Australasia Med Programs

Discussion in 'Australasia and Oceania' started by johndoe1978, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. johndoe1978

    johndoe1978 Junior Member
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    I have a general question I graduated in 2002 with a degree in biology with distinguished honors and was originally studying physiotherapy in the US. After completing a semester along with hospital rounds I fell in love with the ER. I have not taken my MCAT test yet.... and was wondering if all of the Australian Medical Programs require them. I am quite in a socialized health care model and welcome any advice or criticism. My objective is to acquire a medical degree expeditiously ( I am getting up in years lol) and ensure the ability to acquire a ER residency in either US, Australia, Canada, UK, or EU...

    Many thanks,

    Joe
     
  2. pitman

    pitman Grasshopper
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    pretty sure all the grad programs do require an entrance exam, but you can take the GAMSAT instead (less achievement based, more aptitude). search the forums for it and try www.acer.edu.au
     
  3. sjkpark

    sjkpark Senior Member
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    If your long term plan involves going back to US, I would seriously urge you to consider staying in US for medical school. If you are interested in coming to this part of the world just to "shorten everything," I'm afraid it is not such a good idea.

    Australasian ER training is 7 years long from the time of graduation. (2 years as a house officer then 5 years as a training registrar).
     
  4. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    Not only that... I don't think EM physician training is recognized in the UK or the EU....

    Stay in the US unless you plan on immigrating to Australia or are willing to really haul ass to get back to the US.
     
  5. sjkpark

    sjkpark Senior Member
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    I would be very surprised if FACEM is not recognised in UK. UK EM consultant jobs routinely come up in NZMJ classified section.

    For almost every specialty, you don't need to write PLAB if you have Australasian fellowships. They are considered equivalent of UK Royal Colleges
     
  6. Off2Oz

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    Now now.. don't discourage him too much. =) I'm planning on returning to Canada via the US, and I figure the savings of $100k makes up for the pain I'll have to endure.

    Besides, it builds character.. =)

    Just my quick 2 cents - I'm not slagging anyone off here.. I'm just saying that after careful analysis by a guy who wishes to return to Canada, Australia is still a viable option.

    Of course, everyone is different, and what makes sense in my case may not make sense in yours.

    To the OP: Chillax. You're about the same age as I am, and we've got lots of time. If you want to quickly and easily stay in North America, go for one of the schools in North America. If you don't really mind the extra time, travel and effort... then go to Oz.

    I'll have more after I actually start the programme.. lol..

    Cheers.
     
  7. johndoe1978

    johndoe1978 Junior Member
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    Thanks,

    My motives are part expediency, adventure, education, and governmental ideology. From a political standpoint I shift towards a socialized healthcare system. I play a bit of rugby and have found the Aussies to be a great group of lads. Nonetheless, I don't mind doing the ground work; however I do want a degree that has maximal mobility. I am not fixed on returning to the US...

    Any advise on timelines and important dates would be invaluable.

    Many thanks for your help.


    Cheers,

    Joe
     
  8. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    My mistake- I was always under the impression based on word of mouth that the UK still relied on orthopaedic surgeons etc for emergency departments.
    So the FACEM might be recognized in the UK.

    Based on wikipedia- the UK has only started Emergency Medicine training in 1993.
    They used to be two organizations:
    Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine
    British Association for Emergency Medicine

    Which are consolidating to form the College of Emergency Medicine which is planning to begin Jan 1st 2006.
    The only thing I am right about is the EM is not as established in Europe as it is in North America.

    But the health system in Europe is all different anyways... they have doctors riding with paramedics in some countries don't they?

    Off2Oz: I am a medical student in Australia and if you think going back to North America from Australia won't be hard... think again.
    Try an investment of $200,000.

    The Australian curriculum does not prepare you for the USMLE - it prepares you for their medical education system. The North American system crams a lot in 4 years. The Australian specializations take longer because they spread out their education over a longer period of time. Better lifestyle as a result.

    3rd and 4th year medical students in Australia in 4 year graduate programs do not get the same amount of patient responsibility as students in 3rd and 4th year medicine in North America.

