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Direct vs Provisional Entry Questions and Discussion

TKAO

oowah!
Valued Member
You are contradicting yourself. Has it occurred to you that UWA is Singapore-recognised because it is Go8 ? :p
Damn I just got called out - better get back to the drawing board to reinforce my confirmation bias :p
 

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Just my two cents:
I picked a 3+3 uni (UWA) over a 5 year undergrad (curtin) for several reasons:
- While my heart is set on medicine as a career path, I'd much rather spend the first 3 years not having to worry about actually doing medicine and being pressured by that. I'd much rather take it a bit easy in the first 3 years then hunker down during the MD. I'm not entirely sure if MD years are actually very difficult but I know that doing a normal bachelors first would allow me to do things that I wouldn't otherwise pick. For example I have the opportunity to pick up electives like Korean because why not haha
- Depending on where you want to end up in the world, foreign accreditation of your course is important. In my particular case Curtin isn't recognised in Singapore whereas UWA is. These are small but nonetheless consequential factors that you might need to account for should you want to move countries.
- The difference between the MD and the MBBS is also that one is a bachelors whereas one is a masters, which includes a mandatory research component. I'm not sure about whether or not this is also included in 5 year courses but I just found it a little easier to know that sometime in the future I will have the opportunity to do research as part of the course rather than doing it on top of the coursework. Looked like a little less of a hassle if that's what I'm interested in.
- In my particular case, UWA's course is years old at this point while Curtin's is relatively new with no actual graduates just yet. Not to say that it's bad in any way, but it also does mean that wrinkles do need to be ironed out and things need to established first. This just takes time.
- Parents needed the go8 flex hehe xd (but seriously I'd rather not have to deal with the constant lamentations from my parents even though I've totally explained that it's completely meaningless)
- UWA currently has clinical placements in all the major hospitals whereas Curtin noticably is missing Sir Charles Gairdner which may or may not impact what you have at your disposal. I think Curtin aims also get placements there but nothing has been ironed out yet. For context, Sir Charles Gairdner is one of the 3? or maybe 4 large tertiary hospitals in Perth
- Curtin is explicit focuses on general practice and rural/remote medicine. Not saying that this bad or you have to go into something like this when you graduate (they can't oblige you to do anything) but it also means that this focus takes up time that could be dedicated at other things.

There obviously very good reasons to pick shorter degrees as well, with the big ones being one year less of uni means one year more of actually progressing and earning a real salary. And also a year less of debt.

Disclaimer - I haven't even started the MD portion so I can't even verify half the things that I claim in this (A1 can probably prove/disprove some things) so honestly take it with a fat grain of salt but think about things like that. Do I want to test out other things for fun? Do I want to move to different countries and if so which ones? Do I want to do research as part of coursework or just do it on top of whatever you are already doing? Do you know which clinical placements each university has?

Also notice that I did not once mention the need for prestige or alumni connections (unless it's for the parents hehe).

Thanks for the comments. Some of them I would like to discuss further though:
- What do you mean exactly by 'taking it easier'? Sure, as one would imagine, to cover similar content in the 5-year degree vs the 6-year degree it would be pretty full on. But I doubt it would not be that considerably easier just because of that extra year. And you said 'I'd much rather spend the first 3 years not having to worry about actually doing medicine and being pressured by that.'. What exactly do you mean by that? Are you saying that the first 3 years don't really matter?
- Btw Monash is a Go8 uni which has a 5-year MD course
- Hmmm as far as I've heard there are still research components in the 6-year course (according to some friends who took it), but obviously these may not be as major as the ones in the MD
- I didn't know that the 5-year MD was a new course. From what it sounds like on Monash's website, it's been going for quite a while now?
- TBH I would actually prefer rural placements over going to major hospitals in the CBD. From what I've heard is that you basically get no clinical experience in large hospitals because all the other staff are fighting for positions due to large competition. Doesn't sound ideal to me...

I think for me 5-year still sounds best. I will do a little more research but I guess one year more would certainly open up the options a little more (as there are many more unis with 6 year undergrad courses).
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
Im not TKAO but ill have a go at answering some of your questions. Firstly it would be important to realise that UWA is a MD provisional program (which offers a 3 year MD for graduates of their 3 year MedSci program), and Curtin is a 5 year MBBS.

