fee $2,000*
Annual programme fees $4,775
Fellowship assessment  $2,500

All fees exclude GST

Step 3: Applications are reviewed 

Applications will be reviewed after the cut-off dates. An evaluator will assess your previous clinical and education experience against the required components of the Rural Hospital Medicine Training Programme. This is to demonstrate your level of equivalency to these components. A summary will be provided to you. 

Step 4: Attend an interview

If you wish to continue with your application, you will need to pay the interview fee (refer to the fees schedule above). Your application will then be considered by the Division Assessment Committee, who will invite you to attend an interview via zoom.

Step 5: Begin your pathway

If your application is successful, you will receive a letter of offer for a personalised pathway to Fellowship. This will outline core +/- individualised components required to complete to be eligible to apply for Fellowship, and a time limit for completion. If you accept this offer, you can begin your pathway once the DRHM membership form is completed and fee paid. Please refer to the DRHM Fellowship Pathway Regulations (section 6.2) for further information.

Need help?

If you have any questions about the PSP and the application process, please or call 04 550 2874 and ask to speak to our rural advisor.