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Alternative ('Other') Category Chat/Enquiries

drum99

Member
Oh well, we all did our best during the day. Que sera sera!
Drum, are you looking at other places for med school, like UoA or Aussie?
Yeah exactly. I keep beating myself up about my answers but oh well - good point we gave it our best shot. Yeah I'm doing the UCAT and will apply for UoA. My prep has been mud though so not expecting a killer score but will give it a good go. I'll see how the NZ schools go and if I get cut might give the GAMSAT a hoon and go from there. What about you King??
 

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LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Yeah exactly. I keep beating myself up about my answers but oh well - good point we gave it our best shot. Yeah I'm doing the UCAT and will apply for UoA. My prep has been mud though so not expecting a killer score but will give it a good go. I'll see how the NZ schools go and if I get cut might give the GAMSAT a hoon and go from there. What about you King??
If you want to keep all your options open this year, then I’d recommend using your 2020 UCAT to apply in Aus, especially to JMP and WSU. Both are 5 year degrees so would be similar (end-date-wise) to a 4 year graduate entry (GAMSAT) degree in Australia. And if Aus is your reasonable back-up, you might as well use the results of a test you’ve already done to open up some doors. If you meet the UCAT and GPA hurdle for those unis, the interview is the single most important place deciding factor and both tend to favour mature applicants. Worth considering... :)
 

drum99

Member
If you want to keep all your options open this year, then I’d recommend using your 2020 UCAT to apply in Aus, especially to JMP and WSU. Both are 5 year degrees so would be similar (end-date-wise) to a 4 year graduate entry (GAMSAT) degree in Australia. And if Aus is your reasonable back-up, you might as well use the results of a test you’ve already done to open up some doors. If you meet the UCAT and GPA hurdle for those unis, the interview is the single most important place deciding factor and both tend to favour mature applicants. Worth considering... :)
Yeah that's actually great advice LMG and I was actually thinking that. It all really depends on how I do with UCAT really - I wish I had've prepared better for it but I've still got a few weeks so will go hard and see what happens. I had a look at the JMP website - I must say that programme looks flippen cool and would love to apply to that to be honest. Also the 5 year course appeals as opposed to six years at Otago! Yeah I was considering doing the GAMSAT this year but unfortunately it didn't work out for me to do it so I know what you mean. If I did the GAMSAT then it is offset by one year anyway. I'm amazed how long the application cycle actually is for medicine. Crazy!
 

kated

Lurker
Wow MurderKing that's fascinating cos that's how I feel alot too - that I answered the ethical scenario questions better with more concise answers than the motivation and career questions. I felt I gave rambly and a bit fluffy answers for those. Buzzy!

I'm in the same boat as you guys... I think the what motivates you, why the career change etc is probably the most difficult question as I feel as that would be one of the most important points for the interviewers. So I was really nervous to answer it and felt as though I couldn't articulate it all that well. Anyway...the waiting game begins.

Out of curiosity, what are your guys backgrounds?
 

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drum99

Member
I'm in the same boat as you guys... I think the what motivates you, why the career change etc is probably the most difficult question as I feel as that would be one of the most important points for the interviewers. So I was really nervous to answer it and felt as though I couldn't articulate it all that well. Anyway...the waiting game begins.

Out of curiosity, what are your guys backgrounds?
Yes I agree, I felt that the motivation question was pretty major. I mean they said as much in the interview, along the lines of "You seem to have built up a high level career, why completely start again with medicine...." type of thing. In all honesty I felt like my answer was complete drivel unfortunately. I tried to answer it as best as I could, but also I felt I could've come across quite idealistic. Y'know the whole "want a deeper sense of purpose in my work, use a new body of knowledge to help make a tangible difference in people's lives" type of thing. I guess in all honesty those are my main reasons! So in that instance I suppose I did answer the question. Gosh it's hard to tell isn't it.

I was intrigued that under the 'Alternative' application there appears to be two sub-categories - either the Allied Health track or the Other track. I applied as an Alternative - Other. Gosh what does that say about me? hahahahaha yes maybe I am alternative LOL. I have had a career in music in NZ performing at a high level with bands, orchestras, jazz groups, TV work, recording work etc. Studied music and got a Master of Music recently. Music has been my passion and I have had some epic times in music and I'm so thankful for those times. But personally, I feel making a living in the music scene in NZ is not sustainable long term and I've realised I want to maintain my enjoyment for music rather than pimping it out all the time just to make a buck ha.

