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Locum experiences

Lets hear from the doctors that have traveled to Gisborne to work for Three Rivers Medical.

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“It was not much different to home!”

GP Fiona Price

GP Fiona Price was at Three Rivers for six months – an experience she built into her GP training with Wessex School of General Practice in Hampshire, England.  

Doctors with five years of study and two years general work experience then do three years general practice study to become a qualified GP. Wessex students can complete some of their general practice training in Gisborne.  

Dr Price admits ‘sunny Gisborne’ took a while to reveal itself. When she arrived late August 2014 it rained and rained.

Luckily the good weather kicked in and the keen kite surfer was able to enjoy the best Gisborne had to offer over summer, as well as get a taste of general practice in New Zealand.

Dr Price said one of the biggest differences to working in England was seeing patients with minor injuries. Anyone with a minor injury resulting from an accident in England is seen at hospital accident and emergency departments rather than at the general practice.

Dr Anthony Chalmers

Dr Anthony Chalmers was at Three Rivers for six months – as part of his GP training with Wessex School of General Practice in England. Dr Chalmers enjoyed the experience.

“With the mix of Māori and non-Māori we have had a completely different experience around healthcare provision. It’s the people of Gisborne that have made it for me”.

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Dr Tony Moyle

Originally from Mount Maunganui, Tony Moyle studied medicine at Auckland University Medical School. He practiced medicine in Ireland, where he completed a diploma in tropical medicine, and also worked in Australia and Zambia,

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He visited Gisborne to catch up with friends who had moved here, liked the lifestyle they had, and made the move himself in early 2011.

“You become very time rich living here because you’re not stuck in traffic. I love the surf and the seafood. We live at the beach, and I use my kayak to drop crayfish pots on a reef offshore from our house. I do a lot of cooking. I enjoy the local wines and also do some work for Palliative Care. I also play football, cricket and a bit of golf.”

Dr Moyle enjoys working with the Three Rivers Medical team and the patients they treat. 

“It’s good, it’s pretty colourful, very busy but it’s a good friendly environment, friendly staff.”

Dr Andrew Sharp

Andrew graduated from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London in 2002 and worked in Dunedin New Zealand and New South Wales. He returned to the UK to finish his GP training, then worked on a cruise ship and did voluntary work in Madagascar before coming to Gisborne in November 2011.

“The team here makes a difference. Also, the typical general practice here is different to the UK, which makes it interesting – there are some things which are unique about this environment, like epidemics of fully immunizable diseases like whooping cough and measles.”


Dr Andrew Sharp

Life in Gisborne has been agreeable, with plenty of tennis and surfing, says Andrew. “I also enjoy the people. Gisborne is quite a unique place because of the isolation and the 50:50 mix of Maori and non-Maori. Also things like the beaches and the epic wilderness on the back doorstep. It’s a very friendly, laid-back pleasant place.”

Dr Kawita Schur

Kawita studied medicine in Sheffield England, and graduated in 2002. After a year in the UK she headed to New Zealand for two years, combining medicine with a keen interest in surfing.

She returned to the UK for four years and completed her training in Devon, including a Diploma in Tropical Medicine, and in late 2010 she headed for Madagascar to do voluntary work for an organisation dedicated to saving the marine environment.

Dr Kawita Schur

“They had realised the biggest threat to the marine ecosystems was the population,  which was doubling every 15 years. I was mostly providing sexual health and family planning services, as well as immunization and helping with water supplies and sanitation.”

In October 2011 she and husband Andrew decided to return to New Zealand to live by the sea, and she joined the general practice team.

“The working environment here at Three Rivers is brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever worked anywhere like it. I think that that has a lot to do with the positive attitudes of the nursing, administrative and medical staff who work here. In addition, Gisborne is a great place to live with the ocean on our doorstep and plenty of wild country nearby.”

It is also different sort of general practice than in the UK, she says. “There is lots more pathology – a lot of people are really ill when they finally come to the doctor.