- What do you mean exactly by 'taking it easier'? Sure, as one would imagine, to cover similar content in the 5-year degree vs the 6-year degree it would be pretty full on. But I doubt it would not be that considerably easier just because of that extra year. And you said 'I'd much rather spend the first 3 years not having to worry about actually doing medicine and being pressured by that.'. What exactly do you mean by that? Are you saying that the first 3 years don't really matter?

He's saying the flexibility of the med sci portion, and the relative ease of it compared to medicine is preferable rather than hitting the ground running from the first day of uni even if it would probably make the 3 year MD part of the degree harder.

- Btw Monash is a Go8 uni which has a 5-year MD course

TKAO is referring to the difference between Curtin and UWA. He's a bad boy from the west coast and had the option of either, and since Curtin is not a GO8 it was arbitrarily banned from Singapore accreditation. This comes from the idea that location is pretty much your number one priority when considering med schools. Also, if youre not from Victoria your probably out of luck when it comes to Monash unless your a mega genius like ucatboy

- Hmmm as far as I've heard there are still research components in the 6-year course (according to some friends who took it), but obviously these may not be as major as the ones in the MD

Im confused? 5 year MD courses like the JMP have research components, as do 6 years like UNSW, and 4 years like UniMelb. TKAO is talking about the difference between MBBS and MD, (more specifically between curtin and uwa), which has no bearing on length. There are 5 year (UTAS MBBS/JMP MD) and 6 year (JCU MBBS/UNSW MD) of each.

- I didn't know that the 5-year MD was a new course. From what it sounds like on Monash's website, it's been going for quite a while now?

He specifically mentions that he is referring to curtin here. Which is not MD its MBBS.

- TBH I would actually prefer rural placements over going to major hospitals in the CBD. From what I've heard is that you basically get no clinical experience in large hospitals because all the other staff are fighting for positions due to large competition. Doesn't sound ideal to me...

Whilst there is alot to say about this most of which im not in a position of experience to talk about, the playing field as medical students on placements is different as the Junior Doctors.

ETA: I suggest you read this if you have not already Guide: Choosing Between Multiple Offers for Medicine/Dentistry
 

TKAO

oowah!
Valued Member
Thanks for the comments. Some of them I would like to discuss further though:
- What do you mean exactly by 'taking it easier'? Sure, as one would imagine, to cover similar content in the 5-year degree vs the 6-year degree it would be pretty full on. But I doubt it would not be that considerably easier just because of that extra year. And you said 'I'd much rather spend the first 3 years not having to worry about actually doing medicine and being pressured by that.'. What exactly do you mean by that? Are you saying that the first 3 years don't really matter?
- Btw Monash is a Go8 uni which has a 5-year MD course
- Hmmm as far as I've heard there are still research components in the 6-year course (according to some friends who took it), but obviously these may not be as major as the ones in the MD
- I didn't know that the 5-year MD was a new course. From what it sounds like on Monash's website, it's been going for quite a while now?
- TBH I would actually prefer rural placements over going to major hospitals in the CBD. From what I've heard is that you basically get no clinical experience in large hospitals because all the other staff are fighting for positions due to large competition. Doesn't sound ideal to me...

I think for me 5-year still sounds best. I will do a little more research but I guess one year more would certainly open up the options a little more (as there are many more unis with 6 year undergrad courses).
If you are from victoria then yea why go for anything other than Monash? if you aren't from Vic, good luck getting into Monash.
- I never talked about Monash because I didn't get an interview to Monash. The only people that I know that even got interviews got 99.9/99.95 and 97+ percentiles on the UCAT? Is that what you've got if you are an interstate student? From your previous posts I'd guess you are from Vic so this doesn't apply to you - but in that case is this even a discussion? Just go to the only undergrad uni in your state and call it a day.
- Well it ultimately depends on which 6 year course you are doing? Adelaide's MBBS is 6 years, whereas Curtins in 5? I totally agree that length does not correlate well with 'research' in uni and I can't verify anything either so it's best to see the actual course structures of the ones in question and see whether there are literal blocks/units in which you do research. At least in UWA I know there are 'scholarly activites' in which you can choose to do research which sufficed my apetite for having the possible opportunity to do research if I wanted. Do some googling?
- 5 year ----/MD is relatively new compared to MBBS and straight MD's. Those have only come around in the recent decade maybe? Ever since the introduction of MD courses and schools trying to buff out their masters qualifications. I don't know the dates, but Monash had an MBBS before they had an MD. imo most of the changes from MBBS to MD seem like a research 'thing' tacked on top and called a day to get the AQF9 qualification. Literally if you had googled a bit you would have found this: Doctor of Medicine (MD): Current and Prior Monash MD Degrees which literally says they started the BMedsci/MD thing in 2017. That's pretty recent to me.
- Who said you can't do rural placements at larger universities? All of the med universities in Australia have rural places available if I'm not wrong. It's just that it's not always the other way around. For example, if you classify newcastle/armidale as rural, then you'd be able to say that UON/UNE JMP is almost completely rural placements but I digress. Both have their pros and cons. You won't be seeing very much major specialist activity in rural placements for the most parts when compared to larger tertiary hospitals. Your argument however is probably true on this point.

