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Posts Tagged ‘James Cook University’

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

James Cook University opens new residence on Cairns campus

Are you thinking of studying dentistry at James Cook University?

JCU has announced that the brand-new John Grey Hall of Residence in Cairns is officially open! This seven-story building offers a variety of self-catered, apartment-style living options including studio apartments, en suite rooms and standard rooms with shared facilities. The new on-campus accommodation facility is one of the best places to live while you are studying at JCU because you’re only a stone’s throw to class!

James Cook University opens new residence on Cairns campus

New John Grey Residence, JCU Cairns campus (Image: JCU)

The first stage of the purpose-built residence is home to 300 students with plans to expand its capacity to 1,000 students in the future.

The seven-storey octagonal building offers a variety of apartment-style living options including studio apartments, six-bedroom en-suite rooms or six-bedroom standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities. All apartments are self-catered and are equipped with modern cooking facilities including cooktop, oven, microwave, and refrigerator. Each individual bedroom is lockable and includes air conditioning and Wi-Fi.

The 42-metre-long internal grass courtyard features shared barbecue facilities and is the perfect place to relax and hang out with friends.

The facility will be fully managed by an on-site manager and administrative support team, with residential assistants providing pastoral care to students.

Studying dentistry at James Cook University

The dentistry program at James Cook University is a five-year undergraduate degree that provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. Located at the Cairns campus, this broad-based program includes all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

The university sends its health professional students, including JCU Dentistry students, to remote and rural regions on placements, and to do outreach in schools, and encourages its graduates to return back to rural and remote areas to work after graduation—including Canada!

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Next available intake: February 2019
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2018

What do you need to get in?

1. High School

These qualifications are considered on an individual basis, subject to satisfying prerequisite requirements.

  • A minimum of 92% average from grade 12 subjects.
  • Completion of prerequisites in English, Calculus, and Chemistry at a grade 12 level or higher.

2. Partially or fully completed undergraduate degree

A high level of academic standard is required for entry.

  • Students need to have met the prerequisite subjects at least at the high school level to meet the prerequisite requirements.
  • A minimum of 80% cumulative average across all university studies is required.

Please note the DAT is not required for entry into the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program.

Apply to James Cook University Dental School!

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Would you like more information about studying dentistry at James Cook University? For more information and assistance with your application, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Alexa Graham at alexa@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

First-year JCU medicine students: what kind of doctor do you want to be?

What kind of doctor do you want to be?

First-year JCU medicine students: what kind of doctor do you want to be?

JCU medicine at the beautiful tropical campus of Townsville!

While some can’t yet answer this question, most students who chose to study at JCU Medical School already know they want to specialise in rural medicine, assisting with the healthcare needs of underserved populations. After all, the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) medical degree at James Cook University is well-known for producing graduates who will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

The JCU Medical School’s combination of integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine incorporates the best aspects of student-centred, problem-based learning combined with systematic instruction. Clinical experience, particularly in the rural and remote context, starts at an early stage and science remains integrated across later years.

First-year JCU Medicine students recently had their first class on how to be socially accountable doctors. At the end of the session, they were asked what type of doctor they wanted to be. Hear from former OzTREKK Student Daniel Dickson!

JCU Medical School MBBS

Do you think studying rural, remote, and tropical medicine sounds like something you would be interested in? How on earth can Canada have tropical medicine?  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. When you study medicine at JCU, you will be uniquely qualified to practice medicine in remote Canada!

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

Apply to JCU Medical School!

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JCU medicine applications are open! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com if you have any questions about your med school application.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

New JCU Dentistry students enjoy OzTREKK Orientation

We know what it’s like to be overwhelmed with predeparture preparations, and we know what it’s like to be stressed after arriving in Australia.

New JCU Dentistry students enjoy OzTREKK Orientation

OzTREKK Orientation with JCU Dentistry students

Where am I? How will I know where to go? What am I doing here?!

No worries! We’ve got your back!

