Info on Australia?

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by Surf Monkey, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. Surf Monkey

    Surf Monkey Junior Member

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    Hi All,

    I have a few questions regarding med school in OZ.

    1) What percentage of the American students actually get a residency in the US at competetive programs, and/or not so competetive prgrams?

    2) Would it be possible for my girlfriend/fiannce/wife to obtain a work visa in OZ if I were in school there? I know that it is almost impossible for US citizens to get work visas there.

    3) How do the medical programs in OZ stack up against those in the US and Ireland?

    Thanks y'all.

    Da Monkey
     
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  3. dcorkery

    dcorkery New Member

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  4. HairOfTheDog

    HairOfTheDog Junior Member
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    1) Most of the individuals placing into residency in the states find out after they graduate and don't keep in contact with the school (at least here at Flinders) thus those stats are hard to come by. My impression is that australian grads do pretty well especially if you go back to the US during 4th year for rotations.

    2) My understanding is that your girlfriend wouldn't get a work visa. Your fiannce wouldn't have too much of a problem but you might have to prove that you are actually engaged. A spouse is no problem.

    3) Much like Dcorkery said, Australia has a good reputation. I was told by several people (doctors and other students doing research about australia) that if you go to school outside of the states, go Down Under.
     
  5. Surf Monkey

    Surf Monkey Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info. I appreciate your help.
     
  6. Surf Monkey

    Surf Monkey Junior Member

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    Is there anyone else out there that is going to be going to the University of Queensland this January?
     
  7. USMedStudent

    USMedStudent Member
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    To Surf Monkey,

    Queensland is the home base of the ONE NATION Party, so be careful if you go there.

    Racism is everywhere, but at least in the US the multiple-choice exams would prevent or eliminate it in student assessments. In Aus, due to the essay-typed exams and the p/t exams, any faculty members that may want to fail you, can. They already did to many US students. Some may be unhappy with their meager salary; some may envy your suit; some may not like your tie or your hair; some may not want Yanks around, etc., any of those could be cause for your lifetime troubles. If you fail a year, chances for you to get a residency back here would be reduced by at least 50%.

    Lawyers in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, have been making a lot of money lately thanks to the lawsuits that US students sued against Aus med schools. Some years, those schools failed ALL international Asian students, some American ones, and none of their own. In Aus, you can write as well as in Guyton or Robbins but you may still be told that you fail. No explanations given.

    The ECFMG is well aware of possible discriminatory student assessments, so it makes it such that the CSA exams that international students must take to apply for residency are graded not as much on patients' or faculty members' impression on students (as is the case in Aus), but on students' write-up reports. In the CSA, then, there are specific criteria, on hard copy, about students' performance. If any disputes should happen, there are always the tapes. Similarly, the USMLEs are tough, evil, but at least they are NOT discriminatory against students' nationality, race, looks, voice, accents.

    If you've decided to go to Aus for med education, good luck! Don't say you haven't been warned!
     
  8. bokimbo

    bokimbo Member
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    If there is such racism in Australian Medical schools, why is USmedstudent the first to talk about it? And how come no one is offering anything to support his arguments now? If USmedstudent really believes what he/she writes, then I think the people on this forum deserve specifics as to what races are being discriminatted against in the examinations (Usmedstudent said Asians, but does that mean Chinese?, Koreans?, Indians?). Frankly, I find it hard to believe what Usmedstudent writes, but if there is any truth to it, it could ruin someone's life. I would hate for this to happen to anyone, especially myself.
     
  9. The Pill Counter

    The Pill Counter Senior Member
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    Bokimbo, I'm a med student at University of Queensland. I'm of Indian origin, there are Chinese, Malaysians, Singaporeans, Koreans, an African, Pakistanis and we're a class that gets along well, have great relationships with our profs and have been quite impressed with the consultants, including their attitudes to us. So much for Queensland being the home of racism. I think USMedStudent is mired deep in a victim mentality for difficulties in his own education. Not to discount from true instances of discrimination, because wherever it is encountered, be it US/Can, Europe or Aus or anywhere else, it should be confronted and never tolerated.
    To Surf Monkey, I'm here at UQ, will be in second year next year (fingers crossed, finals in six days!)
     
