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Graduate Entry Medicine Advice Requests

Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
Hi Mana, thanks for your advice.

Regarding #2, that was actually what I was doing during my psych undergrad. I was "working towards" psych as it was my Plan B and told myself that I would try for med after I finished. I always knew the GAMSAT would be a process, however, as I didn't have a strong science background (only did gen maths, no chem/physics/bio in school). Hence why I think doing med sci was beneficial as it allowed me to pick up fundamental courses as well as get a taster for studying med courses (e.g. anatomy). Now that I've covered the basic sciences, I feel more comfortable going through prep materials on my own but still don't expect a good score on this upcoming sitting as it'll be my first attempt/practice run.
Gonna chime in here and state that in my experience GAMSAT was more an aptitude test and less a test of your knowledge of basic sciences and humanities. Doing medical science or part thereof in my opinion is overkill in the wrong area (you want to develop aptitude over knowledge). The GAMSAT is not read-and-regurgitate; those studying content for it should aim for conceptual understanding of the subject matter so that they can reason in the exam.

Now think I'm swaying more towards starting a masters over continuing with MedSci next year but I'm just a bit worried I'll fall into the trap of getting distracted again and losing sight of the GAMSAT because I'm trying to juggle/focus on my course load. That's what happened during my psych degree and why I didn't attempt the GAMSAT in previous years despite having the opportunity to do so.

Nonetheless, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on whether you think a masters in nursing vs psych is a better option? The nursing program has clinical placements that I'm very excited about and the application process is more straightforward. However, career-wise, I don't think I'd be content in nursing as it's not med and in some respects, you'll constantly be the underdog. I think it'd be good experience prior to med. So not sure if psych would be better (I'm less enthusiastic about starting the psych program though)?
I think something that constantly needs reaffirmation in the healthcare setting is that nurses are not underdogs; nurses are as front-line patient care as you can get, and they do all the hard work taking care of patients. I don't think I could be a nurse; they work much harder than I do (at least where I work).

Before you get into nursing I think you will need to think about your motivations for this. While nurses may work under the medical direction of a doctor, I as a doctor am not their boss - I only direct the medical side of their tasks; the rest of the patient care is largely on their shoulders.

As for psychology, I am sure reading some of LMG! 's advice will give you a reasonable perspective on the career pathway given her experience as a clinical psychologist.

Psychology is not medicine much like nursing is not medicine, but if you are deciding to do nursing for the clinical placements to increase your chances of getting into medicine then I think you are not only doing nursing for the wrong reasons but also I don't think it would help much compared to getting good scores in the GAMSAT and interview. It would be a talking point or portfolio point and might give you a couple of points on an MMI station but outside of this utility it doesn't increase your chances of medical school admission, so if you are doing nursing, it should be because you want to be a nurse.

It is possible as a nurse to work internationally much the same as doctors do for MSF (which I am sure relies heavily on their nursing staff as well). But I used the example of having a family as another life goal that you might decide to work towards with the implication that there is always an opportunity cost of trying to gain medical school admission (and the cost increases the more times you attempt it because of the time and effort that could otherwise be spent elsewhere like family or a different career). At some point the opportunity cost becomes too great to continue attempting entry and you get on with the other things you want so that you don't sacrifice it all for this one goal which is just another job.
 

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LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
AnatDissection, as Mana mentioned, I wrote a longish post here about Psychology, though some of it won’t apply to you given you’ve already got the undergrad part.

I’m also more than happy to chat further as someone with ~7 years experience as a Clin Psych (and a couple as a Gen Psych before that) and now ~3 years experience as a (very mature aged female) Med student, if you still have questions I might be able to help with.
 

jfa01

Member
Hey guys,

So UQ requires BIOM2011 and BIOM2012 (as well as the prerequisites for THOSE courses?). My issue is, I'm transferring to a degree and not bringing across these credits. As the prerequisites are not in my final degree, will I still have met the requirements?
 

Crow

Staff
Moderator
Hey guys,

So UQ requires BIOM2011 and BIOM2012 (as well as the prerequisites for THOSE courses?). My issue is, I'm transferring to a degree and not bringing across these credits. As the prerequisites are not in my final degree, will I still have met the requirements?
Yes, as long as you’ve covered them SOMEWHERE in your tertiary record, you’ll be fine.
 

jfa01

Member
Hi again guys!

