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Previous study not completed - disadvantage?

Mowwee

New Member
Hi guys - I am mature age & looking to study medicine (should I be accepted!). I previously studied for a BSc at Melb Uni (1997 onwards), but because of personal issues I took several leave of absences, & eventually discontinued my studies in 3rd year. My marks were pretty good, but I'm worried that the fact that I didn't finish my previous studies may refect badly on me (I had to present my case to the Academic Review Panel at one stage, although I was successful!). Any advice? Thanks in advance.
 

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Mowwee

New Member
Hi - I am considering trying to get acceptance into studying medicine. I am a mature age student. I studied for a BSc at Melb Uni from 1997 onwards, but due to my life circumstances at the time, I did not finish.
Here's the truth - I have an extensive history of major depression, and drug addiction. Thankfully both conditions are well under control now, after lots of therapy and effort. Prior to going completely off the rails, I was sometimes able to achieve results in the top 5% of my state, so I'm reasonably confident that I might get in. My concern is that my past history might completely destroy my chances. In the light of what I was dealing with, my past results are quite amazing, but in revealing the truth, will I actually do more harm than good? Anyone have experience with this? Will they find out anyway (Gov records of Methadone program recipients etc)? Thanks X
 

Mana

Registrar
Admodistrator
You might find that the main issue that prevents you from using your prior marks to enter medicine isn't that you didn't finish your degree but rather that your study was more than 10 years ago. LMG! might be able to help you more here if the issue is how long ago your study was.

If you are able to use those 1997 marks, then as you haven't done a full degree you'll only be able to apply to undergrad med schools as a non standard (UNE/Newy, JCU, UNSW).
 

Mowwee

New Member
Thanks Mana! I suspected that my previous study would not count towards admission - I guess my main concern was that it might make me look a little uncertain in terms of finishing medical school, given that it's longer, & probably harder! I.e. "well if she couldn't make it thru a BSc she won't make it thru medicine!" kind of thing. Some people have told me that it's better to have not started a degree at all, than it is to have started one & not finished it. Especially since I dropped out halfway thru 3rd year!
Also, what is 'non standard' entry? Haven't come across that term before. Thank-you so much for your help ☺
 

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A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
Thanks Mana! I suspected that my previous study would not count towards admission - I guess my main concern was that it might make me look a little uncertain in terms of finishing medical school
That main concern of yours is of secondary importance at this stage. The primary importance is to have an excellent ATAR or GPA (besides UMAT/GAMSAT) to get past the entrance gate. We need to focus on that first.

Non-standard applicants are those who have done some uni studies but wish to apply for undergrad medicine (as opposed to school leavers applying for undergrad med or uni graduates applying for graduate med). See info in this table

> [Undergrad] - 2017-18 Med schools Selection Criteria Y12s & Non-standards
 

Benjamin

Admin (JCU MBBS)
Emeritus
My concern is that my past history might completely destroy my chances. In the light of what I was dealing with, my past results are quite amazing, but in revealing the truth, will I actually do more harm than good? Anyone have experience with this? Will they find out anyway (Gov records of Methadone program recipients etc)?
In terms of medical school entrance it is unlikely they will either be aware or that you would have to disclose this on admission/during an interview unless you have been charged with an offence in the past / have a criminal record that would be highlighted in a background search.

It gets a bit more tricky when you head in to actually apply for registration as a medical practitioner on graduating from medical school ... though this is currently undergoing a bit of change. The exact wording is that you have to inform AHPRA (regulatory body) regarding any 'impairment' which is defined as "as a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence), that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect a registered health practitioner’s capacity to safely practise the profession or a student’s capacity to undertake clinical training."

At the moment any medical practitioner involved in your personal medical care is also obliged to report any impairment, though this appears to be ?potentially changing after some uproar from medical students & doctors alike re: concerns that it limits help-seeking behaviour from doctors with mental health illnesses - i.e. if you have depression there are concerns if you talk to your GP about it that they will have to report you to AHPRA to be investigated. This isn't exactly how things play out in reality but it is certainly what the legislation dictates.

As such the onus is on you & (at the moment) any medical practitioner involved in your care to report to AHPRA if there is any "impairment" as defined above. The short version of this is that if all of this is in your past & hasn't been an issue / remains as a non-issue during medical school & through your career then it both won't have to be disclosed & also won't impact your ability to work.

If however you feel it does impact / cause impairment then you would be obliged to report it. Reporting =/= refusal of admission to medical school or inability to work as a medical practitioner, it just means that AHPRA will investigate & determine the best course of action.
 

