UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY – School of Medicine
The Faculty of Medicine formally came into being on 13 June 1856, for the purpose of conducting examinations to award the degrees of Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine. Twenty-five years later the Sydney Medical School was opened and began training doctors for the growing colony of NSW. In 1883, when the Faculty took first enrolments, there were only four students taught by the Dean, Professor Thomas Anderson Stuart Kt, in a tiny cottage near the Footbridge entrance from Parramatta Road. Since these modest beginnings, over 24,000 students have graduated and have gone on to achieve a diversity of accomplishments that have impacted upon the lives of many in extraordinary ways, both in Australia and elsewhere in the world. Likewise, from our pioneers to our current staff, this medical school has been advanced by remarkable medical professionals, administrators and educators.
COURSE STRUCTURE OF USYD MBBS
Four main themes run through Sydney Medical Program, students are required to demonstrate satisfactory performance in all four themes in order to progress:
• Basic and Clinical Sciences
Ensures that you have the science knowledge appropriate for the Medical Program.
BCS (Basic and Clinical Sciences) sessions typically include laboratory work where you gain hands-on practical experience.
• Patient and Doctor
You will be taught clinical skills, diagnostic methods, ‘bedside manner’ and informed about patient safety. This theme is taught in the clinical schools.
• Population Medicine
Introduces students to subjects such as public health, evidence-based medicine, statistics, and health economics.
It is taught in interactive tutorial sessions.
• Personal and Professional Development
In your professional development sessions you will become familiar with topics such as medical ethics, medico-legal issues and doctors’ health. These sessions are taught in an interactive tutorial environment.
How does the Medical Program change from year to year?
The Medical Program is divided into three stages. The focus of each year will change and develop your understanding as you are introduced to each new field of medicine. At present, the Medical Program is organised into ‘blocks’ of study as follows:
Stage One (Year 1)
Block one: Foundation Studies
Block two: Drug and Alcohol/Musculoskeletal
Block three: Respiratory Sciences
Block four: Haematology
Block five: Cardiovascular Sciences
In Year 1 you will spend one day per week based at your Hospital Clinical School. This is typically Monday or Wednesday and may be subject to change. Once you are enrolled you will be provided with a detailed timetable.
Stage Two (Year 2)
Block six: Neurosciences/Vison/Behaviour
Block seven: Endocrine system/Nutrition/Sexual Health
Block eight: Renal/Urology
Block nine: Gastroenterology/Nutrition
Block ten: Oncology and Palliative care
In Year 2 you will spend 1 day per week based at your Hospital Clinical School.
Stage Three (Years 3 and 4)
A series of eight-week terms through both years, organised into four streams of students, completing the following blocks:
Perinatal & Women’s Health
Psychological and Addiction Medicine
Child and Adolescent Health
Year 4 will commence with an elective term or honours research project and finish with the Pre-Intern term. We encourage you to spend your elective term overseas or at another location in Australia. In Years 3 and 4 you will spend the majority of your time at your clinical school.
The Honours program is an optional program that is offered to provide research training opportunities to students enrolled in the MBBS degree. The program is undertaken concurrently with the rest of the course and allows students to develop a more complete understanding of an area of medical science or clinical medicine under the supervision of an academic member of staff or adjunct staff (e.g. staff of our hospitals who hold academic appointments with the University). Honours will be assessed by a thesis (called “report” till now – typically shorter than the usual ‘thesis’) and a research seminar and will be graded to reward and recognise academic achievement.
The elective term in Stage 3 provides an opportunity for students to undertake supervised clinical work, or to do research, within Australia or overseas. It is an opportunity for students to prepare for a particular career or to enhance skills in various clinical areas.
At least 8 weeks (usually between mid-December and the end of February) should be allocated to the Elective program. The prime objective of the Elective is to provide students with experience in specific areas of medicine of their own choice.
Students usually organise and fund their own elective terms but numerous scholarships are also available.
Sydney Medical School is pleased to offer a series of alternate pathways into the Medical Program. Students will be able to combine an approved undergraduate degree with the University’s prestigious four-year graduate-entry Medical Program. At present there are agreements in place for combining the following undergraduate degrees:
• Arts Advanced Honours-Medicine
• Science (Advanced)-Medicine or Medical Science-Medicine
• Commerce-Medicine or Economics-Medicine
MEDICINE AT USYD
• Central Clinical School (CCS)
Based at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital, CCS also has large teaching and research units at Sydney Eye Hospital and Balmain Hospital, and staff at Canterbury Hospital. CCS staff are active in research and teaching across numerous disciplines.
• The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School
Teaching and research in paediatrics at the University of Sydney is based primarily at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead (CHW), one of the world’s most modern and sophisticated hospitals. CHW provides a comprehensive child-focused, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation service.
