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UQ/Ochsner MBBS Program 2011

Discussion in 'Australasia and Oceania' started by SNu, 06.24.10.

  1. SNu

    SNu

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    I was recently accepted into this program and was wondering who else applied and got in. Also, what were your stats and do you think you will accept? I have about a 3.2 gpa and 31 MCAT and think I will accept the offer. Hope to meet some future classmates early. Cheers!
  2. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    Hey there, I am in my first year at the UQ-Ochsner program. There are a lot of details that you may be interested in but I just don't have the time to hash out at the moment. Contact me via email (or private SDN message) with your questions and I will try and fill you in. I am actually quite hip to the whole deal as I have been heavily involved with the program from the inside.
  3. rayjay

    rayjay

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    hey SNu
    just curious if your 3.2 was for your wGPA or if that is your cGPA? I only ask because everyone posts their accepted GPAs for aussie schools but the schools have different ways of looking at GPA.

    thanks!
  4. SNu

    SNu

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    rayjay,

    It's my gpa from my transcript. I've only attended one Univesrity. I have no idea what my wGPA is, or what my GPA is on the 7 point scale.
  5. SNu

    SNu

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    I have heard a lot of people say they are choosing U Syd, but has anyone chosen UQ? Where are all the future Queenslanders!?!
  6. marble30

    marble30

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    I know there's ~30 of them on facebook...
  7. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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  8. marble30

    marble30

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  9. AgDoc84

    AgDoc84

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  10. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    Cripes. Not to rain on the party, but if I can give any advice to new students it'd be not to start off segregating into FB groups, or as Canadians, or twosies, or Oschners,.... Join all the groups or none. Otherwise you may find that your class becomes a bunch of rivalrous cliques...
  11. AgDoc84

    AgDoc84

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    I couldn't agree more. Its just that Ochsner students an Canadian students are going to have very different and unique experiences both before during and after their time in Queensland.
  12. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    True. I'm just a bit anti-FB group these days, seeing how they add to the insulation of special interest groups within a community. You will meet them all first hand, will see them in Oschsner-related and int'l student Info Night meetings, and will surely be FB friends. You may find in such a large class that many will end up sticking with the first they meet, or with those of shared backgrounds, and that'd be a shame me thinks.
  13. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    As a current first year Ochsner-UQ student I have to say that the FB group and Ochsner students banding together is actually vitally important. I would actually much rather have an Ocshner "clique" form and deal with the negativity of that than have us become faceless and homogeneous. As US medical students with intention to do residency and practice in the States (and ESPECIALLY to sit the USMLE) we have very specific and different needs from any other group. To not band together fiercely would lose us in a crowd of 470 first year students. To say this program is in its infancy is an understatement. It is a late term fetus. UQ does NOT appreciate the very specific concerns we have as US students (quite simply because we comprise such a small part of the cohort and are in fact so novel). As such, our solidarity in speaking to the administration is vital. Additionally, our needs for moving here (visas, for example) are slightly different as well. In the first two cohorts information was very poorly (and often inaccurately) disseminated. While I do not advocate a clique style separation of "us" from "them" having a strong and unified group voice is truly invaluable to us here. And, from experience, we (as a Ochsner group) are NOT finding ourselves excluded or excluding ourselves from the general SoM cohort and the Aussie life here.

    Sorry for being a bit rambling here, but I just want to stress that while I agree that cliques can and do certainly have negatives, that fostering a truly united Ochsner cohort front, helping in all aspects of the transition here, and having a unified voice to advance our needs and concerns is vitally important. I fully support the FaceBook group and will be working to contribute to it in a positive manner.
  14. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    I would ask that you consider a trend which you have not been privvy to, of increased size leading to increased fragmentation, over the span of years, precisely out of such a belief that banding together is the answer. Your concerns are essentially identical to those of the early, smaller cohorts of N. American students who nonetheless got heard not by banding together but by being represented appropriately.

    In the scheme of things, a FB group is not the worst thing that could happen, and in itself will not lead to a radical breakdown of social structure, but it does further to a small degree an ongoing trend, and will add to an 'us' vs 'them' mentality in subtle, yet predictable, ways.

    On the other hand, maybe my concerns are just manifestations of nostalgia, and things do happen in the name of progress. But they do happen.
  15. SNu

    SNu

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    It's just facebook. Your average user is connected to about 80 groups, communities, or events. I am part of the UW Fried Chicken Club, and in feel no way a separatist from those who support PETA.