Kat92

(Student BDemCare|BBeSt|BNurs) Hopeful for JMP
As a mature age applicant they only accept partially or fully completed degrees from the past 10 years. I know a couple of the unis post the level of degree, completion status, and a rough estimate of the GPA level required for potential students perusal.

After meeting the GPA requirements you would need to sit UMAT or GAMSAT.

As for the questions regarding your health I’m not too sure. Depression as long as medicated I don’t think would be an issue as I know Drs working in this manner and declared in their applications. As for the prior drug addiction that would be a question for AHPRA or other registering medical boards if you get accepted into med school, finish internship, etc to then obtain general registration. Maybe, someone with a bit more experience in that area can field that one.
 

LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
You might find that the main issue that prevents you from using your prior marks to enter medicine isn't that you didn't finish your degree but rather that your study was more than 10 years ago. LMG! might be able to help you more here if the issue is how long ago your study was.

If you are able to use those 1997 marks, then as you haven't done a full degree you'll only be able to apply to undergrad med schools as a non standard (UNE/Newy, JCU, UNSW).
As far as I’m aware, the 10 year rule is a graduate entry requirement. It’s not something I ever came across with non-standard entry. That said, though my undergrad degree was completed 10+ years ago, I had done postgraduate study much more recently so I wasn’t taking too much notice when doing my non-standard entry applications, so I might have missed something.
 

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Kat92

(Student BDemCare|BBeSt|BNurs) Hopeful for JMP
LMG! I remember reading that the 10 year rule applies to both Undergrad and Postgrad on one of the Uni's websites. Plus, as I mentioned earlier some provide an estimate of academic requirements such as JMP: Academic eligibility
 

LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
LMG! I remember reading that the 10 year rule applies to both Undergrad and Postgrad on one of the Uni's websites. Plus, as I mentioned earlier some provide an estimate of academic requirements such as JMP: Academic eligibility
I couldn’t see any mention of a ten year cut-off in that JMP link. Did I miss it?

Nothing in the WSU* one either (Doctor of Medicine (MD) How to Apply | Western Sydney University). Again, unless I missed it! /covering bases

They’re generally the two most accessible unis for undergrad non-standard applicants. To the OP, it might be worth a quick email to both to confirm so you know where you stand. Enrolling in a Grad Cert for semester 2 might be enough to get around the hurdle if there is one they’re not mentioning, and it’d be better to know now :)

* I note WSU is now advertising an MD (is that new for 2019?). They’re also saying you need to have a completed degree or be about to complete a degree. Also new? Can anyone confirm?

EDITED: the new MD is open to school leavers, those with partial degrees, or graduates. Turns out I kept reading the first and last bits and missing the middle bit :D

Whoops.
 
Last edited:
L

Logic

Guest
I couldn’t see any mention of a ten year cut-off in that JMP link. Did I miss it?

Nothing in the WSU* one either (Doctor of Medicine (MD) How to Apply | Western Sydney University). Again, unless I missed it! /covering bases

They’re generally the two most accessible unis for undergrad non-standard applicants. To the OP, it might be worth a quick email to both to confirm so you know where you stand. Enrolling in a Grad Cert for semester 2 might be enough to get around the hurdle if there is one they’re not mentioning, and it’d be better to know now :)

* I note WSU is now advertising an MD (is that new for 2019?). They’re also saying you need to have a completed degree or be about to complete a degree. Also new? Can anyone confirm?

EDITED: the new MD is open to school leavers, those with partial degrees, or graduates. Turns out I kept reading the first and last bits and missing the middle bit :D

Whoops.
Interestingly, they haven't exactly made it clear what the paired degree is with the MD which is quite strange since I believe all of the other undergraduate MD courses are paired with another degree so that the MD portion of the degree is completed in the end part of the degree. e.g. UNSW has a 3 year Bachelor of Medical Studies with a subsequent 3 year Doctor of Medicine. After some digging up, it appears to have a Bachelor of Clinical Sciences paired with it. "The School also intends to transition to a Bachelor of Clinical Science / Doctor of Medicine (BClinSci/MD) program with new enrolments commencing exclusively in the BClinSci/MD program from 2019."

Source: https://www.amc.org.au/files/e019a3e982b33a0f45442ef36a0c2334d3cb5795_original.pdf
 

vrish

New Member
LMG! happened to stumble upon your post above. regarding the 10 year cut off, do you know whether the rule applies to JMP and WSU 's MD program. I have an overseas graduation completed in 2009. will i be eligible to apply for the JMP or MD program starting in 2020 by passing the UCAT in 2019.
 