For me personally, it wasn't until I started to think about other more long term vocational type career pathways that I actually started to think maybe the whole medicine thing could actually be for me. I have always been interested and one of my best friends is an emergency medicine consultant now. I've literally been FASCINATED with his medical education stories and epic experiences in medicine which have taken him all round the world. That actually really inspired me. I also started doing some volunteering at Auckland City Hospital which was a really cool experience. It got me out of my comfort zone alot and opened my eyes up to the medical field.

What about you KateD? And anyone else out there? What's your background?
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Yes I agree, I felt that the motivation question was pretty major. I mean they said as much in the interview, along the lines of "You seem to have built up a high level career, why completely start again with medicine...." type of thing. In all honesty I felt like my answer was complete drivel unfortunately. I tried to answer it as best as I could, but also I felt I could've come across quite idealistic. Y'know the whole "want a deeper sense of purpose in my work, use a new body of knowledge to help make a tangible difference in people's lives" type of thing. I guess in all honesty those are my main reasons! So in that instance I suppose I did answer the question.

...

have had a career in music in NZ performing at a high level with bands, orchestras, jazz groups, TV work, recording work etc. Studied music and got a Master of Music recently. Music has been my passion and I have had some epic times in music and I'm so thankful for those times. But personally, I feel making a living in the music scene in NZ is not sustainable long term and I've realised I want to maintain my enjoyment for music rather than pimping it out all the time just to make a buck ha.

For me personally, it wasn't until I started to think about other more long term vocational type career pathways that I actually started to think maybe the whole medicine thing could actually be for me.
I feel like your first bit is pretty perfectly answered by your second bit!
 

drum99

Member
I feel like your first bit is pretty perfectly answered by your second bit!
Thanks LMG! Well that is good news - that is pretty much what I said in the interview hahaha. I mentioned my friend and said how I've had a fascination with medicine. I combined that with my more token answers I mentioned in the first bit. So maybe I got the best of both worlds in my answer hahaha. Fingers crossed!
 
If you want to keep all your options open this year, then I’d recommend using your 2020 UCAT to apply in Aus, especially to JMP and WSU. Both are 5 year degrees so would be similar (end-date-wise) to a 4 year graduate entry (GAMSAT) degree in Australia. And if Aus is your reasonable back-up, you might as well use the results of a test you’ve already done to open up some doors. If you meet the UCAT and GPA hurdle for those unis, the interview is the single most important place deciding factor and both tend to favour mature applicants. Worth considering... :)
Thanks for that advice LMG. I assumed the UCAT was only for undergraduate programmes? I've had a look at some of the Aussie unis but a lot of them don't seem to incorporate research higher degrees in their GPA calculation (e.g. PhD). I considered Griffith graduate entry too. But darn it, I hate that GAMSAT. It's a killer.
 

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drum99

Member
Thanks for that advice LMG. I assumed the UCAT was only for undergraduate programmes? I've had a look at some of the Aussie unis but a lot of them don't seem to incorporate research higher degrees in their GPA calculation (e.g. PhD). I considered Griffith graduate entry too. But darn it, I hate that GAMSAT. It's a killer.
So you reckon if you got into Otago you'd take the offer? Considering it's an undergrad programme?
 
So you reckon if you got into Otago you'd take the offer? Considering it's an undergrad programme?
Yes only because I'd prefer to stay here instead of uprooting myself again. It's a shame NZ only provides undergraduate medicine. I am trying for UoA too this year. If that doesn't work then I'll reluctantly take the GAMSAT and look towards Aussie.

Btw that's an awesome background you have! Did you enthrall them with tales of your rockstar life? :p
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Thanks for that advice LMG. I assumed the UCAT was only for undergraduate programmes? I've had a look at some of the Aussie unis but a lot of them don't seem to incorporate research higher degrees in their GPA calculation (e.g. PhD). I considered Griffith graduate entry too. But darn it, I hate that GAMSAT. It's a killer.
It is only for undergraduate programmes but there are several in Aus (JMP and WSU being the most accessible) that accept (in fact, encourage) applicants with an existing tertiary record. Others include Curtin (completed degrees only), UNSW (will also still use your ATAR equivalent for 50% of your academic rank, regardless of how long ago), JCU (no UCAT) and Bond (private uni, no UCAT).

