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Posts Tagged ‘Australian Medical Schools in Australia’

Monday, May 15th, 2017

UQ to provide major boost to regional health

Regional communities and future health professionals studying through The University of Queensland are big winners from a multi-pronged $54.4 million Federal Government initiative.

In Queensland, UQ will lead the establishment of a University Department of Rural Health (UDRH), providing a major boost to education, training and research in rural south Queensland for nurses, midwives and allied health workers.

UQ to provide major boost to regional health

UQ will lead the establishment of a University Department of Rural Health (Photo credit: UQ)

Three new medical training hubs under UQ control will also be established in Central Queensland, Wide Bay and South West Queensland, operating with an aim of retaining doctors in regional areas.

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy said research indicated students who experienced rural practice were far more likely to return to work rurally once qualified.

“For the local communities, this is part of a long-term strategy to address maldistribution of the health workforce,” Professor Abernethy said.

“Rural and remote regions of Queensland and Australia often face challenges in attracting and retaining qualified health professionals.

“Students on rural placement will discover the diverse range of professional opportunities available in regional areas, thus enhancing the sustainability and viability of rural health care services.”

UQ joined with the University of Southern Queensland and the Hospital and Health Services of Darling Downs and South West in the successful bid to establish the Southern Queensland Rural Health UDRH.

The UDRH will help provide rural experience to student nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dieticians, and exercise physiologists.

Commonwealth funding has also been awarded to provide additional clinical, academic and administration staff at UQ’s three regional medical training hubs:

  • Central Queensland: located at Rockhampton, with sub-units at Gladstone and Emerald
  • Southern Queensland: located at Toowoomba, with sub-units at Charleville in south-west Queensland
  • Wide Bay: located at Bundaberg, with sub units at Hervey Bay and Theodore.

UQ Faculty of Medicine Acting Executive Dean Professor Robyn Ward said the hubs would offer doctors rural opportunities at all stages of their medical training.

“This will facilitate postgraduate training opportunities, including specialties, so doctors can stay in regional communities for training and not have to return to the city,” Professor Ward said.

“The Department of Rural Health and the training hubs will build on the high quality education and training experiences already offered by UQ’s Rural Clinical School.”

Announcing the funding, Assistant Minister for Health Dr David Gillespie said regional and rural health training not only addressed workforce shortages and service expectations, but was also essential to regional economic growth.

UQ Rural Clinical School

UQ Rural Clinical School is funded through the Australian Government’s Rural Clinical Training Support (RCTS) Program to address health workforce shortages in rural and regional Queensland. To achieve this mandate, UQRCS aims to lead and direct the rural health agenda through the highest quality education, training, research and community service.

Now in its second decade of operation, UQRCS is able to demonstrate a positive impact on the medical workforce in the region and elsewhere.  Studies demonstrate that a student who has experienced the Rural Advantage with UQRCS is 2.5 times more likely to work in a rural area when compared with other UQ medical graduates.

About the UQ Medical Program

The UQ Faculty of Medicine conducts a four-year, graduate-entry medical program, the Doctor of Medicine (MD). The faculty is a leading provider of medical education and research in Australia, and with the country’s largest medical degree program, they are the major single contributor to Queensland’s junior medical workforce.

Program: Doctor of Medicine
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: January
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. It is recommended that applicants apply as early as possible to increase their chances of timely assessment. This program can fill quickly!

Apply to the UQ Doctor of Medicine!

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Find out more about UQ Medicine. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Why should Canadians consider studying at JCU Medical School in Australia?

There are many reasons that encourage people to study medicine. Among the most popular include the desire to help others. Sometimes that wish goes beyond the standard “I want to make a difference in my community” to “I want to make a difference in the world.”

Why should Canadians consider studying at JCU Medical School in Australia?

Prof Ian Wronski (Photo: JCU)

So what makes JCU stand out from other Australian universities? And how on earth can we compare Australia’s and Canada’s health care needs?

James Cook University may not be the largest university, or the most well-known, but JCU has something the others don’t: their riveted focus on Aboriginal health, rural medicine, public health, tropical medicine and the needs of under-served populations.

