In Focus Careers

Be a Hero in the Classroom


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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

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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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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.