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University of Queensland Ochsner Clinic Program recognized by all 50 States?

Discussion in 'Australasia and Oceania' started by JohnSnow, Jan 9, 2012.

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  1. JohnSnow

    JohnSnow

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    Are graduates of the University of Queensland's Ochsner Program recognized for licensure by the medical boards of all 50 US States?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  2. Medico290

    Medico290 Member

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    I recently looked into the program however I have decided not to apply. The Ochsner students are currently not eligible to practice in California (per the application: i. UQ is in the process of making an application for recognition to the Medical Board of California. Graduates of the UQ-Ochsner program would not be allowed to become licensed in California at this time.) or New York (read it somewhere online, schools must be on a list of medical schools approved to conduct long-term clinical electives outside the country where the school is located, UQ Ochsner is NOT on this list).

    $208,000 is a lot of money to ask for a program that isn't recognized by all 50 states. If you want to study medicine at the University of Queensland the best bet is to apply to traditional 4-year program that is conducted entirely in Australia.
  3. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    These comments could not be further from the truth and are embarrassingly misleading. To that effect, be careful whom you listen to on this website. Do you want to know the source that Medico290 is referring to? Notice it's a mere FORUM.

    http://www.valuemd.com/australian-medical-schools/194059-uq-ochsner-ny-medical-boards.html

    The FOUR-YEAR medical program undertaken at UQ IN AUSTRALIA allows you to do up to three of your 8-week (up to 24 weeks) core clerkships during 3rd- and 4th-year overseas (e.g. in America, Malaysia).

    If you are in the UQ-Ochsner program, however, you spend years 1+2 in Australia and 3+4 in the States, with the exception that one clerkship is undertaken here in Australia. It's actually a beautifully constructed program. This has absolutely nothing to do with licensing and/or practicing medicine in any particular state once you finish medical school. The only factor that will determine where you can practice in the States is your person (AND your USMLE scores + research, etc.).
  4. Medico290

    Medico290 Member

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    I'm not looking to pick a fight but..

    I emailed the New York State Education Department for clarification regarding this issue, I received a response this afternoon.

    I was told that graduates of the UQ Ochsner program would not be eligible to do residency in NY due to the duration of the clerkships being completed outside of Australia.

    However, I do not know if that means graduates of UQ-Ochsner can never be licensed in NY if they do a residency elsewhere in the US, the education credential specialist for the NYS Board for Medicine that emailed me did not elaborate on it.

    If you have concrete evidence that refutes what I have posted please post it. It would be appreciated. I'm just looking for the truth. Cheers!

    EDIT: regarding the 4-year program, I don't have a whole lot of information on that. I merely meant that if somebody is set on studying at UQ and wants to return to the US and be eligible to practice in all 50 States they should opt for the traditional route. I don't know the State medical board criteria for all the States, but I believe students studying at international medical schools wishing to return to the US for residency are encouraged to do 1-2 clinical rotations in the US at ACGME accredited programs. Just because UQ views doing 3 8-week electives acceptable for Australian licensure does not mean that US State medical boards will see things the same way (I'm not saying that they won't because I don't know, but they could)

    Oh, and the UQ-Ochsner 1+2 Oz 3+4 US definitely effects State licensure, see about California above, if you don't believe that reference the UQ-Ochsner application, it's on there.

    http://www.mededpath.org/application_form.pdf see page 6, number 2.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  5. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    I would say you're better off just not posting.
  6. Modern Nomad

    Modern Nomad

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    Just found this in a memo to residency directors in New York from the State of New York Department of Health:

    Medical School Education / Clinical Clerkships
    Previous guidance required that each facility verify all U.S. clerkships completed by graduates of international medical schools. Verification of clerkship attendance and dates of rotations were required for each facility at which a clerkship took place. Effective immediately, facilities will no longer be required to verify such information for candidates entering accredited residency programs.

    Current Department of Health (DOH) regulations (10NYCRR, Section 405.4(f)(1)(ii)) do limit the eligibility of post-graduate trainees whose medical education included more than 12 weeks of clerkship training outside of the country where the medical school is located unless that medical school is approved by the NYSED. Facilities must review applications, transcripts or other documentation to determine if a candidate participated in clerkships of more than 12 weeks. The NYSED has approved the following medical schools for clerkships of more than 12 weeks. The listing of approved medical schools is periodically updated and available on the NYSED website at http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/med/medforms.htm

    • American University of Antigua, Antigua
    • American University of the Caribbean, St. Martin, Netherland Antilles
    • The Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico
    • English Language Program, University of Debrecen, Medical and Health Science Center,
    Medical School, Debrecen, Hungary
    • English Language Program, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
    • English Language Program, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
    • Fatima College of Medicine, Manila, Philippines
    • International Health and Medicine Program, Ben Gurion University of the Negrev, Beer-
    Sheva, Israel
    • Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India
    • Medical University of the Americas/Nevis, Nevis, West Indies
    • Ross University School of Medicine, Roseau, Dominica
    • Saba University School of Medicine, Saba, Netherland Antilles
    • St. George's University School of Medicine, St. George's, Grenada
    • St. Matthew's University School of Medicine, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

    √ Medical students whose medical education included more than 12 weeks outside of the country where the medical school is located are ineligible to participate in post-graduate training programs in New York State if the medical school is not approved by the NYSED for extended clerkships.


    Also in the FAQs:

    Q: How would a facility review a candidate’s application to determine if clinical clerkship training would meet NYS requirements?

    A: Facilities would need to review a chronology of the candidates medical school education to determine if the training included more than 12 weeks of clinical clerkship training outside of the country where the medical school is located. If more than 12 weeks of clinical clerkship training did occur outside of the country where the school is located, then that medical school must be approved by the NYSED.



