Dec 10, 2009
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Hey,
I am an American (Indian decent) high school student (soon to graduate with IB Diploma) and I want to pursue medicine. I'm interested in doing medical education abroad because: cost of education is less, it takes less time to graduate, and I will be relieved of the stress of wondering if I will be able to get into an American medical school. I am looking at medical school in Australia, UK, and India. As I know only basic hindi, I don't think I would last in India. And the UK med schools are near impossible to get into if you are a non-citizen. Australia looks best because it has some well known medical institutions, everything is in English, and I have some family there.

Are Australian medical schools welcoming of international medical students? Are there any special requirements? Also, do they look only at grades/test scores or do they look at extracurriculars also? Lastly, which medical schools would you recommend based on my stats?

Predicted IB scores:
Chemistry HL: 7
Mathematics SL: 6
Biology HL: 7
English HL: 6 or 7
Psychology SL: 7
Spanish SL: 5 or 6
7th Certificate (not in final diploma): Physics HL: 6

Almost all A's. I doubt they look at SAT's because it is an American thing, but SAT is 2120.

2xPublished biomedical research
Near 1000 hours of volunteering at a local hospital.

Thanks for any help.
 

Raigon

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Hey,
I am an American (Indian decent) high school student (soon to graduate with IB Diploma) and I want to pursue medicine. I'm interested in doing medical education abroad because: cost of education is less, it takes less time to graduate, and I will be relieved of the stress of wondering if I will be able to get into an American medical school. I am looking at medical school in Australia, UK, and India. As I know only basic hindi, I don't think I would last in India. And the UK med schools are near impossible to get into if you are a non-citizen. Australia looks best because it has some well known medical institutions, everything is in English, and I have some family there.

Are Australian medical schools welcoming of international medical students? Are there any special requirements? Also, do they look only at grades/test scores or do they look at extracurriculars also? Lastly, which medical schools would you recommend based on my stats?

Predicted IB scores:
Chemistry HL: 7
Mathematics SL: 6
Biology HL: 7
English HL: 6 or 7
Psychology SL: 7
Spanish SL: 5 or 6
7th Certificate (not in final diploma): Physics HL: 6

Almost all A's. I doubt they look at SAT's because it is an American thing, but SAT is 2120.

2xPublished biomedical research
Near 1000 hours of volunteering at a local hospital.

Thanks for any help.
Hi! Before I (or other people) answer your question, I think you may want to do some of your own research into Australia first. There is a wealth of information on SDN (and also try looking into a website called Paging Dr, a similar forum to SDN that's dedicated to Australia). And also some sites that tell you how to apply.

First things first, I'll list the processes one by one and explain them.

There are two ways to get into medical school in Australia: the undergraduate entry and graduate entry. The undergraduate entry is for high school leavers or people who just graduated straight of high school. It is EXTREMELY competitive and not as much places (but I think this year there has been a BOOST of places at the University of Queensland) The graduate entry is the more popular entry method because there are more places and people from any major are qualified (except for Melbourne, where there are prerequisites).

To go into the undergraduate entry, you need to take the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine Admissions Test). Extracurricular activities and volunteer work does help, but they usually only consider 3 things:

1. Your UMAT scores
2. Your High school GPA/grades
3. Your interview

Usually they don't consider anything else. Even if you do, it only serves as a tie-breaker if someone has the EXACT same scores as you (all the way to the decimal places and there's only 1 spot left) when combining points 1~3.

Costs are mad expensive for international students or students who do not have Australian permanent residence or citizenship, so definitely not cheaper than most US schools. Locals can get commonwealth supported places and other special places to reduce the prices from what can be 40,000 to 60,000 AUD to 8000 AUD. I think only Australian National University will convert internationals who get their permanent residency during their medical school years to those CSP spots. But that's grad entry. I'm not as sure about undergraduate entry.

Australia is extremely internationally friendly, but that's because they want your money to boost the Australian economy (as with all countries that offer international places like the UK; yes the UK does offer international places) and they have a shortage of locally trained doctors. You'll need loans to pay for it.

But watch out, because after you graduate, you have to apply for internship and there is a medical tsunami in which graduate entry medicine places have been boosted to astronomical numbers while the internship spots have not. So not everyone (especially not internationals) is guaranteed an internship spot and internationals are recommended to return to their own country for practice.

So, I've given you a basic bit of reading. Do some more self-research and if you do post questions, make sure it's something that we don't consider common sense.
 

jaketheory

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Nov 10, 2005
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Hey,
I am an American (Indian decent) high school student (soon to graduate with IB Diploma) and I want to pursue medicine. I'm interested in doing medical education abroad because: cost of education is less, it takes less time to graduate, and I will be relieved of the stress of wondering if I will be able to get into an American medical school. I am looking at medical school in Australia, UK, and India. As I know only basic hindi, I don't think I would last in India. And the UK med schools are near impossible to get into if you are a non-citizen. Australia looks best because it has some well known medical institutions, everything is in English, and I have some family there.

