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Otago 'Other' category chat/enquiries

Discussion in 'Alternative Category' started by mrboh, May 5, 2009.

  1. MacTonight

    MacTonight Regular Member

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    Sounds like you've got it sussed Megs. DHO(S) is a cool wee place to work too, once you get here!

    Good luck and feel free to get in touch if you have queries about the process etc.
     
  2. Megs

    Megs Member

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    Thanks heaps, Mac! It's really wonderful to speak to people who have been through the process. Reading back through the forum, it's exciting to see those who made it through but heartbreaking for those who didn't.
     
  3. Stuart

    Stuart NZ Subforum Archivist NZ Subforum Archivist

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    Hi @hello12345 ,

    Welcome to MSO!

    If you don't mind me asking, what's your background?

    I have no personal experience with the alternative category but I was told by a few that the interviews are conversational and friendly.
     
  4. frootloop

    frootloop Not this time. Moderator

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    Just a thought, most of the people who get in through the other category are health professionals or have pretty extensive high-level health sector experience (e.g. the guy in my first class who had worked in public health with the WHO). There are a couple of more left-field applicants who get in (there was a lawyer in the class above me), but most of the people who get in through 'other' are experienced health professionals like pharmacists, nurses, psychologists..

    Idk exactly what your experience is, but keep in mind that 'other' is generally recognized as the toughest caregory to get in through. And you only get one application through each category. So it may be worth considering waiting a year or two before applying and getting as many gold stars on your CV as possible before applying.

    Again, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by clerical hospital work, so it's entirely possible I'm underestimating your competitiveness. But since you only get one shot at 'other' category entry, it's always worth considering doing everything you can to give yourself the best possible shot of getting in.

    Disclaimer: If any of the recent other category entrants like @MacTonight come along and tell me I'm wildly off the mark, I defer to their judgement.
     
  5. blueflamingos

    blueflamingos Member

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    Hmmm, I don't agree with you there Frootloop, certainly not in the last 2-3 years. There is definitely a good proportion of non-clinical applicants coming through the alternative category - the entry requirements have been updated to reflect this too (it used to be quite specific for allied health professionals/mental health).

    There are plenty of non-clinical grads, post docs, ex-army, ex-police, law, graphic design/art, biochemists, even an astrology background in my year and I do know coming into ELM2 this year are two teachers (biology and english one of each).

    Clinical professionals I can think of - nurses, clinical psychs, paramedics/ambulance officers (ICPs), dietitian, speech language therapist, physios, pharmacists, respiratory physiologists and cardiac physiologists.

    The interview is a panel interview, 4-5 person, it was headed by Tony Zaharich at the time I interviewed and wasn't a "grilling" - very conversational - they just want to get to know you, they will pick something off of your CV to chat about, they want to hear your experiences, why you want to study medicine at Otago, how you will handle certain situations, what you could bring to the course/your cohort, and someone on the panel will put an ethical scenario to you. The hour or so goes really quickly!

    All the best, remember you do only have one shot at applying in this category so I recommend touching base with admissions - Nicola Hoodless or Katherine Greenberg are really helpful and will give you great feedback on your eligibility and suggestions re waiting to apply.
     
  6. frootloop

    frootloop Not this time. Moderator

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    Ok, it sounds like their criteria for the other category have changed a bit recently - back in my original class (2nd year 2012, which I suppose was a while ago now haha) pretty much all of the super-grads were health professionals, medical scientists or had health system management experience.

    Looks like my entrance information is getting pretty out of date, so thanks for clearing that up @blueflamingos :)
     
  7. Stuart

    Stuart NZ Subforum Archivist NZ Subforum Archivist

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    Hi @TK_13 ,

    Welcome to MSO!

    Winston83 is not a regular and you are unlikely to get a reply from them soon. @MacTonight and @blueflamingos are two of the most active alternative category people. They come on from time to time. You should get a reply from them fairly soon, hopefully.

    You are quite right on that HSFY and Graduate (depending when/where you did your tertiary study) categories aren't for you. Unfortunately, I am on the run right now so I cannot add more. Plus, the alternative category is not my specialty at the moment. Sorry!

    Good luck and I hope you get a good reply soon.
     
  8. blueflamingos

    blueflamingos Member

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    Hi @TK_13 !

    With regards to eligibility for the alternative category if you are a NZ citizen you will not be excluded.

    I certainly think your situation can be looked at in a couple of ways:
    1. you are coming back into NZ to gain a medical education that you won't service the community with (valid query from the selection panel).
    2. you are coming back to NZ applying as an 'other' with a whole range of experiences gained living overseas/volunteer work and you may very well remain and practice in NZ (which I believe is the whole purpose of the category... attracting interesting and experienced NZrs to study medicine).

    Your written application and CV is your chance to demonstrate who you are, highlight your interesting background and emphasise your intentions.

    These sorts of things do come up at interview - I was asked in my interview whether I'd study in Australia if I was unsuccessful and I said sure it'd be something I'd have to consider if I've exhausted all opportunities to study in NZ - but ultimately I want to work and practice in NZ so I'd like to be trained in it's health care system.

