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So You Want to be a Doctor – 2 Events in Perth

1. Discover the Perkins 

2. Future Health Professionals Scitech Workshop

Two events are coming up that will be of interest to those who are considering high end health careers.

Discover the Perkins

Saturday 16 November 10am – 3.30pm Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Nedlands

You are invited to Discover the Perkins, Western Australia’s medical research facility!

The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is Western Australia’s landmark research institute dedicated to finding answers to the deadly diseases affecting our loved ones. This is your chance to see the Perkins first-hand, explore the labs, become a scientist for a day and hear from the experts.

You can discover details and enrol in different workshops HERE.

SciTEch Future Health Professionals

5 Day summer holiday career exploration for senior school students.

Applications close on November 18 for this fantastic Scitech program. It is done in partnership with medical experts and there are great opportunities for hands-on experiences.

I spoke at the workshop last year and was blown away by the intelligence, enthusiasm and joy being expressed by the lucky 30 students who had been selected for the program.

If you are thinking about a career in medicine this workshop is highly recommended.

Applications for the 2020 Future Health Professionals program are open to Western Australian students entering Year 11 or Year 12 in 2020. Applications for the program opened on October 28th and will close on November 18th. To register, please submit an application

The Future Health Professionals program for 2020 will take place from January 20-24.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Erin Kelly, Scitech STEM Careers Coordinator at erin.kelly@scitech.org.au.

My Commitment to West Australian Careers Education

You can contact me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au or M: 0434056412

To help West Australians to become insanely great careers educators I….

  • Write 10 insanely great issues of In Focus Careers newsletter each year.
  • Create resources that make teachers into Super Heroes as they inspire students.
  • Deliver the best possible information via presentations.
  • Create an insanely great network of teachers, industry experts and parents who are supporting insanely great careers education for all West Australian students.

To become a member of the In Focus Careers Community of Careers Educators subscribe here:

 

 


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7 – 19 July ATAR Revision Programs

If you want to boost your ATAR results check out this list of different ATAR revision programs.  These providers also do OLNA and NAPLAN revision programs.

Providers

Master mind

Master Mind Australia intensive revision of the syllabus and assessment preparation, including the effective modelling of answers to ATAR-style exam questions.

Claremont   – Guildford   Mindarie – Wembley Downs        – South Perth

Academic Taskforce

Academic Task Force specialist teachers work with students showing them how to apply what they have learnt at school, how to prepare for their exams and how to maximize their exam performance.

Rossmoyne SHS  – Churchlands SHS- Perth College –  Perth Modern School

ATARget

ATARget ATAR Revision, ATAR Exam Preparation and Study Skills programs focus on strengthening students’ understanding of subjects, boosting classroom confidence and improving examination performance.

WACE PLus

WACE+ ATAR Revision, ATAR Exam Preparation and Study Skills programs focus on strengthening students’ understanding of subjects, boosting classroom confidence and improving examination performance.

TEE Consultants

TEE Consultants deliver intensive courses for year 12 students seeking university.

Courses are run at UWA and Murdoch.

Academic associates

Academic Associates conducts courses in most WACE subjects. See latest timetable.

Venues: UWA and Notre Dame University.

Accredited Tutor

Accredited Tutor delivers small group classes in most WACE classes, exam preparation and study skills.

Revise Online

Revise Online Those who prefer to revise by themselves or those who live in rural and remote areas my like Revise Online. You can find their range of services HERE.

Teachers

INDIVIDUAL TUTORS

Many semi-retired teachers continue to tutor in their specialty subject.

These teachers have a lifetime of knowledge of their subject, what examiners are looking for and tips for success.

Ask at your school front office to see if they know anyone you can contact.

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ECU ATAR revision programs are run from September 30 – October 4 at the Joondalup and Bunbury campuses.

These are a free service to Year 12 students.

Register for Joondalup HERE.

Register for Bunbury HERE.

In Focus Careers Newsletter

Discover your world of possibilities with a monthly dose of insanely great career news and information:

 

Testimonial

I have found your material invaluable.  The information you have put together is thorough – a one-stop-shop in a sea of information that is out there.  I have utilised this information on a regular basis with others throughout the school.

(South Metropolitan Government High School.)

My Commitment to West Australian Careers Education

For In Focus Careers to be the conduit to Insanely Great Careers Information for West Australian careers teachers and students I undertake to:

  • Write 10 insanely great issues of In Focus Careers newsletter each year that focus on the needs of West Australian students and careers teachers.
  • Search for local, national and international information that could impact on the careers of West Australian students.
  • Connect you with insanely great careers teachers across the In Focus Careers network.
  • Listen to and support West Australian careers teachers

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Email: Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Register Now for Clinical Aptitude Test – Concessions and Access Applications Close 10 May

Applications close for Concession and Access consideration for the UCAT on 10 May.

