Otago or Auckland?

Discussion in 'NZ General Discussion' started by g.walker, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. g.walker

    g.walker Regular Member

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    Hmm that would be really interesting, say skyglow, could you visit http://examdb.auckland.ac.nz/, enter the website as student and search 'mbchb' and hit enter, then confirm if auckland really is that much harder than otago in your experience? I dont think we would have ~3x more detail, thatd sorta screw things up on a national level
     
  2. skyglow1

    skyglow1 Regular Member

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    It requires authentication if I try to enter as a student. I've seen a couple of past Auckland papers before though. They looked pretty menacing.

    In most areas Auckland does the stuff to more detail e.g. anatomy at Otago is pretty basic, where you only need to learn the actions and names and which group the muscle belongs to, whereas at Auckland you'd learn the individual innervations, origins and insertions in addition to the actions, names and group.

    The difference in the volume of information comes firstly the fact that Auckland has more contact hours than Otago, and Auckland lectures are often longer and packed more densely with info. Also, Otago spends quite a sizeable chunk of its contact hours on things like healthcare in the community and clinical skills, eating out more time from biomedical stuff.

    That said, I feel that what we get taught at Otago is pretty sufficient in the biomedical side of things. What's slightly more concerning is the lack of motivation or urgency because it's so easy to pass the course. When you see students getting marks like 60-70% on tests that have pretty basic questions, you kinda worry a bit :( Auckland's do or die approach forces their students to work much harder haha. You can always supplement your knowledge via textbooks and other resources.

    SASOL...nice blog and I know the colour scheme is Otago colours but it's pretty harsh on the eyes haha.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  3. g.walker

    g.walker Regular Member

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    While i do envy the free time you guys will have, i still prefer to have sh*tloads of information thrown at us and be expected to memorise everything to the smallest detail, albiet at the price of our lives, its not all that good.

    cool blog you got there SASOL, the 50 things for med thing was funny, especially:
    14. Maori's have highest rates of everything, except obesity (that goes to P.Is)
     
  4. greenglacier

    greenglacier Emeritus MSO Staff Emeritus

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    I get what you're saying, and there definately are benefits to be had from both approaches. I think at Otago, even though there may not be as much new examinable material introduced at 2nd year (something that I can believe given that I can already answer quite a few questions in the 2008 2nd year final exam), there is nothing stopping us from learning a bit more if we want. In a way I'm looking forward to having some freedom to decide how well I want to know a certain topic. Along these lines (and others), an impression I'm starting to get is that Otago medicine is likely to be a lot more similar to NCEA than first year was - something I definately welcome.

    One of the objectives of the Otago ELM is that by the end of 3rd year, students will be actively identifying questions they want answered and finding the required knowledge. I don't know to what extent this will actually occur, but I reckon this shows that it may not be fair to directly compare the two medical schools based on what is explicitly said in lectures and tested in exams.

    Also bear in mind the dangers of covering too much material - lecturers need to ask themselves how much their students can absorb in a lecture (rather than how much the lecturer can cover), and what is actually relevant (apparently when my parents went though Otago med school, the citric acid cycle was the bane of many students lives. Countless times they were made to memorise it, all the while aware that it was not something they needed to have memorised as doctors). Often the most effective lecturers are the ones who cover very little material per lecture.
     
  5. skyglow1

    skyglow1 Regular Member

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    I can see the idea behind Otago's approach. As med students we should be responsible and mature enough to make our own decisions concerning our learning. If we feel there are gaps in our knowledge, or topics that interest us, as greenglacier said there is nothing stopping us from learning more. The lack of harsh exams, difficult marking or high failure rates sends a message that the course is not about forcing huge amounts of information down students' throats.

    My concern is that this freedom seems to be 'abused' by a lot of students. It's very easy for students to say "why bother" or "who cares, I'll pass anyway". We'd all like to think that students would be motivated to further their knowledge and equip themselves well for the clinical years and beyond, but when it's so easy to pass, it becomes very tempting to slack off. From what I've seen, most students will not go beyond what is presented to them in the course, and many students were scrambling before the final exams because they had not done much work throughout the year. Dunedin's party-friendly environment does not help.

    Concerning Auckland (and this is just from my own opinion), forcing so much information onto the students and setting difficult exams might cause them to start strongly resenting the course, increase stress levels, and just be a burden than no student should have to deal with. I think Otago is trying to challenge the idea that medicine needs to be a hellish course, where the sanity of the students is challenged time and time again. I also don't see the need for learning detail that will never be handy to know, and will be forgotten after the exams anyway.

    In the end, you'll have to do the learning yourself. I don't think you'll be disadvantaged in any way because you have all the resources available to you. The most important factor in how you'll turn out at graduation is yourself, not the course. You are in control of your own learning.

    These are the guys who felt that we shouldn't be given lecture slides before lectures because it would somehow make us lazy or something. Hypocritical seeing as they want students to be more independent and in control of their own learning. Our education reps had to really fight for that piece of policy to change.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  6. g.walker

    g.walker Regular Member

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    There are definately advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and it really is a matter of preference. It's also important to recognise that there will be general trends as to what students do under each circumstance.

    In Auckland's curriculum (and Otago's i believe), we are taught the science only in years 2 and 3, the remaineder are clinical rotations. Seeing how rich medicine is in terms of detail and information, i prefer to know as much as i can about as many things as i can, i realised this is important after doing physics and chemistry in year 1, and how our unrelated school information added to my understanding.