    I am wondering why MedEdPath, Dr. Pinsky, and University of Queensland failed to mention this. It is a bit concerning because many students in the program are from New York, there is heavy recruitment for the program taking place in New York, and MedEdPath is based in New York.

    If there is other information that I am unaware of please let me know. I would like clarification if I am mistaken.

    I attached the original memo to this post.

    Attached Files:

  7. Medico290

    Medico290 Member

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    You are very right.

    MedEdPath makes the UQ Ochsner Program sound too good to be true. They tell applicants that it's the applicant's responsibility to verify which states they can practice in. That's a cop out. They know their degree isn't recognized in America. And actually, no UQ Ochsner the applicant is potentially paying $210,000 to attend your program. It is your responsibility to verify which states graduates are eligible for licensure in. Furthermore, an applicant is in no position to apply for school approval for places like California & New York but UQ or MedEdPath is.

    In truth applicants are better off going to the St James School of Medicine that is advertized so heavily on here. It costs like $80K for the whole program and gives you just about the same options upon graduation as UQ Ochsner. Well technically going Ochsner you're eligible to practice in Australia but unless you're a PR or Citizen you won't get a slot.
  8. marble30

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    .
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  9. Medico290

    Medico290 Member

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    I would like to clarify that although I've been harsh on the UQ-Ochsner program it is still very new. They stand an excellent chance at getting their graduates approved for licensure in all 50 states.

    However, until they get to work on proving that they are working towards licensure in all 50 states it is very hard to justify asking applicants to pay $52,000 per year for a school that essentially gives graduates the same options (within the US) as a $20,000 per year Caribbean school.

    If they want to market themselves as an Australian school whose graduates can practice in the United States then they best make sure their graduates can practice in all 50 of the United States or at least drop the price by about $25,000 per year.

    I'm very interested to see how well their graduates do in the match. Many of the IMG friendly residencies are in NY. The populations of NY & California (approximately 60 million people) make up roughly 1/5 of the whole country's population therefore there are a lot more patients, and consequently a lot more residency programs in those two states than most others.

    Now. I've only looked into NY & California and UQ Ochsner graduates are ineligible to practice in BOTH places. I'm sure there are more places that won't allow them either. Texas & Florida are known to be fairly strict when it comes to approving IMGs for licensure.
  10. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    I think you guys might be having a bit of difficulty understanding what this means:

    UQ-Ochsner students' third- and fourth-year clerkships are done at Ochsner Medical Center in Louisiana. Graduates receive degrees recognizing both UQ AND Ochsner as contributory medical institutions. UQ and Ochsner Medical Center are recognized for the pre-clinical and clinical components, respectively, and the one eight-week clerkship that Ochsner students do in Australia is not in violation of the clause, since the remainder of the clerkships are undertaken in the US at Ochsner (or other institutions), which has already been approved as a second host institution.

    Nevertheless, the program is worth it. Some of the USMLE scores that have been generated here have been astounding.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  11. Medico290

    Medico290 Member

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    But the medical degree is issued from the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia. Therefore, Ochsner students are completing way more than 12 weeks of rotations outside of the country where the degree granting institution is located (Australia).

    You are correct, I don't understand your interpretation. Could you please try to clarify? When I asked NYS education board they said Ochsner students would be ineligible to do a NY residency because of the duration of the clinical rotations being completed outside of Australia.

    Essentially UQ-Ochsner conducts a similar program to the Caribbean schools that have US clinicals, and those programs still need approval by NYSED. There is no reason to think that UQ-Ochsner should be exempt from that requirement.

    I think UQ-Ochsner would stand a good chance of getting approval from NYSED if they applied for it but there is no indication that they have done so.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  12. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    As mentioned before:

    Good luck with your application to medical schools.
  13. guy30

    guy30

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    If I'm not mistaken, Oschner is not a degree-granting institution, and the actual 'medical school' is considered to be the University of Queensland? Therefore the 12 weeks of clinical clerkship training would have occurred outside the country where the actual school is located (Australia) since Oschner is not a medical school but rather a health care institution?
  14. UQ Ochsner 2015

    UQ Ochsner 2015

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    This is for my own clarification not to pick a fight:

    I spoke with a representative from the medical boards of Colorado and Arkansas. Both states use California's list of approved medical schools for determining licensure. University of Queensland is on that list. Nevertheless, the application for the program does state that students will not be eligible at this point to practice in California. Dr. Pinsky (head of the Ochsner Clinical school) told me personally that he couldn’t foresee any reason why there would be a problem attaining full approval from the California State Medical Board for the UQ/Ochsner program. According to him this is because Ochsner is an approved clinical school in the state of California and the University of Queensland is an approved medical school in the state of California. I have no reason to doubt that in the near future California will no longer be an issue at all for graduates from this program. But it is still up in the air at the moment as far as I know.

    As for New York, I still don’t know what the deal is with that. The medical school grants the degree for this program and the medical school for this particular degree is the University of Queensland, located in Australia NOT Australia and the United States. I don’t understand how Ochsner Medical Center being approved as a contributory medical institution by the AMC in Australia makes any difference.

    The reasoning just seems a little fuzzy and I don’t see any really concrete evidence that would convince someone at the NYSED or The New York State Department of Health that UQ/Oschner students are exempt from the 12 weeks rule.

    As far as I have been told the degree will not say anything about Ochsner on it. Just as if your clinical school were in Redcliffe, Toowoomba, or Nambour there would be no indication of where you did your clerkships. The degree will simply be from the University of Queensland and because more than 12 weeks of clerkship are completed outside of Australia in the UQ/Ochsner program it seems that the New York 12 weeks rule does apply.

    As previously stated, New York is one of the most IMG friendly states for residencies and to have that taken off the table is a big deal for anyone thinking about the program or currently in the program.

    According to Medico290, the response from the education credential specialist for the NYS Board for Medicine says that UQ/Ochsner graduates will NOT be eligible for residency. (I am currently awaiting a response to my own email to the New York State Department of Health to confirm this).