  10. geez did u just register to get on everyone's nerve?, i think if u went to australia with that biased attitude, then thats why u feel this way. there is basically racism everywhere and for there to be racism there has to be people, people like u :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: . while i am sorry u had a bad experience, i think u should stop disuarding people from attending, every one has different experiences and feelings, every man for himself :)
     
  11. USMedStudent

    USMedStudent Member
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    I don't want to talk more on this, but I can give you some specifics.

    2 years ago on the OSCE exams of year 2, ALL 5 international Asian students failed the exam. I don't know the rate for last year (I don't have all the results for all classes and for all years) but I heard 3 international students failed last year, yr-2 OSCE. 2 yrs ago, that rate was 100% for Asians. Meanwhile, the rate for failing that exam that year among White Americans was 0%, and among OZ also 0%. Among the unfortunates were: 1 Philippino American, 1 Chinese American, 1 Vietnamese American, 1 Korean American, 1 Hongkong Canadian. Some of them are suing now.

    All those people were either born in the US and/or already graduated from a US / Canadian university. Some had multiple degrees in biomedical sciences. Their biggest mistake, I think, was they were Asian. In the US they can't get admission, in Aus they can't graduate.

    The year before that, 3 American students failed year-3 OSCE and failed the year. All 3 of them sued, and 2 were settled out of court for unspecified amount of money. Last year, again, ALL people that failed year-3 OSCE were international Asians. Over the year, ALL people that failed OSCE from year 1 through year 3 (year 4 doesn't have OSCE) were international students, among them were Asians, Indians, White Americans. One White American was failed the year because she didn't attend group discussions often enough. Surely she sued, and the school settled out of court. The school had to pass her, probably paid her and her lawyer too, but she withdrew and transferred to another school.

    Last year, horror of all horrors, a Jewish American was failed year 2 because of what he did--or didn't do thereof--during the rural week attachment. I think he informed the US Dept of Edu about that, and the Dept is investigating. If substantiated, it will take away Title IV from Flinders, stopping Stafford Loans. Jewish communities are very powerful in the AMA, even the AMA President, Dr. Cohen, is Jewish. Anyway, during that week, all students were forced to go to a rural area, some hundreds of miles away from civilization, to do a "research" (usually a bogus one that violates all research criteria), then write 2 papers, about 5 pages each. I don't know what sort of faux pas he did, but bottom line was he was failed the entire year and would have to repeat--and most importantly, PAY-- everything including all the coursework he had already passed. It was just cruel. Why wasn't he allowed to re-do the week? I heard he was devastated and is taking this year off. So, he will graduate at least 2 years later than his former classmates, if ever at all. Even if he may graduate, so what, what's his chance to get a residency? Who would care to hear him explain the bogus nature of the "research week" in which he was failed for?

    There hasn't been a year passing by, that I know of, since it started to take international students that Flinders school of medicine doesn't get sued. There also hasn't been a lawsuit that Flinders hasn't settled at its own expense. Only 3 groups of international students have graduated from Flinders, most of them don't care to keep in touch with the school, most don't care to talk about their horrible experiences there. Ask someone who was raped if she/he wants to talk about it often, to strangers. I don't either, and this is likely my very last post. About 60 international students are now stuck in that school, many emailed me that there hadn't been a day passing by that they didn't think about transferring the h*ll out, but they'd have to get the Dean's letter for that, and they knew the Dean might not write a letter to support them, and the school might crack down on them afterward. Flinders is almost like a cult that people can't get out even if they wished.

