how to apply for medicine in UK and Australia?
I am in grade 11, pursuing the science stream of the India Curriculum. Can you please guide me how to apply for medicine in UK and Australia?
Studying Medicine along with Engineering is the most sought after program by students from the Indian subcontinent. It also tends to be the most competitive and expensive. For admission subjects to study in school would include the three sciences – Physics, Chemistry and Biology and Math’s in India. In UK and Australia, Biology and Chemistry are mandatory while Physics and Math’s would be optional depending upon the University. In US medicine is studied after completing your undergraduate degree.
In the UK, most of the medical schools require A levels in Chemistry and Biology. Qualifying exams such as the UKCAT, BMAT and interviews are also required. These qualifying exams are mandatory and in conjunction with academic grades determine a student’s eligibility. Both exams have to be done in the academic year you are applying and results are valid only for one year and cannot be carried forward. The UKCAT can be done between 1st July and 5th October. While the BMAT is held every November. In addition to the qualifying exams students will be called for a panel interview.
For UK Universities students need to apply thru UCAS and deadlines for applying medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences is earlier than other programs, usually 15th October. For students with weaker grades applying thru a foundation program in Ireland or UK could be an option.
The UKCAT is a computer based exam designed to test a student’s innate skills and faculties to determine if he/she is mentally equipped and has the right attitude to be a doctor or dentist. There is no prescribed syllabus that one can study. The two hour exam has five sections with a multiple choice format –verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision analysis and situational judgment. Twenty six Universities including St Andrews, Manchester, and Kings College have made it mandatory for applicants to give the UKCAT.
The BMAT is a two hour paper based exam developed by Cambridge University to test a person’s skill and knowledge. The multiple choice exam with three sections: aptitude and skills, scientific knowledge and writing tasks. Imperial College, Oxford, Cambridge are amongst the Universities that accept BMAT.
In Australia, the duration of the medical program is five to six years and is available both at UG and PG level. Seven of the registered 19 medical schools require the student to sit for an admission test called UMAT. You will be examined on your critical and lateral thinking, data analysis, problem solving skills and ability to communicate concisely and clearly. Each University in Australia has its own specific entry requirements.
To gain admission into this extremely competitive program, good grades are vital and it is advisable to start preparing early. Obtain as much information and understanding of the medical profession as you possibly can. Do this by seeking out internship opportunities and/or by shadowing a medical professional, if possible volunteer at a hospital or in a health care setting. In addition to getting to know the profession the experience will be instrumental in determining whether your temperament and aptitude are suited for the medical profession. Commitment, compassion, dedication, communication skills, a sense of empathy and strong values would be some attributes required for being a good doctor.