In order to help you get settled, we do our best to organise an “OzTREKK Orientation” at your Australian university, as they provide a great opportunity for you to meet fellow Canadians so you can establish a network of friends right away. It’s also a great way to meet upper-year Canadians who can show you the ropes so you know what to expect. When possible, we try to include as many upper-year students to attend the orientation and to share their stories.

This year, new James Cook University dental school students enjoyed the traditional OzTREKK Orientation lunch at Burger Urge, where they were able to meet and chat with their JCU Dentistry classmates. The weather was beautiful and typical for Cairns: downpour, sun, downpour, sun…. Even still, the new students had a great time!

OzTREKK sends out a huge thank you! to former OzTREKKer and now fourth-year JCU Dentistry student Hilary Bell for assisting us with the orientation and for helping new OzTREKK students feel at home in beautiful, balmy Cairns.

We really appreciate your help, Hilary!

Are you interested in studying at JCU Dentistry School?

If improving the health of people who live in tropical, rural, and remote places appeals to you, then you might be interested in studying dentistry at JCU. The five-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery  degree provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. While it is a broad-based program including all aspects of dental practice, it also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

New JCU Dentistry students enjoy OzTREKK Orientation

Enjoying hamburgers at Burger Urge!

JCU Dentistry accepts applications from high school graduates or from those who have completed university studies.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2018

Apply now to JCU Dental School!

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Learn more about JCU Dentistry! For more Bachelor of Dental Surgery program information, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Melanie Ireton at melanie@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

JCU Medical School student taking the rural world by storm

James Cook University student Carolyn Reimann will be the public face of rural health students around Australia for 2018.

JCU Medical School student taking the rural world by storm

Former OzTREKK student and now fifth-year JCU med student Carolyn Reimann (Photo credit: JCU)

Carolyn, also a former OzTREKK student, is a fifth-year international student studying medicine at JCU medical school. She is set to take on the role of Executive Chair of the National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN). She will head the multidisciplinary student health network, which comprises of 28 University Rural Health Clubs, including JCU’s Rural Health in the Northern Outback (RHINO) student club.

“I had heard about the NRHSN through my involvement with RHINO,” Carolyn said.

“In 2016, I was one of six health students chosen for the Northern Territory PHN’s High School Visits. I had a chat with the guy who was going to be the Chair of the NRHSN in 2017, and joining the NRHSN Executive Committee sounded like something right up my alley. I love to get involved,” Carolyn said.

“As the Executive Chair you represent the network around the country, and are the public face of the NRHSN. It includes meeting politicians, attending stakeholder meetings, writing policy and position papers and presenting at conferences. It also includes advocating for and overseeing all the different rural health clubs. It’s a big, complex role.”

Carolyn had always dreamed of studying medicine and helping people in need. She was particularly attracted to studying in north Queensland by the focus of JCU’s medical program.

“I always had an interest in doing something around public health. I know that I can make a difference and JCU has an amazing reputation for their program.

“Every focus that JCU has, on tropical health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and rural and remote health is something that I am interested in, and that’s what brought me over here.

“It was the perfect fit, like Cinderella and her glass slipper.”

The National Rural Health Student Network represents the future of rural health in Australia. It has more than 9,000 members who belong to 28 university Rural Health Clubs from all states and territories, and is Australia’s only multi-disciplinary student health network, bringing together people studying medicine, nursing and allied health, encouraging them to pursue rural health careers.

The NRHSN has two aims:

  1. To provide a voice for students who are interested in improving health outcomes for rural and remote Australians
  2. To promote rural health careers to students and encourage students who are interested in practicing in rural health care.

JCU Medical School medical program

The 6-year, full-time Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. JCU has a regional mission with a focus on the needs of rural, remote and under-served communities, tropical medicine and the health of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2018 (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 studying medicine at JCU medical school? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

JCU Dentistry students enjoy placements in Solomon Islands

Sometimes you don’t know your own abilities until you’ve been tested. Going to a new place and being with different people can lead to a fresh perspective and the chance to develop greater skills. Why stay in your comfort zone when the world can become your classroom?