And no, you're right that only a few graduate entry unis will use a research higher degree for your GPA (from memory: UWA, Griffith and UQ as that is how I was looking at applying at one point). All will use it to tick off your recency of study, but some will go back and still use the GPA from your bachelor degree to calculate your GPA despite the completion of the RHD. ETA: and maybe ANU, again, from memory! May not be reliable, or up to date!
 
It is only for undergraduate programmes but there are several in Aus (JMP and WSU being the most accessible) that accept (in fact, encourage) applicants with an existing tertiary record. Others include Curtin (completed degrees only), UNSW (will also still use your ATAR equivalent for 50% of your academic rank, regardless of how long ago), JCU (no UCAT) and Bond (private uni, no UCAT).

And no, you're right that only a few graduate entry unis will use a research higher degree for your GPA (from memory: UWA, Griffith and UQ as that is how I was looking at applying at one point). All will use it to tick off your recency of study, but some will go back and still use the GPA from your bachelor degree to calculate your GPA despite the completion of the RHD. ETA: and maybe ANU, again, from memory! May not be reliable, or up to date!
Marvellous, thanks for the extra information! From previous posts I recall that you also applied with a PhD too? May I ask which area? And which uni did you end up going with?
 

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I'm in the same boat as you guys... I think the what motivates you, why the career change etc is probably the most difficult question as I feel as that would be one of the most important points for the interviewers. So I was really nervous to answer it and felt as though I couldn't articulate it all that well. Anyway...the waiting game begins.

Out of curiosity, what are your guys backgrounds?
Phew, it's good to know others struggled on this one too haha. I think it's best not to rehash that experience, else you end up critiquing every single response you gave. It doesn't help with the anxiety!

I'm a lecturer/researcher at the university with an epidemiology/health psychology background. My experience has been in academia mostly, which is far less exciting like a career in music! Although I'm hoping that my international stints will count in my favour. Anyway, UCAT prep beckons...
 

drum99

Member
Phew, it's good to know others struggled on this one too haha. I think it's best not to rehash that experience, else you end up critiquing every single response you gave. It doesn't help with the anxiety!

I'm a lecturer/researcher at the university with an epidemiology/health psychology background. My experience has been in academia mostly, which is far less exciting like a career in music! Although I'm hoping that my international stints will count in my favour. Anyway, UCAT prep beckons...
Wow man so wait you're a lecturer at Otago??!! That's epic as man. In health psychology no less?? Geez that's pretty formidable man!! Well I could guess academia could be a good buzz especially as you were saying conferences and trips and stuff. Haha I have a few good stories up my sleeve actually - had some pretty random and cool experiences over the years in music. Honestly the situations you end up in are like no other hahahaha......and the people are bonkers hahaha......
 
Wow man so wait you're a lecturer at Otago??!! That's epic as man. In health psychology no less?? Geez that's pretty formidable man!! Well I could guess academia could be a good buzz especially as you were saying conferences and trips and stuff. Haha I have a few good stories up my sleeve actually - had some pretty random and cool experiences over the years in music. Honestly the situations you end up in are like no other hahahaha......and the people are bonkers hahaha......
Whoops, my bad. I meant to say "a university" not "THE university". Yeah us scientists get up to no good at conferences at times ;) (I jest, I am a very serious academic). But sounds like you've had some rich experiences there, mate.
 

drum99

Member
Whoops, my bad. I meant to say "a university" not "THE university". Yeah us scientists get up to no good at conferences at times ;) (I jest, I am a very serious academic). But sounds like you've had some rich experiences there, mate.
Hahahaha classic. Yeah I bet you scientists know how to party alright !! Man you would be at such a huge advantage coming from a scientific background how awesome. Would you have to do any HSFY papers do you think or just straight into med school? That's one of my big concerns - it's been quite sometime since I studied chemistry and physics and wouldn't want to bomb out on that eh. Sheesh.
 

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Hahahaha classic. Yeah I bet you scientists know how to party alright !! Man you would be at such a huge advantage coming from a scientific background how awesome. Would you have to do any HSFY papers do you think or just straight into med school? That's one of my big concerns - it's been quite sometime since I studied chemistry and physics and wouldn't want to bomb out on that eh. Sheesh.
Well to some extent yes, since I come from a public health background (looking forward to the population health papers!). Also I did all the prereq papers when I did my BHSc at UoA. Hopefully they'll still recognise the first year papers (it's been more than 10 years now). At Otago, I'm assuming I'll have to take the biochemistry and physics papers. I actually emailed the lady at Otago and she was kind enough to provide me with some information. If it is the case that I do have to take some papers, I'm hoping that I'll be able to take equivalent courses at UoA instead of shooting down south for merely two papers.
 

s island

Member
Hi Everyone,
I am so hesitant to post anything on here, but have been keeping up to date with everything through all your awesome posts so I guess it's only fair to share a bit too.