    No it's not impossible to go back to North America but you can't plan 5 years in advance because training programs, immigration policy etc. changes a lot.
    You can't take going overseas for medicine lightly.

    That being said, Australia is a great place to be but they've opened up a lot of medical schools recently. The quality of those medical schools is unknown and training positions will be harder to come by. Last year, having a medical degree did not help your application for permanent residency. Now it does. But what will happen in 5 years? Who knows.

    Emergency medicine in the US is competitive to get in to and much more so as an IMG. There is a demand for EM in Australia but remember that it will take at least 7 years to get there.

    The advantage is that in Australia, you get paid overtime as an intern and it is much more flexible to work here than in Canada and the US as a CMO.
     
  9. Off2Oz

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    Ack, sorry man, I didn't mean to insinuate that going the Aussie route and then returning wouldn't be difficult.

    Thanks for the info though - more is always better, and the views of those already there and working on their degree is appreciated.

    Cheers.
     
  10. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    No need to apologize- I did not intend to sound aggressive at all.

    I just tend to be on the negative side and I think it's best to be that way before telling someone to embark on a life changing decision.
    I used SDN and another forum a lot before I decided to go to Australia for medical school.

    I went to Australia because I wanted to leave Canada. I am a minority in that respect.

    It's a massive financial burden to be here and it is stressful not knowing what's going to happen but I am really enjoying my time here. I did not want to be a doctor until late in my life. I did apply to a Canadian school and had an interview but chose to stay here for personal reasons.

    Anyways, I'm getting off topic.. sjkpark and pitman already gave the two answers he wanted.

    The main point was that the Australian medical education system and health care system is much more different than one realizes. GIven the OP credentials, it seems much more smarter to write the MCAT and then apply for medical school in North America before deciding to jump ship unless you want to leave it all behind.
     
  11. Off2Oz

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    It sounds to me like you're saying that when you go to Aus to study medicine, you must leave North America behind for good. Now, is this mostly in reference to tougher specializiations to get residencies in? It's really not all that horrid if you consider some of the "easier" specializations...

    Anyway, after some research, I've come to the conclusion that going to Australia for an MBBS will necessarily force the following things to happen in my future:

    1. I'll have to study harder and learn more outside of the curriculum to pass the USMLE exams (ie. do well) and get into a US residency.
    2. The only route directly back into Canada is via FM. Otherwise, I'll have to spend some time in the US after my formal education.
    3. It'll cost me less than in the US, but it's still $200k, and it'll hurt.

    In any case, I think that with careful planning and lots of hard work, things will unfold the way that I'd like them to. And I'm not permanently abandoning Canada at all..

    Thoughts?
     
  12. sjkpark

    sjkpark Senior Member
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    Look, we're talking about 2 different situations here. You've obviously thought long and hard about going to Australia for medical school. All your reasons are completely sensible and sounds like you have reasonably good idea about what you're getting yourself into.

    However, sounds like the original poster hasn't. The guy hasn't even written MCAT. I don't think the OP realises the full implications of going to school in Australia, he is just assuming that the EM training in Aus would be similar to that of US and also assuming that Australian qualification would be easy to get and will open doors up to Europe.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  13. sjkpark

    sjkpark Senior Member
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    Only on the paper. Also from my fragmented knowledge from here and there UK had emergency medicine training programme long before that however people had to go through either MRCP or MRCS.

    Wouldn't you think that orthopaedic surgeons would have better things to do then manning ED? They could be earning $$$ replacing old lady's hip in private rather than sitting in the ED taking care of the drunks or BPD.
     
  14. Off2Oz

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    Yup, although I didn't know too much about Aus EM training with relation to how well it tranfers around the world, I just figured that I'd give him some more about why others may have decided to go to Oz.. I really couldn't get enough info of that kind when I was trying to get things sorted, so I'm just tossing it out there. =) Anyway, that was my intent.

    To the OP (and his question on timelines): If you decided to start applying next cycle, I'd recommend you write the MCAT in April. You've got lots of time to study, and lots of time after that to decide on which admissions process to enter.