    I think the point of the group, and of this thread, is to be a discussion board for students who are attending the UQ/Ochsner program or who are considering it. This is suppose to be a chance for us to meet each other before moving half way around the world to pursue a quarter million dollar investment. I would like to know who my classmates are, where they are living, when they are flying there, and maybe just provide each other some ease of mind before leaving home. Also, I would love to just talk about why you ended up choosing the program. With it being so new, I think we all have our own slightly different reasons for choosing UQ/Ochsner. In any case, I would love to meet some classmates so message me if you live on the American west coast (UQ/Ochsner and regular UQ welcome).

    Anyways... anyone besides me and big Tex doing this program next year?
  16. jkvn

    jkvn

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    What differences have you noticed from the uq curriculum and the topics required for USMLE? Or have you been reviewing at all?

    Are you finding that your coursework at uq coincides with what you need to know for USMLE either your own personal study or in your contact with other students in the Ochsner program?
  17. jkvn

    jkvn

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    What differences have you noticed from the uq curriculum and the topics required for USMLE? Or have you been reviewing at all?

    Are you finding that your coursework at uq coincides with what you need to know for USMLE either your own personal study or in your contact with other students in the Ochsner program?
  18. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    I do completely agree with you, sir. The trend for class sizes to increase has outstripped the facilities and ability to accomodate the current large class sizes. While I think this is a necessary evil in order to produce enough physicians to meet demand (both of the population and of the applicant pool) it inherently carries with it a necessity to fractionate. The days of every student in a medical class knowing each other extremely well, working constantly with each other, and forming a tight classmate camaraderie I think are sadly waning. The demands of the population and of our medical system simply cannot be sustained by such a model. However, I think that is simply a statement of fact that one can wax nostalgic about and with good cause. I venture to guess that our particular point of discourse hinges on the lines of fractionation. If the class randomly fractioned into groups based solely on convenience, timing, and friendship but each was representative of the cohort at large I think we would not be having this discussion. Rightfully so is the fact that the Americans are splintering off from the Aussies and Canadians. I also agree with you that this is certainly not ideal. However, I would like to bring up two points. The first is that this is partly mitigated by that fact that despite these fracture lines, the Americans and Aussies still do work together, play together, and engage in administration together. Yet the crux of the matter is that, quite simply, the administration is not sensitive to the particular needs and differences of the Ochsner cohort (I would say that those Americans studying here at UQ outside the Ochsner program would not fall into this arena). As a group of 50 Ochsner students (total, between 2 cohorts) our voices would be (and have been) easily drowned out in general administrative venues. Even more so is the fact that the current administrative infrastructure is such that even should the general UQMS (med society) representation adequately voice specific Ochsner issues (as they do with domestic and canadian issues) there would be no one to hear it. The entirety of the UQ side of the Ochsner program is embodied by only 3 people - the head of school, the head of 3rd and 4th year, and his secretary. As such, we have experienced first hand the vital need for us to work as a unified Ochsner front to ensure that our needs are voiced adequately and heard by the right people - something the Aussies do for themselves (as they well should), but for which the infrastructure is lacking for the Ochsner cohort. This is not to say that great accomplishments have not been made or that the administration has been malicious or punitive in any way in regards to these matters. It is simply to say that due to cultural differences in medicine and society at large here, UQ has simply been unaware of issues to be sensitive towards. It is for that reason that I (and we) advocate a strong cohesion in our ranks when it comes to Ochsner and US specific agendas and goals. It is not to say that on common issues and in regards to learning and living together we should maintain a clique-style separation (and we don't, I might add - personally I spend just as much time with Aussies as Americans and I actually find I do not socialize or study with many of the Ochsner cohort outside of specific meetings and agendas).

    I hope that makes sense and clears up any trepidation you may have concerning my advocacy of a strongly unified Ochsner cohort.

    Cheers for your well thought and very true concerns.
  19. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    I have indeed been reviewing. In fact most of my study is directly for Step 1 and from sources such as BRS, First Aide, Kaplan, and USMLE world. I also correspond on the topic with a very close friend of mine at Chicago Medical School.

