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Non-Clinical Careers & International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

Non-Clinical Careers

For more inspiration, read about the different specialities, find the right groups to contact, see if the income levels suit you and what specialists think about their chosen career. 

Health management

About health management

Health management involves the managing of systems, personnel and resources that provide health care to people. Roles range from team leaders within clinical teams, to clinical directors or service managers, to chief executives of major health organisations like District Health Boards or the Ministry of Health. Practice is concerned with the systems and processes which support clinicians to provide health care, with a focus on groups of people (such as patients who require renal dialysis or people with chronic respiratory illness who live in central Auckland). Doctors who work in health management must balance the individualisation of treatment with the advantages of processes and systems that provide consistent quality of care and that best utilise available resources.

Specialty contacts 

Rod Perkins
University of Auckland
Department of Health Systems
Senior Lecturer Health Management
Tel: 373-7599 ext 86590


Those who take on health management responsibilities within their specialty (such as clinical director or managing partner in a group practice) generally earn at a similar rate to their specialty salary for the time they devote to health management.

Positions in departments of public health or the Ministry of Health range across the specialist salary scale and depend on experience and seniority. Doctors who take up positions such as chief medical officers in a hospital would usually be paid near the top of the specialist salary scale. Doctors appointed to senior health management positions such as CEO of a DHB are currently paid about $200,000–$300,000.

There is a range of opportunities for doctors in health management in the private sector in consultancy roles and in pharmaceutical, IT and other companies. These positions can be paid $100,000–$250,000 or more, depending on the business and your level of experience.

New Zealand doctors working in health management talk about the reality of working within this field.

Medical administration

About medical administration

According to the Medical Practitioners (Vocational Registration) Amendment Order 2001, medical administration means the branch of medicine that involves the performance of administrative or managerial functions that:

  • Require the application of the clinical knowledge, skill and judgment of a registered medical practitioner.
  • Can affect the health and safety of the public or any person.
  • Are performed for – administering or managing a hospital or other health service; developing health operational policy; planning health services; purchasing health services or disability services, but are not performed for the purposes of diagnosing or treating patients or practising another branch of medicine. 

Specialty contacts 

The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators
35 Drummond Street Carlton, Vic 3053 Australia
Tel: 00 61 3 9663 5347
Fax: 00 61 3 9663 4117

The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators
PO Box 10-233
99 The Terrace
Tel: 04 472 9183
Fax: 04 472 9184

Dr Andre Nel – Chief medical advisor
Nelson Marlborough District Health Board
Tel: 03 546 1084

Medical administration factsheet

Read more about Heath Workforce New Zealand information on medical administration


Salary range: $100,000–$400,000, depending on the level of your position within the organisation.

New Zealand medical administration specialists talk about the reality of working within this field.

Information technology

About information technology

This section discusses the role of medically qualified professionals who choose to spend some or all their time working in the information technology industry.

Health informatics is currently ‘coming of age’ with the growing understanding of the importance of clinical information systems the delivery of health care. As a result, there are increasing and diverse opportunities for clinicians to work in IT. Jobs tend to focus less on technical skills related to hardware design or software programming, and concentrate rather on information management, business analysis, systems implementation and behaviour change.

Individuals who have experience in both clinical practice and a relevant area of IT are of great value in this industry. Practitioners need to possess a good understanding of clinical and health management issues and are increasingly being required to undertake some level of formal training in IT.

Specialty contacts

Dr Michael WS Stanbridge
Chief Executive Officer,
Enigma Publishing Ltd
PO Box 302 432, NHPC Auckland
Tel: 09 486 4005


Remuneration in this field can vary widely. In the current climate, IT companies are being established and floated and the financial returns can be extremely high. There is, however, a degree of risk, and it is said to be difficult to generate returns approaching private sector consultant salaries unless you are part owner of a company or unless you are extremely successfully involved in the sales cycle.

New Zealand health IT specialists talk about the reality of working within this field.

Medicine and law

About medicine and law

This chapter describes the work of specialists who have gained qualifications in both medicine and law. The medico-legal area of specialty has arisen because of the increasing impact of the legal framework in health on the day-to-day clinical activities of doctors, reflected in particular in the trend towards increased accountability. Employment in the medico-legal field may take various forms, such as acting as a:

  • legal advisor for a medical defence organisation, the Health and Disability Commissioner or ACC
  • risk manager for a district health board
  • a coroner
  • an independent barrister.

Specialty contacts

Faculty of Law – University of Auckland
Level 3, 9 Eden Crescent Auckland
Tel: 09 373 7599 ext 85971

Dr Tim Cookson – Medical protection society
PO Box 109 111 Newmarket Auckland


No workforce statistics are currently available but it is interesting to note that The University of Auckland Faculty of Law offers the conjoint BHSc/LLB degree, which allows students to plan a programme offering a sound introduction to law and the health care sector, and possibly lead to a career in medical law, health policy, health management, or health care ethics.

This suggests a significant increase (or anticipated increase) in opportunities in the medico-legal field.


The salary range for work in this field is roughly $100,000–250,000, depending on your position or contract and your level of experience.

New Zealand medical law specialists talk about the reality of working within this field.

Case studies

Case studies

Having a medical degree does not limit you to working solely as a clinician. Some doctors combine their clinical practice with other areas of interest, such as information technology, and others work almost entirely in non-clinical areas. Below are several case studies of doctors who have chosen different career pathways within the health sector or related areas.

Andrew Old
Medical Advisor, Service Integration & Improvement, Auckland District Health Board.

Dana Thomas
Clinical consultant and Product Manager, Orion Health.

Karl Cole
Clinical Director/Innovation at ProCare and General Practitioner.

Karina McHardy
Doctoral Programme in Public Health at Oxford University.

Lloyd McCann
Clinical Fellow in Performance Improvement at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust.

Paul White
Barrister specialising in health.

International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

More than 40% of doctors working in the New Zealand health system are trained overseas. Many who arrive have already trained, or part trained, in a speciality and are now developing new careers in a new country. Below are several case studies of international medical graduates who are on specialist training programmes.

Anna Wojtacha

Farid Shaba

Robert Wakuluk
Emergency medicine training programme

Victor Birioukov
Anaesthetic training programme