JCU Dentistry students enjoy placements in Solomon Islands

Mathew Robertson and Thomas Meath deliver dental care to local school children in the Solomon Islands (Photo: JCU)

When you think of studying dentistry, you probably don’t think of the Solomon Islands. This unusual mix came together when JCU Dentistry students travelled to the faraway country to do a placement. The journey was not only about learning skills, but also about providing dentistry services to communities and creating lasting memories.

Final-year dental surgery students travelled to the remote islands with South Australia-based dentist and JCU dental surgery graduate Dr Michael Robinson. Working alongside local oral health teams, the students built relationships, learned how to adapt to different environments and developed cross-cultural understanding.

“The people were so friendly,” student Mathew Robertson says. “We visited a small village and the kids were climbing coconut trees, and they served us their local food. We played soccer with the kids, and they loved it.”

Senior Research Fellow and public health researcher Dr David MacLaren facilitated the trip to the Solomon Islands, which was the first for JCU dentistry. David has an interest in community health issues in remote areas of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. He says the responses from JCU’s partners in the Solomon Islands were overwhelmingly positive. Following this success, JCU is planning another trip in 2018.

“The World Health Organisation classifies the Solomon Islands as one of 57 countries deemed to have a critical shortage of health workers,” David says. “There is a workforce deficit across every level of care in the Solomon Islands, with one dentist per 100,000 people. JCU is pleased to be working with partners in the Solomon Islands to help deliver important dental services.”

Having done dental outreach trips to the Cape and the Torres Strait, student Thomas Meath was already aware of the diversity of practice that comes with working in remote locations. Visiting the Solomon Islands has increased Thomas’s confidence and broadened his knowledge.

“We performed a lot of extractions, so we learnt a lot more about exodontia (the branch of dentistry that deals with the extraction of teeth),” he says. “We had to be resourceful, as they had limited equipment. We were generally a lot busier than we are in Australia due to the fact that the local dental team can only travel to the area every three months. We saw a lot more patients than we would generally see in an Australian setting. We learned a lot from the dentists and staff there.”

This was student Marcus McShane’s first international travel experience. He has caught the travel bug and hopes he can undertake further international dentistry outreach work.

“The experience opened up my eyes to the world of possibilities that exist for dentists,” Marcus says. “Dentistry is a rewarding field, and there are opportunities for dentists to work in such a great variety of settings, so I’m really excited about graduating and getting out there and working.”

Gaining an understanding of the world and being immersed in another culture is an experience that Mathew will never forget. For other Bachelor of Dental Surgery students thinking about doing an international placement, he has some clear advice.

“Grab the opportunity with both hands,” Mathew says. “Getting out there and seeing how other countries do things is excellent for your development as a dentist. I learned so much about dentistry that I don’t think I would have learnt here in Australia and I developed and progressed a lot in my final year because of the experience. If there is the opportunity to go overseas, especially to a developing country, definitely take it.”

Studying dentistry at James Cook University

The dentistry program at JCU is a five-year undergraduate degree that provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to become competent practitioners of dentistry. It is a broad-based program which includes all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

The university sends its health professional students, including JCU Dentistry students, to remote and rural regions on placements, and to do outreach in schools, and encourages its graduates to return back to rural and remote areas to work after graduation.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Next available intake: February 2019
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2018

What do you need to get in?

1. High School

These qualifications are considered on an individual basis, subject to satisfying prerequisite requirements.

  • A minimum of 92% average from grade 12 subjects.
  • Completion of prerequisites in English, Calculus, and Chemistry at a grade 12 level or higher.

2. Partially or fully completed undergraduate degree

A high level of academic standard is required for entry.

  • Students need to have met the prerequisite subjects at least at the high school level to meet the prerequisite requirements.
  • A minimum of 80% cumulative average across all university studies is required.

Please note the DAT is not required for entry into the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program.

Apply to JCU Dental School!