    I find that the general topics of discussion in the UQ curriculum to coincide with those found on the USMLE - in other words, we cover the same basic science topics. The difference lies with the fact that a decent amount of the curriculum is Aussie specific (which is, of course, reasonable and to be expected). Happily, much of the law, ethics, and even studies, drug recommendations, etc come directly from the US and are adopted here de facto. However, such topics as Aboriginal health and specifics of public health and practice are, of course, quite different. While clearly a disadvantage in terms of board prep, it is not that big a deal and indeed is perfectly reasonable - this is after all Australia. The greatest issue comes in regards to the DEPTH at which these topics is covered. Not only is the amount you need to know to do well on exams here not remotely sufficient to meet the needs of the USMLE, there is active deliberation on "do we need to know [XXXX]" And many times, when the official decision is "you do not need to know [XXXX]" it turns out that in fact that is something that is needed knowledge for the step (microbiology and biochemistry fall neatly and solidly into this arena). This is not to say that Aussie physicians are somehow less capable or learned than their American counterparts - it is a reflection on the system of medical training here. There is no equivalent to the Step 1 here in Australia and so to learn the kind of detail needed for it is not part of the UQ curriculum. We can debate the pros and cons of this ad nauseum, but the point remains.

    In speaking with a number of Americans and Canadians who sat and did well on Step 1 of the USMLE they all had the exact same thing to say - the UQ curriculum did NOT adequately prepare them for it. And why should it? This is an Aussie school and it is an American test. Each said that they spend literally HUNDREDS of hours of dedicated prep time JUST for the step (outside of and on top of their 2nd year coursework and most into their 3rd year rotations as well - one told me that he completely blew off his ENTIRE GP rotation just doing the bare minimum to pass so that he could devote the entirety of his remaining time to study for the exam). Each of them in retrospect say that they did well and chose wisely in their study - none says that they over studied or that in fact they underestimated how well UQ prepped them for the exam.

    Back to the question of "why should UQ prep us for the USMLE?" If we were just Americans here at UQ the answer is - they have no onus to do so. However, we are part of a special endeavour taken on by UQ with Ochsner with the specific mantra of "training Americans to practice in the US" (look at the program website, that is their tag-line). As such, we understand that they cannot restructure the entire curriculum to meet our needs but feel it is incumbent upon the administration to give us resources and tutorials and any other means possible to excel at the step. This leads me to my other post about why I advocate a strong and unified Ochsner cohort - it has become necessary on our part to actually inform UQ as to what those means would be and the incredible magnitude of what a step 1 score means to someone in our position - neither of which had been independently ascertained by UQ.

    Personally, I find the UQ exams to be rather easy and my practice work with the Step 1 exams to be MUCH more difficult. That is anecdote enough for me to know that the UQ curriculum does not prepare well for the USMLE. Beware all those claims of such high Step 1 scores from UQ students - they ALL study on their own just for that exam at least as much as for all of UQ combined, and it is a very small sample size.

    Hope that helps address the question.
  20. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    Mate, I apologize for being a reactionary. It's clear you've thought this stuff through. Keep the pressure on for systemic help, particularly for dedicated Oschsner admin in Oz. If the UQMS doesn't sufficiently help, your organizing skills can always be applied come election time in September.

    Cheers.
  21. Californian

    Californian

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    has deadline passed for this 2011 program?
  22. AgDoc84

    AgDoc84

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    I know that as of last week they were still taking applications.

    If you would like Dr.Volpe's (Admissions) phone number pm me. :)
  23. nybgrus

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    No apologies necessary! It is a good and valid concern.... I am happy to say that indeed we are continuing to progress in these administrative and representative issues. We are far from where we need to be, but such are the growing pains of such a novel program (especially one merging two large and international medical bodies). Of course, growing pains are, well, painful and often frustrating here as well. There is much bureaucratic head bashing and private whinging going on, but such is the nature of life. I simply want to do my best to ensure we maximize positive growth and keep making advances as fast and efficiently as possible.

    Thank you for your kind concerns. :)
  24. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    I don't believe there is a "deadline" per se. It is merely a factor of when the cohort is full. I also heard something about a drastic decrease in the intake for this cohort from what was originally planned, my interpretation being that the "growing pains" I mentioned in regards to the program are simply needing a little more time to iron out than anticipated (quite frankly, I believe the admin at large was overly optimistic). Don't quote me on this, since I am not certain, but I believe the originally desired cohort was to be 80 and is now 40. Bear in mind though that for my cohort, the intake was set at 40 and we only filled 35 spots (and have since lost one to attrition).
  25. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    The plan has been to ramp up gradually, with a max of 80-120 per year in a few years.