    Phloston, if you have any documented evidence or could give me the name of an administrator of the program that I should talk to either at UQ or Ochsner or someone at the New York State Department of Health that could provide me some concrete evidence or some assurance that New York is going to allow graduates from the UQ/Ochsner program to do residencies in that state I would be very grateful.

    If graduates cannot complete residencies in the state of New York at the very least this issue should be disclosed to future applicants just like the California restriction was disclosed on the application in previous years. Furthermore, this entire issue should be clarified to current students by the OMSA reps or the program administration before the census date because I know that there are at least several current students that are aware of this New York issue and are concerned.
  15. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    Hi all.

    I am the Academic Officer for the Ochsner Student Medical Association which represents the UQ-Ochsner cohort. I apologize that I do not have enough time to write a longer more detailed post.

    However, in short, there is absolutely no restriction to our licensure or ability to do residency in any state in the US. Many of the posters above got it right.

    I read the MEP application and the statement at the end is simply incorrect. I will be frank when I say that their ability to disseminate accurate information about the program is less than adequate. They are often a step behind and make assumptions from time to time. This is NOT reflective of the program - they are merely an application processing service that is a third party and otherwise completely independent from the program.

    Moving on. I have personally researched California specifically, and read all the relevant legalese. It was extremely tedious and onerous. However, I can assure you that there is no issue there. Additionally, the dean of the SoM just in January went and spoke with the MBC in person and was told that there was no problem with us obtaining license or residency there. The issues that remain are simply to streamline the process because of a couple of extra requirements that CA has - we satisfy both, but merely wish to make the process more streamlined.

    As for NY - I have not researched this specifically myself. However, I can see no reason why we would have an issue there. I am well aware of the 12 week rule. We all have from the beginning. Others have told me it would be no issue. But moreso, the answer is very simple:

    UQ grants the degree, not Ochsner.
    UQ is approved on the FAIMER list.
    The program is accredited as a UQ program, INCLUDING Ochsner as UQ's clinical school
    UQ also hold clinical schools in Malaysia and Brunei
    Thus, doing rotations in the US, Malaysia, or Brunei would not count as doing them "outside of the country of your medical school" because UQ AS A MEDICAL SCHOOL exists in all these countries and IS ACCREDITED AS SUCH.
    Furthermore the degree that is granted is, in every way, shape, and form, identical to any other degree granted by UQ SoM (i.e. the same as a 4-year Aussie student). There is no delineation (for legal purposes) that we are Ochsner students. Thus the ECFMG treats us exactly the same and our credentials are exactly the same.
    I understand that above it was said that the NYMB would potentially look at things individually and thus see that our rotations were all in Ochsner. This does not change the fact that Ochsner is not a clinical school "outside of the country of our medical school." UQ, by definition and accreditation, is a medical school in America as well as Australia.

    For the person who asked specifically and was told by the NYMB or whomever that it would not fly - how did you ask? They probably are not specifically familiar with our paradigm nor the way in which UQ is legally structured and accredited. So if you asked something to the effect of "I'm doing this program at an Australian SoM but do two years of clinicals in New Orleans..." they would likely say no-go just on principle. It is a new paradigm, but even the American Medical Association is giving the program kudos.

    Anyways, hope that is helpful. I will try and check back periodically to help answer any further questions. If you have further questions, I would recommend you direct them to the appropriate faculty at the SoM or at Ochsner.
  16. Medico290

    Medico290 Member

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    The University of Queensland or Ochsner Health System or MedEdPath should make a list of all the states where UQ-Ochsner graduates are eligible to practice.

    I don't understand your logic for why UQ-Ochsner should be NY eligible. The University of Queensland grants the degree, it is located in Australia. Most of the final two years of clinical rotations are conducted in the United States, which is a different country from Australia; therefore, the UQ-Ochsner program must require special approval from New York. If you did 12+ weeks of clinicals in Brunei but graduated from the University of Queensland you wouldn't be eligible to do a residency in New York. That's is how their rules are interpreted. It doesn't matter if the University of Queensland and the AMC accredits those clinical schools.

    The whole issue is very confusing. I can't see the UQ-Ochsner program having difficulty obtaining recognition by the medical board of any state due to the University of Queensland's status as quality university and the fact that US medical students already rotate through Ochsner; however, there doesn't seem to be an effort to get medical board approval by UQ-Ochsner outside of California.

    If UQ-Ochsner wants to market itself as a program only for US citizens for the purpose of returning to the United States (because they certainly aren't going to allow all of the graduates to remain in Australia) then they should create a list verifying all of the states that graduates are eligible to practice in, end of story.

    One major potential problem with UQ-Ochsner's bid for California recognition is that the three main criteria are

    1. The institution is owned and operated by the government of the country in which it is located.
    2. The country is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
    3. The institution's primary purpose is to educate its own citizens to practice medicine in that country.

    While UQ-Ochsner meets criteria 1 & 2 it fails criteria #3 since only US citizens are eligible for the UQ-Ochsner program. This does not mean that the school cannot get California recognition however it means that UQ-Ochsner must go through a strict review process that looks at things like class size, attrition, the number of graduates practicing in the US for the last 5 years, USMLE performance, etc. Also, since there are no graduates of UQ-Ochsner I don't know how they could even apply since the form requests data on graduates from the last 5 years.
    SOURCE: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/applicant/schools_self-assessment_ims.pdf
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  17. UQ Ochsner 2015

    UQ Ochsner 2015

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    Cool. Thanks for for responding. As far as I'm concerned this clears it up for me. I guess I'll pay my tuition now. Ha.
  18. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    I understand that it is a difficult and confusing topic. It is also very difficult for me to impart my over two years of extensive and direct involvement with the top faculty of the program on both sides of the Pacific.

