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kumz
07-04-2009, 02:03 PM
Hey guys,

I am determined that I want to go to Australia for med school but I cant decide which option is best.

I have set out my options and their pros and cons:

Queensland:
Pros:
lots of Canadians so Ill have some help studying for the MCCQE. Also, a pretty respectable university and not the most expensive choice.
Cons:
Rolling admission worries me. Its like they assume that only the driven students are willing to spend that much and take the big chance.
Huge class sizes

ANU:
Pros:
Minus the medical program, ANU is an amazing university. The top 1% for sure. Also, the cheapest option but not by a lot
Cons:
Medical program started only in 2001. Im not sure about the medical program reputation so far. Can anyone fill me in?
Not many Canadians there.

Sydney:
Pros
Probably the best medical program in Australia. One of the best in the world.
Cons
Very very expensive. Very close to unaffordable. Not many Canadians there.

My goal is to comeback to Canada. I know im foolish. But I have a lot family and responsibility here. Can anyone add to this discussion please?

Prior to this, my thinking was that since UQ has a huge Canadian population, atleast some of those Canadians will be coming back and boosting the awareness and the reputation of UQ in Canada making it easier for me 4 years from now.

But Redshifteffect has made some good points regarding UQ. So im a little lost again.

Thanks a lot redshift! Jk

dadoc
07-04-2009, 08:38 PM
Ireland is your best choice. It is the most expensive though.

And saying Sydney is one of the best programs in the world is a little insulting to the real "best" universities in the world. It doesnt have 50 state approval either.

And just remember, the university doesnt make the doctor. The doctor makes the doctor. If you ever start believing that the institution you are attending makes you who you are, you are going to be a very, very sad later on. I know Harvard grads who worked under IMG's from utterly unknown universities.

Dont forget that. Even in the case of UQ.

redshifteffect
07-04-2009, 08:51 PM
Hey guys,

I am determined that I want to go to Australia for med school but I cant decide which option is best.

I have set out my options and their pros and cons:

Queensland:
Pros:
lots of Canadians so Ill have some help studying for the MCCQE. Also, a pretty respectable university and not the most expensive choice.
Cons:
Rolling admission worries me. Its like they assume that only the driven students are willing to spend that much and take the big chance.
Huge class sizes

ANU:
Pros:
Minus the medical program, ANU is an amazing university. The top 1% for sure. Also, the cheapest option but not by a lot
Cons:
Medical program started only in 2001. Im not sure about the medical program reputation so far. Can anyone fill me in?
Not many Canadians there.

Sydney:
Pros
Probably the best medical program in Australia. One of the best in the world.
Cons
Very very expensive. Very close to unaffordable. Not many Canadians there.

My goal is to comeback to Canada. I know im foolish. But I have a lot family and responsibility here. Can anyone add to this discussion please?

Prior to this, my thinking was that since UQ has a huge Canadian population, atleast some of those Canadians will be coming back and boosting the awareness and the reputation of UQ in Canada making it easier for me 4 years from now.

But Redshifteffect has made some good points regarding UQ. So im a little lost again.

Thanks a lot redshift! Jk

When you say you want to go back to Canada, how are you planning to do it? Are you going to attempt to get a match through CaRMs or are you going to just try and complete your training in Oz, and then return that way?

If your goal is to get a match through CaRMs, then pick your cheapest option, since CaRMs doesn't care about which Australian school you graduate from. You won't need help studying for EE, QE1, QE2 since Australian schools cover the material pretty well, and even with moderate intelligence you should be able to pass the exams.

If your goal is to complete your training in Oz, well then you'll have to be much more selective in the school you choose.

*Edit* I've gotten into RCSI and Trinity in Ireland and had a look around. Teaching is certainly good there, but again it's a Euro focused curriculum.

There is no advantage to going to Ireland over Australia, especially for CaRMs. CaRMs treats all Western universities the same, as long as you have a degree that's all they want. There are much more important factors to get a match through CaRMs (like CV, References, Interview). Going to Ireland and paying a substantial amount more for your education will offer you no more advantage, so I'd think about it before committing to Ireland.