• Westmead Clinical school
Since its establishment in 1978 the Westmead Clinical School at Westmead Hospital has been a place of innovation and growth. The Westmead Clinical School serves the largest area and population of any of the University of Sydney’s Clinical Schools and has a patient population of approximately 1.1 million.
• Concord Clinical School
Concord Clinical School is based at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, renowned for combining teaching and scientific excellence. Research is associated with the ANZAC Research Institute, the Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, the NSW Institute of Sports Medicine and the Bernie Banton Asbestos Research Centre.
• Nepean Clinical School
Nepean Clinical School supports up to 50 students in each year of Sydney Medical Program. With its relatively high patient to student ratio, Nepean provides invaluable learning opportunities. Teaching is delivered by clinicians including academics, hospital specialists and private practitioners, in both hospital and community settings.
• Northern Clinical School
Headquartered at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Clinical School comprises a range of clinical teaching facilities spread across northern Sydney and beyond. Teaching comprises medical education continuing into the early postgraduate years and further specialist training programs with various Royal Colleges.
• School of Rural Health (SRH)
With campuses in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst, SRH has close associations with the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health and most hospitals in the Greater Western Area Health Service. SRH delivers the Sydney Medical Program in rural settings, combining excellence in medical education with a rural lifestyle to encourage graduates to return to rural and remote Australia.
The Camperdown and Darlington Campuses are home to the faculties of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Architecture, Arts, Economics and Business, Education and Social Work,Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, and Veterinary Science.
This 72-hectare site, located near the junction of Parramatta and City Roads, features landscaped grounds, sports ovals and centres, museums, galleries, two major complexes devoted to student recreation and services, and of course the famous Quadrangle and many other beautiful modern and historic buildings.
CLASS OF 2010
• Total no of students: 277
• Local students: 221
• International students: 56
• Male: 52.3%
• Female: 47.7%
• Average age at enrolment: 24.31 years
First degrees of all local students
GRADUATE ENTRY PROCEDURE
The three basic admissions criteria involve performance in:
1. A credit average or better in any Bachelor degree
2. The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)
3. The Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI)
Applicants must have a Bachelor degree from either:
1. an Australian university listed in the Australian Qualifications Framework at: sub-category i. Australian Universities or ii. Self-Accrediting Higher Education Institutions);
2. an overseas university listed in the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition guide.
All applicants must have completed or be in the final year of a bachelor degree and have a GPA of 5.5 (7.0 scale) at the time of application or above (equivalent to a credit level at the University of Sydney or 65% based on a pass mark of 50%) in order to be considered for admission.
Please note, the GPA is calculated using the method outlined in the ‘Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Guide’.
Applicants with overseas qualifications are required to achieve an equivalent level (e.g. a GPA of 2.7 out of 4 for USA/Canada universities, a GPA of 3.3 out of 5 for Singapore universities, bachelor degree at a Lower II class for UK universities). GPAs will be calculated by the Admissions Committee on a case by case basis after a formal application is forwarded to Sydney Medical School by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).
Honours year grades will be converted to GAMSA grades using the table indicated below. Percentage marks are not used at this academic year level.
Honours degree Award GAMSA Grade
PHD OR MASTER BY RESEARCH DEGREE
Applicants with a PhD or a Masters degree by research* from a recognised institution whose GAMSAT results have met the standard requirements will be deemed eligible for interview regardless of their undergraduate GPA. The PhD or Masters degree by research must have been conferred less than 10 years before 1 January of the year in which the applicant intends to commence the Medical Program (i.e. 2011 entry, an applicant’s PhD or Masters degree by research must not be conferred earlier than 1 January 2001.)
The GAMSAT has been developed as a selection instrument by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in collaboration with the graduate-entry medical schools.
GAMSAT is designed to serve five major purposes:
• to ensure that all commencing students have analytical and problem-solving skills and basic competence in the biological and physical sciences
• to recognise those applicants who have a broad understanding of those basic concepts in the social sciences and humanities which are considered advantageous to the study and practice of medicine
• to ensure that applicants have an acceptable standard in written communication in English
• to provide valid and reliable information that will allow ranking of applicants
• to indicate to potential applicants the background knowledge necessary to commence the course and the standards required (how an applicant gains this knowledge is an individual choice).
The test consists of three sections designed to assess each applicant’s performance in the areas of:
1. reasoning in humanities and social sciences
2. written communication in English
3. reasoning in biological and physical sciences (Chemistry 40%, Biology 40%, Physics 20%).
The assumed level of knowledge for the section on reasoning in the biological and physical sciences corresponds to the first year of university studies in biology and chemistry, and Year 12 in physics.
ACER will provide the following scores for each applicant:
• Overall GAMSAT score
• Separate scores for each of the three test sections.
Applicants must have achieved a minimum score of 50 in each section of the GAMSAT to be considered, and will be ranked according to their overall performance. Applicants will be selected for interview based on their Overall GAMSAT score until the total number of interview places offered is about 1.4 times the total number of places available.