    First off, there need be no list really. The list all 50 states. At least in principle. Obviously, in the wonderful world of bureaucracy when things are tested there may arise problems. However, based on everyone's understanding of the laws and statuses of institutions involved, there is nothing that would prevent residency or licensure in any of the 50 states. Period.

    Extra hoops to jump through? Potentials for snafus and downfalls? Yes. That is currently being worked on.

    My logic as to why UQ-Ochsner would be eligible in NYC is very simple. ANY UQ grad is eligible. There is no difference being in the Ochsner cohort. The Aussie students can (and do) rotate through Ochsner as well. It is simply another clinical school of UQ, under the same accreditation umbrella. It is not a partner or affiliate like when St George or Ross sends its 3rd and 4th years off for clinicals. It is an entirely different legal arrangement - the Ochsner facility IS A PART OF UQ. So yes, if you rotated in Brunei it would be the same. That is the point - these rotations are not out of the country of origin, since by all legal definitions, UQ exists in America AS PART OF ITS ACCREDITATION AS LISTED ON FAIMER AND IMED. So there is no need for any kind of special approval.

    Now, as I said - there COULD be a snafu wherein the MB of NY decides that an applicant doesn't satisfy the requirements for the exact reason you are confused on the topic. However, that is something that can easily and readily be demonstrated to be false and appealed. Would it be a headache and a huge pain in the ass? Of course. But once it is done once, the precedent is set and all is well.

    As for obtaining medical board approval - it is my understanding from both the heads of Ochsner and the Dean of the SoM, in personal meetings, that such endeavors have been undertaken, are ongoing, and are all the same response - "yes, there is no reason why this should be a problem." There is nothing to pursue really. The Dean of SoM was in Sacramento in January. They told him the same - there is no issue with licensure or residency. There never was and never needed to be any sort of "special approval" so what kind of press release would you like to see?

    As for your 3 criteria, there is no problem there either. I also sat in front of the Australian Medical Council prior to accreditation of the program. In a nutshell, #3 is met because the AMC would not have accredited the program if it were not. We have to do an extra 4 weeks of Australian Health Experience, are restricted to doing the 4 week Year 1 elective in Australia, and must return for 1 8 week rotation in 4th year in order to satisfy the AMC that we would be adequately train to practice as Australian interns. So not only is the primary purpose of UQ, by all standards, to make its own citizens ready to practice in its own country, but we are also technically qualified to practice in Australia as well. All bases are covered.

    Lastly, think about the concept of two admittedly high class institutions spending 10s of MILLIONS of dollars on a partnership that will lead to a lack of licensure. They did their homework. The groundwork is there. The progress is to streamline things, gain recognition, and have our program looked at as something quite apart and above the Caribbean schools (which it is and is very well on its way to doing).

    So to be very clear - there is no "UQ-Ochsner" program vis-a-vis accreditation. It is a cohort stream that is, under all relevant auspices of the law and accreditation, exactly the same as the "UQ" program and nothing more. That was very intentionally planned for exactly this purpose. Traditional students can do their entire 3rd and 4th years here in Ochsner if they so wished (save 1 rotation) and still practice in Australia. UQ grads have matched in very competitive programs including Dartmouth. The Dean of UCSF SoM is a UQ MBBS grad. The only issues here are the novelty of the paradigm and the potential for confusion (which is reasonable) that we are actively working to mitigate.

    Hope that helps clear things up a bit more.
  19. Medico290

    Medico290 Member

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    Yes. It certainly does. But I am still apprehensive about attending UQ-Ochsner.

    I got this from the American University of the Caribbean's website:

    State Approvals/Licensure

    New York, California and Florida require institutional review and approval, or licensure, prior to the conduct of clinical clerkships. Approval by the Medical Board of California is also necessary for physician licensure in that state. Many other states defer to California's approval for the purpose of licensure because most do not have their own approval process. In the case of New York, only graduates of medical schools approved by the state of New York may obtain a residency in that state. As it happens, one third of residency programs in the United States are conducted in New York. Recognition by the Texas Medical Board facilitates an AUC graduate's application for physician licensure.
    American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine is approved by the Medical Board of California, the Texas Medical Board and the New York State Board for Medicine. Additionally, AUC is fully licensed by the Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education.

    How can UQ-Ochsner students obtain a residency in New York or Florida if no institutional review has been conducted since Ochsner became affiliated with UQ?

    And obviously New York is a very important state for IMGs. I wish MedEdPath and UQ would make it known they're trying to get NY approval like they are with CA.

    This is a completely different question but are all of the clinical clerkships conducted at Ochsner ACGME accredited? I remember reading on a forum from a post a few years back that only some of clerkships the UQ-Ochsner students were doing at Ochsner were. Has this be remedied?

    Also how and when do you pay your tuition? Is it $52,000 upfront or is it paid in semesterly ($26,000) installments like US universities? (I ask because if I apply and get accepted I might consider jumping ship on the program if match looks ugly next March for the first class of UQ-Ochsner graduates)

    Is there an official at the UQ or at the Ochsner clinical school who can confirm that there are no restrictions for graduates doing a residency in New York?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  20. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    I the argument is that because there is no such thing as a UQ-Ochsner degree, there is no need for institutional review since grads are UQ grads with an (institutionally approved) UQ degree.
  21. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    Hi Randal!

    I was wondering if you were still active on this stuff. Hope all is well.

    "How can UQ-Ochsner students obtain a residency in New York or Florida if no institutional review has been conducted since Ochsner became affiliated with UQ?"

    Ochsner is not "affiliated" with UQ in the sense pertinent to your question. It is a clinical school of UQ. NY or CA would not need to do a review if UQ acquired (or built or whatever) another clinical school in Sydney or Bundaberg or Tapei. Nor would it need to for its acquisition of Ochsner as a clinical school. In practical terms it is a "partnership" but in legal terms it is merely an acquisition of another campus.