    Nybgrus, get involved with UQMS, you'd be a real asset.
  26. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    Thank for the kind words. I actually am involved with the Ochsner cohort UQMS panel and will be speaking with the Australian Medical Council panel on accreditation tomorrow morning.
  27. omniatlas

    omniatlas Senior Member

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    UQ will train you to be a proper clinician. When you move back to the US you'll have to order 10x the amount of investigations when your clinical intuition could have sufficed. J/k, but not far from the truth. :rolleyes:

    UQ will not prepare you adequately for the USMLE -- you'll learn all the medicine you need to know, but its not their focus to help you prepare for the test; you'll probably need Kaplan or Princeton for that.
  28. jaketheory

    jaketheory Junior Member

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    It simply comes down to the Aussie system being different than the US system. Aussie physicians learn the same stuff as their US counterparts but at different stages of their careers. Aussies have no licensing exam; however, they learn more the basic science critical to their specialty during specialty training. In the US, board certification exams are largely notoriously easy. In Aus, generally a basic training exam is required before moving onto advanced training and the failure rates of these exams can be as high as 50%. So in effect, aussies do get examined on similar knowledge, it is just later in their careers and more focused on their specialty.
  29. PacificBlue2012

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    I disagree, I recently graduated from USyd, I have a friend at a very top US MD school, we compared our notes and we learned the same things. The clinical portion in the US tends to be more intense, once you finish internship, you are about on the same level as a North American MD in terms of knowledge. Its also false that Australians struggle with the USMLE, most of my counterparts at USyd did extremely well on them, and I have not heard of anyone failing, but then again mostly the North American internationals took them. You do have to take a lot of time to study for them, but its the same in a US school. The main difference is that you tend to have fewer contact hours in the first two years of school, so you can fill that time gap by studying for the tests.
  30. jaketheory

    jaketheory Junior Member

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    hmmmm, every aus student on here as agreed that they dont teach basic science to the same depth here as in the US, so how is that you and your friends notes are the same? are these his lecture notes or his usmle prep notes? both the basic science and clinical science are more intense in the US. aussie grads that have done residency and posted about it on here have also written about how the US grads have more experience with procedures. kim cox (aka winged scapula) has specifically posted on this. and studying for usmle is not the same in a US school because their curriculum is centered around you taking the test; in fact to my knowledge every US school requires you to pass steps I and II CK to be awarded your degree. i'm not saying you cant do well on the test in going to an Aus school, but it will require more self-directed study because the school isnt specifically preparing you to pass it.
  31. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    This is also the advice UQ students keep getting each year from those who had recently taken the USMLE. USyd's curriculum is quite similar to UQ's, as are most.

    Having said that, I think the schools will generally be adding more basic science as they undergo their next round of respective curriculum reviews. Melbourne has done that by requiring a bulk of the basic science as pre-requisites. UQ's science review started this year, and it looks like they'll be beefing up science in another year or two. I've only heard that others will be doing the same second hand from education types I know, so I could be wrong. Either way, science will never be taught to the USMLE for obvious reasons.

    The motivation for the change seems to me to be two-fold. First and foremost, there's been a fair amount of a backlash over the past 5+ years against the extent to which basic sciences were taken out of the curriculums after PBL and the biopsychosocial model became predominant; and second, as a bonus, with the buttload of N. Americans here, such change is consistent with the market.
  32. PacificBlue2012

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    Australian medical schools have a PBL oriented curriculum which means there is a greater emphasis on self directed learning. Many of my Australian classmates came to USyd with Science degrees before medical school, so they had a background in medical sciences before school. Unlike US schools, Australian schools have no required prerequisites but its advisable that you study something in the sciences or health sciences before starting medical school here. There are a few PBL programs in the US, but most US schools are didactic programs. I was comparing the notes I had during basic sciences with a friend who goes to a top 10 US medical school and they were roughly the same. No one I know at USyd who took the USMLE failed it, I also took the exam myself and did quite well on the Step 1. One person I knew did above average and was expecting to do better, but she matched into a good residency stateside anyway and in a university based program. The real difference between the US and Australia is that in Australia your education is not complete until you finish an intern year, by that time you are on the same level of knowledge as a US MD.