Please note: GAMSAT results are valid for two years (i.e. results from GAMSAT 2010 will be valid for application to the 2011 and/or 2012 entry). The applicant nominates which year’s results are to be considered if more than one set of test results are valid. Individual section scores from tests in different years cannot be mixed.
When considering which year’s results to nominate, be aware your overall score is the relevant factor, not your percentile. For 2010 entry, the overall GAMSAT cutoff was set at 60. For 2009 entry, the overall GAMSAT cutoff was set at 57.
Applicants who meet the minimum GPA requirement and the minimum GAMSAT cut-off are invited for interview.
For 2011 entry, applicants with a GAMSAT Overall Score of 62 (and a minimum score of 50 in each section) and a GPA of 5.5 or above will be invited for interview. Applicants with a GAMSAT Overall Score below 62 may be invited for interview.
The GAMSAT overall cut-off for 2011 entry will be posted here in late August.
The interview process is designed to assess suitability based on qualities agreed to by the Medical School to be important for success in the Medical Program.
Those qualities rated as desirable by the Medical School will include:
• good communication skills
• a sense of caring, empathy and sensitivity
• an ability to make effective decisions
• an ability to contribute as a member of a team
• an appreciation of the place of medicine in the wider context of healing
• a sense of vocation, motivation and commitment within the context of medicine
Interviewers will not be provided with any information (including GAMSAT and GPA scores) about applicants. No references, resumes, portfolios or similar documents are to be submitted with applications or brought to the interview.
The interview process
The Multiple Mini-Interview aims to broadly sample the candidate’s competencies in order to gain a more accurate picture of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. This is done by having several brief interviews with different interviewers.
The MMI will last 81 minutes and will consist of 9 different stations. At each station the applicant will have 7 minutes to discuss a scenario or question with a single interviewer. There will be 2 minutes at the end of each station for examiners to complete marking sheets and for the applicants to prepare for the next station.
Facilitated entry is available for applicants who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – eligible applicants are considered on a case by case basis.
Rural Origin Applicants
Facilitated entry is available for applicants who identify as being of rural origin. Eligible applicants are considered on a case by case basis. A rural origin student is defined as one who has resided in an Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA 2 to 5) for at least 5 years (consecutive or cumulative) from commencement of primary school, that is commencement of school at about the age of five years.
The University of Sydney offers provisional entry into its 4 year graduate Medicine program for up to 30 students in the combined Medicine program. The overall course length is 7 years.
Arts Advanced Honours – Medicine
Music – Medicine
Science (Advanced) – Medicine
Medical Science – Medicine
Commerce – Medicine
Economics – Medicine
Provisional Entry Procedure
Local applicants must apply through UAC and include the course on their list of preferences.
This course is only available to Year 12 applicants.
A high ATAR is required (99.95 for 2010 entry, except for Music applicants where the requirement is 99.50)
A satisfactory performance in the semi-structured interview.
In addition, music applicants must also perform at an audition
Your offer may fall under certain categories as some places in Medicine have been added due to government policy. As a result, you will be required to sign a contract and fulfill certain duties, in order to be given a spot. For more information on these categories, please visit [wiki]Types of medical places[/wiki]. Entry into these categories for 2010 are:
Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)
Bonded Medical Place (BMP)
The University’s Accommodation Service is able to assist you to find accommodation and offers a wide range of accommodation options.
On campus you will find University owned self-catered accommodation, the Sydney University Village, and Residential Colleges. Off-campus accommodation is another popular option for students and the University Accommodation Service can assist you to find off-campus accommodation through a database of share, rental and full board accommodation or by providing information about student hostels. The Accommodation Service can also help you find temporary accommodation if required.
Medicine at USyd
Address: Sydney Medical School
Edward Ford Building, A27
The University of Sydney
Undergraduate programs (the Sydney Medical Program, including Honours)
Address: Sydney Medical Program Administration Unit
Edward Ford Building, A27
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9351 3132
Fax: +61 2 9351 3196
Postgraduate programs (coursework and research)
Address: Postgraduate Student Administration Unit
Edward Ford Building (A27)
The University of Sydney
Phone: + 61 2 9351 3132
Fax: + 61 2 9351 8529
Sydney University Medical Program Homepage
About the Sydney Medical Program
Combined Medicine Degrees
Sydney University Bachelor of Dentistry Homepage
School of Dentistry
The Bachelor of Dentistry is a 4 year graduate entry program offered by the University of Sydney.
Applicants are considered on their performance in the following criteria:
Bachelor’s degree (must have a Grade Point Average of 4.0)
The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)
The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)
If there are any problems/queries regarding this article, please pm Lozzy or westenra.
Source: Sydney Medical School (2010) Sydney University, accessed on 8th July 2010 http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/