    April 16th-ish is usually the MCAT test date with another one in August. Then, Australian schools accept apps until later in August for int'l applicants - look here (I'm sure this has been linked a thousand times) http://www.acer.edu.au/tests/university/gamsat/intro_gmac.html

    US schools are different, and operate on a rolling admissions schedule for the most part - the earlier you get your application in, the better your chances. Check http://www.aamc.org/audienceamcas.htm for info on the US process.

    I'm not much help with the EU/UK option, but I'm sure if you just google around a little, you can find what you need.
     
  15. silverfish

    silverfish Junior Member
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    johndoe1978. The best advice I can give you is write the April MCAT, and if you scored bad, then rewrite it again in Aug, apply to US schools (both allopathic and osteopathic schools early with your april grades). If you fail to get in, then retake the mcat again in april. Give it a few shots, then apply to both US and foreign schools (Aussi or Carribean or whatever) in 2008. If you get into US schools then come back. If not, then get your foreign medical degree. Do this one step at a time. In the long run, giving the US a few chances will maximize your chances of obtaining a ER residency. Once you have your residency in the US, then you can decide to go wherever you want regarding your socialized health care. :)

    In terms of med schools in Australia, your road will be longer. You will have to prepare for the USMLE and understand that you will need higher than normal marks to get into the ER residency. Staying in Australia to get your speciality is even worse, as they have opened med schools left and right. It is doubtful that as an international student, you will be able to get an internship in the future, not to mention ER residency. If you are left with the last step of chosing between foreign schools, then consider the carribean as well. Don't underestimate it. Good Luck :)
     
  16. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member
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    Regardless, don't you think this means that it won't necessarily mean a simple transfer from country to country with your degree?

    http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk//nhs-knowledge_base/data/5391.html
    '
    ORTHOPAEDIC AND TRAUMA
    Orthopaedic and Trauma
    This is now one of the largest surgical specialties. A few regional specialist centres for elective surgery remain in this country, but most Orthopaedic practice is carried out in a District General Hospital along with a general trauma service. Most Orthopaedic units now have a minimum of five consultants who are increasingly able to develop a sub-specialty interest.

    The last ten to fifteen years have seen major developments in Orthopaedic Surgery in common with a number of other surgical specialties. This has involved minimally invasive surgery. Overall there is now a wide range of sub-specialty divisions within Orthopaedic Surgery which allows practitioners to choose interests ranging from microvascular surgery through to major revision arthroplasty of lower limb joints. The last few years have also seen major developments in the management of trauma patients with an increasing number of injuries being treated operatively enabling a more rapid rehabilitation of patients. '


    Though perhaps not ED physicians they are still the ones managing the trauma.


    I may not be right about the details but my point was to tell the OP that being a specialist in one country does not necessarily mean you're going to be able to be a specialist in another country easily.
     
  17. sjkpark

    sjkpark Senior Member
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    Agreed.

    However MY point was that once you get to full fellowship of royal college stage, it's pretty easy to transfer between UK and Aus/NZ. Not so with US qualification.

    I'm not too sure what stage of medical training you're in but emergency medicine and trauma surgery are 2 distinct specialties, at least in large hospitals in Aus/NZ.

    Emergency medicine specialists are concerned with initial stabilisation of the patient (i.e. ABCDE) and they go through FACEM training (Fellowship of Austalasian College of Emergency Medicine). Once patients are stabilise, they hand the patients to trauma surgeons for further repair.

    Trauma surgeons are surgeons, i.e. they go through FRACS training. They can either be from general or orthopaedic surgery. At Auckland Hospital they have Director of Trauma Surgery who is a vascular/trauma surgeon (who would be repairing ruptured aorta, for example) and Director of Orthopaedic Trauma, who is an orthopaedic surgeon (who would be repairing bones but nothing else).

    Note that you don't have to be vascular surgeon in order to do trauma surgery. The director happens to be vascular surgeon. I think there's another trauma surgeon and his other subspecialty is breast/endocrine.
     

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