James Cook University Deputy Vice Chancellor Tropical Health and Medicine Professor Ian Wronski explains why JCU concentrates on rural, remote and tropical health care.

“JCU was established as Australia’s university for the tropics, and so we focus on programs that are particularly relevant to the tropical world,” Prof Wronski says.

“In the medicine, health, molecular science part of the university—that includes all the health professions and molecular biology and biomedicine, and the research institutes we have—we’ve particularly targeted issues relating to under-served populations, especially rural, remote, indigenous and tropical peoples.”

Tropical peoples? How can that relate to Canada you ask? When speaking about Canada, most people think frigid winters, not tropics.

But the connection between Australia and Canada is stronger than you may think.

In fact, in 2013, JCU Medical School Dean and Head of School Richard Murray travelled to Canada as a member of an Australian government delegation at a Canadian-Australian roundtable on recognition of professional credentials between the two countries.

Dean Murray made a case for why Canada and Australia should collaborate our shared interest in health care innovation to meet the needs of our geographically dispersed populations. Prof Murray said that the opportunities this creates for Australian and Canadian practitioners to gain experience in each other’s countries could only benefit the quality and depth of rural medical services.

“In medicine for rural areas, there are opportunities for movement and exchange for students, doctors in training as well as specialists in rural general practice and other generalist specialties. Innovation in areas such as telemedicine and socially accountable health professional education are shared interests,” Prof Murray wrote in an article he published in the JCU Medical School’s journal, A Taste of our own Medicine.

Prof Wronski said there are many countries in a similar position to Australia, including Canada. Like Australia, our population is concentrated on the fringes of the country, where the climate is most ideal and the land most usable. But where people live in rural and Northern Canada, away from the general population, finding health care can be more challenging—just like the people in remote and tropical locations of Australia.

So what kind of student does James Cook University wish to attract?

When asked why JCU likes Canadian students, Professor Wronski narrowed it down: “Canada has a good education system, and students come to us well educated and broad-minded. Also, many of them have that fire in their belly to put something toward the health services side of making life better for under-served populations. Canada, like Australia, has large areas, large rural and indigenous populations,” the JCU professor explains.

“We like Canadian students because we see ourselves as a global hub, and we want to attract students who are interested the tropical world and the health of under-served peoples.”

Does this sound like you? If you’re passionate about changing the world, particularly the lives of those who live in rural or remote areas, JCU wants to talk to you!

About the JCU Medical School Medical Program

The 6-year, full-time MBBS degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. Graduates will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

As part of the MBBS application process, all candidates must participate in an interview with Prof Ian Wronksi. For the 2018 intake, JCU will hold interviews with eligible international applicants from Canada either

  • in person in Canada this June, or
  • via video-conferencing following the August 30th program application deadline.

In-person interviews in Canada (dates are subject to change)

June 22 – 23, 2017: Toronto
June 24, 2017: Edmonton
June 25 – 26, 2017: Vancouver

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017 (Note: Early offers of admission may be made to high-achieving international applicants! Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible and well before the August 30 deadline.)

Apply to JCU Medical School!

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Do you have questions about JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Hugh Jackman and the UQ Med Revue

Are you planning to study medicine at the University of Queensland? If so, let us introduce you to the UQ Medical Society (UQMS) and their shenanigans (which we hope you plan to be a part of next year!).

The UQ Med Revue is a medical student variety show at the University of Queensland, put on by the UQMS, that normally has in the order of 250 students involved. Students from all four years of med come together to create a hilarious comedy that is jam-packed with puns, parodies, and Professor Parker’s pecs.

UQ medical students act, sing, dance, write, direct, play instruments, make props, design costumes, do hair and make-up and most of the tech for the show making it a truly home-grown production! As the biggest event on the UQMS calendar, the show runs three sold-out nights. In 2017, the dates will be August 13–15th, so mark it in your calendar!

Last year’s Med Revue took them on an adventure “Inside Gout,” with the help of Mr. Hugh Jackman.

