Ian Ternouth, Cardiologist

Ian Ternouth
Taranaki Base Hospital, Taranaki District Health Board
Country of Origin: Zimbabwe
Moved to New Zealand in 2000

What made you decide to relocate to New Zealand?

I made the decision to move to New Zealand for multiple reasons. I saw New Zealand as a place with lots of opportunities for me to grow professionally, develop new skills and up-skill while also providing wonderful unlimited opportunities for my children.

Coming to New Zealand was so much easier than I had ever imagined. I was offered a job out of the blue when someone from Taranaki District Health Board phoned me up. I had always really liked New Zealand, but I had to look up on a map where New Plymouth was! Originally I planned to come for about 3 months and use it as an opportunity to get my foot into New Zealand and do a working holiday of sorts - that was now over 5 years ago and I have never looked back. In fact, I think I will never leave now.

Kiwis are the least judgemental people I have ever worked with (I have worked in many different countries around the world). You are assumed to be competent, and it is up to you to prove you are not. Staff are welcoming, pleasant, cheerful and very open to people with different backgrounds.

I am a Cardiologist, so I had to register with the Medical Council and FRACP. I had no difficulties with registration to either boards. It was an easy straightforward process. Furthermore, when I applied for a work permit, I was lucky that Taranaki District Health Board did all the legwork for me, so again, this was a really easy process.
I have become a passionate advocate of New Plymouth and New Zealand since moving here. In fact, I have recruited many friends and colleagues. Not one has regretted it at all and many are now recruiting their friends! It's so great working for a smaller hospital as the patients feel like they are apart of the hospital as they are so involved, often fundraising or contributing financially to it above state funding. As we are a community, we really work together - which is something special and rare.

If you want to do further professional training, New Zealand is more open to this than many parts of the world where barriers have been put up. For example, since arriving in New Zealand I have received further training and support to improve my skills in Cardiology and become a far better doctor. I am constantly supported and actively encouraged to develop my skills more and more every year. Taranaki Hospital has even gone so far as to put in place a programme to support and assist me to gain further success. I was also strongly encouraged to bring in my skills that weren’t available locally and transfer them to benefit everyone.

I love fishing and I have easily been able to achieve a work life balance. I have been able to organise my clinic times around the tides for fishing. I often do my clinics early in the morning so that I can take off to local rivers and lakes for a bit of trout fishing in the afternoons.



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