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Posts Tagged ‘vaccinations’

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


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!

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Sydney Medical School researchers’ comprehensive review: no link between vaccinations and autism

The first systematic international review of childhood vaccinations led by researchers from the University of Sydney has found no evidence of a link to the development of autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

University of Sydney Medical School

University of Sydney, New South Wales

The comprehensive review, published in medical journal Vaccine, examined five cohort studies involving more than 1.25 million children, an additional five case-control studies involving more than 9,920 children obtained via systematic searches of international medical databases MEDLINE, PubMed, EBASE and Google Scholar up to April 2014.

Both the cohort and case-control studies revealed no statistical data to support a relationship between childhood vaccination for the commonly used vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough and the development of autism or ASDs.

Paper senior author Associate Professor Guy Eslick from the Sydney Medical School said these vaccines were the ones that had received the most attention by anti-vaccination groups.

“There has been enormous debate regarding the possibility of a link between these commonly used and safe childhood vaccinations and the supposed development of autism,” Associate Professor Eslick said.

“A rising awareness of autism cases and the claimed but not proven link to childhood vaccinations has led to both an increased distrust in the trade between vaccine benefit outweighing potential risks and an opportunity for disease resurgence.

“This has in recent times become a major public health issue with vaccine-preventable diseases rapidly increasing in the community due to the fear of a ‘link’ between vaccinations and autism.

“This is especially concerning given the fact that there have been 11 measles outbreaks in the US since 2000, and NSW also saw a spike in measles infections from early 2012 to late 2012.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases clearly still hold a presence in modern-day society, and the decision to opt out of vaccination schedules needed to be urgently and properly evaluated.”

Associate Professor Eslick said to date there had been no quantitative data analysis of any relationship between autism, autism spectrum disorders and childhood vaccinations.

“Our review is the first to do so, and we found no statistical evidence to support this idea,” the Sydney Medical School associate professor said.

“Our extensive international review found childhood vaccinations including measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough are not associated with the development of autism or an autism-spectrum disorder.

“Furthermore, our review found the components of the widely used vaccines (thimerosal or mercury), nor the measles, mumps and rubella combination vaccines (MMR) are not associated with the development of autism or an autism-spectrum disorder.

“The increase in parents deciding not to vaccinate their children has substantially decreased ‘herd immunity’ among populations, subsequently increasing the risk of catching potentially more serious infectious diseases.

“Thus the risks incurred by not immunising a child is increasing substantially as the level of immunisation coverage in the population falls.

“The data consistently shows the lack of evidence for an association between autism, autism spectrum disorders and childhood vaccinations, regardless of whether the intervention was through combination vaccines (MMR) or one of its components, providing no reason to avoid immunisation on these grounds.”

University of Sydney Doctor of Medicine

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February 2015
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: July 7, 2014 (10 a.m. Sydney time)*

*In order for your complete Sydney MD application to be submitted on time, all documents must be at the OzTREKK office by Friday, July 4, 2014.

Entry Requirements for the Sydney Medical Program

1. Performance in an undergraduate degree

Students can apply to the Sydney MD if they have completed a bachelor degree in any discipline, and have achieved a grade point average (GPA) of 5.5 out of 7 (or equivalent) from a recognized university. The grade requirement according to Sydney Medical School is equivalent to a GPA of 2.7 out of 4.0.

Sydney Medical School has decided to continue their trial including the results from coursework master degrees in the calculation of the GPA. The trial will be limited to international applicants who are applying in 2014 for enrollment in Sydney medical program in 2015. During the trial, international applicants who hold a master’s degree by coursework as well as a bachelor’s degree will be permitted to either

  • nominate their bachelor’s degree for use in the GPA calculation, or
  • nominate that both their master’s and their bachelor’s degree be used in the GPA calculation.

Students from a wide variety of undergraduate studies are welcome and encouraged to apply. There are no specific prerequisite undergraduate subjects required for admission into the Sydney MD.

2. Performance in a medical admissions test – MCAT or GAMSAT

Students must achieve a minimum performance in a medical school admissions test:

Most North American-based applicants choose to sit the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), although international applicants can complete either the MCAT or the Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT).

Applicants must meet a minimum level of achievement in the admissions test to be eligible. The minimum score required for the MCAT for the 2015 intake is 8/8/8 or 8/8/M/8. Test results from January 2012 onward will be accepted for applications for the 2015 intake. American students applying to Sydney Medical School are required to sit the MCAT.

3. Performance in an online interview

The Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) aims to sample a candidate’s competencies in order to gain a more accurate picture of strengths, weaknesses and suitability for the Sydney MD.

Apply now to Sydney Medical School!


Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Broghan Dean for more information about how to apply to the Doctor of Medicine program at Sydney Medical School. Email Broghan at broghan@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.