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Are you interested in JCU Dentistry? For more information and assistance with your application, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Melanie Ireton at melanie@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

JCU medical students receive national award for their student-led vaccination drive

Heading to JCU med school? You’ll be pleased to know that JCU students are famous for going above and beyond, demonstrating their passion for helping rural and remote communities. After all, that’s the JCU MBBS specialty!

Once again, JCU medical students have been recognized for their willingness to assist others. The James Cook University Medical Students Association (JCUMSA) was recently awarded the prestigious Australian Medical Student Association’s Academic Event of the Year Award.

They were recognised for their hugely successful student-led vaccination drive, which delivered flu vaccines to more than 120 medical students in Townsville and Cairns.

JJCU medical students receive national award for student-led vaccination drive

JCU med student, Ritvik Gilhotra (Photo credit: JCU)

The first-time campaign provided medical students with an invaluable training experience, as they administered vaccines to fellow students under the supervision of qualified doctors from JCU Health (Townsville) and the Central Plaza Doctors (Cairns).

Ritvik Gilhotra, a sixth-year medical student based in Cairns, is the Academic Vice President of JCUMSA. He said the group were extremely proud of the campaign and were honoured to receive the award.

“We saw a real need, and I think that is why this project was such a success,” he said.“The vaccination drive was the first of its kind in Australia, being a student organised and run event where our medical students had access to influenza vaccinations at cost price right at their doorstep.

“Students are not eligible for the free flu vaccination through QLD Health and I found this peculiar given how involved clinical students are in the hospital. It made me realise that this is a potential area of improvement within the medical workforce to minimize the impact of the influenza virus, on both students and the patients they interact with.”

Ritvik said the student association discussed their idea with JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry Clinical Studies Committee. The Committee supported the idea and helped the group with implement their idea.

“We faced a number of challenges. The most important factor we had to address was that our initiative should be medico-legally appropriate as well as keeping the safety of the students being vaccinated in mind.

“We contacted a number of GP practices in both Townsville and Cairns, JCU Health in Townsville and Central Plaza Doctors in Cairns helped us run the clinics.

“Not only did this make sure that the clinics were up to the Australian health standards, it also ensured the safety of our medical students whilst being administered with the vaccinations.”

Professor Tarun Sen Gupta, Director of Medical Education at JCU‘s College of Medicine and Dentistry, said he was impressed by this student-led initiative and was delighted to hear they had received the prestigious award.

“Everyone in the community should make sure their vaccinations are up to date,” he said. “This is really important for health care workers and students who come into contact with many members of the public.

“I congratulate Ritvik and JCUMSA on taking the lead in this important initiative, which I hope will be adopted nationally,” said Professor Sen Gupta.

Ritvik said JCUMSA are already planning the 2018 vaccination drive, and expect it will be even more popular than the 2017 campaign.

About the JCU Medical Program

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 available intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years

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Would you like to become a JCU medical student? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com for more information about this degree!

Monday, December 4th, 2017

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

JCU Medical School student (and former OzTREKKer!) Reuben George has been named Regional Student of the Year at the 2017 Study Queensland IET Excellence Awards! The IET Excellence Awards recognise international education industry leaders, community and business contributors and current and past international students for their achievements.

OzTREKK student named Regional Student of the Year

Regional Student of the Year Reuben George (Photo: JCU)

These high achievers were celebrated at an awards ceremony held Nov. 22, 2017.

The IET Excellence Awards are the only state-wide awards program specifically dedicated to recognising the Queensland international education and training sector and celebrate individual and team success.

Having recognised the importance of support for international students studying medicine, Reuben has worked tirelessly throughout his studies to ensure his fellow international students felt supported and welcomed.

From his own journey of moving to Australia, Reuben recognized that there were very limited supports for international students in the medical program. He decided it was his duty to help guide all future incoming international students.

Reuben has since created an international student manual, which the university provides to each incoming international student. He also lobbied to co-create a mentorship program funded by the JCU College of Medicine and student medical society. This program partners each international medical student with an upper-year international student to support them through their transition of moving to a new country and entering a highly demanding degree. The program involves having coffee catch-ups and weekly social media mental health check-ins, group activities, and peer tutoring for free.