Just looking for some clarification with the GEMSAS calculation of our GPA.
I'm going to complete 4 years worth of coursework, and I switched degrees at the end of my first year after doing quite badly.
When I apply in my final year, I won't have my semester 2 results from that year.
Therefore, the last 3 years worth of coursework will include half of my first year (which I did badly in)
My question is, will my first year actually count? Might seem like an obvious answer but I was wondering because for people that complete a 3 year long bachelor, they would only have 2.5 years worth of coursework, and I would really benefit from having 2.5 years worth counted.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Crow

Staff
Moderator
Hi again guys!

Just looking for some clarification with the GEMSAS calculation of our GPA.
I'm going to complete 4 years worth of coursework, and I switched degrees at the end of my first year after doing quite badly.
When I apply in my final year, I won't have my semester 2 results from that year.
Therefore, the last 3 years worth of coursework will include half of my first year (which I did badly in)
My question is, will my first year actually count? Might seem like an obvious answer but I was wondering because for people that complete a 3 year long bachelor, they would only have 2.5 years worth of coursework, and I would really benefit from having 2.5 years worth counted.

Thanks in advance!
No, the first year won’t count. They’ll effectively calculate your GPA from the most recent 2.5 years of your more recent bachelor. If you happen to gain a place offer, it will be a “conditional” offer contingent on you meeting/clearing the GPA requirement set by that university in your final semester. Generally speaking this is no problem for any medicine applicant that gained a place offer as the cutoff is usually set at 5.0, and so really you just need to make sure you pass your remaining subjects to “solidify” the offer.
 
I don't think it would help much compared to getting good scores in the GAMSAT and interview. It would be a talking point or portfolio point and might give you a couple of points on an MMI station but outside of this utility it doesn't increase your chances of medical school admission, so if you are doing nursing, it should be because you want to be a nurse.
I was more so referring to how the clinical placements in nursing would provide a good opportunity to gain experience and develop the skills/attributes (e.g. ability to work in a high-pressure environment, effective communication, etc. etc.) needed to be a good candidate for med – rather than having direct tangible benefits for admissions.

I received a conditional offer for the Usyd nursing masters today and have since found out that it’s not uncommon for people who don’t score high enough on the GAMSAT to start nursing before they go onto med. A surg reg was saying that this path has been done before and nursing would definitely be a good pre-med choice.

I do have some concerns though:
  • The nursing program is considered the same level of study as the MD, therefore I won’t be eligible to receive Austudy for 1 year if I do successfully go onto med after. It may be a bit premature for me to be worrying about this now, but do you think it will be possible to pick up nursing shifts during med school, and would this be enough to live off without any extra government/parental support? I hope you also don’t mind me asking LMG! but are you able to continue working as a clin psych now in your third year?

  • Currently, I am receiving Youth Allowance and work part-time which is how I support myself while living interstate and away from home. As I am only doing 2 MedSci courses, things are very manageable right now and I have a good amount of free time which I originally planned to devote more to the GAMSAT over the next coming months. Realistically, I don’t think I will have much time for the GAMSAT during nursing. I’ve heard that the clinical placements are crammed into 3 days, coursework study into 1 day, and students can work part-time ~2 days per week.
I do have the option of deferring the nursing masters for 1 year, finishing MedSci next year, and dedicating this time to REALLY focusing on the GAMSAT (to be honest, I haven’t started much GAMSAT study yet and have only done the bare minimum on the side – skimmed prep materials, attempted practice papers, some webinars).

However, I am REALLY excited to start the nursing program (yes, largely because of the clinical placements), but I can only see myself working as a nurse part-time/locum or for 1-2 years, rather than it being an actual career that I would be content and satisfied doing for decades. Any guidance at all would be appreciated.
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Can confirm that yep, I’ve still worked (quite comfortably) all through third year and, after some useful discussions yesterday, intend to at least try doing so during fourth year.
 
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Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
All of the nurses in my medical cohort worked as nurses part time during medical school (usually on weekends) to support themselves. I do not specifically know how much they had saved up and at least one of them had troubles with money despite being CSP. That said, money is better than no money, and with AusStudy you can earn around $437 per fortnight without decreasing your payments.

Remember that after finishing you would still be a first year nurse and so the pay is commensurate to your experience and the limited hours you can work.
 

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jfa01

Member
Hi guys i'm back again.