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LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
LMG! happened to stumble upon your post above. regarding the 10 year cut off, do you know whether the rule applies to JMP and WSU 's MD program. I have an overseas graduation completed in 2009. will i be eligible to apply for the JMP or MD program starting in 2020 by passing the UCAT in 2019.
It might be worth inquiring directly with the Unis in question to confirm before you shell out $$ on UCAT, but I can say that I’ve never come across anything from either JMP or WSU that suggests a 10 year recency of study rule.

That said, if they do (a big if, I honestly don’t believe this is the case), you have plenty of time between now and 2020 to enrol in a Grad Cert to re-start your eligibility.

I’d email or call the Unis ASAP, just to confirm though.
 

vrish

New Member
It might be worth inquiring directly with the Unis in question to confirm before you shell out $$ on UCAT, but I can say that I’ve never come across anything from either JMP or WSU that suggests a 10 year recency of study rule.

That said, if they do (a big if, I honestly don’t believe this is the case), you have plenty of time between now and 2020 to enrol in a Grad Cert to re-start your eligibility.

I’d email or call the Unis ASAP, just to confirm though.
Thank you LMG! I have emailed WSU and Newcastle Uni. WSU has replied - stating the general terms and conditions. However, nothing has been mentioned about the 10 year cut off mark. Should I ask them explicitly - stating that my degree was done in 2009 and if its gonna be valid to apply in 2019 ?
 

LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
Thank you LMG! I have emailed WSU and Newcastle Uni. WSU has replied - stating the general terms and conditions. However, nothing has been mentioned about the 10 year cut off mark. Should I ask them explicitly - stating that my degree was done in 2009 and if its gonna be valid to apply in 2019 ?
Yes, that's what I'd do. Get them to comment on your situation specifically, and then keep all correspondence. Good luck!
 

vrish

New Member
Yes, that's what I'd do. Get them to comment on your situation specifically, and then keep all correspondence. Good luck!
Sure. I have asked them. will keep you posted LMG! If you dont mind me asking, did you do UMAT after graduation to do MBBS ? or you sat GAMSAT?
 

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LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
Sure. I have asked them. will keep you posted LMG! If you dont mind me asking, did you do UMAT after graduation to do MBBS ? or you sat GAMSAT?
UMAT, as I wanted to study at UTAS which does not offer graduate entry medicine. I also used the UMAT to apply to UNSW, JMP, and WSU, though. Also, GAMSAT :eek:!! Haha! I was pretty keen to avoid it, and was super lucky not to need it in the end.
 

vrish

New Member
UMAT, as I wanted to study at UTAS which does not offer graduate entry medicine. I also used the UMAT to apply to UNSW, JMP, and WSU, though. Also, GAMSAT :eek:!! Haha! I was pretty keen to avoid it, and was super lucky not to need it in the end.
wowwwww.. thats the answer i was looking for !! you made my day! i am so scared of GAMSAT. getting overwhelmed just by the thoughts of sitting it in Mar 2019. what do you say? should i try the UCAT this year ? i tried the UCAT practice questions which gave me some sort of confidence.
 

LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
wowwwww.. thats the answer i was looking for !! you made my day! i am so scared of GAMSAT. getting overwhelmed just by the thoughts of sitting it in Mar 2019. what do you say? should i try the UCAT this year ? i tried the UCAT practice questions which gave me some sort of confidence.
UMAT really suited me, and I was fortunate to really 'click' with it and actually enjoyed the process which definitely helped with motivation to prepare and then results. I've not really looked too much at the type of questions involved in UCAT, but if what you've looked at so far hasn't horrified you, then that's definitely a good sign (and already puts it ahead of GAMSAT!). If you've got the $$, I'd definitely recommend UCAT to open up JMP and WSU which are both super accessible Unis, especially for mature aged applicants due to the emphasis on interview performance (I got offers to both). It will also open up Curtin and UNSW for you. What was your past degree? And do you know your GPA?
 

vrish

New Member
UMAT really suited me, and I was fortunate to really 'click' with it and actually enjoyed the process which definitely helped with motivation to prepare and then results. I've not really looked too much at the type of questions involved in UCAT, but if what you've looked at so far hasn't horrified you, then that's definitely a good sign (and already puts it ahead of GAMSAT!). If you've got the $$, I'd definitely recommend UCAT to open up JMP and WSU which are both super accessible Unis, especially for mature aged applicants due to the emphasis on interview performance (I got offers to both). It will also open up Curtin and UNSW for you. What was your past degree? And do you know your GPA?
OH My GOD wow.. Super belated congratulations for exciting offers into JMP and WSU which i could only really dream of at the moment.What was your GPA ?
I have an overseas degree in Advanced Zoology with percentage of 83%. . When i tried the Gemsas GPA calculator, it came around 6.7. Don't know who will or how to convert my degree to get the GPA officially ?
 

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