Hello, my name is Chris Wong and I completed a Bachelor of Paramedic Science in 2014 at Flinders University. I was then successful in my application to study the Doctor of Medicine program at Flinders University and I am currently in my penultimate year of study. Gaining entry into Medicine can be a challenging and stressful journey. I’d like to share some tips based upon my own experiences in an attempt to dispel the anxiety that many applicants face – especially straight out of school.
Not Everyone Gets in the First Time
When I finished high school I knew that all I wanted to do was study medicine. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in on my first attempt. I sat the UMAT, and did well with my ATAR, but was unsuccessful. This is why it is always important to keep Year 12 entry Medicine at the top of your application, but have back-up preferences as well.
Do the Research, know your pathways.
I chose to study Paramedic Science at Flinders University because I was passionate about it, but also because of the advantage it gave me when I applied for Graduate-Entry Medicine. When applying for Graduate-Entry Medicine at Flinders, you can give yourself the best chance by studying programs that allow you to compete for reserved spots. Flinders have sub-quotas in Medicine for graduates of Health Sciences, Medical Science, Paramedic Science and Science (Biotechnology – Medical Biotechnology stream). There are also extra reserved spots for graduates of any Flinders courses. This is why it is important to consider your Flinders preferences in your SATAC application. Visit the Flinders website for more information. Being of a rural background, I also applied for a Parallel Rural Community Curriculum sub-quota position. This provided me the opportunity to spend this year studying and learning in a country town and has been a fantastic experience. Do the research. Be proactive and persevere.
The Benefits of Graduate Entry
Often you can’t connect the dots looking forward but only when you look back. Studying Paramedic Science gave me the opportunity to volunteer for SA ambulance as an ambulance officer. I learnt about communication, the health care system, socioeconomic difficulties, and rural and remote challenges to quality healthcare. I made amazing life-long friends and developed skills that will be useful for my future practice as a doctor.
Entry into Medicine is a Journey
Entry into medicine is not always the smoothest journey. But my advice is to keep at it. Most people I know who have wanted it enough, have got there after a lot of attempts and hard work! Some people gain entry into medicine on their first attempt, others may need a few goes to find their footing. Work hard, keep trying and you will succeed.