    Most US schools are geared towards the USMLE, Australian schools are not, that would be silly, they are geared for training Australian physicians. If you take enough time to study, I don't see how you can not succeed on the USMLE. Most of the people I knew who took the USMLE at USyd were brilliant to begin with, had high GPAs in undergrad and strong MCATs, largely typical of the Canadian students here, many of them are in Australia largely because there are not enough seats in Canada, not because they were weak students. Its nothing like a Caribbean school. And Caribbean schools who claim that 90 percent of their students pass the USMLE are lying or bending the truth, they don't tell you that large numbers fail out before even getting to that point.

    Also if North America is where you want to be I highly recommend you go the DO route instead.

    I know who Kim Cox is, she was one of the people who studied in Australia when they first started taking North American students in when their graduate entry programs were new, it was true in earlier years that the basic sciences in Australian medical schools were lighter but that has changed, USyd has ramped up its basic science education considerably. Most of the reason for this is that medical education in Australia is traditionally six years in length.
    Last edited: 09.10.10
  33. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    This has been an interesting discussion about the topic. I will just add a few salient (and some anecdotal) points.

    The first is that in my experience here at UQ, the basic science has been very lax. In terms of what specifics they put in the official learning objectives, it is very comprehensive. However, in terms of what is actually emphasized in the didactics and more importantly what is tested, there is not. You can easily get a 6 or 7 in the course and not know nearly enough basic science to perform strongly on the Step 1.

    As for the differences in education - I forget who brought it up, but that is exactly the point. In Aus they get examined through their rotations and again in more depth during specialty training. My understanding is that the specialist exams here are indeed quite tough. However, in the States there is very little examination in comparison during 3rd and 4th year rotations and there is no intern year(s) prior to beginning specialist residency. Additionally, for Americans, the Step 1 is a requirement to pass before beginning year 3 rotations. For this reason (and for uniformity in licensing as the Steps replaced all other licensing for MD) the Step 1 is much more heavy on basic science. In reviewing some practice questions with strong Aussie 2nd years, I had many a jaw drop as to the depth asked (yes, I know, anecdotal).

    In regards to the Aussies doing well - I agree, but would posit that is a skewed statistic because of sampling bias. In the States everyone must take it, all of second year curriculum is designed around it, and the pass rate is 92%. Here, anyone who takes it must by definition study for it specifically and extra-curricularly and thus are more likely to be motivated to do well and I would thus expect to do well. This is a reflection on the individual and their study, not the curriculum.

    As for prep - while I agree that the onus of a University is never to prepare you for foreign exams this is a special case. The Uni QLD took on the Ochsner cohort with the specific intent to train American physicians and the expectation that we sit the Step exams. Since the general curriculum cannot be tailored to our needs, I feel it is incumbent upon the university (especially in light of the fact that we pay higher fees than ANY other student group in the SoM) to provide us with additional resources specifically for us and specifically to adequately prepare for the exam. This is made even more important by new legislation that will cut off loan disbursements should our cohort fall below 75% first pass. And since we are not a group of self motivated students opting to take the exam, but instead are here as part of the UQ curriculum but must all still sit it (and based on my experiences with members of my cohort), that is certainly a potential issue - one that the SoM would be wise to circumvent.

    And before anyone asks, yes, there is currently some resources available to the second year cohort, but not nearly enough. I have been part of talks in this regard and we will be drafting proposals and finding the best way to proceed and progress.

    I'm sure I missed some points, but it is very late, I am very tired, and I just got back from being a patient at RBWH ER. "Come back if your symptoms get worse, you begin to vomit, or you have bloody diarrhea" Don't worry, I will.
  34. AgDoc84

    AgDoc84

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    Feel much better very soon. That all being said... would you do it again?



  35. PacificBlue2012

    PacificBlue2012

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    I can tell you that all of my classmates at USyd who took the Step 1, did extremely well on that test but most of these people were academically strong people, those who 3.6 GPAs in undergraduate and 30+ MCATs. You have to study on your own to succeed on the USMLE and its very doable. It will probably be a good idea to take a prep course for it as well but even US students do the same.

    If Australian medical schools were not of high standard they would not have qualified for US Federal loans. But get ready to work your butt off.

    And realistically, if the USMLE is all you care about, why not go to a Caribbean school?