Reuben ensures each student feels heard and he encourages all to be leaders. His passion for international students’ health and well-being is what spurred many of the upper-year students to become mentors themselves.

The current JCU med student’s experience landed him the role of Australian Medical Students Association’s International Chair in 2016, representing all international medical voices across the country.

Reuben does all of this work not for himself, but so that no student feels as isolated as he did in his first year. He wants to help give international students a hand up and achieves this through his many platforms, including his vlog, “Beyond the Stethoscope,” (below) where he captures his life as a medical student and the many challenges and triumphs that come with it.

Congratulations, Reuben, from all of us at OzTREKK!

About JCU Medicine

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.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next semester intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: TBA. Generally the end of August each year.

Apply to JCU Medical School!

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Would you like more information about studying medicine at JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

JCU offering Health Sciences Toolkit to help students brush up in biology

James Cook University has announced they are offering a four-day intensive course to students who will be entering in to health science degrees in 2018!

JCU offering Health Sciences Toolkit to help students brush up in biology

Think you might need a biology refresher?

The JCU “Health Sciences Toolkit” is designed to help students prepare for further studies leading into the health science degree programs. It is particularly helpful for those who have a limited or no background in biology, and for those who have not studied biology for a long time.

The course is introductory in nature and it is assumed that those participating may have never studied biology before. Please note it does not meet any of JCU’s prerequisites for admission to university and is not credit bearing for JCU subjects. Rather, it is designed to give students a head start if their university degree requires some knowledge of biology; however, if you have studied some biology and wish to brush up your skills, the course will be a beneficial refresher!

The Health Sciences Toolkit will be especially helpful for students intending to study any of the following degree programs at JCU: Biomedicine, Dentistry, Exercise Physiology (Clinical), Medical Laboratory Science, Midwifery, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology, or Sport and Exercise Science.

This program is a four-day intensive course that will be held on both Townsville (Douglas) and Cairns (Smithfield) campuses and involve approximately 28 contact hours spread over both large group lectures, and small group tutorial/workshop sessions. The topics covered will include the following:

  • Laboratory Safety and Introduction to the Human body
  • The hierarchy of cells, tissues and systems
  • The basic elements of life
  • Water Biology
  • The cell membrane
  • The genetics of life
  • The essential compounds of life
  • The essential reactions of life
  • Communication in the body
  • The food we eat and the air we breathe

The course will be held Feb. 6–9, 2018.

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Are you interested in studying at JCU and the Health Sciences Toolkit program? Please email us at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, November 13th, 2017

JCU researchers look at innovative ways to solve the GP shortage in the bush

Researchers from the JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry have been awarded $150,000 to investigate how best to address the GP shortage in the bush.

“For decades, rural and remote regions across north and western Queensland have struggled to attract and retain specialist GPs,” said Professor Tarun Sen Gupta, Director of Medical Education at JCU.

JCU researchers looking at innovative ways to solve the GP shortage in the bush

JCU medicine graduates are uniquely qualified to work in rural and remote areas

“James Cook University is working to address the crisis through its specialist GP training program to build a rural, regional and remote health workforce for the most underserved regions across the state,” Professor Sen Gupta said.

The JCU team is working in partnership with researchers from the Monash University School of Rural Health.

The funding will enable the research team to determine where the GP shortage is greatest, and how best to ensure specialist GP training places can be established to meet the demand.

They’ll also identify innovative training and supervision models to increase the delivery of high quality GP registrar training in underserved communities.

“We aim to identify the challenges and opportunities associated with developing and strengthening the provision of high-quality training in areas of greatest need, and to increase rural workforce recruitment and retention,” said lead researcher, Associate Professor Carole Reeve from JCU’s specialist GP training program, GMT.

“Results from the study will assist JCU’s Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program to work with communities and practices to strengthen health care in underserved north and west Queensland communities,” Associate Professor Carole Reeve said.

Professor Sen Gupta said there’s strong evidence that JCU medical graduates are practicing in regional and rural locations in a very different pattern of distribution to that of other medical schools.

