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Q: Study Medicine ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Study Medicine
Category: Reference, Education and News > Job and Careers
Asked by: saturatd-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 07 Jul 2006 12:17 PDT
Expires: 06 Aug 2006 12:17 PDT
Question ID: 744174
I?m currently studying a BSc, and I will be completing my
undergraduate bachelors in about 2 year?s time. I would like to pursue
a medical degree either in Australia or the United States upon
completion of my BSc.

I would like to know:-

* What academic level, admission criteria and legal requirements do I
need to possess in order to study medicine in the US or Australia, and
if so
* What are the options do I have, and 
* If there?re any financial assistance (government or private)
available to me while I?m studying.

Furthermore the medical school qualifications will have to be
recognized by most if not all Australian and New Zealand health

Thanks for your help and time. I would like to have an in-depth review
and if possible explanation to all the possible options I have. Please
do not hesitate to contact me should you require clarification to this
question. Cheers.

Request for Question Clarification by welte-ga on 07 Jul 2006 13:01 PDT
Hi saturatd-ga, What country are you currently studying in?  What
citizenship do you have?


Clarification of Question by saturatd-ga on 07 Jul 2006 18:04 PDT
Hi welte-ga - I'm currently studying in New Zealand and have a NZ
Permanent Residency status. Hope this helps :)
Subject: Re: Study Medicine
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 08 Jul 2006 16:21 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello saturatd-ga!

I?ve answered a few questions related to medical school preparation
and admission so I thought I?d give this one a try! For a detailed
answer on the process of becoming a doctor, see an answer I provided

I?ve divided the information into two sections: U.S. and Australia. I
think that you will find the information useful.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


In my search it became readily apparent that foreign students are at a
significant disadvantage when applying to U.S. medical schools. In
fact, most U.S. medical schools will not consider a foreign student
for admission unless he or she has completed at least one year at an
accredited U.S. undergraduate institution.

?Of the students entering American medical schools in 1997, only 130
were foreign students.  International students will encounter a number
of problems when applying to American medical schools.  Many schools
require applicants to be a US citizen or hold a permanent resident
visa.  According to Goldstein and Goldstein (The Definitive Guide to
Medical School Admission, 1998) most successful foreign student
applicants complete some undergraduate work in the U.S.?

Johns Hopkins is one medical school that has information on its
website specifically for foreign applicants.

?All applicants must be or have previously been in attendance at a
fully accredited institution in the country where the academic work
was completed. Prospective applicants who have exclusively studied
outside the United States, in most cases, must have their academic
course work supplemented by a year or more of course work in an
accredited university in the United States.?

The Medical College of Virginia has information relative to foreign
applicants on its website.

?Only U.S. citizens or those with Permanent Resident Status (Green
cards) may apply. If you have this status but did not graduate from a
U.S. undergraduate program, you will have to complete a degree of some
kind from a U.S. accredited school to be eligible to apply. You may
seek another Bachelor's degree or an advanced degree such as Masters
or PhD.

This requirement does not apply to Canadian citizens who are treated
in the same manner as out of state students.?

Harvard will consider foreign students, but they are quite strict.

?Foreign students who do not have a baccalaureate or advanced degree
from an institution in the United States or Canada are rarely accepted
for admission.?

The University of California at San Francisco similarly has strict requirements.

?The UCSF School of Medicine accepts applications from foreign
students who have completed a minimum of one year of college in an
accredited U.S. college. It is very difficult to gain entry, however,
without holding a permanent resident visa or US citizenship.?

Ultimately you will need to contact individual medical schools for
their specific requirements, as there does appear to be some slight
variation between schools. It looks as though unless you commit to
entering a U.S. undergraduate institution for at least a year,
admission to a U.S. medical school is very difficult.

Information on obtaining a student visa is available at the Department
of State site.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The website has a helpful article about
admission requirements for U.S. medical schools. There are relatively
few required courses to take during your undergraduate studies.

?The commonly accepted coursework requirements for medical school
include a minimum of 1 year of:

General biology
Physics with lab
General chemistry (inorganic chemistry) with lab
Organic chemistry with lab

Other guidelines it lists are a strong grade point average (GPA),
competitive Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, volunteer
service, research experience, and physician shadowing. While there is
no absolute formula for application success, developing a strong
academic background and varied life experience is a must.

?If you're planning to apply to medical school, ideally you should
take MCAT no later than April of that year. If you take the August
administration, you will be placed at a great competitive disadvantage
vis a vis others. [Many] medical schools have what is called ?rolling
admissions? which means that they look at applications as they become
complete and offer acceptances and rejections along the way.?

Here is a link to a publication called ?MCAT Essentials.? It contains
vital information about registering and taking the MCAT.

Here is the main MCAT page at the Association of American Medical
Colleges (AAMC) website. It has a number of links with information
about the test.

This is the AAMC page about U.S. Medical Schools in general. It has
many useful links, including rankings, information about specific
school curricula, and more.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Based upon my husband?s (and therefore, my own) experience, there is
very little scholarship or grant money available for medical school.
Student loans provide the bulk of the money for tuition and expenses.
Student loans are also difficult to obtain as a foreign student, but a
bit easier to obtain if you have studied at a U.S. undergraduate
institution first.

Johns Hopkins has this to say on its website:

?Applicants who do not hold a permanent visa or an immigrant visa are
not eligible for financial aid due to federal restrictions on the use
of most of the loan funds that support the financial aid program.?

Commerce Bank and Trust has a list of requirement for obtaining a
Stafford or PLUS loan from the U.S. government.

Here is an site about financial aid in the U.S.

