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5 Tips for Choosing Medical Schools

Choosing a medical school

Picking a medical school can be difficult, especially when there are so many to choose from! It can seem overwhelming and intense at first but if you break it down into five simple questions, it can turn into something a lot more manageable.

These are my top five things to think about before choosing a medical school…

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1. What type of degree are you looking for?

There are two choices when it comes to medical school. Firstly, deciding if you want an undergraduate course (5-6 years) or a postgraduate course (4 years).

Picking a medical school is a big decision and sometimes doing another similar course such as health science, nursing, paramedics or physiotherapy to begin with is a good way of deciding whether or not medicine is for you. Most undergraduate courses are 6 years in length and postgraduate courses are 4 years.

Secondly, there are two different medical degrees to choose from. One is a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and the other is a Medical Doctorate (MD).

Both are recognised degrees but an MD has a larger research component integrated into the course and is more recognised overseas.

Read 4 Things to do Before Booking UCAT>>

2. What do you want to get out of medical school?

Each medical school program runs slightly differently and focuses on different core knowledge processes. These include:

Each university also has their own way of teaching medicine. Whether this be through:

Going through the websites for each university and curriculums for each medical school you’re interested in is the best way to find out what each one entails.  

Read Which UCAT Test Date Should I Book?>>

3. What support do you have around you?

Medical school can be a very stressful time and making sure you have a good support system around you is one of the most important things you can do.

When you start university and are finding your feet; it helps to have family, friends, roommates or even pets around you to help you navigate your way through the beginnings of university.

This can be especially true when moving away from home for medical school. Remember, 4-6 years is a long time to be away from home if you don’t feel comfortable leaving!

Read 4 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Sitting UCAT>>

4. What else do you want to be able to do while at medical school?

University can sometimes seem overwhelming and part of dealing with the stress is having other extracurricular pursuits.

These can range from soccer, football, dance, art, writing, swimming, music – and everything else under the sun.

Picking a university or area/state that has a club or group that you want to join and be a part of can be an important way of releasing stress and making new friends outside of medical school.

Read our 8-Step UCAT Verbal Reasoning Strategy>>

5. What’s best for you?

Ultimately there’s no wrong medical school to go to! All medical schools Australia/New Zealand wide have a fantastic culture and it comes down to you and what you are comfortable with.

Each university has its pros and cons but talking to someone who has been or is currently in those medical schools can be a good way of getting a more specific, down to earth view of what that degree is like.

No matter what medical school you attend, as long as it’s the best choice for you, you’re guaranteed to have a great time and learn a lot about how to become the best doctor you can be!

Words: Olivia Nguyen


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