Are Australian medical schools welcoming of international medical students? Are there any special requirements? Also, do they look only at grades/test scores or do they look at extracurriculars also? Lastly, which medical schools would you recommend based on my stats?

Predicted IB scores:
Chemistry HL: 7
Mathematics SL: 6
Biology HL: 7
English HL: 6 or 7
Psychology SL: 7
Spanish SL: 5 or 6
7th Certificate (not in final diploma): Physics HL: 6

Almost all A's. I doubt they look at SAT's because it is an American thing, but SAT is 2120.

2xPublished biomedical research
Near 1000 hours of volunteering at a local hospital.

Thanks for any help.
hi, i admit i didnt bother reading raigon's reply as it was fairly long and i just want to make some quick points, so i apologize i repeat what he has said.

first, you should seriously think where you want to work before you make this decision. while it sounds like a great idea to shave a few years off are many thousands of dollars off university study by doing it straight out of high school
in another country, this will make it much harder to work in the US. if your ultimate goal is to work in the US, you'd be best to stick with trainin in the US. keep in mind there are a few combined bachelor/med degree programs in the US. uni of mississipie kansas city has a 6 year combined program and several others have 7 year courses (eg. boston uni). underrad entry medicine is very competitive in Aus, so if you are competitive here, you are likely competitive at one of these US programs too.

why do you think it is way cheaper. go to you state school for undergrad, go to your state med school, and that is likely to be cheaper than 5-6 years paying international fees here.

you may not have the stress of whether you will get into med school but you most certainly will have to stress loads over how well you will do on the USMLE coming from a non-US medical school, where you will get a residency back in the US, and if you will even get into your desired specialty. you will be at a considerable disadvantage in doing med school abroad. most people on here either go to aus for med school cuz they couldnt get in the US or didnt think they could get in the US, and didnt want to go to Caribean, or those like me that simply wanted to live in Aus and are not committed to returning to the US anyway. as an international you will not be committed to returning to the US, but probably will have to leave Aus upon graduation.

SAT will be very important! the SAT will be your high school qualification. local aussies will use their HSC mark, the aussie equivalent of SAT. you may have to take several SAT subject tests as well but you should check yourself. completing an IB program will probably help you tremendously as it is known worldwide whereas standard high school curriculum is not. scratch that. id guess theyd use your IB scores. had you been a US grad and not completed an IB, theyd use your SAT. given you have IB they probably won need o use SAT, but you should check with the schools.

aussie schools are very internationaly friendly because international full-fees give the uni's loads of money.

they wont look at any extracuriculars. they will use your high school score (IB, maybe SAT). not all schools use UMAT but the vast majority do (i think JCU maybe the only one that doesnt). not all schools interview but the vast majority do (I think UTas is the only one that doesnt).

if i havent convinced you not to come to Aus, at least look at the 5 year schools first. at least those will be cheaper and take less time than a 6 year course. but i think you could have trouble getting a residency being only 23 with only 5 years of uni study when most other docs are 26 with 8 years sstudy. the take home is that it will make your life difficult.

no clue what your stats mean.

5 year schools include:

QLD: Bond (private, 4.7 years, no summers off)
NSW: Newcastle, Western Sydney (new course, not yet recognized by CA board)
VIC: Monash
SA: none
TAS: UTas
WA: none

6 year courses:

QLD: none
NSW: UNSW
VIC: none
SA: Adelaide, Flinders (combined bachelor of clinical science and medicine)
TAS: none
WA: UWA (last intake very soon, switching to 4 year MD)

another option is doing a 3 year bachelor followed by medicine in Aus. most 4 year grad entry medicine courses have guaranteed entry where you get admitted to both undergrad and medicine with medicine being conditional upon completing undergrad at an acceptable level.
 

redshifteffect

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To go into the undergraduate entry, you need to take the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine Admissions Test). Extracurricular activities and volunteer work does help, but they usually only consider 3 things:

1. Your UMAT scores
2. Your High school GPA/grades
3. Your interview

Usually they don't consider anything else.

Actually this is only true for Australians. As an international you may be required to take the ISAT, but it depends on which undergrad school you apply to.

Costs are mad expensive for international students or students who do not have Australian permanent residence or citizenship, so definitely not cheaper than most US schools. Locals can get commonwealth supported places and other special places to reduce the prices from what can be 40,000 to 60,000 AUD to 8000 AUD. I think only Australian National University will convert internationals who get their permanent residency during their medical school years to those CSP spots. But that's grad entry. I'm not as sure about undergraduate entry.