So I was pretty deadset on the GAMSAT route but I'm reconsidering after having some trouble with my GPA. Here's what I've got so far:
- ATAR 98.85
- GPA i'm not so sure as I've changed degrees twice, but probably around the low 6 mark
- sat GAMSAT as a trial and got 64

What do you guys reckon I should do with those results? Go for WSU/UNSW/JMP and sit UCAT? Try GAMSAT again?

Thanks guys <3
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Hi guys i'm back again.

So I was pretty deadset on the GAMSAT route but I'm reconsidering after having some trouble with my GPA. Here's what I've got so far:
- ATAR 98.85
- GPA i'm not so sure as I've changed degrees twice, but probably around the low 6 mark
- sat GAMSAT as a trial and got 64

What do you guys reckon I should do with those results? Go for WSU/UNSW/JMP and sit UCAT? Try GAMSAT again?

Thanks guys <3
Your academic results rule you out of contention for UNSW, so that is off the table regardless, but JMP and WSU are certainly possibilities with a competitive UCAT. Did you sit UCAT this year? Are you in a position to do both next year (GAMSAT and UCAT)? That would maximise your chances. Some GAMSAT unis have GPA as a hurdle (USyd for example), but you'd need a great GAMSAT (and I'm not actually up to date with what is competitive on that front).
 

jfa01

Member
Your academic results rule you out of contention for UNSW, so that is off the table regardless, but JMP and WSU are certainly possibilities with a competitive UCAT. Did you sit UCAT this year? Are you in a position to do both next year (GAMSAT and UCAT)? That would maximise your chances. Some GAMSAT unis have GPA as a hurdle (USyd for example), but you'd need a great GAMSAT (and I'm not actually up to date with what is competitive on that front).
Thanks for the reply!
I mean do you think doing both exams whilst doing a full load at uni doable? Also, what UCAT percentile do you reckon I'd need? I know it's traditionally around 90%tile for undergrads but I wonder I should be aiming for above 95%ile
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Thanks for the reply!
I mean do you think doing both exams whilst doing a full load at uni doable? Also, what UCAT percentile do you reckon I'd need? I know it's traditionally around 90%tile for undergrads but I wonder I should be aiming for above 95%ile
95% would be very safe for JMP, JPM(/WSU) is a little more complicated and it's not the overall %ile that is key. Generally, 95% would be safe, though if you had a low VR score and high other scores, then it might not be enough.

As for whether doing both is doable, generally, yes. Lots of people do so every year. Whether doing this results in any deficits across the three domains (UCAT, GAMSAT, GPA) I have no idea. Given you've done GAMSAT before, done uni before, and (maybe?) done UCAT before, you'd be the best person to judge whether you think it's doable for you, which is the more important thing and something no one else can answer.
 

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Hey guys!

I'm in my final year of my bachelors degree and i'm curious about how my GEMSAS GPA will be calculated. When i'm done I will have completed an extra 3 papers than needed to make up the points for my degree (NZ 54 extra points on top of the 360 points needed). Would they take all of my papers into consideration or the best 360 points? Asking as I know NZ exclude the lowest grades from the calculation if you have extra points.

Thanks in advance!
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
Hey guys!

I'm in my final year of my bachelors degree and i'm curious about how my GEMSAS GPA will be calculated. When i'm done I will have completed an extra 3 papers than needed to make up the points for my degree (NZ 54 extra points on top of the 360 points needed). Would they take all of my papers into consideration or the best 360 points? Asking as I know NZ exclude the lowest grades from the calculation if you have extra points.
GEMSAS uses your most recent 3 FTE (full-time equiv) years' worth of units/papers for GPA. So 54 points will be omitted from your 1st year 1st semester. If this semester had more than 54 points they omit the worst 54 points.
 

Archive

Member
Hi guys i'm back again.

So I was pretty deadset on the GAMSAT route but I'm reconsidering after having some trouble with my GPA. Here's what I've got so far:
- ATAR 98.85
- GPA i'm not so sure as I've changed degrees twice, but probably around the low 6 mark
- sat GAMSAT as a trial and got 64

What do you guys reckon I should do with those results? Go for WSU/UNSW/JMP and sit UCAT? Try GAMSAT again?

Thanks guys <3

To get a shot at an interview for postgraduate you would need a Gamsat in the ~ low 70's with a GPA that is in the low 6's assuming non-portfolio, probably lower if you applied to UND or UOW.