Those considering applying for either Concession or Access consideration should Register Now

UMATConcessions

There are concessions for people who hold or are dependent on a person with a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card.

Applications close on 10 May.

Go HERE for information.

Access

Candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries may be entitled to extra time or accommodations when sitting the test, however applications for these arrangements must be accompanied by suitable official documentation and be approved in advance by the UCAT ANZ office.

Applications for Access considerations close on 10 May

Go HERE for information.

More Choice

You have a choice of times and locations when you book your test.

In the past regional and remote students were disadvantaged as the old test was always held after the mid year holidays. The timing is now more suited to the needs of applicants.

Practice Tests and Resources

The best change is the number of practice tests and resources for candidates. There are videos and practice tests on the UCAT site.

UCAT recommends that you do NOT go to private companies to learn how to do well on this test as this is the first time it has been run in Australia and they have little idea of what to expect.

UCAT have put up a lot of information and they have done everything they can to ensure candidates have the best opportunity to demonstrate their strengths.

Good Luck with your application.

If you have applied for a Concession or for Access consideration can you let us know if the process worked for you?

In Focus Careers Newsletter

If you would like to check out my insanely great newsletter let me know:

Testimonial

Thank you for all your hard work with the newsletters this year, they have been a Godsend. 

(Eastern Suburbs Catholic Education School.)

My Commitment to West Australian Careers Education

For In Focus Careers to be the conduit to Insanely Great Careers Information for West Australian students I undertake to:

  • Write 10 insanely great issues of In Focus Careers newsletter each year that focus on the needs of West Australian students and careers teachers.
  • Search for local, national and international information that could impact on the careers of West Australian students.
  • Consult across the In Focus Careers network gathering information and advice to share.
  • Listen to and support West Australian careers teachers
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Bev Johnson

M: 0434 056 412

Email: Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au


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Anything BUT Medicine

“Anything BUT medicine,” a year 12 student with an ATAR of 99 told me in 2017.

“Mum and Dad are both doctors. I don’t want that for my life. I see the how hard they work, the worry and the stress.  I would like to do physics at uni. I am thinking of going into teaching.”

Every second outstanding student in Western Australia seems to be looking to medicine as their preferred career.  It’s not difficult to see why they want to become doctors.

Everyday doctors strive to make people’s lives better.

It is a high prestige, well paid job.

To earn these rewards you need to take on momentous responsibility, work long hours and be more resilient than almost any other profession.

Patients are very demanding, they are sick, and all too often you cannot cure them. That is hard to work with.

Beyond Blue reportAustralian doctors report psychological stress, depression and suicidal thoughts at rates twice as high as the general population.

Physicians are twice as likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population, with rates even higher for female doctors.

You can find out more at:

Being A Doctor Should Not Have To Come With A Health Warning  and you can find the National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students HERE.

There are alternative careers for high performing students that will challenge your intelligence, creativity and problem-solving abilities as they deliver rich and exciting careers.

If you are not sure how to find alternative careers for high achieving students email Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au 

 

 


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Getting Into Medicine – UMAT to UCAT

If you want to get into medicine in 2020 registrations for the UCAT are now open. 

Two West Australian universities have switched from the University Medical Admissions Test (UMAT) to the University Clinical Admissions Test (UCAT) for the 2020 intake: 

  • Curtin University is the only one to offer school leavers direct access to medicine as an undergraduate degree. The UCAT is now the external exam that is part of the application process. 
  • UWA – Direct Entry to Medicine and Dentistry. A limited number of students with an ATAR of 99 will be offered direct entry to medicine or dentistry. Those who are confident of an outstanding ATAR score must do the UCAT as part of their application process. Direct Entry students undertake an undergraduate degree before starting medicine. 

The University of Notre Dame is the other West Australian university to offer medicine. Applicants must have successfully completed a degree as part of the application process and they undertake an external test for graduates  (GAMSAT

UMATWhat is the UCAT?

The UCAT seems better than the old UMAT. 

It is a 2 hour, multiple choice, competency based test that seeks to determine your innate suitability to become a doctor. It can be done at any time in July but must be done by the end of the month. 

The test is done in your final year of school and you can only do the test once per year.  The 2019 test is only for entry to medicine in 2020. 

There are 5 elements to the test – Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Situational Judgement. There is an abundance of information about the tests on the UCAT site.

Why UCAT is Better

Students from regional and remote schools don’t have to take time off school during term time to do the test. 

