How to Get into Medicine in Australia: A Guide

Studying medicine is always a wonderful career option. In Australia especially, medicine has a wide scope as well as different kinds of opportunities

Studying medicine is always a wonderful career option. In Australia especially, medicine has a wide scope as well as different kinds of opportunities. In 2020 alone, there were 3845 students who commenced at Australian medical schools.

If you’re someone who wants to explore the world of medicine in Australia, you must already be aware of the GAMSAT exams. In case you’re preparing for GAMSAT 2022, here is a guide that can help to get some clarity regarding how to get into medicine.

Year 12 prerequisites

In Australia, a student interested in medicine at the University of Sydney can apply in two ways- either straight after high school or by completing a bachelor’s degree first.

The first option is open for very few students (30 domestic and 10 international candidates). It also requires the student to achieve at least band 4 in Mathematics advanced or get an ATAR of 99.95 in the Higher School Certificate or equivalent.

However, most students prefer to complete a bachelor’s degree first. There are two degrees available for this – Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine, or Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine.

In order to obtain your bachelor’s degree, you must first complete your higher secondary education and receive a certificate for that.

Bachelor’s degree

You can study any undergraduate (UG) course of your choice in Sydney, whether it’s arts and commerce or science or pharmacy, before studying medicine. This is mainly done to encourage diversity among different students who will contribute to healthcare in different ways.

For this, you must achieve a grade point average (GPA) of at least 65. Domestic students need to have their GPAs assessed and calculated by the Universities Admissions Center through the QAS.

GAMSAT

The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is the standard exam an interested candidate is required to take to pursue the field of medicine. Students who are in the penultimate or final year of their bachelor’s program may sit for this exam.

There are three sections in the GAMSAT paper, and a student must score at least 50 in each of the three sections to qualify. The exam is held bi-annually (in March and September).

Students who qualify in the GAMSAT are then invited for an interview for the Doctor of Medicine at Sydney University.

Master’s level

The University of Sydney Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a four year-course of your master’s. It recently got redesigned to include 14-week project work and more personalized options of studying through elective studies.

To prepare students beforehand, the entire fourth year of this course is designed as an internship. This helps the students to get accustomed to the hospital background and deal with patients carefully.

Intern year

After completion of the master’s degree, a student must complete their 47-week (1 year) as an intern in a hospital. Graduates may plan and get entry into a hospital of their choice on their own. The Junior Doctor Training Program Private Hospital Stream offers 115 positions to interns, which is a great option for international students.

Six weeks before the completion of their medical degree, a student has to apply for provisional registration with the Australian Medical Board to complete their year of practice under supervision. This may be done through online application and registration. These applications are synchronized across all Australian states and usually close by June.

Medical registration

After completing a year of internship, the candidates are given their general medical registration through the Medical Board of Australia. Practicing graduates are required to maintain their registration license throughout their medical careers.

For students who completed their internship overseas, a tenure of 12 months has to be spent under supervision in Australia before obtaining the license.

Resident Medical Officers (RMOs)

Most medical graduates after this go for additional training as Resident Medical Officers to prepare better for specialty programs. This time period varies according to the specialty of your choice.

Fellowship

After completing a sufficient amount of time as an intern and RMO, you can apply for admission to a specialty training program. This again requires a few written and practical or clinical tests to be passed. These vocational courses vary in length, depending upon the place where you have applied.

Generally, it lasts between 3-7 years. After this step, you are ready to practice medicine as an independent doctor or a specialized surgeon.

Over to you…

While aspiring to be a doctor in Australia has various lengthy steps, the end result is definitely worth it. As a doctor, you’ll not only get to help people in need but also understand the workings of human physiology. So if you’re an interested candidate, hope this guide helps!

If somehow, you aren’t happy with your GAMSAT scores, or you couldn’t qualify, don’t lose hope. You can take the exams again in the future. Just follow this guide, practice hard, and work on your mistakes. Once you become a doctor, the sky is the limit!

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