Hugh Jackman and the UQ Med Revue

2017 UQ Med Revue Convenors (L-R): Joel Russell, Ailsa Lee, Will Saunders, Jessica Monteiro and Chris Strom (Photo credit: UQ)

About the UQ Medical Program

The UQ Medicine conducts a four-year, graduate-entry medical program, the Doctor of Medicine (MD). The UQ Faculty of Medicine is a leading provider of medical education and research in Australia, and with the country’s largest medical degree program, they are the major single contributor to Queensland’s junior medical workforce.

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: January
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. It is recommended that applicants apply as early as possible to increase their chances of timely assessment. This program can fill quickly!

Apply to the Doctor of Medicine program at UQ!

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Would you like more information about studying at UQ Medicine? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Friday, April 21st, 2017

JCU medical research finds new drug to ease C-section trauma

James Cook University researchers from the College of Medicine and Dentistry may have found a way to reduce trauma and prevent infections after Caesarean births.

JCU medical research finds new drug to ease C-section trauma

L to R: Lisa Davenport, Professor Geoffrey Dobson, Dr Hayley Letson (Photo: JCU)

Caesarean delivery rates are increasing worldwide and around a third of all mothers in Australia, USA and UK give birth surgically each year, but a C-section is not without risks.

Fourth-year JCU Medical School student Lisa Davenport joined Dr Hayley Letson and Professor Geoffrey Dobson from the Heart, Trauma and Sepsis Research Laboratory at JCU to research ways to reduce the stress response to the trauma of surgery.

Caesarean sections involve one or more incisions in a patient’s abdomen, known as a laparotomy, and are a common option for delivering babies.

But they have a raft of potential side-effects, including cutting the baby, post-surgery infection, fever, excessive blood loss or clotting, scar tissue formation and extended stays in hospital.

Dr Letson said a single laparotomy is a major injury.

“It can activate the brain’s stress response from the multiple ‘damage’ signals sent out from the original incision,” she said.

The JCU research showed that a laparotomy causes inflammation and an early activation of the immune system, which can then spiral out of control.

Ms Davenport examined whether an Adenosine, Lidocaine and Magnesium (ALM) drip could reduce the trauma of surgery when used by itself in experimental models. She discovered that adverse responses were reduced when the subject was infused with a small amount of the ALM drip.

“Low volume therapies may be important, because you want to avoid large fluid volumes that can shock the body a second time,” she said.

Professor Dobson said that precisely how tiny volumes of the ALM drip works is an active area of investigation in the Dobson Laboratory, but experiments have shown it protects against infection as well.

Dr Letson said the ALM therapy appears to be linked to improved brain control over whole body function at times of surgical stress. “It suppresses signals that activate immune cells and promote inflammation,” she said.

The work has applications to other major surgery and especially to rural and remote medicine. Professor Dobson said new frontline drugs are urgently required to make major surgery safer for the patient and more predictable for the surgeon, with the potential to reduce complications and massively reduce health care costs, and possibly reduce waiting times for elective surgery.

“The global surgical statistics are staggering. Of the 234 million major surgeries performed every year, every hour there are around 1,000 deaths and 4,000 major complications, and 50% may be preventable,” he said.

Ms Davenport has completed the study and is currently analysing the data and writing a paper for a high-profile surgical journal.

Her study parallels the Dobson Lab’s ongoing trauma work being supported by the US Military, and a new collaboration that started late 2016 with the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

The research team is also pursuing funding opportunities to investigate the use of ALM fluid as a potential treatment for post-partum haemorrhage. Of the 500,000 maternal deaths each year, approximately 25% are due to haemorrhage.

Study medicine at JCU Medical School

JCU Medical School offers an undergraduate-entry medical program that specializes in rural, remote and indigenous medicine and is located in north Queensland, Australia. Rather than having to earn a bachelor degree first, undergraduate-entry medical programs allow students to enter directly from high school. If you have completed high school studies or would like to apply to a medical school in Australia without using your MCAT score, you may wish to learn more about undergraduate-entry medical programs offered by Australian universities.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next semester intake: February 2018
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017

Apply now to James Cook University Medical School!

