Singapore Medical Council – accredited Medicine Programs in Australia


pexels-photo-433267.jpegWith the release of the A levels results and the Singapore Universities admissions for the medicine programs coming out this May, it is only imaginable how frantic parents and students are looking for options to study Medicine

In summary, there are three ways to be able to do the Medicine program: 

1. Apply to an undergraduate degree program with an accredited SMC University
2. Apply to a dedicated undergraduate pathway program which will allow entry into a graduate entry program
(eg: University of Western Australia, Perth – Bachelor of Medical Science leading to MD – 3 years + 3 years (through-trained, progression guaranteed with a GPA of 5.5/7 by the end of the Bachelor’s program)
3. Do a Bachelor’s degree and apply directly to a graduate entry program

The focus of this article is on Number 1.

In Australia, there are four Universities that are accredited by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC). The list can be found in the Second Schedule, but be mindful that some of the programs stated have been discontinued for future students or have changed their program names and structure thus pending the accreditation.

The ones that are still in place are:

University of Adelaide, South Australia – MBBS – 6 years 
Flinders University, South Australia – Bachelor of Clinical Sciences / MD – 6 years
University of New South Wales, NSW – Bachelor of Medical Science / MD – 6 years 
University of Tasmania, Tasmania – MBBS – 5 years 

The ones pending accreditation are:

Monash University, Victoria – Bachelor of Medical Science / MD (if this program is not accredited by the time of graduation, students will graduate with an MBBS)
University of Newcastle, NSW – Bachelor of Medical Science / MD

What are they looking for? 

Every University wants to find high-calibre students who would be able to persevere through the intense program and those with the aptitude (the heart and the mind) to make potential GREAT DOCTORS.

Grades
The most popular qualifications looked at are the A levels and the International Baccalaureate. Grades differs from University to University and are usually strictly followed. It is best to read the International Admissions Guide of each program. The typical A levels H2s grades range from BBB – AAA, and IB results range from 35 onwards. 

ISAT/ PQA 
International Students Admissions Test (ISAT) – This is a 3-hour computer-based multiple-choice aptitude test designed to assess a candidate’s intellectual skills and abilities that are the foundation of academic success at tertiary level. The test is independently developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). 

Personal Qualities Assessment (PQA) – Only the University of Adelaide and University of Newcastle (pending accreditation) set this test. Similar to the ISAT, it is an nstrument designed to assess a range of personal qualities considered to be important for the study and practice of medicine and allied health professions. It comprises questions, grouped into four sections, the first to measure cognitive skills, the other three to measure particular personality and attitudinal traits relevant to health professional practice. The main difference is that the paper is set by the University to determine the right candidates for their program. 

Interview
Other than the University of Tasmania, every applicant would have to go through an interview via Skype or a call, in some cases, a face-to-face. 

Some Universities uses the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). A multiple mini interview consists of a series of short, structured interview stations used to assess non-cognitive qualities including cultural sensitivity, maturity, teamwork, empathy, reliability and communication skills. At the beginning of each mini interview rotation, candidates receive a question/scenario and have a short period of time to prepare an answer. Upon entering the interview room, the candidate has a short exchange with an interviewer/assessor. An MMI circuit varies in the number of stations and timing of each station.

There is no easy feat to conquer the rigorous procedure of entering the Medicine program. If the first time, you fail, there will always be the next round of application, or perhaps, going through an graduate entry might prepare you better for admissions. Ultimately, the main aim is to ask yourself if you are willing to push through these steps of entry –

Do you want it enough? 

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