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11th December 2020
It can be hard to pick the right Medical School in Australia, as there are so many to choose from. But if you ask yourself five simple questions, you’ll be able to make this decision.

By Olivia Nguyen

What Type of Medicine Degree Do I Want?

There are two choices when it comes to medical school. Firstly, you need to decide if you want an undergraduate course (lasting five to six years) or a postgraduate course (lasting four years).

Choosing a Medical School is a big decision and sometimes doing another similar course such as health science, nursing, paramedics or physiotherapy, to begin with, is a good way of deciding whether or not Medicine is for you.

Secondly, there are two different medical degrees to choose from. One is a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and the other is a Medical Doctorate (MD).

Both are recognised degrees, but an MD has a larger research component integrated into the course and is more recognised overseas.

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What Do I Want From Medical School?

Each Medical School program runs slightly differently and focuses on different core knowledge processes. These include:

  • A more clinical-based focus, which means more time spent on placement in hospitals getting bed-side tutorials and following doctors on the wards
  • A rural-based focus, which means more time spent in communities with fewer resources, poorer health literacy and a larger focus on Aboriginal health
  • A research-based focus with some spending a year or more on how to do research and research projects

Each university also has its own way of teaching Medicine, including:

  • Case-based learning – going through the systems case by case
  • Integrated system – learning all the bodily systems together as they come up within your study
  • Traditional – so starting on say the lungs and then moving onto the heart and so on, so forth

Going through the websites for each university and curriculums for each medical school you’re interested in is the best way to find out what each one entails.

What Support Do I Have?

Medical School can be a very stressful time and making sure you have a good support system around you is one of the most important things you can do.

When you start university and are finding your feet, it helps to have family, friends, roommates or even pets around you to help you navigate your way through.

This can be especially true when moving away from home for medical school. Remember, four to six years is a long time to be away from your home state, if you don’t feel comfortable leaving!

What Else Do I Want To Do While At Med School?

University can sometimes seem overwhelming and part of dealing with the stress is having other extracurricular pursuits. These can range from soccer, football, dance, art, writing, swimming, music – and everything else under the sun.

Picking a university or area/state that has a club or group that you want to join and be a part of can be an important way of releasing stress and making new friends outside of your course.

What’s Best For Me?

Ultimately there’s no wrong Medical School to go to! All medical schools in Australia and New Zealand have a fantastic culture and it comes down to you and what you are comfortable with.

Talking to someone who has been to – or is currently in – those Medical Schools can be a good way of getting a more specific, down to earth view of what that degree is like.

Focus on what’s ultimately the best choice for you, and you can’t go wrong.

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