    I strongly recommend having a conversation with the Health Sci admissions team - Nicola Hoodless etc. they are an invaluable source of information and support.

    All the best.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  9. MacTonight

    MacTonight Regular Member

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    Hey

    The advice you've received from blueflamingos is on the money. It will come down to how well you can articulate your intentions for future practice in NZ. And how the rest of your application stacks up...

    Contacting admissions, even by email, is a good idea.
    Yes, Skype is available for overseas applicants and doesn't seem to be a barrier to getting accepted (although personally I'd still have made the trip).

    Good luck!
     
  10. blueflamingos

    blueflamingos Member

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    Hi @TK_13,

    I'm not comfortable sharing my statement but I'd be happy to have a read over yours once you have put something together and give you some pointers!
     
  11. tstrive

    tstrive New Member

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    Hi. Are there any students here taking prescribed course papers this year as part of a conditional offer for medicine? I applied via graduate pathway and am currently taking physics, chem and cels this semester; and bioc and hubs 2 next semester.
     
  12. tintin90

    tintin90 New Member

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    @blueflamingos
    Hey guys, I'm new to this forum so a little unsure how to make a new thread. I also want to apply for med under the alternative category but unsure if I should do it this year or wait for another year. A little about myself.. I've completed a BSc in Anatomy more than 3 years ago. Then I went on to do my physio degree and I've been working for a little over a year now. I've done volunteering in the past and currently still volunteer and I've worked as a dental receptionist and nurse during summer holidays. What do you guys reckon?
     
  13. MacTonight

    MacTonight Regular Member

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    Doesn't sound like you need to wait. Certainly qualified enough. There are a number of "health professionals" in my year with <1 year of actual clinical experience.

    In hindsight (having seen the age/ experience of some of my other category colleagues) I waited a couple of extra years unnecessarily.

    Don't wait unless you have something very specific to achieve this year that you think will help secure your spot.

    Good luck.
     
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  14. sals028

    sals028 Member

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    This is my last and final shot at medicine
    2008-2011 - BSc Human Anatomy & Structural Biology
    2011-2013 - Bachelor of Pharmacy
    2013 - Current; Community based pharmacist with volunteer experience.

    For those worried about age, if you want it bad enough age will just be a number to you. I am turning 28 this year and still as hungry as I was for medicine in 2008. If you really want it, you will do it.

    Good luck to everyone
     
  15. monty101

    monty101 Member

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    Hi guys, I'm seriously considering applying for this option...my only concern is that i don't have rich 'volunteering' experience. I am however a 30 yr old father with diverse life experiences. My previous qualification is in education, but i'm currently studying speech language therapy and i'm not more sure than ever that I want to work in a clinical context. I'll be very content working as a speech therapist one day, but feel as if I should be brave enough to pursue my 'dream'. I genuinely grateful for any advice/reality checks. (i do have some fantastic referees who are parents of children I have taught with a range of diverse health needs).
     
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  16. frootloop

    frootloop Not this time. Moderator

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    I'm usually MSO's resident cynic, but you seem like you're realistic about your chances and have a fair idea of what you need to do.

    I'm afraid my information about the 'other' category is over 5 years out of date (I don't think it's even called the 'other' category anymore haha), so I can't help you out much there. But if you have any questions about the medical course itself then I'm happy to answer them.

    I hope your bravery pays off and you realise your dream - good luck!
     
    monty101 likes this.
  17. blueflamingos

    blueflamingos Member

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    Hi Monty I wouldn't get too hung up on fitting neatly into all the boxes - this category is here to find applicants who have something a little different to offer and like you've mentioned life experience is definitely something the selection committee is seeking. Once you've jumped the concrete category hurdles - ie. you're a grad, xyz years etc it really comes down to how you present yourself on paper and in interview. I think I say this to anyone considering an alternative application - it really is worth a conversation with the Health Sciences Office to discuss the details of your application and current position, they are in my experience, extremely helpful and insightful. All the best!

    @monty101 Actually, there is an SLT in my class I could put you in contact with if you're both amenable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2017
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  18. monty101

    monty101 Member

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    Thank you FL and BF for the honest and positive feedback. Its all very helpful! i emailed the admissions team with some questions today and they replied quickly with really specific advice which was great (in contrast to the generic responses sent out at UOA in my experience).

    I'm working on my admissions letter and gosh its hard - i have so many different angles to write from and its really hard to gauge the right tone and to come across passionate but not desperate, informed but not arrogant etc,

    If anyone would be willing to have a read of my draft in a few days and give me feedback i'd be super grateful. An alternative perspective is always appreciated. Any takers? Cheers
     
  19. blueflamingos

    blueflamingos Member

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    Ha argh the agony of getting everything onto that A4 page. o_O:confused:

    Yip, I'm happy to take a look - send me a PM and I'll share my email address with you.
     
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  20. Medmehappy

    Medmehappy New Member

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    Hey monty101, if I may ask what sort of questions did you ask? I've been wrestling with applying for this or not too cos I'm worried I don't have enough to make my application stand out :( Appreciate any help
     

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