In Focus Careers

Helping People to Succeed


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Curtin Medicine Information Evening

The crowd spilled over from the first lecture room into a large lecture theatre, which then spilled over into a courtyard with a giant screen. The presentation was streamed to regional and remote areas and interstate.  The Curtin School of Medicine Information Session on Wednesday 26th April was THE event in town.IMG_7629Curtin offers the only direct entry  Bachelor of Medicine program available to school leavers in WA and there is clearly heavy-duty competition for the places. Last year there were 60 students chosen from 1500 applicants with some students gaining entry through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, rural and equity places.

In 2018 there will be 70 places available, mainly to school leavers although there will be some places available to non school leavers. There are no places for international students until 2021.

Curtin Generally

A key difference that I noted in the Curtin course was the focus on problem solving across a team of health professionals. Students work with others from pharmacy or physiotherapy or nursing and so on to learn how to deliver a holistic approach to health care.

The small cohort of students resulted in close relationships with educators.

The staff were excited by the new program and open to new ideas. Students felt that they were part of a team that was building a great course and great reputation for the Curtin Medical School.

There was talk about High standards of professional behaviour. I thought that was a bit vague but found further explanation on the Curtin siteIMG_7636

ATAR

You will need to get an ATAR  score of 95+.

ATAR Chemistry 

Ensure you have done chemistry as an ATAR subject. If you haven’t studied chemistry contact the Medicine Admissions Coordinator Jo Washington King, to find out what to do.

It is also desirable that applicants have also studied maths at ATAR level.

 UMAT

While you are studying your butts off trying to blitz your ATAR score you will also need to do the Undergraduate Medical Admissions Test which is on 26th July in 2017. Registration for the Test closes on 2 June.

The Australian Council for Education Research administers the test and provides instructions and sample tests for you to practice on. Preparation videos are also available once you register for the test.

The test lasts 3 hours and you will need to score at least 50 on each section:

▶ Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving

▶ Understanding People

▶ Non-verbal Reasoning

TISC

Students apply to Curtin via the normal TISC process which opens in July and closes on 29th September but if you achieve the UMAT threshold your school will need to complete the Predicted ATAR form  and send it to Curtin so that they can start planning the interviews, which are the final stage in the selection process.

Curtin is looking to give guidance to schools on how to predict ATAR scores.

If you score a higher ATAR than your school predicted you may get an interview in the second round that occurs in mid January, after ATAR results are published on or around 19th December.

If you don’t get an interview in the first round it is suggested that you start preparing your Plan B straight away.

Preferences

When looking at who to interview Curtin looks at ATAR scores and UMAT scores. They don’t look at which university you put down as your first preference.

Multiple Mini Interviews

Those students who score highest on their ATAR and UMAT will be given an interview.

The interview process is made up of 8 Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs).  You move from each interview into 8 different rooms. You are given a question and have 3 minutes to prepare your answer, then you go into the room and give your response for 8 minutes. There are two rest breaks. The MMI’s take 88 minutes.

I have heard this process described as an endurance test.

Interviews are done by trained MMI interviewers who are trying to determine your suitability for the medical profession.  YouTube videos and sites like MedStudents Online and Whirlpool will give you some ideas about what to expect but your experienced interviewers are not looking for rehearsed answers, they want to know about you and your suitability for the profession.

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Tips from Current Students

Two current students who just started in February had ideas fresh in their mind about why they were successful:

  • Do your research and learn about the opportunities that are available through different medical professions. (Curtin is focusing on enhancing the delivery of medical services to rural and Indigenous people so you might want to consider careers in those fields.)
  • Be clear that medicine is really for you. Your interviewers will be trying to find the most committed applicants and to discover what is driving their decisions. Be yourself. There is nothing better than seeing applicants who know why they want to do medicine and who are passionate about their decision.
  • Get work experience at a hospital or research facility.
  • Learn about the differences between the undergraduate degree offered by Curtin and the post graduate degrees offered by UWA and Notre Dame.
  • Go to the open days at each university. There will be current students at the Curtin open day to talk with you.
  • Don’t try to cram academic knowledge for the UMAT. You need to learn how to do UMAT types of tests.

You will find it intimidating. You will be out of your comfort zone. People talk about how many drills they have done. 

  • Both students said human biology at ATAR level was useful to them.
  • There is a new Curtin Medical Society. Check out the scholarships on offer through there.

Making the Grade

Curtin has an equity program and a support program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. You can read one student’s story HERE.

Tough Gig

There were Year 10 students at the Curtin presentation! They were hanging off every word in their quest to get the edge on all of the other aspirants. I bet they will be back next year AND the year after.

There is no doubt getting into medicine is a tough gig.

And being a doctor is a tough gig.

Last year I provided career advice to a brilliant ATAR student who said there was no way he was going into medicine. Both of his parents were doctors and he saw the emotional toll it was taking on them and on their family life. He thought he might like to become a physics teacher.

As technological and scientific advances snowball pressure to keep up with emerging knowledge will add stress to an already stressful life.

Despite all of these drawbacks there are hundreds of people lining up to get into medicine. Good luck with your decision.

Doctor


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Making the Change

downloadThinking of changing schools? Thinking of changing your hair colour?

If you think you are having a hard time changing, try being transgender!

Barriers to being transgender are changing but it is still a very difficult path to go down.

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer and would like to talk to someone the Freedom Centre in Northbridge would be a good place to start. Many people have already been through the transition from a straight life and have brought together the lessons they have learned so that others don’t have to do it alone.

Schools can join the Safe Schools program which has a truck load of resources and advice to get them onto the right track.

Want to know how to run an inclusive school ball? Check the advice on the Safe Schools site.

Want to know more? The Aids Council runs Safe Schools Workshops in the city and in regions.

