The $265,000 job that no one wants

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(P1) There is a doctor’s job in a small New Zealand town that no one wants. It pays US$265,000 a year. There is no weekend work, and houses in the area are cheap. The job is just four days a week, with 12 weeks’ holiday a year. The current doctor Alan Kenny is leaving. He cannot find a replacement. Four medical companies also could not find a replacement. Dr. Kenny thinks people want to live and work in the city and not in the countryside.

(P2) Last year, Dr. Kenny could not go on a family holiday because he could not find a doctor to replace him. He has been a doctor in the town for 30 years. He said he wouldn’t change his countryside life for city life. He wants to retire and he needs to give his patients to a younger doctor. He said his work keeps him busy. He loves his job. He said: “I would like to stay but I hit my head against a brick wall trying to attract doctors.”

WORDS: 173


VOCABULARY: replacement, countryside, retire, patients, attract


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. If you were a medical doctor, would you apply for this job? Why or why not?
  3. Do you prefer to live in the city or the countryside? Why?
  4. Have you ever traveled to New Zealand? If yes, describe your visit. If no, would you like to go there?
  5. Why do you think the doctor cannot find a replacement?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES: What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Family holiday (P2)
  • Hit my head against a brick wall (P2)

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