- UTas and JCU I know will let you convert to CSP should you get a PR. Places that won't are Uni of Adelaide, UNSW and Monash.
 

jaketheory

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i think extracuriculars will hope only in as much as they might give you insight to responding to interview questions. however, given most schools now use the multiple mini interviews, i question how useful extracuriculars really are. from what i've read of people's experiences with the MMI, it affords little oppurtunity to give an extracuricular laden flavour to your responses, and even if you are able to, the interviewer wont necessarily score you higher for it. i suggest you look for posts in which people describe their interview experiences. if you cant find much on SDN, try paging Dr as they are likely to have loads more info.

and i think these days even internationals will only need UMAT, but dont quote me. up until a few years ago there were several different undergrad entry med admissions tests in use and which you took depended on the school to which you applied. i think all aussie schools have moved to the UMAT now though.
 

redshifteffect

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I think UTAS at least still requires the ISAT, but I haven't checked the other undergrad schools.

http://www.international.utas.edu.au/static/HowtoApply/ApplicationsforMedicinePrograms-HowtoApply.php

At least for UTAS I'd strongly encourage you to send in your CV with extracurriculars because I know that they don't have any specific requirements and use all factors available to them in making a decision even if it's not required.

Monash also requires the ISAT:
http://www.monash.edu.au/study/coursefinder/course/0040/print.html

Anecdotally I've heard it's the same for some of the other undergraduate universities in Australia, so send whatever you can and they might have a look at it.

Edit:

Apparently Uni Adelaide uses a PQA:
http://health.adelaide.edu.au/students/international/pdf/internationalselectiondocument2010.pdf

They also have an "oral assessment" which seems more like a traditional interview and less like a MMI.
 
Last edited:

rayjay

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You may also want to check out Ireland. I know they are quite accepting of the IB Diploma (I did it too and looked into it), but as far as costs you're looking at quite a bit. Dont forget, everything there is in Euros...so x1.5
 

Leforte

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If you plan on practicing in the US, it is best to get your medical training in the US. Yes, you can go overseas, and the training is similar and the doctors are as qualified. However, when you are applying for residencies, there can be a bias in certain specialties against IMGs. While there have been many excellent medical students/young doctors who have successfully matched into great residencies, there are many more who are limited by either specialty or training program due to having their primary medical qualifications from overseas.

The same bias exists for IMG's trying to go to any other country. If I did my medical school in the US, and wanted to pursue specialist registrar training in Australia, it is a much more difficult process than if I were to do my medical degree there. It is just the way it is.

As far as cost, I think that you will find it cheaper to get your training in the US. With the Aussie exchange rate at > 0.90 and fees at 40-60k, you're looking at US$36-54k per year. That does not count your living expenses, travel expenses, etc. Far cheaper to go to a state school than that.

Yes, there is the uncertainty of getting into medical school while you're an undergraduate in the US, but study hard, make priorities, stay active with research, volunteering, etc and I am sure you'll be fine.

I've heard that the best predictor of your MCAT score is your SAT score - with a 2120, I am sure you'll do fine on the MCAT with adequate preparation.
 
Mar 24, 2011
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Hi,
I'm currently a international sophomore student from Thailand. I want to attend either a US or a UK medical school. Presently, I'm taking chemistry, accelerated math, and AP biology,etc (I'm having straight A except for AP Biology: I got B+ but some how, according to my teacher, my expected AP exam score is 5).Next year, for 11th and 12th grade, I'm planning to take IB diploma (4 HL, 2 SL). My initial plan is to either take 4 HL:Biology, Psychology, Math, Chemistry + 2 SL: English, Thai or 4 HL: Physics, math, chemistry, psychology + 2 SL: Thai, English. However, I'm afraid that this might be too time consuming since I'm also in three varsity sport teams and am involved in many activities (debate, acting, environmental clubs, hospital volunteer, etc). Do you guys think I should take 4 HL and 2 SL or just stick with the ordinary 3 HL and 3 SL? If so, what subjects should I take? Should I take HL Biology despite already taking AP biology or should I substitute HL Biology with HL physics?
Thanks :)
 

rayjay

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Having taken IB previously I'd suggest stick with the 3HL and 3SL standard. If you are applying for US schools it makes little difference since you have to have an undergraduate degree anyways, and the med school won't care about your IB grades, just your undergrad GPA (unless you get advanced credit in which case they'll treat that separately).

For the UK where you can enter out of high school I don't think taking 4HLs is a good idea. Do poorly in one and you're screwed. Take the standard, ace them and take it from there. Above a 35 and you're probably competitive for Irish schools like RCSI's 6yr programme.

I found HL bio pretty easy (got a 6). I took HL bio, english and history (6s in each). Physics and math were never my strong point so I avoided them. If you are strong in Physics, take it. Don't take an HL just because you think it'll help your application, take it if you genuinely think you can do well on it.