Here is more indepth info: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16FuNMeOj9-CW5nUotSv3ywHWFLxkAHSh/view
 
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Hi, if it's not too much trouble - I was just wondering if I could get some more advice/guidance. I recently discovered that GEMSAS includes postgrad in GPA calculations, thus if I complete a Masters then they will take the GPA from those 2 years and combine it with 1 year of my undergrad. The issue is I think my GPA from only 1 year undergrad will be even lower than my overall undergrad GPA, and I am dubious about whether I can achieve the grades needed in postgrad/grad level at USYD.

Usyd and UQ are the two universities I am interested in for med, and I recently found out that a H1 is considered 7.0/7.0 in terms of GPA ranking at UQ. So I was wondering if you think it would be more beneficial to go back to do an Honours year? (I actually did begin Honours last year but left the program after supervisor/Faculty issues which put me off psych research altogether and why the masters at ANU did appeal to me as it offered 4th and 5th year accreditation yet is less research-heavy). Anyway, I have the option of Hons next year at a non-Go8 uni where I am fairly certain that I can get an H1 but in terms of learning opportunity and personal growth, I wouldn't gain as much there compared to the nursing program at Usyd (and a peer said it'd be a step down from prev program). I have also applied to other unis but won't find out the outcome for those until Nov/Dec.

So what would you advise? My end goal is med and from Nov onwards, I am planning to dedicate a solid 3-4 months to studying for the GAMSAT and giving it a really good shot in the next March sitting. However, I do need to be doing something next year and of course, making sure I have a Plan B.
 

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Mana

there are no stupid questions, only people
Administrator
Usyd and UQ are the two universities I am interested in for med...
Is there a reason you are limiting yourself only to two possible universities?
 
Is there a reason you are limiting yourself only to two possible universities?
Well I mean, of course, I would apply widely and be happy with any CSP med school offer but those are the two unis I think I'd have the best chance of gaining admission just judging at a very surface level based on cut-offs: https://www.frasersgamsat.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GAMSAT-GPA-Average-Score-Cutoffs.pdf

I would also be happy with Notre Dame in Sydney but it's a portfolio uni and realistically speaking, I don't think I'd get in. Deakin however is another uni I've looked at and may have a chance as it offers bonus points for equity and if you've completed a degree there, hence why I was thinking maybe doing Hons there would be a good option in terms of best enhancing my chances of med entry? I know getting a H1 there is very doable but I'd primarily be doing it to boost my GPA for med and don't think I'd benefit much from the program itself. Tbh I think if I do the masters nursing at Usyd, I'd be looking at distinction average at best (clinical placements are P/F but coursework is graded). So what are your thoughts? Will doing Hons at a non-Go8 uni where I know I can get a H1 actually help? Or stick to nursing next year as I imagine I'd benefit volumes from the program and it would lead to a job in the end?
 
Well I mean, of course, I would apply widely and be happy with any CSP med school offer but those are the two unis I think I'd have the best chance of gaining admission just judging at a very surface level based on cut-offs: https://www.frasersgamsat.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GAMSAT-GPA-Average-Score-Cutoffs.pdf

I would also be happy with Notre Dame in Sydney but it's a portfolio uni and realistically speaking, I don't think I'd get in. Deakin however is another uni I've looked at and may have a chance as it offers bonus points for equity and if you've completed a degree there, hence why I was thinking maybe doing Hons there would be a good option in terms of best enhancing my chances of med entry? I know getting a H1 there is very doable but I'd primarily be doing it to boost my GPA for med and don't think I'd benefit much from the program itself. Tbh I think if I do the masters nursing at Usyd, I'd be looking at distinction average at best (clinical placements are P/F but coursework is graded). So what are your thoughts? Will doing Hons at a non-Go8 uni where I know I can get a H1 actually help? Or stick to nursing next year as I imagine I'd benefit volumes from the program and it would lead to a job in the end?
If you're basing your chances on GPA, i think it should be noted that UQ included GPA this year in their calculations for interview offers meaning it was unlikely to get an offer if your gpa wasnt > 6.5. Currently only USYD uses a GPA hurdle of 5.0. All other graduate schools include GPA in their calculations for interviews and final offers.

Doing Honours and getting a H1 will definitely help with UQ if that is one of the schools you are more inclined towards.
 

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