This is a basic nationally recognised qualification for medical practitioners who staff rural and provincial hospitals. These doctors require broad based specific skills, which may extend beyond that of rural general medical practice. At present, our New Zealand small and large town hospitals, as well as small city hospitals are served by a physician or a surgeon, or a Medical Officer of Special Scale (MOSS). A MOSS may be anyone from a third year house surgeon to a highly qualified, competent and long experienced regional hospital doctor. Until now, other than College qualifications, no formal qualification for such doctors has existed. The Postgraduate Certificate in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (PGCertRPHP) is also available through Distance Learning.