What is a GP (General Practitioner)?
GPs are trained to deal holistically (taking into consideration the whole body and environment when offering treatment) with the range of problems a person might have. GPs are skilled in diagnosis especially at an early stage of a condition. They also know when and where to refer you if you require further investigations or treatment.
A GP can therefore recognise, advise, treat or refer patients with any medical or emotional condition. A patient could arrive with shingles or schizophrenia, bowel problems or backache, diabetes or depression and expect to be helped by a highly competent, knowledgeable and skilled professional. He or she will have had a minimum of ten years medical training. GPs provide a continuous service throughout a person's life so will be able to advise on the needs of a baby with fever, an old person with memory loss as well as medical and psychological problems that occur at any age. GPs are trained to listen and observe and able to pick up symptoms that you may have missed, then work with you to improve matters.
"Vocationally registered" doctors are those who hold a fellowship or postgraduate qualification. They are registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand as specialists.