    Most Flinders exams are not even about medicine. They are about interaction with p/t, about attitude toward medicine. The first criterion is very problematic: students are graded NOT on their medical knowlege, but on their attitude, on how the p/t and the consultants view him/her as a suitable future doctor. For example, the written exam questions could be: "How to advise a 17-yr old pregnant woman that is upset and wants to have an abortion?" Now, how do you write a "good" answer to that? Should you ask about her regilion? About if her parents know, or should know, how would they feel? About if her pregnancy was planned, or if her boyfriend knows, etc., etc., In such an open-ended situation, you can easily make a "faux pas" in your answers, and BBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM, you step on a mine field that damages your career forever. There are no "correct" answers to such ambiguous question, but questions like that are all over Flinders exams. That opens the doors wide open for easy discrimination, racism, anti-Americanism, anti-Asianism, anti-Indianism, to prosper. Face it, aren't there people you just hate their guts upon seeing or hearing about them? Plus, your take on their life, character, talents, may be just honestly inaccurate. OZs pass OZs, and are leery about foreigners. Understandable. Now, what if you have absolute immunity and absolute power on people? If you had a relative that died on 9/11 attacks, would you feel comfortable to let a young Arab-looking guy asking you very personal medical questions? Sooner or later, you'd abuse your absolute power. I would. That's where the LAWS must be in place to restrain people. That's where social intelligence comes into place. At Flinders there is neither. Imagine how many lawsuits the ECFMG would have if it lets only White Male doctors grading students on CSA, essay-typed USMLEs, without any hard copies, tapes.

    What about on OSCE (p/t history taking, examination)? Again, there are times when you talk and find p/t with major depression, panic attacks, schizophrenia, etc,. Now, that's easy, but how would you ADVISE the p/t? On the American CSA, there are tapes, and there are write-ups with which you can challenge the results. But at Flinders, there are no such things. You are graded within 30 seconds after you left, without any evidence, criteria, on how the grades are given. The p/t, after you left, may say she /he is upset with your 'advice' so she / he gives you 1 out of 6, and you're in trouble right away. The consultant may jump on board and gives you 1 out of 14 to finish you off. You can be the best psychiatrist in the world and still fail that station. That's why some years ALL international Asian students failed, because the p/t and/or the consultants just didn't like their guts, didn't want them around. Some p/t may cringe, their abdomen tenses up, hurts more, their heart beats up, at having their body examined by an Asian, an Indian, a Yank, thus the student's diagnosis may be truthfully wrong.

    That's it, folks. I am gone now. Good luck to you all. Bye.
     
  12. usmedstudent,
    i think u bring very good and interesting facts to the board and i think ur intentions are good, but u have a very biased opinion and u are imposing it in a very ...well for lack of a better word, arrogant way,i dont think u should leave the board just because everyone disagrees with u, i think if u come across as more willing to help than more discouraging people then we will be better receptive to u.
    people are discriminated against in australia it doesnt mean it doesnt happen here in the united states or any where else, and u could just advice people to be aware of this and know what to do if it so happens.
    well good luck and please dont leave the boards on a simple misunderstanding.
     
  13. bokimbo

    bokimbo Member
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    Pill Counter,

    Is it safe to asume that Univ. of Sydney has a diverse student body and tolerant faculty as well? Do you have any friends that have given you feedback on Univ. Of Sydney and how they treat foreigners. I am especially concerned about this whole issue because I am both Indian and an American---I'm afraid that I will be discriminated on both of these factors. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Your last post was quite reassuring--thanks.
     
  14. Surf Monkey

    Surf Monkey Junior Member

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    I would really like to thank you all for your honest opinions. I don't think that USmed is being discouraging at all. He/she is just giving their take on the situation out in OZ. We all have our own filters, and have the ability to wade through those of others. I would be more afraid if everyone said it was perfect, and that there were no dissenting voices.
    I do know that the move accross the globe will bring about many new things. The least of which is being emersed in a new and different culture. Who knows what other challenges there are to face?- USmed is just letting those of us with these questions know what it was like for him/her, and I think that we have to appreciate that. (I am quite happy that I am not going to Flinders by the sound/statistics of it)

    Talk to y'all later.
     