You literally said in year 10, this is very far in the future for you. You don't know how your UCAT or your ATAR will turn out at this point. I know friends in year 10 that were considered 'smart' and failed to hit competitive ATARs for some med schools. I know people who were total potatoes in year 10 that ended up destroying me in year 12. A lot of things change from year 10 and year 11 and into year 12. Just because you are smart/dumb now compared to your cohort does not guarantee success in the slightest. I know people with the 'big brain' as some call it but totally flunked the UCAT. When it draws closer to the time you have to pick, your options can sometimes be limited to your scores or your speaking ability. You won't know if you even need to make this choice until you get the offers in your hands. Anyway, if you are from Melb they are the only ungrad school in the state so why worry? You just preference them first and call it a day. You don't need to fumble around with UAC/TISC/SATAC/QTAC where there are multiple options with varying lengths.

To be completely honest, it seems like you might be choosing medicine for prestige or other factors that aren't core to the job. I'd encourage you to do some work placements at a hospital or gp clinic if you can to get a better feeling of how this stuff places out (spoiler alert none of it really matters because most doctors from your state will have gone to your state universities). I'm not saying that you haven't or that your motivations are wrong by any means, but from what the questions you are asking are, I'd be taking regular introspection into my personality and motivations.

If you have personal questions feel free to message me! I'd be happy to chat
EDIT: thanks to dotwingz for clearing up some things that I didn't explicitly state.
 
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Crow

MD3 | Staff
Moderator
From what I've heard is that you basically get no clinical experience in large hospitals because all the other staff are fighting for positions due to large competition.
This is a topical comment for me as someone who was considering selecting a rural site for my placement next year, but will now be preferencing a metro hospital first instead. Going on a rural placement may give you more opportunities to practice procedural skills, yes, but this can come at the expense of exposure to an adequate case-mix and certain specialties. I wouldn’t want to do too many rural placements if this will come at the expense of adequate time in a metropolitan hospital.
 

chinaski

Regular Member
(spoiler alert none of it really matters because most doctors from your state will have gone to your state universities).

A bit of a reach there. Sooner or later us doctors move out of home and will commonly move across state lines (often multiple times, in fact). It's not a safe assumption to think a doctor practicing in NSW in all likelihood went to university in NSW (for example).
 
Hi all, another topic I have been thinking about...

What is the objective difference between the five year (undergrad), six year (undergrad) and seven year (postgrad) courses for medicine. By objective, I am referring to the structural and content differences covered in those courses. I am not referring to a matter of preference (e.g. choosing postgrad over undergrad because it gives more time to explore other interests).
1. Considering you basically get the same recognition for completing the course (i.e. a similar degree MBBS, BMSc/MD), how is it possible that the same amount of content could be covered in a year (or two) less. Is it safe (as a doctor, who needs to save people's lives), to risk missing out on certain pieces of information by taking a shorter course?
2. Would the amount of clinical experience in hospitals therefore be limited in the shorter (five-year) course due to the need to cover the same amount of theoretical content?
3. Or is this just a money making scheme for universities (to get students to spend longer and earn more debt)?

Thanks!
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
For your first question, typically

5 year undergrads are the most common undergrad

6 year undergrad typically have an extra year specific to one feature (e.g. Research Year at UNSW/Optional Research at Monash)*

4 year post grads which condense content from 5 year undergrads using the fact that post grad students are likely more experienced at university and mature than 1st year out of high school undergrads.

Regarding your second question, no. WSU is a 5 year degree and has 3 clinical years, same as UNSW which is 6 year, whilst JMP only has 2 (5 years). The amount is a case by case and there is no universal answer.

Regarding your 3rd question, no. Public medical schools hardly make any money for the university anyways

Also a side note, you’re hardly saving any lives as a junior doctor. You have YEARs of training ahead of you after that. Full trained doctors aren’t just people who graduated medical school, there is a lot more too it where you learn the bulk of what you will be applying in day to day life. If the degree is accredited by the AMC then you’re fine.

