Info on Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia

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Sep 13, 2000
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>There are 10 medical schools in Australia, all of them accredited by the
>Australian Medical Council and all Government funded. Traditionally the
>courses have been open to high school leavers, and are of six years
>duration. However Flinders University (one of Australia's leading medical
>schools) has developed a new four-year medical degree course which is open
>only to students who hold an undergraduate university degree (in any field
>of study).
>The new program commenced at The Flinders University of South Australia
>in February 1996 and the quota of international students is filled mainly
>with students from the USA. The innovative four-year medical course is
>designed for students who have already developed effective skills for
>learning, critical analysis and problem solving at university. The course
>represents a major new direction for medical education in Australia.
>Flinders is the first university in Australia to offer a 4-year medical
>course. One of its major assets is a small student body; there are less
>than 80 students per year and teaching is done in small groups of 8
>students. The School of Medicine and the Flinders Medical Centre are
>uniquely co-located within a complex which houses inpatient (600 beds) and
>outpatient services, and teaching and research space for basic medical
>science and clinical disciplines.
>We have interacted strongly with various schools in North America which
>have expertise in Problem Based Learning - in particular Harvard, McMaster
>and The Universities of New Mexico and Kentucky. Some of America's leading
>medical educationalists have been visiting fellows at our school; these
>include Stewart Mennin (New Mexico), Richard Schwartz (Kentucky), LuAnn
>Wilkerson (UCLA) and Martin Rayner (Hawaii). I am sure that they will
>answer any questions you may like to ask them, eg re the high standard and
>quality of the program. In addition, one of our faculty received an
>award (1995-1996) sponsored by Harvard from The International Medical
>Scholars Program (established by the ECFMG) in the field of medical
>is fully government funded. Flinders is nestled in the southern
>foothills of the Mt. Lofty Ranges. The university is located on a
>spacious modern campus overlooking the city of Adelaide. Adelaide boasts
>one of the lowest costs of living of any main-land Australian city, and
>has a very pleasant Medditerranian climate. Flinders has a student
>population of 10,000, over 600 of whom are from overseas. It is a
>multicultural university with a reputation for excellence in teaching
>and research.
>Web address is http://wwwsom.fmc.flinders.edu.au/
>Flinders University welcomes applications from overseas students.
>International students should complete applications by the 30th June,
>2001 for the February 2002 entry. Candidates will be short-listed for
>interview on the basis of
>overall performance in MCAT. All candidates will be required to achieve a
>minimum standard on each section of these tests. Scores of 7 or above in
>those sections given numerical scores and M in the writing sample will be
>required. Interviews will be conducted in several American cities in late
>July or August. In some instances telephone interviews may be arranged.
>Candidates will not be required to travel to Australia for the interview.
>Some International students may elect to take the Australian test, GAMSAT.
>For details see http://www.acer.edu.au.
>The Flinders University of South Australia is currently an eligible and
>participating institution in the Title IV Student Financial Aid Programs
>(Stafford loans).Flinders has also been approved to participate in the
>International Student Loan Program (ISLP). ISLP International Education
>Finance Corporation combines current Title IV(US government sponsored) and
>supplemental loan financing (guaranteed by TERI) into a single package.
>Students who are not American citizens can also contact ISLP because they
>may be able to arrange a suitable loan package. For example, the recently
>introduced Canadian Higher Education Loan is available to Canadian
>citizens. For further information contact the ISLP tel (617)6967840 fax
>(617)6983001 or email [email protected] Postal address is 424 Adams St,
>Milton MA 02186.
>The successful completion of the medical degree in Australia does not
>qualify the graduate to practise in United States of America,
>certification must be obtained from the Education Commissions for Foreign
>Medical Graduates (ECFMG). To be eligible for certification by ECFMG, the
>following requirements must be met:
>w passes in Step 1 and Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing
>w pass in the ECFMG English test
>w pass in the ECFMG Clinical Skills assessment (CSA), which
>incorporates a test of spoken English. This assessment requires the
>examinee to demonstrate proficiency on components of clinical skills such
>as history taking, physical examination, organisation and interpretation
>of clinical data, interpersonal skills and oral English
>All students of the Flinders University Medical School satisfy
>eligibility requirements determined by ECFMG to sit the USLME. An ECFMG
>certified graduate is eligible to apply for a residency position in the
>United States through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
>We are assisting with USMLE preparation by using some of the 12?% of the
>course devoted to elective study to timetable tutorials and lectures. We
>also supply literature designed for USMLE candidates in the USA. We are
>unable to give statistics of the success of our students in USMLEs or
>obtaining residencies, because the first intake into the new course are
>only in their third year at the moment. We are assisting in the residency
>question by organising elective exchange programs with some schools in the
>USA. The fourth year is the final year for GEMP students and it is in this
>year that each student has two 6 week terms (of a total of 8 terms)
>available for electives external to Flinders. We are encouraging our
>North American students to undertake their elective terms in places where
>they may wish to apply for residency programs; this should facilitate
>placement because the student will be "known" to that institution, and
>will have letters from US rotations as well as the Dean's letter from
>All "Foreign Medical Graduates" (FMGs) must obtain ECFMG certification to
>practise in the USA, and this includes citizens of USA who have trained in
>medical schools outside of that country. The success rates for FMGs on
>Steps 1 and 2 are quite low. For example 1995 figures show a 45% pass on
>Step 1 for FMGs (n=61,411) compared to 87% for examinees from US Schools
>(n=37,387). These figures provide the basis for the recent concern of
>many US students about the wisdom of seeking a medical education outside
>the USA. Not only does it appear that such students are disadvantaged
>with respect to passing the USMLE, but would be further disadvantaged by
>the proposed reduction in the number of residency positions.
>A recent publication by the National Board of Medical Examiners reported
>the results of these FMG pass rates on USMLEs according to the country of
>medical school, and Australia had the best performance (91%) of all
>countries including the USA, on Step 1 (n=389). Step 2 (n=284) was even
>better at 98%! Most of these candidates were Australian residents doing
>USLME for further education purposes in the USA, and therefore probably
>represent some of our better students from the old 6-year courses.
>However we believe that these results illustrate the quality of an
>Australian medical education, and it can be confidently concluded that our
>curriculum content is relevant to the USMLE. The new 4-year course has
>similar course content and has been accredited by the Australian Medical
>Council, which scrutinises the curriculum to ensure the highest standard.
>Some countries which train large numbers of US citizens performed very
>poorly; eg Mexico and the Dominican Republic had pass rates of only 16%
>and 12% respectively.

There are places for up to 25 international students and 58 Australian
>Enquires can be made via e-mail ([email protected]) and a
>toll free telephone number (1800 686 3562) can be accessed from the USA.

Please contact this office again if you require further information.


International Admissions Officer, International Office

Flinders University
GPO Box 2100, ADELAIDE SA 5001

Telephone: +61 8 8201 2768 Fax: +61 8 8201 3177
Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.flinders.edu.au

' The privilage of a lifetime is being who you are' Joseph Campbell


Just a note that this post is a bit outdated: the first intake class of for the 4 year course are now in their intern year.

All of the Americans who have taken the USMLE Step 1 and 2 have passed so far and all of those who participated in the NRMP last year secured spots and several of this year's 4th year students have secured spots already (outside of the match).

The numbers are still small but provide a promising future.