  15. HairOfTheDog

    HairOfTheDog Junior Member
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    I?m a US student studying at Flinders Med and have been reading this thread with some interest. USMedStudent raises some real issues about the school. Most everything he says is true but I believe slightly blown out of proportion. I don?t feel like getting into a lengthy debate regarding all of his points, mostly because cricket is on the teli.
    Flinders does have administrative issues, some of which have pissed me off, but they do listen to the students. I had a friend who graduated last year and he stated that the program has improved greatly from when he started... but that isn?t to say that it is perfect, only that they make changes. Flinders takes the clinical skills approach and you either agree with that style or not, the doctor-patient relationship is something that is taught and emphasised here. In the end, I feel (and I have asked others who have graduated) that Flinders has helped them/me to become a good physician. I?m not saying that it?s perfect, no school is, but I feel as though it would be a tragedy if the conclusion of this thread was SurfMonkey?s statement ?I am quite happy that I am not going to Flinders by the sound/statistics of it?. Flinders is a good place to be.

    Take care boys and girls.
     
  16. bokimbo

    bokimbo Member
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    Can Flinders' students please post any additional info on this whole matter. Will Americans be unfairly graded in the program? and will it be difficult to graduate? how many actually fail each time? I would appreciate any info at all. This whole thing is quite disturbing.
     
  17. Salman20001

    Salman20001 Member
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    yes could someone please clarify this...needless to say, although USMEDstudent displays arrogance, there seems to be a few facts in his posts..honestly, I am totally confused at this point..also do any of the universities that do offer the 4ur md program have a lecture based style of study
     
  18. USMedStudent

    USMedStudent Member
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    Hi all, I am still dismally low on the Maslow's pyramid so I can't spend lots of time to do free things for strangers, not yet... But let me give you more facts, which I encourage everyone interested to call Flinders and check out:

    Since 1996 when Flinders started to accept international students to bail itself out of bankruptcy, for 6 years during 1996-2001 it has failed at least 5-10 of them EACH YEAR on OSCE alone (NOT counting other written exams which are just equally predatory), while during that time it has failed about 1-3 of its own domestic students on OSCE. Now since 1/3rd of its students are international, the rate of OSCE failure should be about 1 international student during that period, but in reality it is 30-60 students. What is, then, the RISK FACTOR for international students to fail the OSCE compared to Aus domestic students (hey this can be a USMLE-1 question)? Answer: 30 to 60 times higher, or between 3,000 to 6,000%.

    For some years such as in 2000, 100% international ASIAN students failed year-2 OSCE, while during that very same year 0% of White Americans, 0% of White Canadians, and 0% of Australian students failed that exam. If you were an international Asian student taking that exam that year, statistical chances for you to pass was, horror of all horrors, 0%. You could be as good as God and still failed it.

    Last year, ALL students that failed year-2, AND year-3 OSCE exams were international students, among them all those that failed year-3 OSCE were internationsl ASIAN students. I don't know the ethnic/race of 3 students that failed OSCE year-2, but most likely they were all Asian, too.

    Now, you tell me, when the RISK FACTOR is 3,000% to 6,000% higher for a very stratified specific group of students (international overall), is it discriminatory or random? The RISK FACTOR for international ASIAN students is even higher, much higher. It's more like 100-500 times higher than that of domestic students, because more than half of those 30-60 OSCE-failed students were Asian, while all Asian students were only about 1/10th to 1/20th of the entire class. Some years, ALL of them failed while NO ONE else did, so their RISK FACTOR was, in fact, in some years, INFINITELY higher than that of Aus, White American, White Canadian students (you can't divide by 0).

    Correlation does not imply causality. That's one of most basic principles in statistics. Birds chirping every morning doesn't cause the sun to rise. So, Flinders international students suffer in silence, in fear, because they can't prove it, can't complain--because they have no proof. The school ignores their plea for a fairer exam admisnistration. For example, the CSA format would instantly get rid of this problem. But why wouldn't Flinders adop, adapt it? This, I tried to explain before, which is debatable (but not other facts above). I think it has to do with POWER, with the ESTABLISHMENT. The CSA format would rip away all POWER that the ESTABLISHMENT now enjoys. It already lost the supreme, absolute, no-question-asked, power by taking international students. Now for the first time in their career, they are being questioned, sometimes challenged, in the lecture rooms. In American universities, that's normal, expected, encouraged. But in Aus, that may be construed as sign of disrespect. Aus consultants, professors, are embarrassed, resentful. They want to maintain the exam's status quo to show who's the boss. And the current anti-international student OSCE format is their way to maintain that, to show their POWER, to teach international students a lesson of silence.

    Now, someone in some posts says it makes sense that people with my forceful self-assured personality were mistreated at Flinders. That's a horrible statement. I hope that person won't ever become a doctor. Principle #1, first and foremost in medicine is: DO NO HARM. No matter how much you hate, dislike, distrust, loathe, etc, someone, you DO NO HARM to that person. Now, in the OSCE stations, if you are a patient or a consultant and are in a position to grade the students, then no matter how much you hate the student's characters, manners, personalities, accents, looks, race, ethnics, etc., if that student makes correct diagnosis, performs the examination correctly, takes a good and concise patient history, writes correct prescriptions, you MUST pass the person. Clearly, unfortunately, at Flinders it is NOT the case. At Flinders, on the marking sheets there are things like "global competence," "patient rapport," etc., which are widely opened, in fact inviting, for things that have nothing to do with MEDICINE, but everything to do with social engineering, personal and racial and ethnic preferrence, charisma, looks, mannerism, local jokes, local slangs, etc.

    Imagine you go to a Figure Skating World Championship in Russia, where 100% of your skating partners are assigned to you at random--who are Russian by the way, 100% of your audience AND 100% of your judges are also Russian. And you are competing against Russian skaters. Now, you tell me, would you expect the results to be fair? Nothing against the Russians, if you change that to American or Canadian or Swedish, I wouldn't want to go skate there either.

    Now, imagine you go to a World Chess Championship in Bahrain, where you don't need any judges to give you the grade.

    The Flinders OSCE is like the one in Russia; the CSA and other med schools in the US and even in the Caribbeans are like the one in Bahrain. You tell me which one is more fair.
     
  19. Salman20001

    Salman20001 Member
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    thanx usmedstudent..i really do see your point here and I will definitely ask them these questions..but I am also begging people with similar experiences who are non-white and have gone to australia to come and talk about their opinion on this whole issue
     
  20. Dapo

    Dapo Junior Member
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    Guys, in all seriousness, USMedStudent is seriously bitter, twisted and delusional. He's just looking for a scapegoat to blame for his academic and social failings. All he has said is emotive and subjective, and not at all supported by facts and hard evidence.

    To the guy who asked about Sydney Uni, I can tell you for a fact, that you're less likely to experience discrimination etc. there, than you are anywhere else. I used to go there, and you have Aussies from every single background you could care to think of, plus a multitude of foreign students. Sydney is a very cosmopolitan city, and there is a strong presence of those with an Indian background.

    USMedStudent has shown in his other posts throughout the forum, that he has a sever attitude problem (arrogant, ignorant, neo-Imperialist, and overly self-assured) that has quite obviously resulted in him grating his fellow students and consultants. His bitterness stems from his own academic and social skills inadequacies, not from his perceived "racism" of Australia. I've worked and lived in both countries, and without wanting to sound like I'm insulting the U.S., Australia is a far more genuinely open, tolerant and easy-going place than the U.S. USMedStudent has some personal issues that he needs to have addressed - don't let him put you off. Take a look at www.gmp.usyd.edu.au and you will see on the Visitors Guide information about the backgrounds of the student body in the GMP. It tells you the languages spoken at home, and considering that a large proportion of those persons of Indian background that I know in Sydney speak English as a first language at home, you can probably double the number of persons identified as speakign "Sub-Continental" languages at home, to get the numbers of those with Indian background in the USyd GMP.

    USMedStudent has an attitude problem - the sooner he accepts that and deals with it, the better - for everyone!:clap:
     
  21. Kry

    Kry cranky
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    Don't generalize. Most people in the US are not the racists you put them out to be. In fact, given the circumstances, I will bet that both Australians and Americans are equally biased.
     

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