Data from the Medical Council shows that Maori and Pasifika doctors in Aotearoa will be more represented in the coming years and that female doctors may soon outnumber their male counterparts.
A council survey shows the proportion of Maori doctors is now 4.4% and almost a quarter of students entering medical school between 2015 and 2019 identify as Maori or pasifika.
Council Chairman Dr Curtis Walker said a diverse medical workforce was essential.
The proportion of practicing female doctors has risen to 47% and could surpass the number of males by 2025, he said.
Data showed New Zealand was also retaining more graduates than ever before.
Aotearoa retained 90% of its medical graduates from the 2010-2013 cohorts for five years after initial enrollment.
Dr Walker said this reflected initiatives such as the Department of Health’s voluntary bonding scheme.
“It is important that the council maintain strong and fair processes for the many overseas doctors who wish to practice in Aotearoa, while increasing the number of New Zealand-trained doctors and ensuring a more empowered medical workforce.”
The number of practicing physicians increased by 3.6% in 2021 to 18,308, with the fastest growing specialties being emergency medicine, urgent care and internal medicine.