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Would you like more information about studying medicine at JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Don’t miss the upcoming medical licensing webinars

Applying to an Australian medical school is a big deal.

Don't miss the upcoming medical licensing webinars

Find out how you can study medicine in Australia (Photo: Griffith University)

Finding out what comes after medical school is also a very big deal. To help make the process a little smoother, OzTREKK hosts medical licensing webinars to assist future Australian medical school students to understand the ins and outs of returning to Canada as an international medical graduate. And the first one will be held tomorrow, April 6, at 7 p.m. EDT! During the webinar, you will learn more about

  • the Australian Medical School systems and structure
  • Australian med school rankings
  • medical degree titles such as MD and MBBS
  • Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE), MCCQE1 and MCCQE2
  • the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) program and rates
  • provincially specific programs available to international medical graduates
  • the latest information on the licensing process in Canada, the US and Australia;
  • the pathways to becoming a doctor in Canada, the US and Australia;
  • the process of how to apply in Canada, the US and Australia to become a doctor;
  • information about the licensing examinations in Canada and the US, what they are, when you need to sit them, and the application process; and
  • the latest developments and news related to licensing and accreditation from the various forms of government and medical bodies in Canada, the US and Australia.

…and much more!

Medical Licensing Webinars Schedule

OzTREKK students are invited to attend as many webinars as they wish!

Webinar #1
Date: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Time: 7 p.m. (Ontario time)

Webinar #2
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Time: 7 p.m. (Ontario time)

Webinar #3
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Time: 7 p.m. (Ontario time)

Webinar #4
Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Time: 7 p.m. (Ontario time)

Webinar #5
Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Time: 7 p.m. (Ontario time)

Webinar #6
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Time: 7 p.m. (Ontario time)

Please note the medical licensing webinars are extremely popular and are by invitation only. If you are an OzTREKK student, you and your family will be invited to one of the licensing seminars.

Learn more about studying at an Australian Medical School!

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Would you like more information about the upcoming OzTREKK Medical Licensing Webinars? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Introducing the UWA Doctor of Medicine program

Every year, OzTREKK helps hundreds of Canadian students apply to Australian medical schools. And now we are pleased to say we now have another med school option: the University of Western Australia.

Introducing the UWA Doctor of Medicine program

Study medicine at UWA

Program Overview – Doctor of Medicine (MD)

The UWA Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at the University of Western Australia is a highly integrated and contextualised course with many innovative features to equip graduates with the capabilities to work as a doctor in Australian and around the world.

The overall aim of the MD program is to prepare students to become accountable, scholarly, capable and caring doctors, committed to the well-being of the patient, of the community and of society. This includes teaching in professionalism, leadership, advocacy, education and scholarly practice.

The Doctor of Medicine is structured around six core themes: Professional, Leader, Advocate, Clinician, Educator, and Scholar (PLACES). The PLACES curriculum structure encourages students to learn about the humanistic and non-technical aspects of being a doctor, while continuing to emphasise the importance of developing clinical competence and scholarly capabilities.

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Semester intake: January
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: May 30, 2017; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Entry requirements

To be eligible to apply to the UWA Medical School MD, candidates must

  • have completed a bachelor degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 5.5 out of 7;
  • have completed the GAMSAT or MCAT: 123/123/123/123 and an overall minimum of 492.

In addition, it is recommended that applicants have undertaken the following units/subjects:

  • Physics to year 12 level
  • Chemistry to first-year university level (including completion of Grade 12 level chemistry)
  • Biology or human biology at first-year university level

Test scores will not be considered if the exam results are more than 2 years old. Applicants will be shortlisted for interview based equally on GAMSAT/MCAT and GPA. Interview dates TBC.

Apply to the UWA Doctor of Medicine program!

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Find out more about the UWA Doctor of Medicine. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

UQ medicine flagship research program to deliver health outcomes

Projects tackling key health challenges of antimicrobial use and skin cancer are the first to be funded under a flagship initiative by the University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine.

