The path to medicine is the starting point in your career.
You can choose to do any course for the undergraduate degree which is a prerequisite for medicine at UWA, Notre Dame and many other Australian universities.
To increase the range of undergraduate degrees that you can take make sure you take English (or English Lit), Chemistry and Physics (or Human Biol) as ATAR subjects.
If you are interested in medicine it follows that you might be interested in a health science course for you first degree.
University of Western Australia Health Campus
The Universtity of Western Australia Health Campus Open Day showcased some fantastic undergraduate health science degrees that you could choose as your pathway to medicine.
Some speakers had chosen to specialise by doing a PhD, some were doing research in hospitals, while others had gone into management or were working on international committees.
One had used his science PhD as a pathway to found Exodus Space Systems which is developing systems for settling the solar system!!
There were presentations on biomedical science and biomedical engineering with some exciting and crazy talk about mechatronics and 3D printing of organs. The future for engineers in the health industries is changing at a dizzying pace.
Speakers in the various presentations across the Open Day made a few key points:
In order to get a broad understanding of the health industry speakers recommended that you choose a broad range of subjects in your first year which maximise your choices for specialisation. They suggested that you maximise your flexibility through a strong focus on maths and sciences that give depth as well as breadth.
One of the key underpinning skills mentioned by one speaker was the development of strong communication skills. She said that her capacity to formulate a reasoned argument quickly was a direct outcome of her science degree.
The need for communications skills was reinforced by others who mentioned the need to negotiate for clinical or resource priorities as well as the need to explain your decisions to patients, politicians and the public.
The message was that good communication skills would be your gateway to a range of opportunities across many industries. They said that is was easy to turn a health scientist with good communication skills into a business person in many interesting fields.
It is possible to do your degree online, from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t do this.
Uni life can be so much more than study. Use the campus. Join social clubs. Go on camps. Do sport. Through these opportunities you can make lifelong friendships.
A self proclaimed introvert on one of the panels said it took her significant effort to force herself out of her home and onto the bus to the campus so that she could meet and mix with people.
In addition to networking with other students it was advised that students take opportunities to volunteer and get experience through contacts at the university. All of the speakers had stories about how they had been encouraged to apply for scholarships, or present papers at conferences or had found part time jobs which led to other jobs.
This was a day of UWA selling its health science courses… and they did it well. It seemed that a strong, broad health science degree was your gateway to a million opportunities.
People on the panel didn’t know where their careers would take them and all praised UWA for providing the first step on the heath industry career.
If you are serious about a career in medicine you should also check out the range of undergraduate courses at West Australian universities: