In Focus Careers

Tips for Getting Into Medicine

1 Comment

There are three universities that provide medical degrees in Western Australia.

Tip 1 Special Consideration for Entry

018.JPGAll three universities are giving special consideration to applicants from regional and remote areas in the hope that they will want to return home to practise once they graduate. Notre Dame has 28.5% of students from rural and remote areas.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants are also given special consideration at all three universities.

Applicants from some WA disadvantaged schools also get special consideration.

Tip 2 Pre-Requisites

Make sure you have studied the pre-requisites in your WACE. Curtin University has the following  Pre-requisites:

  • Chemistry ATAR or equivalent
  • Study in one of the following Mathematics ATAR courses is desirable: Mathematics Applications, Mathematics Methods, Mathematics Specialist, or equivalent.
  • In addition, all applicants must meet Curtin’s minimum English entry requirements.

See the Curtin Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery application requirements for more detailed information regarding admission criteria, requirements and eligibility.

Tip 3 Go to all University Medicine Information Sessions

UWA and Notre Dame provide information to school students about what is required to get into their medical courses. Each university is different. For example, Notre Dame requires a portfolio which is designed to demonstrate something about you as a person and why you want to get into medicine.

Medical students attend these sessions and you can ask them about their interview and what impressed the interviewers, the UMAT (or GAMSAT for graduates) and for Notre Dame, ask about the portfolio.

Once Curtin has course accreditation it will also provide information sessions. If you want to know more about the Curtin program contact the career advisors directly.

There is no set pre-requisites for UWA or Notre Dame although chemistry and human biology are useful. Outstanding academic performance, UMAT or GAMSAT scores and performance through the interview process determine your successful application.

Tip 4 You Only Get Interviewed Once

No matter how many universities you apply for you only get interviewed once. Two trained interviewers ask set questions. As they do so many interviews you need to be original with your answers.

Watching YouTube examples may give you some ideas but don’t copy them

There are 7 selection criteria and 6 Multiple Mini Interviews with short breaks between them.

The three constant criteria for the interview are:

  • Communication Skills
  • Explaining Skills
  • Motivation/Commitment to a career in medicine

The remaining four criteria will be selected from the following six:

  • Awareness of social diversity
  • Provision of assistance
  • Self-awareness
  • Trust and trustworthiness
  • Values and ethics
  • Working with others

The purpose of the interview is to allow applicants an opportunity to display some of the personal qualities considered desirable.

Tip 5 Prepare for the UMAT

The Australian Council for Educational Research conducts tha Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT). It produces free guides and preparation resources for applicants.  You need to study for the UMAT.

Many private companies produce resources and run courses to prepare for these high-stakes tests, which can be very expensive.  The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) believes that high-cost UMAT and GAMSAT preparation courses are not necessary to achieve an adequate score and may create inequality for those students from low-socioeconomic and/or rural backgrounds.  


Useful Links

Becoming a Doctor – Australian Medical Association

Multiple Mini Interview Sample Questions provides the opportunity to ask questions of current medical students.



Author: Bev Johnson

Hi, I'm Bev Johnson I started my career as an English teacher in Western Australia and quickly added a pastoral care role to support kids and help them to find their purpose. My career lead through education to the TAFE sector, into business development, through ICT systems development and human resource management. My purpose was always to have fun while learning new things and making the world a better place. I am now having a great time unearthing new ways to help young people to make the giant leap from school into their future. You can tap into my information and advice by subscribing to my newsletter, getting me to speak to your group and reading my blog. Contact me at or M: 0434056412

One thought on “Tips for Getting Into Medicine

  1. Pingback: Getting into Medicine in WA | In Focus Careers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s