UQ medicine flagship research program to deliver health outcomes

UQ Centre for Clinical Research

Deputy Executive Dean and Associate Dean of Research, Professor Melissa Brown, said the faculty is committed to progressing worthy world-class research by providing operational support over five years to deliver health outcomes.

“Our Health Outcomes Programs, or HOPs, represent a strategic approach to faculty research, in collaboration with our hospital and health partners,” Professor Brown said.

“These are very specific and targeted programs of research that address an identified health problem and will produce a specific and visible benefit.”

The first project selected will address high rates of infection in critically ill patients by optimising antimicrobial therapy.

The research team will use whole genome sequencing to rapidly determine which bacteria are causing infection so the most suitable drug and dose combination can be given. Once the process is established, the research team will test it in the clinic and determine its benefits to individual patients and the health system.

The project led by Professor Jason Roberts and Professor David Paterson includes researchers from UQ’s Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR) and School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB).

The second program to be supported focuses on harnessing technology to address the problem of high melanoma incidence and mortality.

The research team will recruit high risk participants to test targeted screening using 3D total body photography and mobile teledermoscopy in the context of the Australian health care system.

Results will be used to drive evidence-based changes to clinical practice.

The project will be led by Professor Peter Soyer of UQ’s Diamantina Institute and Professor David Whiteman, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and includes collaborators from QUT, QIMR Berghofer and UQ’s Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Business.

Professor Brown said both teams should be congratulated for working collaboratively to create change and translate research into tangible health outcomes.

“These projects were selected following a competitive application process engaging interstate reviewers in late 2016, and we look forward to seeing them make a difference to health care in the years ahead.”

About the UQ Medical School Program

The UQ School of Medicine conducts a four-year, graduate-entry medical program, the Doctor of Medicine (MD). The School of Medicine is a leading provider of medical education and research in Australia, and with the country’s largest medical degree program, they are the major single contributor to Queensland’s junior medical workforce.

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: January
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. It is recommended that applicants apply as early as possible to increase their chances of timely assessment. This program can fill quickly!

Apply to the UQ School of Medicine!

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Find out more about studying medicine at UQ. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Australian medical school rankings 2017

Why do so many Canadians consider studying at an Australian medical school?

Austrlian medical school rankings 2017

Find out how you can study medicine in Australia (Photo: Griffith University)

Because Australian and Canada share similar medical systems, similar medical education, and similar medical issues.

Medical schools in Australia offer high-quality education and clinical training in an amazing setting. Studying medicine in Australia is a great experience and really helps students appreciate the worldwide aspect of health, since many clinical placements are offered around the globe.

Another great reason to study in Australia is because of their high world rankings! The QS World University Rankings has recently released its 2017 rankings by subject, and here are the basics regarding how our Australian medical schools stacked up:

World Medical School Rankings 2017

Australian Medical Schools
Canadian Medical Schools
15th University of Sydney
11th University of Toronto
19th University of Melbourne
22nd McGill University
29th Monash University
27th University of British Columbia
42nd University of Queensland
35th McMaster University
(4 OzTREKK Australian Medical Schools in top 50)
(4 Canadian Medical Schools in top 50)
QS World University Rankings by Subject: Medicine, 2017

Undergraduate- versus Graduate-entry Medical Programs

Undergraduate Entry: Rather than having to earn a bachelor degree first, undergraduate-entry medical programs allow students to enter directly from high school. If you have completed high school studies or would like to apply to a medical school in Australia without using your MCAT score, you may wish to learn more about undergraduate-entry medical programs offered by Australian universities.

Graduate Entry: Some Australian Medical Schools offer a graduate-entry medical program where you first have to complete an undergraduate degree, such as a Bachelor of Science, in order to apply to a four-year medical program.

The following Australian medical schools offer a medical program at a graduate-entry level, which are similar to those medical programs offered in Canada and the United States:

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For more information about applying to Australian medical schools, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Applying to Australian medical schools: when do you need to sit the MCAT?

Are you considering applying to Australian Medical Schools? Then you’ll probably want to write the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The MCAT is administered multiple times from late January through early September, and offered at hundreds of test sites in the United States, Canada, and around the world.