    "This is a completely different question but are all of the clinical clerkships conducted at Ochsner ACGME accredited? I remember reading on a forum from a post a few years back that only some of clerkships the UQ-Ochsner students were doing at Ochsner were. Has this be remedied?"

    Clerkships are not ACGME certified. ACGME stands for "Accreditation Council of GRADUATE medical education." I believe what you mean is "are the clerkships in specialties for which Ochsner offers an ACGME certified residency?" The answer is... not for each and every one... per se.

    3rd year is GP, Medicine, Surgery, Peds, and Obs/Gyn.

    Ochsner has residencies in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Peds, and Obs/Gyn. So that is covered.

    4th year is Med Specialties, Surg Specialties, Medicine in Society (a UQ thing), critical care, and Mental Health.

    Ochsner has residency in psychiatry so MH is covered. They do not have one in ER medicine or a fellowship in critical care, so that isn't. However, Med and Surg spesh depends on what you end up picking for it. For the most part, yes, that is covered since they offer residencies/fellowships in many of those.

    MiS is a different story. There is really no direct equivalent to that in the US, but it is in the works for being used as an elective rotation since the requirements from UQ are much more broad and could potentially be taken advantage of for that purpose.

    Bottom line: almost all possibilities are covered and all the core (i.e. 3rd year + MH) rotations are covered.

    I'll add, for your edification, that we take the exact same exams as UQ at the exact same time as UQ students - we are a product of UQ, not UQ-Ochsner, for all legal and licensing purposes.

    "Also how and when do you pay your tuition? Is it $52,000 upfront or is it paid in semesterly ($26,000) installments like US universities? (I ask because if I apply and get accepted I might consider jumping ship on the program if match looks ugly next March for the first class of UQ-Ochsner graduates)"

    Hmmm... easy and a toughy.

    First off, we pay per semester and yes, you can indeed jump ship with only half a year's worth of loans.

    However, I would say you would be very ill advised to do so based on the matches from the inaugural UQOCS cohort. Besides being an extremely small sample size (12), I can almost guarantee that a large portion will be vying for Ochsner residencies... which won't tell you much. Furthermore, they were subject to trials and tribulations that my cohort (1 year behind) and future cohorts did not have to. To put it bluntly, they are indeed at a disadvantage through no fault of their own. And of course, you must realize that part of the improvement in matches will come from programs learning more about us and our paradigm - so as time goes on things will (rapidly) improve. This is my opinion, but without getting into it, I would say it is very well supported by multiple lines of evidence. So I would hardly base such a large and important decision based on that. My cohort will be much more representative of what people can really expect. However, the class behind me will, IMO, be the most representative of what we can expect since they will be the first class to have most of the kinks worked out as well as the first to have (nearly) the full repertoire of USMLE prep and support in place for them.

    But the decision is yours. I am asking you to take me at face value, but after working a 17 hour day in surgery I have little energy left to expound further. Decide for yourself if you feel willing to trust my word on the matter and take my apologies for not being able to do more than that.

    "Is there an official at the UQ or at the Ochsner clinical school who can confirm that there are no restrictions for graduates doing a residency in New York?"

    In my in-person meetings with Dr. William Pinsky (Chief Academic Officer of Ochsner and member of the ACGME board) as well as his staff and Dr. David Wilkinson, Dean, UQ SoM, they have both repeatedly confirmed with me that there is no legal restriction preventing licensure nor residency in any state in the US.I have brought the ridiculous statement on the MEP application to the attention of the faculty and have recommended that make some sort of more official statement in that regard. I can't do much more than that.

    Once again, hope that helps.

    Time for food and sleep.
  22. Rochester2010

    Rochester2010

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    Has anyone applied yet this year? I'm finishing up the application now, but I wanted to verify that they're still accepting applications before I send it over. I've tried to get in touch with MEP, but they seem to have suddenly disappeared this week.
  23. nybgrus

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    I can assure you that they are still certainly accepted applications. I'm not sure what the deal is with MEP, but one recommendation I can make in general when dealing with them is to document what you have done at each step, just in case something gets lost somehow. That is good advice for any important endeavor, but I have heard a few anecdotes of such problems arising specifically from MEP. However, with proper documentation, all you end up with is a bit of a hassle.



  24. mathis

    mathis

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    I've applied to the UQ Ochsner program, I think it sounds like an incredda experience!

    My questions are for people presently in the program.

    If you got the option to do it all over again would you?

    For those of you who have taken the USMLE did you feel the curriculum helped you?

    Do you think the California & New York licensing issues will hold you back upon graduation?

    Can graduates of the program get an Australian internship after graduation?

    Are the US clinical rotations the same ones that students from LSU & Tulane participate in? or geared towards the Australian style?
  25. nybgrus

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    Great questions:

    1) Yes. I would. I think personally I have been afforded opportunities here that I would not have had elsewhere. Beyond that, I think that as the program grows in size and the kinks of the new collaboration get ironed out, such opportunities will be less ripe for the picking and more on par with the average US med school experience. At that point I would say that consideration for the program should be hinged on where else you are accepted - just like any other program. If my goal was to practice medicine in the states and I was accepted to a top tier SoM here, it doesn't matter what the other program is - I'd go there! But I do think this program can (and will) become a very good alternative for people who don't want to settle for a bottom or middle tier US SoM.

