24 October 2008
New website will orientate overseas trained doctors to New Zealand’s mental health system
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has launched an online orientation programme to support
overseas trained doctors working in New Zealand’s mental health system.
International medical graduates from any medical discipline who have recently arrived in New Zealand can register for
the programme at www.mho.org.nz, which goes live today.
Funded by Te Pou, The National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information and Workforce Development, the orientation
programme and website was developed and delivered by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
Programme content is delivered in self-paced modules with a minimum of 30 minutes learning material in each module.
Topics include: components of the New Zealand mental health system, Maori mental health care, multi-cultural mental
health care, service user and community expectations, professional rights and responsibilities and psychiatric treatment
options in New Zealand.
“The website’s content is focused on mental health and intends to provide doctors with the knowledge and tools required
to develop a strong understanding of the core values and generally accepted practices in psychiatry in New Zealand,”
said Dr Lyndy Matthews, Chair of the RANZCP New Zealand National Committee.
The website can be accessed 24-hours, seven days a week and the modules offer a range of learning styles, including:
- case studies illustrating important information in a practical way
- reflective questions to guide further thinking about material
- video clips featuring psychiatrists, doctors and community representatives talking about their experience of working
in New Zealand’s mental health sector.
“This programme aims to support overseas trained doctors in becoming successfully oriented to the New Zealand work
environment and its mental health systems. The website is targeted at psychiatrists and doctors working in mental
health, but is also a great resource for general practitioners, particularly those working in rural areas, mental health
nurses and allied health professionals,” said Dr Matthews.
An expert reference group provided high level guidance around the programme content and all training modules and
material have been thoroughly tested and evaluated.
The website was officially launched at The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ New Zealand
conference in Nelson this week.
For further information:
Dr Lyndy Matthews, Chair, RANZCP New Zealand National Committee 027 584 7882
About The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is the principal organisation representing the
medical specialty of psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand and has responsibility for training, examining and awarding
the qualification of Fellowship of the College to medical practitioners.
There are currently more than 2750 Fellows of the College who account for approximately 85 per cent of all practising
psychiatrists in Australia and over 50 per cent of psychiatrists in New Zealand. Close to 1000 trainees are undertaking
basic and advanced training to become psychiatrists in both countries. Further information can be found at the College’s
About Te Pou, The National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information and Workforce Development
Te Pou was established in 2006 to provide a mental health hub for New Zealand where, in one place, research, information
and workforce development initiatives could be brought together to add value to the mental health and addiction sector
now and assist in the creation of better services to meet future needs.
Funded by the Ministry of Health, Te Pou works with district health boards and non-government organisations, assisting
in strategies and initiatives that develop the skills of people who work in mental health services, and attract more
people to work in this sector. Te Pou also assists services to use mental health research and information to improve
service delivery and access for people who use these services.
The Research aspect of the programme is charged with driving the translation of mental health research so that it can be
applied and used in service delivery. The Information team champions and promotes the use and analysis of, and training
in, mental health clinical information to enhance recovery. The Workforce team, including Le Va - Pasifika workforce
development within Te Pou, leads the drive to grow the skills and number of people who work in this sector.
Further information about Te Pou and its work can be found on its website: www.tepou.co.nz