    UQ has set a terrible precedent by creating this program, and their student enrollment numbers are ridiculous.
    Last edited: 09.19.10
  36. nybgrus

    nybgrus

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    Thanks for the concern... I am feeling better, but still not back to working out again and that makes me cranky.

    As for would I do it again? Knowing what I know now, I would have waited till after accreditation went through and then probably gone ahead and done it.

    In response to the other post, agreed - everyone has to study their ass off for the USMLEs. The issue is not that, nor that Aussie's are less well trained. At the end, they are quite competent and equivalent. However, at the end of 2 years, Aussies are NOT competent to sit the Step 1. That education is stretched out over years 3 and 4 here. So the curriculum is inherently deficient in prep for it. No one would expect it to be tailored for an American exam. However, while the only care is NOT USMLE (otherwise yes, go to Caribbean), the fact remains that the SoM has taken on an onus by assuming responsibility for the only cohort in Australia REQUIRED to take the USMLE. All the prep will be outside the curriculum - that is a must. What we ask is that the school recognize the gravity of the exam and their onus to us and act to give us time and resources in fair accord. This is, IMHO, just that fact alone merits that support. The fact that we have EACH paid $18,000 more than any other student on campus is just icing on the cake. The sad part is, that despite this rationale, we still are having to fight tooth and nail for it.

    Another side note, simply of an ethical point (slightly paternalistic, if you wish): those students here who sit the USMLE are aware of what they are in store for and prepare knowing it is in excess of the curriculum. Those who come here, with the promises via MedEdPath's website of "comprehensive USMLE prep" are then quite reasonable to assume that the established curriculum and adjunctive support (or lack thereof, as the case is) IS indeed sufficient for their preparation for an exam they have been (and I will re-iterate) promised they would be prepped for specifically AND required to take. I feel this is not an unreasonable additional onus on the school the actively ensure a robust USMLE prep specifically for the Ochsner cohort. If it wishes to roll it out for the entire school, so be it. But it must FIRST meet the robust requirements of the Ochsner cohort to ensure that the funds and resources are not diluted through the whole school. Which brings me to my last point....

    While I disagree that the idea of this program is a bad idea, I do agree that the size of the class is atrocious. Not in an absolute sense, per se, but in a student:resource ratio perspective.

    Oh yes, and of course, as no one I am sure would yet know, and I will discuss no further at the moment, there has been instituted an EXTRA 4 weeks placement ONLY for Ochsner students which must be somehow fit into the already packed curriculum. Yet MORE onus for the SoM to step up its game and ensure AMAZING USMLE prep for OUR COHORT
  37. Rhandhali

    Rhandhali New Member

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    I will be, working on visa/health exams and everything else now. Plan on arriving in Brisbane around Jan 3 or thereabouts.
  38. SNu

    SNu

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    Nice. I'm from Washington. How about you?
  39. Rhandhali

    Rhandhali New Member

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    I'm based out of Kentucky right now. I know there's a facebook group but it's really sparsely populated. It'd be great to coordinate with people before arrival, but there's not a lot of movement there.

    When are you landing in Brisbane?
  40. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    The problem is, there are 3 or 4 groups. The only 'central' place is the uqms.org forums.
  41. Rhandhali

    Rhandhali New Member

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    Yeah, I've joined the Ochsner group and what looks to be the general UQMS group. The Ochsner group is pretty dead though.

    I've signed up with the UQMS forums under the same name. I look forward to getting down there. Is anyone else with UQ/Ochsner interested in doing USMLE prep together? I've got a fair amount of instructional materials from 2010 and 2009 that I'm bringing along.
  42. SNu

    SNu

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    Planning to land on the 7th of January and then a mad scramble to find a place to live. We should for sure organize a study group right away. Count me in!
  43. UQOchsStudent

    UQOchsStudent

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    [FONT=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]The problem with the study groups and organization is that we really have none. MedEdPath likes to tell you we have all this great material and resource and organization for our group (especially USMLE) but that is just total crap. They love to hold your hand and tell you how wonderful everything is and how great the group is and they even have all this stuff on their website about this solid USMLE prep program - but none of it is true. Once you are here, you get tossed into the pond with all the other first years and MedEdPath disappears and no one seems to take up the reigns once you get here. Don't get me wrong, the school is great and all and we are learning a lot, but if you think that MedEdPath does anything more than blow smoke up your ass or that there is anything to prepare you for the USMLE besides a free copy of First Aide you are being sold a load of crap..
  44. Rhandhali

    Rhandhali New Member

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    I kind of figured that MedEdPath were really just mercenaries - professional recruiters. They'd be just as comfortable recruiting for a Caribbean school as they would for an Australian - their job is to get the word out about the program and connect students to the application process. They've done a decent enough job of that, I mean I'm here, there are others here and they've been helpful in answering the questions I've had.