There has been a lot of consideration given to applicants who have a medical condition or disability and modified tests are available for those applicants. 

There has been a lot more work done to prepare students for the tests. There are practice tests, videos, tutorials, question banks…. everything they can think of to help you to perform well, has been provided. 

UCAT’s attention to providing  information and coaching on techniques and timing is the best way to prepare for the test. You must do the preparation that is provided on the UCAT site if you hope to be competitive in the test. 

Further Information

Powerpoint - whirlpool

As this is the first time the UCAT has been run in Australia there will be little knowledge to share among applicants but  Whirlpool  and Medstudentsonline are two social media sites where you can chat to other applicants around Australia. 

In Focus Careers Newsletter 

To stay informed about West Australian developments in employment, education and training subscribe to the insanely great In Focus Careers Newsletter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Curtin Pathway to Becoming a Doctor

Apply in Year 12

Curtin Medical School offers the only West Australian Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery program that students can enter directly from school. Both UWA and Notre Dame offer medicine courses but they require applicants to have done a degree as part of the application process.

(Go HERE for information about UWA Direct Pathway program.)

Curtin’s Focus

CaptureCurtin is focusing on providing medical services in rural, regional and remote (RRR) Western Australia so are using their Curtin’s Step Up criteria  to help RRR applicants and students from outer metropolitan schools to apply. This Set Up list will be finalised for 2019 in July. You may qualify for an Equity Bonus even if your school isn’t on the list so keep an eye on the Curtin updates.

You can only get 5 bonus points even if you qualify on the Set Up list and for the Equity Bonus.

They are aiming to have 25% of students from RRR areas.

The Curtin course is only in its second year and there were 1511 applicants for the 70 places offered this year so even with the additional support it is a very competitive program to get into.

Most of the places were given to school leavers and only 6 places were given to course switchers or mature age students.

There will be 80 places in 2019.

 

Applying for Medicine at Curtin

Use the normal TISC process to apply. Aboriginal Flag

Curtin is providing support to enable Aboriginal students to gain a place. Aboriginal students should apply through the Aboriginal Studies Indigenous Pathway.

 

Course Length

The Curtin Degree is 5 years long after which students do a 2 year internship.

Studying medicine is just your first step in your medical academic career. After completing your internship you will take on further study to be a GP, surgeon, obstetrician or some other specialisation.

While most university courses have short academic contact years, the Curtin Medical School requires students to have 40+ contact weeks.

ATAR Requirements

Applicants must have a minimum ATAR of 95. The lowest ATAR score for 2018 was 96.15.

RRR students who can show they are eligible  according to Curtin criteria will get 5 bonus points added to their ATAR score.

Chemistry is an essential prerequisite for applicants.

Human biology is not a prerequisite as it is taught in first year, however those students who have already done human biol at school will find it easier to get good grades in this subject at uni.

Applicants who pass the UMAT must provide a predicted ATAR score from their school on the form that Curtin provides before the end of November so that Curtin can use that mark to shortlist applicants for interviews.

The ATAR is worth 40% of the application score.

UMAT Requirements

UMATStudents must undertake the UMAT exam and score at least 50 in each of the 3 exams.

Students who qualify on Curtin’s disadvantaged criteria must achieve a TOTAL of 150 across the 3 exams.

There are practice UMAT tests on the site and students need to do those in order to know what to expect.

There are private training organisations that provide UMAT coaching. ACER, which runs the UMAT says not to bother. Some students do…. You need to make up your own mind about whether to do the additional coaching or not.

The UMAT is held on 25 July. You must apply by 1 June.

TIP: If you have put Medicine at Curtin as your first TISC preference and you don’t achieve the requirements in the UMAT, change your preference with TISC. You can do that after the closing date by paying a fee.

The UMAT is worth 20% of the application score. 

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)

These sound like torture.

All applicants who are shortlisted based on their ATAR and UMAT results are invited to undertake interviews.

That sounds harmless enough….

The MMIs are 8 consecutive interviews of 10 minutes each.

  • Students go to a room.
  • There is a scenario written on a page on the door of the room.
  • You have 2 minutes to read the scenario.
  • You are invited into the room and you have 8 minutes to talk about the scenario.
  • You leave and go to the next room.
  • Repeat.

This routine can vary slightly from year to year. Last year they were 6 minute interviews.  Again, Curtin will let you know the drill if you qualify for an interview.

For the 2018 intake there were 350 interviews offered. As many of the applicants were from the eastern states and got offers from their local universities, 200 undertook interviews at Curtin.

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.

The MMIs are worth 40% of your application.