    2) That is not a straighforward question to answer. Did it help? Yeah, of course. Medicine is medicine (no matter what those hippy CAM shysters would have you believe). Of course you learn a lot of the same material as would be on the test during your course work for UQ. Does it prepare you ENOUGH? No. There is definitely a gap there. Of course, no SoM curriculum prepares you ENOUGH. Most of the score you get is from your own hard, independent, work. There is an additional gap in the UQ curriculum simply because their paradigm of medical education is different and obviously not geared to teach towards a foreign medical licensing exam. However, tutorials and resources specifically for us exist to help bridge that gap. It is up to you to take advantage of them and then do even more on your own. It really isn't that HARD to do... it just requires consistency and a small, but measurable, sustained and consistent effort from the very beginning of first year. But then again, so does becoming a doctor :-D

    3) In everything that I know, and all the reading I have done, and every person I have spoken to - no. I do not think there will be any issues beyond some extra paperwork and red tape to cut through. Quite minor in comparison to the whole "getting through med school" bit before it.

    4) Yes we can. Though it is getting harder and harder to do so. It is definitely something feasible, but if your intent is to try for an Aussie internship you are much better off doing the regular 4 year program all in Australia. It is a nice thought to have in your back pocket for us, but not something I would count on.

    5) We work alongside Tulane and LSU students and do essentially the same things. However, assessments and exact curriculum are indeed different as they have to reflect UQ curriculum. This is currently a minor pain, but rather important because it is (both directly and indirectly) for this reason that we will have no problems with residency in NY or CA. Our accreditation and curriculum is from UQ, accredited by the Australian Medical Council, and thus we are fully free to obtain residency. The only way to make that legit is via the AMC accreditation, and they need to be satisfied with the curriculum which means... we do UQ assessments to pass and must meet their curriculum standards. What that has translated into is that some rotations are less "heavy" than their US counterparts and some are "heavier" since we do basically what a US student would do PLUS UQ stuff on top. Overall though, I'd say its a pretty similar educational experience, anecdotally from conversations I have had with my friend at Chicago Med as well as Tulane and LSU kids I rotate with.

    So I guess in sum I would say it is geared to the American style, but still meets UQ curriculum requirements.

    Hope that answers your questions. Best of luck!
  26. mathis

    mathis

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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I've googled the internship 'situation' in Australia. It seems the Australian Medical Association & Australian Medical Students' Association is extremely keen on the government providing more funding so that new internships can be added. The reason they want more internships is for the international students studying in Australia so that they can remain there after graduate as Australia has a physician shortage, that is only going to get worse, and an easy way to address it would be to retain some international medical students.

    I think I would be happy remaining in Australia after graduation. Interns are paid a cool $60,000.

    Any idea when UQ Ochsner decisions are released? It says 8 weeks from the time of application on MedEdPath's website.

    How many people are in the UQ Ochsner group in each class? I read that there are 130 international students in each year at UQ but I don't think that included the Ochsner students.
  27. guest1347

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    The main problem is not internship spots but registrar spots. The government thought the solution to the doctor shortage was to produce more medical student and internship spots without substantially increasing the number of registrar training positions. This is producing a bottle neck and will make many specialties even more ultracompetative. Have a search for the "medical student tsunami" to get a better understanding.

    I'm not trying to present doom and gloom but it is something people should be aware of.
  28. mathis

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    Either way the AMA & AMSA really seem to want to keep the students that they're educating, which is a big positive.
  29. nybgrus

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    1) Yes, everyone WANTS to increase spots. The US versions of those organizations are advocating for the same thing. We all want solid gold toilets and 8 hours of sleep a night as well.

    Having said that, I think the Aussies are much better positioned to actually have it happen. Though you still aren't getting your gold toilet.

    Also, as an intern, you not only make a fair bit more than you would here, but you can work overtime. I know interns and RMOs that make ~80-90k working a bunch of overtime.

    However, if you are actually keen on staying in Australia, I would really recommend that you just do the 4 year program there (what we call "traditional" students). It is actually somewhat difficult to get an intern spot no matter what, especially in the city. Many people end up in rural areas for their internship, and when a few 4th year international students I knew got a spot at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) it was actually pretty big news. Everyone was talking about it - and wondering how they snagged the spot! Of course, this is anecdotal, but the point being is that you are much more likely to get a spot out in the boonies than you would in a city. Not to say that is necessarily a bad thing, but it may not be what you were hoping for nor something you would be keen to do.

    Considering the competition for intern spots, and registrar (their version of what we call residents for specialty) positions, especially from Canadian students, I would say that being part of the Ochsner program rather than the traditional program would detriment your ability to get a spot.

    Bear in mind that for the Canadians, they have an EXTREMELY small chance of getting a residency back home, so they are fiercely competing for the most desirable spots available in Australia.

    2) Yes, you typically get a yes or no within 8 weeks of completion of the application. Usually it is even faster.

    3) The class size starting next year will be ~120 and fixed at that level. The overall class size is ~470, with roughly 50% being international. That demographic is not changing. They are merely shifting the international demographic from almost entirely Canadian to 50% Ochsner cohort while keeping the overall class size the same.
  30. mathis

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    So overall would you say the "traditional" pathway is better? It seems like it gives you the best shot at practicing in Australia & it doesn't have the potential licensing issues with New York & California back home. And UQ lets the traditional students do rotations at Ochsner.

    While it sounds appealing to do 2 years in Brisbane & 2 years in New Orleans maybe it's best to opt for 4-years in Brisbane?
  31. mathis

    mathis

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    How was living in Brisbane?

    I heard it's expensive. Can you give us an accurate idea of total monthly costs (factoring in all expenses like rent, food, utilities, transportation, etc)?
  32. GreenMachine86

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    I happen to know that graduates of UQ Ochsner have been accepted into residency programs in New York, so this claim is misinformed
  33. nybgrus

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    As I have tried to explain before, there is no issue with residency or licensing in CA or NY.

    The traditional pathway is better if you want an internship in Aus. The Ochsner pathway is definitely better if you want a residency in the US.
  34. nybgrus

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    Yes, it is very expensive.