“JCU’s GMT program has enhanced this by training registrars in rural and remote locations, where many remain after completing training,” Professor Sen Gupta said.

“This study will help better understand where the need is greatest, and how we can recruit graduates to train and work in the most underserved communities.”

About GMT

Generalist Medical Training is James Cook University’s specialist training program within the College of Medicine and Dentistry. This program has been contracted by the Australian Government Department of Health to deliver Australian General Practice training (AGPT) in North Western Queensland. The AGPT program is a vocational training program for medical graduates (registrars) who are pursuing a career in the specialty of General Practice.

About the JCU Medical Program

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 available intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years

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Discover more about JCU and its medicine program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

JCU to fight disabling tropical diseases with WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has picked James Cook University as a partner to battle diseases that kill more than a million people and make more than a billion people sick every year.

JCU to fight disabling tropical diseases with WHO

The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (Image: JCU)

JCU’s College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences (CPHMVS) has been designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Vector-borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases (VBDs and NTDs)—recognising a long history of collaboration with WHO and providing a formal framework for future joint activities.

For the past 20 years JCU has been a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for the Control of Lymphatic Filariasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminths and other Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Professor Peter Leggat, co-Director of the new WHOCC said the new designation means JCU will be broadening its remit to include the control of some of the world’s most neglected tropical diseases, such as dengue and leprosy.

“We are thrilled to be working ever more closely with WHO and our network of partners towards controlling and eliminating some of these serious tropical diseases. The designation reflects our historic contributions to WHO, and our broad expertise and deep commitment in the field,” he said.

“Through the CPHMVS and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), JCU has established itself as a leading academic centre globally in education and research in tropical health and medicine,” said Professor Leggat.

“The WHOCC’s expertise will be extremely valuable in supporting WHO’s capacity to implement its mandated work in the global control of tropical diseases, for example in its long-term vision of a world free from blinding trachoma and leprosy,” he said.

“The burden caused by vector borne diseases, which account for 1/6th of human illnesses and disability suffered worldwide, and neglected tropical diseases, many of which are carried by vectors like mosquitoes and ticks, account for at least 11% of the global burden of disease. Some of them occur in tropical and subtropical Australia, such as trachoma, intestinal worms and dengue,” said Professor Maxine Whittaker, co-Director of the new WHOCC.

“We know that neglected tropical diseases affect neglected populations: the 1.4 billion people who are classified as the world’s poorest, and for whom accessible health services, clean water and good sanitation, are not available. Every year there are more than 1 billion cases and over 1 million deaths from vector-borne diseases, globally,” she said.

Professor Whittaker said the college will support WHO’s capacity building priorities for effective control of vector borne and neglected tropical diseases, including the scale-up and evaluation of WHO-recommended surveillance and response, control and elimination strategies.

“In addition to their impact on health, vector borne and neglected tropical diseases contribute to an immense social and economic burden and can perpetuate the cycle of poverty. However, many of these diseases are easily preventable, and may be eliminated with improved water and sanitation, vector control, and universally accessible primary health care, as part of the sustainable development goals.

“The WHOCC will support a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to people’s health and well-being,” said Professor Whittaker.

She said JCU will also continue to work in the field of elimination of lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).

Professor Whittaker said in addition to the invaluable work of providing assistance to affected countries and peoples, the WHOCC has the potential to provide placements and work integrated learning opportunities for JCU students as well as research education and research collaborations.

Professor Peter Leggat, AM, is Professor in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and currently President of The Australasian College of Tropical Medicine.

Professor Maxine Whittaker is the Dean of the College and Deputy Director of the AITHM.

JCU has one of the largest postgraduate programs in public health in Australia with more than 900 students enrolled. Courses include a popular Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine program and these courses have received national and international recognition.

Study medicine at JCU Medical School

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 6 years

Study public health at JCU

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February and July each year
Duration: 1.5 years

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Discover more about studying medicine or public health at Australia’s Tropical University, JCU!