And if you are struggling to succeed with your study or career try the Pinnacle Foundation scholarships.

The Pinnacle Foundation has been established to provide scholarships to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer students who are marginalised or disadvantaged. We exist to give young LGBTIQ students the chance to achieve their full potential, to light the spark within them. For those who want to complete high school, or are ready to start TAFE or university we can help.

Making the change is difficult. Connecting with these organisations can make the journey less onerous.


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Tips for Getting into Medicine for International Students

Outstanding international year 12 students can apply for an assured place to study medicine or dentistry at UWA. To apply for this direct pathway international students must apply through the UWA International Centre by 31st May.

Successful applicants will need to:

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Students who succeed will have an assured place in the post graduate program as long as they have an undergraduate Grade Point Average of 5.5.

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The process for getting a place in any medicine course in Australia is rigorous. The Australian Council for Education Research that manages the ISAT test and interview process provides a lot of information to guide you along the way.


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Getting into Medicine in WA

There are three universities that offer medicine in WA.

Curtin University

CurtinThis is a 5 year degree. It is the only medicine degree in Western Australia that takes student directly from school.

Students must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

An ATAR minimum of 95 is required. Students must undertake the UMAT examination and an interview.

The course is for school leavers with special consideration being given to rural and remote students and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

 

 

 

 Notre Dame University

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This is a 4 year degree.

Successful applicants will already have a degree with a minimum Grade Point Average of 5.

Applicants must undertake the Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT). Applicants are also required to undertake an interview and Notre Dame also requires a Student of Medicine Application Folio which demonstrates more about the students personal attributes and suitability for acceptance.

International students are not currently eligible to apply.

UWA

 

UWA – This is a 4 year degree.

Only UWA provides dentistry in Western Australia.

Successful applicants for either course will already have a degree in another field and a minimum Grade Point Average of 5.5.

Applicants must undertake the GAMSAT. International applicants may undertake the Medical College Admissions Test. (MCAT)

Students must also undertake an interview.

ASSURED PATHWAY Outstanding WACE students with an ATAR of 99 can apply for an Assured Pathway. Applicants will have the confidence that they have a place within the medicine or dentistry program as long as they achieve a 5.5 Grade Point Average.

Applicants for an Assured Pathway must undertake the UMAT and international students can apply via the International Student Application Test.

Applicants for an Assured Pathway place must also undertake an interview.

Curtin University Undergraduate Degree 5 Years
Notre Dame Graduate Degree 4 Years
UWA Graduate Degree 4 Years

UMAT

Applicants for Curtin, for the UWA Assured Pathway offers or for places at undergraduate programs in other states will need to apply for the UMAT selection process.

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Registrations Close on 2 June and the test is conducted on 26 July.

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Register for UMAT online.

The test takes 3 hours.

It is possible to enrol in UMAT training programs. The Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) recommends that applicants to NOT bother to do these courses.

ACER provides sample tests, tutorials and extensive information to prepare applicants for the test.

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADMISSION TEST

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International students wishing to apply for the UWA Assured Pathway should undertake the ISAT test.

GRADUATE ENTRY

Applications for graduate entry are made in the final year of the first degree.

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International students should a undertake the Medical College Admissions Test

 

 

 

 

GRADE POINT AVERAGE

The average grade result over three years is taken into account for graduate entry scores. Universities give these scores different weightings for different years.

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INTERVIEWS

All admission processes include interviews. These are structured as multiple mini interviews.

There are 7 x 6 minute interviews.

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WHERE YOU CAN STUDY MEDICINE IN AUSTRALIA

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WHIRLPOOL

Social media provides chat on different medical courses. You can join the chat at Whirlpool.

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In Focus Careers delivers Getting Into Medicine presentations at high schools in Western Australia.


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Career Events WA This Week

Notre Dame Open Day Today

Street NDSunday 21 August 

Notre Dame staff and students really know how to make you welcome – as many people are discovering. Today is their Open Day and a great day to walk around the West End of Freo.

ECU Health Sciences 

This information evening is for those interested in becoming paramedics, working in speech pathology, occupational therapy, and health-related careers.

23 August  6pm 

 

 

420ECU Sports and Medical Sciences

This information evening is for people interested in health and sport and who would love to work in the area.

24 August at 6.00pm

ECU Pathways 

If you need general information about how to get into ECU and alternative pathways to uni this is the information evening for you.

25 August at 6.00pm 

ECU Nursing and Midwifery 

At our Nursing and Midwifery Information Evening you will experience hands-on demonstrations, take a tour of our facilities and you will also have the opportunity to discuss courses and careers with our experienced academic staff.

26 August at 5:30pm


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Work Experience, Cheat Sheets and other Goss

Heard at the Career Advisors’ Conference yesterday:

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  • The GREaT nursing and midwifery work experience program is run by the Health Department. This year there were 200 places and 800 applications. They are thinking about tightening up the application process next year.

 

 

 

 

  • ECU is starting a Diploma of Screen Performance with 25 students next year. Auditions will be via Vimeo portfolio. The audition subjects will be announced in November.

 

  • There is going to be increasing flexibility in university entrance processes with more emphasis on end of Semester 1 Year 12 results.


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Future Careers in Health

Fullscreen capture 14062016 123519 PM.bmpDiscover emerging health industry careers and find how traditional health professional roles are changing at the Nursing and Health Expo on Sunday 19th June.

WA’s main  university and TAFE health education providers will be at the Convention Centre from 8.30 to answer your questions and there are also a number of specialist colleges available.

Industry organisations are represented, there are people from government agencies and representatives from health campuses across the metropolitan area.

A seminar program on subjects like getting into nursing and midwifery, mental health nursing and graduate opportunities starts at 8.45.

For more details look up the Nursing and Health Careers Expo.