For those whose hearts are set on pursuing medicine, there are several institutions you can attend to achieve your goal. It’s tempting to enrol in the many famous medical programs around the world. What are even more exciting are the strong programs afforded to students in Australia. Let’s compare studying medicine at home versus heading abroad.
Medical School Requirements
At home, a hopeful medical student can gain entry into medical school in two ways. First, you can enter as a recent Secondary School graduate. A high Grade Point Average (GPA) with achievements in science and math creates a stronger application. The other option is to go into medicine immediately after a college degree. All applications may require an entrance exam like the GAMSAT or UMAT. The medical degree can take six to eight years to complete.
The requirements to study medicine abroad vary from country. For example, most schools of medicine in the United States require a high school diploma equivalent and an undergraduate degree in a science field. Based on the school’s prestige, high GPA from both is expected. They may even have additional study requirements in Physics, Statistics and Biology, post high-school.
Medical schools in the UK, Europe and Asia may have fewer requirements than the United States. However, they expect post-Secondary/High School qualifications such as A Levels or an International Baccalaureate Diploma. These post high school subjects are required to be in subjects like Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry. All schools abroad require you to sit entrance exams like the GAMSAT or UMAT, and additional exams to test language proficiency.
Barriers to Studying Abroad
There are some additional obstacles to studying abroad. The biggest barrier can be the institution may not recognize the qualifications earned. While exemptions could be possible locally, studying abroad may mean a longer tenure in medical school or additional studies before your application is accepted.
Next, the cost of traveling to a new country, setting up housing, and tuition fees can quickly accumulate. This is more evident if the country has a stronger dollar. Medical Degrees are expensive, and that cost can go up in multiplies if you decide to do it abroad. Also, if students decide to study in a country with a different language, it may be tougher to learn the complex theories in medicine. They will first have to learn the language and culture so they can make the connections necessary to be successful in class.
There are also the intangible barriers that are taken for granted such as having a powerful network, having the social and emotional support of family and friends nearby.
There are several universities at home that offer excellent programs in various medical fields. Here’s a look at some of the most popular:
Melbourne Medical School
Established in 1858, the Melbourne Medical school is the first and highest ranked medical school in Australia. The school is headed by Professor Mark Cook, MD and promises that you will join a world-class research, training, and medical policy institute. Students can pursue fields of Pathology, Gynaecology, Psychiatry, and Surgery with their graduate degrees covering 4 to 6 years.
University of Adelaide
Adelaide’s Medical Faculty is the largest in the university and provides a wide range of medical degrees. Besides becoming a General Practitioner, a student can pursue specialties like becoming a doctor in a rural setting, Paediatrics, Pharmacology and Trauma Medicine. Entry requirements include a high GPA and the UMAT test (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test) used by most universities worldwide.
University of Queensland
One of the oldest universities in Australia, The University of Queensland provides a wide range of specialized medical degrees such as Pathology, Ophthalmology, and Surgery. The medical faculty also provides a range of Postgraduate and Research degrees. The main requirements for entry are the GAMSAT and high GPA from Secondary school or degree.
Australian National University Medical School
ANU was established only 14 years ago and is located in Canberra. It has quickly garnered a reputation of becoming a premier medical school in the country. You can attain a degree in Medicine, Surgery. Entry requirements are usually ranked on a high GPA and success in the GAMSAT entry exam.
Becoming a doctor requires focus, financial and emotional commitment, and a strong medical program. There are excellent medical schools around the world. If you intend to study abroad, understand in advance what it takes in terms of cost and academic qualifications. Compare them to studying at home, then make the decision that sets you up for success.
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