There are some private loans available to foreign students with
various restrictions. Here is a site with links to some options.

SallieMae has a private loan known as a Signature Loan available to
U.S. and foreign students alike.

?Foreign students . . . are required to apply with a creditworthy
cosigner. Cosigners must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and
provide proof of all sources of income.?

You can read more information about it at:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The Australian Medical Council (AMC) oversees the accreditation of
physicians trained in foreign institutions. The AMC Exam is the means
by which foreign-trained physicians are assessed prior to receiving
practice privileges in Australia.

?To be eligible to sit the AMC examination you must: 

*Have been awarded a primary degree in medicine and surgery awarded,
following an approved course of study, by a medical school listed in
the World Health Organisation (WHO) publication World Directory of
Medical Schools, the International Medical Education Directory (IMED)
of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education
and Research (FAIMER), or other publications approved by the Council.
(Degrees in traditional Chinese medicine and the Degree of Doctor of
Osteopathy (awarded in the USA) are not recognised in Australia); AND

*Have passed the Occupational English Test (OET) for medical
practitioners, administered by CAE -Centre for Adult Education, or the
IELTS English Test administered by the University of Cambridge Local
Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), the British Council or IDP Education
in Australia or have an exemption granted by the AMC.?

The Medical Council of New Zealand has information on their site about
foreign-trained physicians practicing there. It lists approved foreign
medical schools and has a self-evaluation tool to determine specific
eligibility for practice.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Australia has traditionally used a six-year program where high school
students interested in becoming physicians are directly admitted into
a combined undergraduate/graduate program. In the last 10 years,
however, there has been a push for more ?traditional? four-year
medical schools.

?All of the Australian graduate-entry programs have related admission
requirements. Applicants need a Bachelors degree. There are no
specific pre-requisite topics (premedical or other) and the degree may
be in any area. Indeed the programs are seeking students with varied
backgrounds and experience. Although this varies between Schools and
assessment systems, a B or 75% average or a GPA above 3 on a 4-point
scale could be competitive in combination with good test scores.

Recent results from an admissions test ? either the US test MCAT or
the Australian test, GAMSAT ? are required for an application.
Required scores probably range from a minimum of 8s on MCAT or an
overall 58 on GAMSAT (but check with individual Schools). All Schools
interview international applicants but use different approaches. In
many cases, interviews are conducted in the applicant?s region so that
overseas travel is not required.

Application deadlines vary from June to mid-August and some Schools
will consider applications with August MCAT scores to be submitted
when available. There is a national admissions process and the website
for the National Admissions Centre gives information about all of the
graduate-entry programs, admission processes and also about the
Australian admissions test, GAMSAT. Visit and
click on Graduate Medical Admissions Centre. Some Schools, including
Flinders, prefer direct applications to allow for earlier admissions

There are currently 8 medical schools in Australia accepting
applications for graduate level students. They are:

* Flinders University (Adelaide)
* The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
* The University of Sydney
* The University of Melbourne
* Western Australia University (Perth)
* The Australian National University (Canberra)
* Griffith University (Gold Cost)
* Notre Dame University (Fremantle)

The requirements for admission are listed above, and vary little
between schools. All consider residents of New Zealand as ?local? or
?domestic? applicants so they are exempt from special requirements for
international students.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


I?ve compiled websites for each of the medical schools in Australia,
and have added explanation and links where appropriate.

= = = = = = = = = =

Flinders University School of Medicine

They also have a page with information on scholarships, including
links to other sources of funding.

= = = = = = = = = =

The University of Queensland

The school has a number of resources for obtaining financial aid,
including prizes and scholarships. The following website has links to
these resources.

= = = = = = = = = =

The University of Sydney

Detailed admission criteria can be found at this site.

They also have a page with scholarship information. You can find it here:

= = = = = = = = = =

The University of Melbourne

For a detailed look at the admission process see:

The university?s scholarship links can be found at the following site:

= = = = = = = = = =

The University of Western Australia

The entire booklet about admission to the MBBS graduate program can be found here:

There are a couple of scholarships listed on the website here:

= = = = = = = = = =

The Australian National University

Information for local applicants (including residents of New Zealand)
can be found here: 

The only information on scholarships available is on this same
admission site. It references rural health scholarships only available
to Australian residents.

= = = = = = = = = =

Griffith University
Gold Coast

All information is available using links on the left side of the page.
There are a number of resources for scholarships included as well.

= = = = = = = = = =

The University of Notre Dame?Australia

Here is a link to scholarship information for the Fremantle campus.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Here is a link to the website for the Graduate Australian Medical
Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

This link is for the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER).
Most of the Australian medical schools require a central application
filed through this organization.

This link is to a postgraduate scholarship database for Australia. It
contains a number of resources you may find useful as you explore
financial aid.

The Australian Government Department of Education, Science, and
Training (DEST) website also has scholarship information available.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I hope that this information answers all of your questions. It sure
seems as though the application process for medical school is
complicated no matter where you are! If you have need of any further
clarification, please let me know how I can help. Good luck in your
future plans!


Search terms:

"medical school" admission requirements
"medical school" admission foreign student
student loan requirements
"student loan" foreign
"student visa" foreign
Australia "medical school"
Australian Medical Council
foreign physician Australia
foreign trained physician "New Zealand"
saturatd-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $50.00
Awesome. Thanks for your time and effort. Cheers!

Subject: Re: Study Medicine
From: boquinha-ga on 08 Jul 2006 20:03 PDT
Thank you SO much for the generous tip, 5 stars, and kind words! They
are very appreciated!! Thank you! Best of luck to you!


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