    My opinion of Otago's approach is that, while it will give you freedom to choose what to study in your personal time, i find that academic teaching is retained and practiced much more than things we read in our own time.

    But hey, i guess most of us are going to specialise later on, and until we actually start practicing and see how much of what we (Aucklanders) study and memorise will actually be practiced, it's very hard to judge which approach is preferrable.
     
  7. Pineapple

    Pineapple Regular Member

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    Is it harder to get into medicine at Auckland or Otago? I have heard of many outstanding candidates being cut at Auckland, is there a difference?

    Also if i got an offer to do medicine at an australian uni this year, can I defer it and see if I get into Auckland or Otago through health science first year?

    Also if I am doing badly in HSFY at Auckland or Otago, can I then apply to Australian Unis and get in undergrad? Or is there some kind of rule that stops this?
     
  8. godoftoast

    godoftoast SeƱor Member Emeritus

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    Medicine is very hard to get into no matter where in NZ or Aus you apply; some applicants may find it easier in some selection pools compared to others (eg tasmanian school leavers in UTas) but generally the difficulty is roughly the same for all undergrad schools (ie a UMAT in the 90% + an ATAR over 95). In terms of defferment, you cannot defer a spot at UQ unless you have a very, very good reason (ie seeing dieing grandma etc). I believe Monash also highly discourages deferment. I am not sure about the rest.
     
  9. sky

    sky Member

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    at UTAS, i think you can defer if your rank is within the top 25 students that got into med for that year.
     
  10. sky

    sky Member

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    at UTAS i think you can defer if your rank is within the top 25 med students in the year of your application
     
  11. lordgarlic

    lordgarlic MSO Kiwi #1 Emeritus

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    No difference between the two technically, but Auckland MAY get more extroverts mainly because of an interview process. I do know quite a few otago students who are really cool and open though

    can't defer and study health science. you have to give up your offer and reapplu

    some unis are open to reapplying after HSFY but grade dependent. Plenty of threads about that on MSO
     
  12. SASOL

    SASOL Regular Member

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    Ha you make it sound as though the majority of otago med students are quiet and reserved nerds. I would say we are more fun than Auckland med students lol. Most people Ive talked to came to Dunedin because of the laid back party lifestyle:lol:
     
  13. elephantine

    elephantine Regular Member

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    mate, i've gotta say you're way off with that one! ^_^ it's definitely a fun, extroverted and genuinely nice bunch down here!!
     
  14. g.walker

    g.walker Regular Member

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    Probably why we have so many Otago grad students (y)

    I dont know about you the others, but its not as intense as i expected it to be over here, thankfully I've still got 2 or so hours of free time nearly everyday
     
  15. HealthSci

    HealthSci Member

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    Otago HSFY vs Auckland BHSc or Biomed

    I see that is it very difficult to compare the above two (or three) courses,

    as a very few would have completed both, but which of the two courses could

    be deemed as more difficult (demanding)?? Not considering grades required

    for entry requirements etc, just the nature of the courses.
     
  16. Peihui

    Peihui Member

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    i think they would be similar. but auckland weigh some of the papers more than others while otago take it all the same so i guess it depends on where is ur strength. In general I think in general auckland uni is harder than Otago just by studying at both uni
     
  17. skyglow1

    skyglow1 Regular Member

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    I've looked at a decent chunk of the material for the courses that can be compared between the 2 first year courses e.g. the physics papers, biochem and human body systems/medical science papers at both unis. To me, the Auckland curriculumn and exams look more difficult than the healthsci equivalents.
     
  18. Pineapple

    Pineapple Regular Member

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    university of auckland scholarship

    So i got a university of auckland scholarship, but i'm rejecting it and going to otago...

    The scholarship pays all tuition fees for 3 years, and also gives u 5000 dollars cash in hand every year for 3 years. its worth about 40,000 dollars.

    My family, however still wants me to go to otago, this is because they think it is much easier to get into medicine at otago. Given the fact that i already have 91st percentile umat, im already one third of the way there because umat counts for 33% at otago and only 15% at auckland. Also auckland has an interview worth 25%, and that could be risky as well. Also Otago has that 8th paper which you can substitute for a paper you do badly in boosting your average, this doesnt happen in auckland.

    So I would probably have it easier in otago ( I also got a 5 grand leaders of tomorrow scholarship to otago but thats tiny compared to auckland scholarship) but the money could be an issue. people will think im stupid going to otago, and i think so too, but my number one goal is to do med. If i went to auckland and failed to get into med the 40 grand would be worthless to me. Im in a bit of a pickle do i go otago or go auckland, auckland is risky and going against family but less student loan, otago is less risk, going with family, massive loan. dilemma...
     
  19. Benjamin

    Benjamin Resident (JCU MBBS) Administrar

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    Can't you provisionally accept the scholarship until you get offers for med? I mean, accept the scholarship, apply for both Otago and Auckland and if you don't get into Auckland Med then decline it and go to Otago?
     
  20. Dooraven

    Dooraven Member

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    That though is an extra waste of a year because as far as I know, you must do the Foundation year (ie Biomed/Health Science/HSFY) at the particular Uni you want to do med in and we do not have a direct entry for Med for undergraduates.
     

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