Teaching and Learning Approach

Curtin takes a problem based learning and evidence based teaching approach that is supported by clinical skills tutorials. Students learn to work as part of health care teams by problem solving in consultation with students in other health care courses.

Once students have developed skills in a classroom setting they take up full time placement in hospitals. Medical student - Copy

The academic demands of the course are high. Students need to be resilient to cope with the study demands and they need to be resilient to deal with the adversity that often faces doctors.

Check out the Inherent Requirements of Curtin Medical students to see the sort of attributes they are looking for in the interview.

Presentation Video

You can watch a video of  the Curtin Getting Into Medicine presentation HERE.

More Information

If you have any further questions about studying medicine at Curtin, please give the Future Students team a call on 1300 222 888.

You can find other blog posts about getting into medicine at:

Getting Into Medicine Presentation

 

If you would like a presentation on Getting Into Medicine at your school contact me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au or ring me on 0434 056 412.

 

 

Subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter

To stay up to date with West Australian careers news subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter. Front Page May

 

 

 

 


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Designing the Best Pathway to Medicine

The path to medicine is the starting point in your career.

Collage

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.

Speakers talked about their careers in pharmacology, microbiology, genetics, and audiology.

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.

hand-1571849_1920

Speakers in the various presentations across the Open Day made a few key points:

Go Broad

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.

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Communication Skills

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.

Network

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.

Finally

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:

See A Day in the Life of a Med Student at UWA HERE

Getting Into Medicine Presentation

If you would like a presentation on Getting Into Medicine at your school contact me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au or ring me on 0434 056 412.

 

 

Subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter

To stay up to date with West Australian careers news subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter.

Front Page May


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Getting Into Medicine WA

I can’t believe how many West Australian students try to get into medicine or dentistry.

Medicine at Canning block out

My Getting Into Medicine or Dentistry presentation at Canning College.

There are so many outstanding students who are chasing a place in one of these courses and the information sessions that the unis put on are crowded.

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Curtin, UWA and Notre Dame universities all offer a medical degree course and UWA also offers dentistry.

  • Notre Dame has their course information session on 25 March
  • UWA is showcasing its Doctor of Medicine (MD), the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) at the Health Campus Open Day on April 8
  • Curtin’s is scheduled for 24 April.

The people attending these sessions seem to be getting younger and younger  so don’t be worried about going to an information session if you are only in Year 10.

ChildCurtin

Curtin1Curtin offers the only direct entry  Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery program available to school leavers in WA and there is 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.

Curtin’s focus is on providing doctors to rural, regional and remote areas.  If you have a background in the bush you have the background they are looking for.

This year there are 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.

Length of Course: 5 Years

ATAR: 95 (there are conditions around this that need to be explored HERE.)

Essential WACE courses

Chemistry ATAR If you haven’t studied chemistry contact the Medicine Admissions Coordinator Jo Washington King, to find out what to do.

 Desirable WACE courses

Mathematics Methods ATAR, Mathematics Specialist ATAR or Mathematics Applications ATAR

UMAT score (Register for UMAT HERE.)

Interview Those students who score highest on their ATAR and UMAT will be given an interview. See notes below on Multiple Mini Interviews.

English competency

  • Curtin is also seeking a range of Inherent Requirements which feel a bit difficult to pin down.
  • See current students speaking on YouTube HERE.
  • Register for the Information Evening and Webinar
  • You can find my notes from the 2017 presentation with suggestions from students HERE.

UWA

UWAThe UWA Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degrees are 4-year courses that require applicants to have already completed an undergraduate degree.

 It is possible to gain a Direct Pathway (guaranteed place) into medicine or dentistry if you have an ATAR of 99. (You still need to complete your first degree prior to starting medicine or dentistry.)

There are 24 places Direct Pathway places available in Dentistry and 65 placed available in Medicine.

Year 12s should apply for a Direct Pathway place via the normal TISC process in August-September.

You will require a:

  • Minimum ATAR of 99 or equivalent (Applicants are also required to submit the Predicted ATAR form.)
  • Suitable UMAT score in 2018 for 2019 academic intake. You can register for that HERE. UMAT results are valid for one year.

The UMAT is held on 25th July.   Results will be available in September.

  • Successful interview

The final rating will be based on UMAT, ATAR and Interview and will be weighted 1:2:2 respectively.

Applicants are also required to have:

Dentistry applicants must also meet:

  • Satisfactory completion of the Spatial Awareness Test
  • Eyesight Requirements

International Applicants for Direct Pathway

High achieving secondary school leavers may be eligible to apply for an International place in the Direct Pathways for the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).