    Rent is per week (PW). Typically, if you find a few roommates, live in a less desireable area (i.e. burbs rather than near the CBD), and split the cost of a larger place, you can manage to get away with as little as about $125pw for rent. Typically it runs more like $150-175pw. I lived with my GF there in a one bedroom and we each paid $200pw.

    For utilities, once again, depends on how many people you are splitting it with. Also internet prices have gone down a bit, but with me and the GF we paid about $75 per month for internet, about $40-50 each per month for cell service, and about $95ish per month for electricity. You can cut those down a bit by sharing the internet connection, not using your aircon very much (though you will be miserable at times), and not using your clothes dryer but hanging them out to dry (though we were both busy and it wasn't worth our time to do that).

    Food is pretty expensive. We like to eat well and cook (and ran a food blog during our time there) so we were probably on the high end of costs there, but we would spend roughly $80-100 per week on groceries. I think you can reasonably do it for $50 per week if you live like I did during my undergrad days.

    Alcohol is extremely expensive. A cheap 12 pack of beer will run $15. An average twelver is more like $20-24. For a party you can get a 30-pack of really cheap beer for around $35. You can't get a bottle of hard liquor, no matter what kind or how crappy, for less than about $28-30. You can find cheap wine, but anything less than ~$12 is going to be CHEAP, if you know what I mean. Also, the new law that will probably pass will change that so you can't find a bottle of wine cheaper than $8, hard liquor cheaper than $27, etc because they want to make each standard drink a min of $1.

    Transportation also adds to cost. I ran and cycled everywhere so it didn't matter much to me, but if you have to bus or CityCat two and from campus every day, that adds up. It runs $1.33 per trip on off hours and $1.50 peak (unless they changed it this year) for student fares. So $2.66 per day, 5 days a week, adds $14 to your weekly expenditures.

    And all of that is before going out for food, drink, fun, or any trips to the coast or other fun trips.

    The upside is that the city does have a lot of very fun free events (especially at the Powerhouse in New Farm) and that pretty much everything has a student price that you can take advantage of.

    But yes, cost of living is very high, especially compared to New Orleans.

    Also, you can get a job (and so can your spouse) but.....

    You probably won't have the time to do it (or if you do, just wont have the desire to commit the time - though I knew plenty of guys who worked one day a week and it certainly helped out with fun expenses).

    And it is a little tough to get a job. They typically prefer hire Aussies and I know people who had a lot of trouble finding a job for exactly that reason. The other reason is that our visa privileges are a little weird and employers just don't like to suss it out.

    This is not to say you can't or won't find a job - everyone I know that wanted one got one eventually. It just may not be exactly what you want and almost invariably took a while to find. The upside is that minimum wage is around $18/hour and many jobs pay more than that, so once you get a job that is quite nice.
  35. nybgrus

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    I love the attempt at support and wish it were true but....

    there have been no graduates of UQ-Ochsner yet so this is not possible. The first class to graduate from the program will be this year and the first match for the program will be next year's match.

    UQ grads have matched in just about every state though, which is the point. We are no different from an legal licensing standpoint as they are.
  36. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    It will be nice to see where the first graduates match into. At the same time, the match statistics will probably not be too significant for a few years or so, since mean USMLE scores will likely improve as the students in the program get familiarized with what actually needs to get done, via advice from previous years' students. In the end, if good USMLE scores equate to solid matches, just like they do with American seniors, the program is as good as gold.
  37. mathis

    mathis

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    There are also only like 14 people in the first class, I wouldn't be surprised if most (or even all) match at Ochsner. The second class will probably be a similar deal because I get the vibe that there are less than 40 students in it.

    What will be telling is once the class size hits the 120 mark, not everyone will be able to match at Ochsner. As far as USMLE performance goes everyone who puts in the effort should do okay. UQ has an MCAT cutoff of 8/8/8 24M which is by no means easy to achieve, even if it's considered "low" for US MD schools. I think the DO school average MCAT is like a 25 or 26 and plenty of them take the USMLE and do well.

    And to my knowledge UQ Ochsner is the only international medical school (not including the Caribs of course) that actually makes an effort to prepare students for the USMLE. The Irish schools don't, and I don't believe any of the other Australian schools do. So that has to count for something. It's a shame that they didn't implement the MD sooner (UQ is starting it in 2015) it would make graduates slightly more marketable than they currently are with a MBBS.
  38. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    Exactly. Besides your very valid points, the sample sizes will be small for the first few matches. The 1st cohort is only 12 strong, mine is 31, the one behind me 33.

    The cohort after that is 87 and after that will be 120 (the steady state).

    Also, the first cohort had almost no USMLE support at all. My cohort had USMLE support through all of 2nd year. The cohort behind me was the first to be briefed on and receive USMLE support and info from day 1 of 1st year (which will be the paradigm from here on out).

    As such, scores are expected to climb, everyone is going to get the hang of things better, the program will be better known, and the sample sizes for match will be larger and more representative.
  39. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    All good points. And indeed, at the behest of the us in the cohort via our newly formed and officially recognized Ochsner Medical Students Association (still working on getting a website up) the SoM has indeed helped us out with USMLE prep. OMSA is also key in helping educate and prepare everyone from day 1.

    However, I would politely disagree that the MD is going to make any significant difference at all.

    From a marketing standpoint it will probably attract more applicants. However, from a residency and practice standpoint it makes no difference at all.

    Either way you still have to register with the ECFMG and obtain your ERAS token through them - so no matter what you will still clearly be an IMG. Furthermore, the US does not recognize the MBBS degree as a valid medical degree under which to be licensed to practice medicine. That means that the other thing the ECFMG does is evaluate your credentials and determine that your degree is equivalent to to the US MD and then confer you an MD. So on your diploma on the wall it will say MBBS, but on your white coat and prescription pads and DEA number it will say MD. Either way, it makes no difference for residency programs interviewing you.
  40. mathis

    mathis

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    How did the cohorts end up being 12, 31, 33, and 87? Is there a fair amount of attrition in the program? How many students did your cohort start off with? Did everyone pass the USMLE?

