Consultant Rheumatologist

This is an opportunity for a DEER (Dedicated, Empathetic, Educated Rheumatologist) Rheumatologist to replace the current incumbent planning to retire by 31 March 2023. 


This position is for a clinician whose primary goal is to put the patients first and is prepared to go the “extra mile” to continue to a develop rheumatology practice which was started here in December 1991 by the current Rheumatologist. 


Depending upon the total hour’s commitment agreed to, the position involves conducting approximately 6 to 8 rheumatology clinics per fortnight, supported by a Specialist Rheumatology Nurse, with easy access to the Departments of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Orthotics, Pharmacy, Day Ward for infusions, in a well-equipped District General Hospital.  This position also involves being available to provide advice to General Physicians, GPs, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Emergency Physicians and if necessary, inpatient consultations during normal working hours on weekdays. 


Given the part-time nature of this role, we recognise the likelihood that some may prefer to be engaged clinically on a higher level of contracted hours, so this could be accommodated by adding to the Rheumatology 5/10th another 5/10th component of General (internal) Medicine, in order to boost the total hours commitment to that of a full-time position.

The choice/preference is yours to identify.


Outside the Te Whatu Ora (Health NZ) position, there are opportunities to participate in a Rheumatology Therapeutic Clinical Trials Centre established in 1996, run a DXA scanning service and private practice.  These opportunities are outside the remit of this advertised position.  The current Rheumatologist in Timaru will continue in these activities and is only retiring from his position in Timaru Hospital but would encourage the new Rheumatologist to join him in these other opportunities.  He is also available to help a newly qualified Rheumatologist settle into the above position in Timaru Hospital if necessary. 


We consider ourselves lucky to have a tight knit team of Physicians who enjoy being part of a well-run department, supported by keen RMOs eager to learn, along with great Nurses and Allied Health staff who ensure the patients receive the care and attention they deserve. 


Our Physicians have discovered the secret of maintaining an enviable work/life balance by coming to work and live in Timaru, where despite our service being small by many standards,  it is certainly big on teamwork, camaraderie, (including regular after-hours socialising), and clinical challenge in a true general Rheumatology sense.


We serve a district population of approximately 60,000 in a General Hospital facility, (which is undertaking a significant refurbishment programme), providing our local community with critical 24/7 services such as A&E, ICU/CCU, General, Orthopaedics, ENT surgery, O&G, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Geriatrics, Oncology and Palliative Care, plus of course, General Medicine and many of its sub-specialities. 


Currently, we are a team of six general medicine specialists, each of the team having an additional sub-specialty focus, that currently includes Neurology, Chest Medicine, Diabetology, Gastroenterology and Cardiology. 


The New Zealand employment environment is very supportive of time for continuing medical education, to allow growth of sub-specialty interests.  The current Rheumatologist has been able to develop his current practice with good support from management of Te Whatu Ora -South Canterbury and the local community during the past 30 years, establish a leading Rheumatology Clinical Trials Centre and start a DXA scanning service for the local district. 

He also runs Outpatient Rheumatology Education Classes for patients with newly diagnosed inflammatory arthritis.  The environment in South Canterbury has proven to be conducive to developing a leading rheumatology service and academic professional pursuits except for basic science research. 


When not working, the multitude of opportunities literally on our doorstep for pursuing recreational interests are second to none, (such as skiing, fishing, sailing and a host of other pastimes almost too numerous to mention).  When people first arrive in Timaru and start experiencing the true lifestyle on offer, a common reaction we hear is almost one of disbelief that you can have it so good and all so conveniently accessible. 


Why not experience this for yourself and become engaged in your passion for Rheumatology while also having the personal time available as a part-timer to dedicate to a life outside clinical commitments, that allows one to truly relax and enjoy family and friends. 


We think you would find that Timaru ticks many boxes (including some you possibly didn’t realise you wanted). 


You will of course need to be Vocationally Registered (or eligible to become Vocationally Registered) with the Medical Council of NZ in Internal Medicine to be considered for this position.


If you have any questions regarding this role, please contact Human Resources by phoning (03) 6872230. 


Please be aware, if you are an overseas candidate, the Medical Council of New Zealand (the Council) has a set method of primary source verification using the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates’ Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (ECFMG’s EPIC) service.  Being certified through EPIC is compulsory and we therefore recommend that applicants have registered their professional credentials with EPIC. 




Please visit the MCNZ website for more details about these and the other requirements needed to be met toward gaining NZ registration (ie Vocational Scope of Practice).


Please apply online at

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Permanent/Part Time

Job no: IKAI1137563

Location: Timaru Hospital

Closing Date: Open