*it’s difficult to apply a hard and fast rule to medicine. Literally every university does something different.
 

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chinaski

Regular Member
Hi all, another topic I have been thinking about...

What is the objective difference between the five year (undergrad), six year (undergrad) and seven year (postgrad) courses for medicine. By objective, I am referring to the structural and content differences covered in those courses. I am not referring to a matter of preference (e.g. choosing postgrad over undergrad because it gives more time to explore other interests).
1. Considering you basically get the same recognition for completing the course (i.e. a similar degree MBBS, BMSc/MD), how is it possible that the same amount of content could be covered in a year (or two) less. Is it safe (as a doctor, who needs to save people's lives), to risk missing out on certain pieces of information by taking a shorter course?
2. Would the amount of clinical experience in hospitals therefore be limited in the shorter (five-year) course due to the need to cover the same amount of theoretical content?
3. Or is this just a money making scheme for universities (to get students to spend longer and earn more debt)?

Thanks!
There have been five and six-year undergraduate entry courses around longer than you've been alive. There's no discernible difference between Australian interns at the end of the day, and certainly no lives have been lost or safety compromised.

The re-branding of medical degrees as "post graduate" level, as well as prospective entry was definitely a money making scheme, but the move towards graduate entry was not. Embracing graduate entry allowed the admission of a slightly older cohort of candidates who brought a diversity of different degrees and life experience to the mix. Remember, not everyone wants to be a doctor when they are in high school - only taking students from a single pool (ie high school graduates) was a narrow pick. The (financially driven) introduction of uni-specific pre-requisites and capturing provisional entrants at the point of high school arguably mars what was originally a good move towards a more diverse cohort.
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
4 year post grads which condense content from 5 year undergrads using the fact that post grad students are likely more experienced at university and mature than 1st year out of high school undergrads.
Not only this but, 4 year graduate entry courses typically have much longer semesters than 5 year undergrad courses.

In 2018, I started first year (5 year undergrad) in the last week of Feb/first week of March while Perplex (4 year grad) started first year approximately a month before me.

He also finished later than me that year. And this was the same in our respective second years.
 
To clarify this further, the main reason that some Aus universities have an extra year of study (5-year vs 6-year) is mainly due to a research based component? However, the content covered in the courses and the clinical experience gained is still the exact same - correct?

NB* This is a generalisation based on the information you guys have told me - I understand it is can be different based on the university and the course they provide.
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
To clarify this further, the main reason that some Aus universities have an extra year of study (5-year vs 6-year) is mainly due to a research based component? However, the content covered in the courses and the clinical experience gained is still the exact same - correct?
Three schools have 6-year undergrad med. We know UNSW includes a year of research, you can look up Adelaide & JCU handbooks to see their course structures.

The content covered in the courses and the clinical experience are not necessarily the same, but they are all AMC accredited the same.
 

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There are actually six universities in Australia which do the six-year course for undergraduate medicine:
  • UNSW (BMed/MD, year four is an independent research year)
  • UWA (3+3 direct pathway is available with selected undergraduate course and MD)
  • Flinders University (BCS/MD 2+4 year course)
  • Griffith University (BMedSc/MD 2+4 year course)
  • University of Adelaide (MBBS does not have a research year - three years pre-clinical and three years clinical, final year pre-internship)
  • JCU (MBBS, does not have a research year - three years pre-clinical and three years clinical, final year pre-internship)
And five for the five-year undergraduate medicine:
  • Monash (BMedSc/MD)
  • JMP - UNE/UON (BMedSc/MD)
  • Curtin University (MBBS, no pre-internship year)
  • CSU/WSU (MD only)
  • University of Tasmania (MBBS, no pre-internship year)
From the summary of my research undertaken, I gather it is true that students from some of the universities with the six-year courses (namely Uni Adelaide and JCU) will gain more clinical experience than those in the five year courses. This is true given that Curtin and Uni Tas have the exact same end qualification (MBBS) and omit the pre-internship year. Edit: This also means that in total there are actually more six-year undergraduate entry options for medicine than the five-year options.
 