    Do you think Ochsner has the ability to give 120 students enough patient contact or is that cohort too large?
  41. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    Honestly, when I first read your statement "24M is by no means easy to achieve," I thought you meant because that is so low. Our cohort's average was 30, with a low of 24 and a high of 41. I truly do believe that UQ needs to set the bar a little higher because I don't think someone scoring in the 20s should be in med school.
  42. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    I can't comment on attrition rates (don't know them), but there has been that increase in general size by design -- when starting an additional cohort, it's a good idea to start lower and go slow to reach the intended number, to help maintain similar acceptance stats, for marketing purposes, to understand/stabilize the attrition rate(!) and therefore expected numbers, to more smoothly scale to size, etc.

    When the program started, by memory I'm pretty sure the first announced goal was 80 students by the third or fourth cohort. I'm not sure when the 120 came in (could have been by original design and I've forgotten, but I wouldn't be surprised if the goal went up along the way...things evolve).
  43. nybgrus

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    Exactly as Pitman said.

    The first cohort was limited to 20 IIRC, only 15 or 16 actually signed up, and then 3 or 4 were lost to attrition. I believe 1 failed out, one took an offer at a US school, and the other two transferred into the traditional 4 year program in Oz (which is no longer a possibility for anyone in the cohort).

    The second and 3rd cohorts were limited to 40. Each cohort lost approximately 3-5 people to attrition. It was split between fails and taking offers in US schools.

    The most recent cohort was supposed to be capped at 80, but the demand was high enough (and some spots went unfilled previously) so the SoM opted to allow a few more in this year.

    The 120 cap was always in play - at least since my first year.

    As for the USMLE - I cannot speak in official numbers as those are not currently collated nor released. However, anecdotally I can say that the pass rate is more or less on par with US schools.

    I can also say that the scores have significantly improved between the two cohorts. Once again this is anecdotal and incomplete (and most certainly in no way official), so take it with a huge grain of salt, but based on what I know from chatting with other students the average for the 1st cohort was in the 210-215ish range and for the second cohort in the 225-230 range. I know for a fact that at least 6 or 7 of us scored above 240 (myself included). I also know for a fact that a few (not sure exactly how many - I think 3 or 4 at most) failed.

    As for offering us patient contact time and all that at Ochsner.... considering it is 8 hospitals with ~1.7 million patient contacts per year... yeah, should be fine ;-)

    But seriously, they run a number of Tulane, LSU, and visiting students through their rotations. Obviously we get dibs. So as the numbers grow, if there is a crowding issue we will be displacing the visiting students.
  44. nybgrus

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    I just skimmed past that part myself. I also agree that a 24 is quite easy to obtain for anyone remotely qualified to enter medical school. Part of me also thinks that anything below a 28 or 29 shouldn't even be considered. However, I do know on many levels that there are indeed highly qualified and extremely intelligent people that just don't do particularly well on tests (and vice versa). A good friend of mine is one such person. So I would hesitate to make such a blanket statement.

    However, I do agree that UQ should set the bar higher. And i believe they have - I don't have confirmation yet, but I believe there is a very serious move to increase the minimum to 25 or 26.

    Despite that, I don't think it matters. The minimum is only relevant when there is no competition for spots. In my year and the year after, there certainly was no competition. That is already essentially changed, and in the near future will no longer be the case. So minimum won't make the cut for getting in anyways.

    BTW - I do not make the comments re: qualified people in the 20s because I feel the need to make myself feel better. I myself scored a 38. But I also taught test taking strategy (for mucho dinero) in undergrad and know quite well that some people who would make excellent physicians and scientists simply do not do well on standardized exams. Just part of the bell curve is all.
  45. cca3115

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    so has anyone been excepted for the January 2012 class yet? If so could you share your statistics so we could start getting a clearer impression of the admissions criteria? thanks
  46. nybgrus

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    I had a conversation with the head of Ochsner Clinical School just 3 days ago. He informed me that the first batch of acceptances is done, but that the offer letter was not up to the standard of the Dean of the SoM and was currently being re-written. He thinks that the first letters should be coming out in the next 2ish weeks or so.

    As it stands however, it is the opinion of myself and a few other relevant people that a MCAT of 30+ would make you a very strong - and likely accepted - candidate.
  47. mathis

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    I received an email a few weeks ago saying that acceptances were supposed to go out early-April but Australia recently changed their student visa policy. So letters of acceptance had to be amended which has slowed things down.

    I think the email said acceptances should be out soon, since that was a few weeks ago I would guess any day now.

    I was also told that the change in Australia's student visa policy won't have any impact on US citizens wishing to study in the UQ Ochsner program.
  48. cca3115

    cca3115

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    so has anyone received a letter from UQ yet?
  49. nybgrus

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    I'd like to point out that, as per usual bureaucracy, this is taking longer than expected. However, please note that the letter of acceptance is your contract and a legally binding document for both parties involved (i.e. you and the SoM). As such, there is a pile of red tape to go through (as for any large bureaucracy) and even minor changes need to be vetted through multiple levels of administration.

    Do not despair though. The acceptances are already in place (I don't know any specifics beyond that) it is just a matter of waiting for the final approval of the letter to go through. Such is the nature of a relatively new program working out the kinks - but I can assure you it is a reflection of the nature of large bureaucracies, not the medical program itself.

    Best wishes and good luck!
  50. cca3115

    cca3115

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    A friend of mine got a response from mededpath today stating that as of now 29 acceptances have been emailed and around 90 applications were under review in Australia currently. If anyone on this thread has received an acceptance, could you give us your stats and when your application was sent to Brisbane for assessment?
    Thanks,
    from all of us still waiting...

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