I applied for the alternative entry option this year and interviewed via Zoom like everyone else a few weeks ago. I oscillate between trawling through Facebook and real estate sites for Dunedin accommodation to being convinced I will never make it in.

I can't believe how nervous I was in the interview - I couldn't even introduce myself properly. When my whole computer froze around 15 minutes in (but somehow it looked as though my camera was still on!) I had to calmly re-start and then log back into the room. Somehow that helped a lot and I was a completely different person ie much calmer when I got back in and finished off all the scenario-based questions (although I am still kicking myself in some of my answers).

Anyway I guess I am posting because I can't stop thinking about the outcome - it's such a long wait between interview and offers isn't it? It would mean a massive deal in my household as we live in Australia (I am a dual citizen) so yeah - massive move, I am not in any way from a sciences background so would have to do HSFY and I will probably be the oldest med student in the cohort.

Anyway just thought I would introduce myself and try to claw up the MSO ranks from 'lurker' 😝
 

drum99

Member
Well to some extent yes, since I come from a public health background (looking forward to the population health papers!). Also I did all the prereq papers when I did my BHSc at UoA. Hopefully they'll still recognise the first year papers (it's been more than 10 years now). At Otago, I'm assuming I'll have to take the biochemistry and physics papers. I actually emailed the lady at Otago and she was kind enough to provide me with some information. If it is the case that I do have to take some papers, I'm hoping that I'll be able to take equivalent courses at UoA instead of shooting down south for merely two papers.
Hey MurderKing you didn't happen to do UCAT earlier this month (8 July) in Auckland CBD did you? What a trip UCAT is. Re the provisional papers, if you got into UoA through grad entry, you might be able to go straight through to the med school! My musician mate who got in is doing 4 provisional papers this year and he didn't have to do any physics papers.....strange how UoA make their grad entrants only do 4 papers whilst Otago would make us do the whole HSFY load.....oh well!
 

drum99

Member
Hi Everyone,
I am so hesitant to post anything on here, but have been keeping up to date with everything through all your awesome posts so I guess it's only fair to share a bit too.

I applied for the alternative entry option this year and interviewed via Zoom like everyone else a few weeks ago. I oscillate between trawling through Facebook and real estate sites for Dunedin accommodation to being convinced I will never make it in.

I can't believe how nervous I was in the interview - I couldn't even introduce myself properly. When my whole computer froze around 15 minutes in (but somehow it looked as though my camera was still on!) I had to calmly re-start and then log back into the room. Somehow that helped a lot and I was a completely different person ie much calmer when I got back in and finished off all the scenario-based questions (although I am still kicking myself in some of my answers).

Anyway I guess I am posting because I can't stop thinking about the outcome - it's such a long wait between interview and offers isn't it? It would mean a massive deal in my household as we live in Australia (I am a dual citizen) so yeah - massive move, I am not in any way from a sciences background so would have to do HSFY and I will probably be the oldest med student in the cohort.

Anyway just thought I would introduce myself and try to claw up the MSO ranks from 'lurker' 😝
Hey s island! Thanks for introducing yourself! That's so cool to hear from another alternative entry applicant. I really like the alternative entry how we all come from such different backgrounds and have such different journeys to applying. I had some bad technical difficulties too with the interview - initially the sound wasn't working on their end so I had to be logged out and had to wait for ten minutes which felt like an eternity. Sounds like you had some issues too. Bit of a mind trip huh!!? Also I don't come from a Science background. Maybe if we both get in we can hang out haha!!?? We can be the rebels...

Wow that's awesome you are in Aussie, yeah that would be a big move. I'm in Auckland and have a young family - you have kids and stuff too? Pretty big move eh if it does happen. Feel like it could be a really cool adventure though. I agree - the wait is the hardest part. Especially having a family, it's hard as you can't really solidly make any plans or anything. Feels like the wait is going sooooo slow eh......are you applying anywhere else just out of interest? Auckland Uni or anywhere round Aussie? That made me laugh about oscillating between looking at real estate and thinking actually it won't happen.....ummm that pretty much sums up my life right now!
 

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