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LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
There are actually four universities in Australia which do the six-year course for undergraduate medicine:
  • UNSW (BMed/MD, year four is an independent research year)
  • UWA (3+3 direct pathway is available with selected undergraduate course and MD)
  • University of Adelaide (MBBS does not have a research year - three years pre-clinical and three years clinical, final year pre-internship)
  • JCU (MBBS, does not have a research year - three years pre-clinical and three years clinical, final year pre-internship)
And five for the five-year undergraduate medicine:
  • Monash (BMedSc/MD)
  • JMP - UNE/UON (BMedSc/MD)
  • Curtin University (MBBS, no pre-internship year)
  • CSU/WSU (MD only)
  • University of Tasmania (MBBS, no pre-internship year)
From the summary of my research undertaken, I gather it is true that students from some of the universities with the six-year courses (namely Uni Adelaide and JCU) will gain more clinical experience than those in the five year courses. This is true given that Curtin and Uni Tas have the exact same end qualification (MBBS) and omit the pre-internship year.

UWA’s 3+3 is a provisional entry option, not a true undergraduate option, similar to the 6 year provisional options at Griffith and Flinders (2+4).
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
There are actually four universities in Australia which do the six-year course for undergraduate medicine
If you count UWA among these perhaps you should also include Griffith & Flinders.

Technically UWA is not undergrad medicine. Otoh UNSW is undergrad, being different to UWA/Griffth/Flinders in that UNSW does not accept external graduate applicants into its MD course, whereas the latter three do (therefore graduate-entry med).
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
I see your edit to include the others. If you’re going to do so then you should make it clear UWA, Flinders, and Griffith are provisional. It’s a different pathway to undergraduate and involves completing (and needing to pass at a certain level) a whole bachelor degree before moving to the Med component. It’s not a guaranteed move from one to the other and your use of terminology is misleading and inconsistent.

If all you’re judging ‘undergraduate medicine’ on is the ability to start on the pathway straight out of high-school then UQ, USyd, UMelb, UTas BMedRes guarantee, CDU and probably others could all be lumped in that category. It’s meaningless.

Also, you missed Bond.
 

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I see your edit to include the others. If you’re going to do so then you should make it clear UWA, Flinders, and Griffith are provisional. It’s a different pathway to undergraduate and involves completing (and needing to pass at a certain level) a whole bachelor degree before moving to the Med component. It’s not a guaranteed move from one to the other and your use of terminology is misleading and inconsistent.

If all you’re judging ‘undergraduate medicine’ on is the ability to start on the pathway straight out of high-school then UQ, USyd, UMelb, UTas BMedRes guarantee, CDU and probably others could all be lumped in that category. It’s meaningless.

Also, you missed Bond.
Righto. Makes sense, but A1 suggested adding them to the list no? Obviously he/she classes it as undergrad and so... I have two contrasting opinions as to what classifies as undergrad.

In reality they are all basically double degrees anyway, but I'll edit this list to exclude the ones that have a specific passing requirement to progress to the MD component. Edit: OR I can take out the part about it being an undergrad and just classify it as being a six year provisional entry.

Also Bond doesn't count. (Unless your parents are millionaires :p)
 
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LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
Righto. Makes sense, but A1 suggested adding them to the list no? Obviously he/she classes it as undergrad and so... I have two contrasting opinions as to what classifies as undergrad.

In reality they are all basically double degrees anyway, but I'll edit this list to include only the ones that have a specific passing requirement to progress to the MD component.

Also Bond doesn't count. (Unless your parents are millionaires :p)

"Technically UWA is not undergrad medicine." Nope, don't think so. I didn't interpret the reply from A1 as a genuine suggestion, rather an "if you're going to use the term arbitrarily then at least be consistent with your inaccuracy..." type comment.

And Bond may not be feasible for you personally to attend (as it wasn't for me), but it definitely 'counts'. To suggest otherwise is a bit dismissive when you seem to be literally counting the degree options in the country.
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
so... I have two contrasting opinions as to what classifies as undergrad.
Let me help with this grouping. I count a school as undergrad med when its first year undergrad students are recognised as med students in the MedDeans database.

1) 5-year undergrad : JMP JPM Monash UTas Curtin
2) 6-year undergrad : JCU UNSW Adelaide

3) 2+4 provisional : Griffith Flinders (MedDeans don't count 1st/2nd year as med students)
4) 3+4 provisional : UQ USyd UMelb Griffith/SCU (UQ can be 5+4 if you choose Dent for undergrad ;) )

5) X+4 no provisional : UWoll ANU Deakin Notre Dame MQ (X depends what undergrad degree the student did elsewhere)

UWA falls between groups (3) & (4) since the MD course isn't 3 years. It's still 4 years but students who completed a specific undergrad degree are given exemption of the MD1 year.
 
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