Applicants will be required to provide ISAT results when they apply.ISAT

Applications are via the UWA OASys portal.  The next round of applications is for 2019 entry and opened on 1 March 2018 and close 31 May 2018.

 Recommended subjects

It is recommended that applicants have undertaken at least:

  • Physics to year 12 level
  • Chemistry to first year university level (including completion of year 12 level chemistry)

Bachelor Degree

A place in the MD and DMD is conditional upon successful completion of a bachelor degree with a minimum Faculty Grade Point Average of 5.5.

GPA

There are no preferred bachelor courses required prior to the Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Dental Medicine.

Applicants for the UWA post graduate degree WHO DO NOT HAVE A DIRECT PATHWAY need to do the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test.

It is similar to the UMAT and is also run by the Australian Council for Educational Research.  It is run twice a year – in March and September.

GAMSAT

The Notre Dame Getting Into Medicine information session is held the day after the GAMSAT. You can always pick the people who did the GAMSAT… They are the ones who look exhausted!!exhausted

Notre Dame

logo-notre-dame

This is a 4-year post graduate degree for domestic applicants only.

As with UWA selection is based on:

  • Grade Point Average
  • GAMSAT
  • An Interview

AND

  • A personal folio that demonstrates your suitability for medicine at Notre Dame.

Grade Point Average

Notre Dame says that successful applicants will already have a degree with a minimum Grade Point Average of 5. This score may be misleading as students usually have a Grade Point Average higher than 6.

Applicants must undertake the Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT).

Interviews

IMG_7308 (2017_12_27 02_56_53 UTC)Applicants are also required to undertake an interview process…. which is described below.

Notre Dame Folio

Notre Dame also requires a Student of Medicine Application Folio which demonstrates more about the student’s personal attributes and suitability for acceptance.

Notre Dame usually wants to know WHY you want to study at Notre Dame and WHY you want to study the course you have chosen for any course so you would need to be clear on that.

Pre-Medicine Certificate

IMG_7312 (2017_12_27 02_56_53 UTC)Notre Dame offers a Pre-Medicine Certificate that its students can take WHILE they are doing their undergraduate degree (and getting a high GPA!).

This pathway also provides students with a mentor from the ND School of Medicine.

Completion of this Certificate will guarantee an INTERVIEW as part of the medical course application process if your GPA and GAMSAT reach the minimal score.

Multiple Mini Interviews

emojiThe 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.

UMAT

UMATCurtin and UWA Direct Entry require a UMAT score as part of their application process.

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 25th July in 2018. Registration for the Test closes on 1 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:

  • Critical thinking and Problem Solving
  • Understanding People
  • Non-verbal Reasoning

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. Curtin Medical Student 2017

You can find out more about the structure of the test, and the registration procedure in their downloadable Guide. UMAT offers practise tests which are an essential part of preparation.

Many businesses offer courses on how to blitz the UMAT. There is considerable discussion about the value of these tests and the accuracy of the information they provide. In an online world there are a lot of free resources available to help you to prepare. BUT, some students will have done one of these courses.

On the UMAT site it says:

Intensive preparation is not advisable or necessary.  However, wide and critical reading may provide helpful preparation and, as with any test, some practice in answering questions of a similar type, and under similar time constraints as those found in the real test is helpful and reassuring to most candidates. It is also helpful to practice using a machine-readable answer sheet similar to the one in the actual test.

Extra Help

I like asking questions on Whirlpool.net.au . It might not be any more reliable than Facebook but you get to ask people who are in the field for their thoughts. You can even ask what students at different unis think about their medical courses.

Medstudentsonline is similar to Whirlpool. You can join in discussion threads about the application process.

MedEntry  has practice exams, blog articles and information about UMAT.

MedView is a business that prepares students for medical school entry processes. You can get an assessment HERE.

There are companies like Matrix that help you to prepare for the UMAT.

That’s It – Getting into Medicine is a Tough Gig

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 become a physics teacher.

The health industry is the fasted growing industry in Australia. The application of AI to diagnostics and the use of robotics is creating a boom in new health related career choices.  West Australian universities are onto this and competing to be leaders in new postgraduate health education fields.

There might be a life for you in one of these new careers.

Making medicine or dentistry your first choice is fine at this stage but as you go down that path check out the emerging opportunities that are making those fields more specialised and diverse.

Good Luck with Your Choices. 

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SCHOOLS PRESENTATION ON GETTING INTO MEDICINE

I bring together the key information you need in a one-hour presentation about West Australian medical degree courses.

Contact me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au or ring me on M:0434056412


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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 25th July in 2018. Registration for the Test closes on 1 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.

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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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.