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Indigenous Pathways into Medicine
The LIME Network Indigenous Pathways into Medicine Online Resource is designed to help future students determine which university will be the best fit for them as they study to become a doctor. There are many paths to gain entry into a medical degree.
The flow chart below outlines standard and alternative pathways for Indigenous applicants to gain entry into a medical course, depending on level of education and previous work experience.
Alternative entry pathways provide access into medical school for Indigenous students who demonstrate capacity to complete a medical degree, but who may not meet the criteria for standard entry.
This is not a comprehensive representation of all pathways into medicine. Many universities have complex entry processes for Indigenous applicants. This chart is designed to show an overview of typical steps you may go through when applying to medical school. Be sure to contact your chosen university for details on the specific steps required in applying for your course.
Refering to 'Indigenous':
In this document, we use the term ‘Indigenous’ to refer to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia and Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The terms ‘Aboriginal’, ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people' and 'Indigenous' are used interchangeably with reference to the Australian context. The term ‘Maori’ and ‘Indigenous’ are used interchangeably with reference to the Aotearoa/New Zealand context.
Entry Level types:
School leaver / Undergraduate entry
An undergraduate course is an entry level course at university. Most students go straight from completing high school, but you can also apply as a mature age student, or have done an enabling course or have previous qualification. You can also do an undergraduate course if you have already done a degree, but in a different field. In medicine, undergraduate courses are 5 or 6 years long.
School leaver provisional entry
School leaver provisional entry pathways are offered by universities that have graduate-entry medical courses. They guarantee school leavers a place in the graduate entry medical program on the condition that they first complete a bachelor level degree course at the university and meet specified conditions (such as maintaining a particular grade point average and finishing the degree in the normal minimum time period).
Graduate entry courses are bachelor degree or Masters level courses that you can’t enter straight from school. You can only study them if you already have a degree. For medicine in Australia and New Zealand, and depending on the university, this degree can be in any field or must be a specific bachelors degree. Graduate entry medical degrees are shorter than undergraduate medical courses. The reason they’re shorter is that the university can assume that you’ve already developed the ability to learn effectively at university level and that you have an understanding of the basic sciences.
Entry Criteria types:
The selection criteria for entry into some medical courses includes sitting this test. The test is held once a year, usually in July. Alternative Entry pathways into medicine at some universities do not require candidates to sit this test.
The selection criteria for entry into some medical courses includes sitting this test. This test is held once a year, usually in March. Alternative Entry pathways into medicine at some universities do not require candidates to sit this test.
The selection criteria for entry into some medical courses includes undertaking a structured interview, the format of which is asking the same questions in the same order to each candidate. Alternative Entry pathways into medicine at some universities do not require candidates to sit this test.
Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)
The selection criteria for entry into some medical courses includes undertaking MMIs, a series of brief interviews each with a different interviewer, typically in a timed circuit. Alternative Entry pathways into medicine at some universities do not require candidates to sit this test.
We have sourced information from the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA) and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) websites for this glossary.
The LIME Network, in partnership with Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) and Te ORA Maori Medical Practitioners Association, have developed these Pathways into Medicine Videos. The videos highlight the numerous pathways Indigenous students may take to gain entry into medical degrees, Indigenous student experiences at medical school, the student support systems available within the university setting, and the experiences of Indigenous medical graduates. Each video incorporates Indigenous students or doctors from Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand.
The videos aim to provide access to role models, and support recruitment of new Indigenous medical students. Medical educators are encouraged to make use of the videos as a recruitment resource within their schools. We would be very pleased to hear any feedback on the usefulness of the videos via E: email@example.com or T: +61 3 8344 9160.
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