What’s up doc . . . American doctor Zac Kaufman has recently joined the Gore Health Medical Centre team as a GP. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Practising medicine in New Zealand has been a dream of Zac Kaufman’s since early in his medical career.

Dr Kaufman has recently joined the Gore Health Medical Centre team.

He and his wife Marissa Adelstein are from the United States.

Dr Kaufman said he first heard about New Zealand from friends who had worked here.

“They raved about it, so I was sold on the idea pretty early on and I have never heard a bad thing about New Zealand.”

The couple enjoyed outdoor activities including skiing, mountain biking and tramping, which was one reason why they came.

Another reason was the universal healthcare system.

It was also reassuring it was not likely he would be sued for malpractice here.

“That is a big weight off my shoulders.

“I think a lot, if not most, healthcare providers practise with that hanging over our heads.”

While his father had been a GP, Dr Kaufman did not decide to train in medicine until after he had finished university.

“I’ve always been more of a science guy .. I decided I wanted to work with people and use that science background to helping folks.”

He started medical school when he was 24 and graduated seven years later, in 2017.

His first job was in a town in Colorado.

Gore was a smaller town than where they had previously lived.

“It seems like a really cool community.”

The couple were initially here for a year but hoped to stay longer.

Ms Adelstein is completing a master’s degree in sustainable development extramurally with the University of London.