Applying to Australian medical schools: when do you need to sit the MCAT?

Don’t forget to study! (Photo: Monash University)

The following graduate-entry medical programs require applicants to sit a medical admission test such as the MCAT:

Keep the score release dates in mind when you are registering, as you will need to have your MCAT score at the time of application.

All deadlines are at 11:59 PM ET on the day of the deadline.

Test date Score release date
March 31 May 2
April 22 May 23
April 28 May 30
May 13 June 13
May 18 June 20
May 19 June 20
June 1 July 6
June 16 July 18
June 17 July 18
June 29 Aug. 1
June 30 Aug. 1
July 21 Aug. 22
July 22 Aug. 22
July 27 Aug. 29
July 28 Aug. 29
August 3 Sept. 5
August 4 Sept. 5
August 11 Sept. 12
August 18 Sept. 19
August 19 Sept. 19
August 24 Sept. 26
August 25 Sept. 26

The first three sections organized around 10 foundational concepts in the sciences (biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, general chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology). In the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section, students are asked to analyze, evaluate, and apply information provided by passages from a wide range of social sciences and humanities disciplines.

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Register to write the MCAT.

If you are in high school, you can still apply to an Australian medical school—and you don’t need to sit the MCAT! The following Australian medical schools offer medical programs that international students may enter directly from high school:

Wondering about when you need to write the MCAT? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com for more information.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

University of Melbourne joins Epilepsy Centre Without Walls in $28m global research push

People with epilepsy acquired following brain trauma are the focus of a new $28 million global push for a long-awaited research breakthrough to develop treatments that for the first time could prevent or mitigate this disabling and potentially life-threatening condition. The University of Melbourne, in partnership with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, is the only Australian institution to take part in the project, funded by one of the largest grants to date awarded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research into the elusive condition.

Melbourne joins Epilepsy Centre Without Walls in $28m global research push

People with epilepsy acquired following brain trauma are the focus of a new $28 million global push (Photo: University of Melbourne)

Some 250,000 Australians suffer from epilepsy, the causes of which range from tumours to infections, genetics, hemorrhages or stroke, in addition to brain trauma.

Principal Investigator neurologist Terry O’Brien said epilepsy caused by traumatic brain injury, the major cause of epilepsy in people aged 15–24, is harder to predict and control than many other forms of epilepsy.

“Up to 20 per cent of people who’ve had a traumatic brain injury will develop epilepsy, yet researchers know very little about why, and have no way to prevent or mitigate it,” Professor O’Brien said.

“It’s the nasty sting in the tail for people who’ve got through a difficult rehabilitation, only to be hit by their first seizure just when they think they’re on the mend—anywhere from six months to two years after they were first injured.

“More than a third of these patients’ seizures can’t be controlled by drugs.”

Professor O’Brien—who is the James Stewart Chair of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital) at The University of Melbourne—said the key to Melbourne’s appeal to be invited to be part of this international research collaboration was its location in the Parkville Precinct.

“Being in the Parkville Precinct will enable clinicians and researchers from disciplines such as neuroscience, electrophysiology, imaging, bioinformatics and molecular biology to work very closely together, at the Melbourne Brain Centre and the Royal Melbourne Trauma Centre and ICU.”

The project, one of three NIH Epilepsy Centres without Walls, will be led by researchers at five institutions—the University of Melbourne, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and the University of Eastern Finland.

About Melbourne Medical School

The Melbourne Medical School is part of the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences. It is the oldest medical school in Australia and internationally renowned for global leadership in teaching and training, health research, policy and practice. The school encompasses all major fields of medicine and rural health.

Renowned for global leadership in health research, policy and practice, the University of Melbourne educates more health professionals than any other university in Australia.

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2017 intake, the deadline was June 23, 2016.

The Melbourne MD is a four-year, graduate-entry medical program that builds on the University of Melbourne’s reputation for excellence in teaching and research. It enables students to become outstanding medical practitioners who will excel as world-class leaders in their chosen field.

Apply to the University of Melbourne Medical School!

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Want more information about Melbourne Medical School?  Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.