    That being said, I get the impression that UQ is dropping the ball on their end MedEdPath is doing their job getting students to UQ but it doesn't sound like there's much support for students on the Brisbane end, especially considering that we're all, for better or worse, a very special case.

    That's part of the reason I'm so interested in getting in touch with other students to try and start a support/organization network since it seems like we won't have that unless we make it ourselves.
  45. feliberti20

    feliberti20

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    Hey guys and gals. I am finishing up 1st year here at UQ (just finishing the 4 week clinical elective) and from my point of view, it is well worth it. It is true that USMLE tutorials have not been set up nor has the admin mentioned exact details of how things are to be implemented. BUT many of the students (future 2nd year UQ/Ochsner students) have decided to volunteer their time to dovetail the curriculum at UQ with pertinent USMLE needed info.
    One thing I have learned at UQ is that the students help each other out. Nothing is perfect, but the spirit of collaboration between students is quite impressive.

    There are tons of crap that the school could change but that is true of anywhere else you go. The appropriate analogy is that the train tracks are literally being built in front of the train as it is speeding along, so there are plenty of growing pains.

    Any fantasy that you might have of this being a perfect ideal school throw it out the window. What it is, is a great school going to an even greater hospital with students that do give a crap in an imperfect system implemented imperfectly. That is my 2 cents. (I do have to say that Ochsner faculty appear to care a great deal for us)

    By the way, we will be building our own student medical society to supplement the one already established which will try and attend to the needs of the Ochsner students; but this is also a work in progress and will take many years to complete.

    I hope that this helps out and paints a better pic for you guys

    Cheers mates!
  46. PacificBlue2012

    PacificBlue2012

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    Would you be daring enough to say that in front of the faculty members of your clinical preceptors? UQ is a great school, what I hate about UQ is the way they try to pander to North American students. The school's mission is not to train you to work in North America, its for Australia.

    To be frank, I think the UQ Ochsner program is highly flawed, the curriculum is meant to train you for the Australian system, how can it really train to do well on the USMLE? When I was at USyd, most students did not even take the Step 1 until the middle or end of the 3rd year because they had much better clinical knowledge at that point. But this is not an option for people in this program.

    Also in my opinion, someone who completes the MBBS and also an internship year should have enough knowledge to the pass the USMLE, but obviously you will need to do quite a bit of studying on your own.

    Also if you do have a supportive student body that is great to hear. I could tell you USyd was not like that.
    Last edited: 11.09.10
  47. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    Why wouldn't he? I certainly did. The faculty are also the first to admit that there are many areas needing improvement. The only intolerance I've seen is when students (e.g., some from the "me" gen) who whinge about things naively or without any practical suggestions for improvement.
  48. PacificBlue2012

    PacificBlue2012

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    So how is UQ going to help these Ochsner students with preparation for the USMLE? Also the fees they pay are much higher than the fees for students in the regular UQ course. It just makes wonder.
  49. feliberti20

    feliberti20

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    We have made our complaints known to the faculty and to the Dean of the SoM himself so there is nothing to add. It is true that last year we paid HEAPS more than other international students BUT next year (due to the rise of the Aussie dollar) it is entirely possible that we MIGHT pay less than regular international students.:eek::eek:

    50k US is approx 49.5K Aussie plus we don't have to pay for the 3% transaction fee from US to AUD, because we will pay in US dollars next year (50k).

    I am on elective right now so I am available to answer any questions, so feel free.
  50. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper

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    Wonder what? It's a fee for a piece of paper, and then some. Those who are willing to pay to get US exposure, will. Students who are motivated will do the USMLE courses that the school will pay for, and pass the USMLE and get residency. Those who aren't, won't.

    It's like any other Aussie program. They all charge high fees for int'ls. Int'ls can pay the fees or choose to go somewhere else, as determined by the market. Ochsner just has a niche by offering extensive US exposure and by willing to take a large number of its grads for residency.

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