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Nov 4, 2003
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  1. Medical Student
Hello Everyone: I recently asked a question in the European Forums but no one replyed to the post. Maybe someone in this forum can help.

This was my post:

There has been a lot of buz in the Australian forums about the lack of preparation in the basic sciences for students that complete only the 4-year program in Oz. For someone just in-the-know, is this disparity also true for the Irish program? I would think that since the Irish programs are 5-years for someone with a science degree, this would not be true (But I'm just speculating).
Any response would be greatly appreciated.


15+ Year Member
May 23, 2003
Queensland via Boston
Not sure why you'd think you'd get a better response from Irish schoolers here in the Aussie forum, but wait a bit longer than 24hours and you'll probably get some responses over there (a number of ireland grads are pretty active). If not after a few days, post again with a more marketable title ;)

Winged Scapula

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  1. Attending Physician
I'm not sure what there would be a difference based on the LENGTH of curriculum, as basically the only difference is that you take Micro, Pharm and Path (generally) during the 3rd year of school along with your clinical courses (ie, med, surg, etc.) Therefore, you aren't really getting MORE basic science teaching (and those with a science degree may enter the 2nd year at some schools) but rather spreading them over a longer period of time. This is not the issue at the Aussie schools but rather the quality of the teaching.


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Jan 2, 2001
  1. Attending Physician
Hmm, I didn't see your post earlier. Sorry we haven't responded sooner. I don't think the Irish programs are lacking in basic sciences. We skip 1st year, which is just chemistry, physics, etc. This differs depending on which Irish school you choose, but this is my experience with my university. We spend two years in Anatomy (1 yr. basic, 1 yr. head/neck/neuroanatomy). We did spend 1.5 years in physiology (since changed to 1 year). And we spend 1.5 years with pathology (0.5 yrs. basic, 1 yr. systemic). We also had two years of biochemistry - 1 yr. basic, 1 yr. clinical. However, a lot of the north americans in my class were exempt from the 1st yr. basic biochem because we had taken biochem courses in the US. So in my opinion, we do have decent training in the basic sciences. However, I have not done an elective yet in the US, so I don't know how it measures up with US education...but we use the same books, etc and learn most of it, so I can't see how it's different.

We are lacking in a couple areas for the USMLE - embryology, possibly histology, and biochemistry might not be that strong. But most of the USMLE is pathology...and it's not too difficult to review the other subjects on your own. In my opinion, these areas aren't the most important subjects in the study of medicine.
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