*Edit*
Sydney, Flinders and UQ are the only three (graduate) Unis that have California approval in Oz, what the heck is 50 state approval?
.
For a more complete list:
Welcome to the Medical Board of California - Medical Schools Recognized by the Medical Board of California (http://www.medbd.ca.gov/applicant/schools_recognized.html)

You'll note that the undergraduate schools far outweigh the graduate schools, again proving my assertion that in Australia (and overseas) they are the more recognised and developed programs.

redshifteffect
07-04-2009, 10:38 PM
EQUIVALENT TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION IN JURISDICTIONS OUTSIDE CANADA (http://www.cfpc.ca/English/cfpc/education/examinations/EQUIVALENT%20TRAINING/default.asp?s=1)

- You'll note Ireland's GP training program is not on the list. So if you go to Ireland and you can't get a job via CaRMs or in the US, doing their GP training will make it very difficult to return directly to Ontario, or the more competitive Canadian provinces.

Council Updates | What?s New | College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (http://www.cpso.on.ca/whatsnew/councilupdates/default.aspx?id=3190)

- Ontario and "Registration Pathways"

Jurisdiction Approved Training (http://rcpsc.medical.org/residency/certification/img_page2_e.php)

- You'll note every single Australian specialty training program is on the list.

If you go to individual provincial websites you'll see being on the jurisdiction approved list means going back and working from day 1, means simply sending your CV and paying a fee. Ontario used to be the hardest province to return to (directly), but for specialists and GPs the two links above mean that it will be as easy as the traditionally "easy" provinces.

kumz
07-05-2009, 01:37 AM
Dadoc, i completely agree with you. Almost every medical program i know of is very self directed. You decide you great of a doctor you want to be. But that wasnt the point. I was just trying to find the best option taking into account:

Quality of education
Cost
Chances of coming back to Canada

Those are the 3 real factors that I care about, and i know ill have to compromise on two of them.


As always redshift, you have great points. I plan on matching through CARMS and I plan on staying within primary medicine (internal medicine). So i know its not impossible, but not easy either.

Also, lately Alberta has made it easier to come back too. aim g.ca

The points you wrote were the exact same points that I used to cross off Ireland. Queensland also has a better reputation worldwide than the Ireland schools. I see myself considering doing internship in Singapore or New zealand if residency does not work out in Canada. So overall i think im better off with an Australian University.

But just having this discussion has made me realize im better off with Queensland. Sydney would be great but its waay to expensive and the extra expense is not offset by an real advantage over queensland. And ANU's program is too young. Although im sure it has very high quality.

If anyone has any extra points id love to hear them.

redshifteffect
07-05-2009, 02:45 AM
I realise I've said plenty in this thread but I think I'll just add in a further 2 cents, if you'll indulge me.

First of all, I've met plenty of Canadians who through poor critical thinking have gone to University with little information about any future career paths, or realistic options for employments after graduation. Most of them were goaded to do so by unrealistic guidance counsellors (if you work hard you can succeed at anything, don't worry everyone gets into medical school if they work hard enough etc.) or just tagging along with their friends. They then got out into the world and found out that a BSc, BA is virtually useless in Canada for any employment. I still remember that in highschool it took 3 interviews to get a job at the "keg", which was actually harder to get into then internship in Australia! That just tells you about the state of the Canadian economy. I'm sure plenty even on this forum, have applied for $10/hr jobs and had 30 overqualified interviewees turn up. Plenty of these same people then come to Australia (or the US/UK) to do teachers college, get a BEd, return to Canada and realise that the teacher market is also highly oversaturated. The spend 2 years just trying to survive on supply teaching for a shot at a decent long term. Again poor critical thinking ability, because they didn't bother to research the job market before they left.

Medical school, like undergraduate school is an investment. If you invested $40k into undergraduate and struggled to find a $10/hr job, with little hope of ever paying off that loan (default rate in Canada is about 30% now), you have to think extra hard about investing $250k + of money that I assume will be secured against your parent's house (line of credit) that will be absolutely critical to pay back. The lack of information on this forum, plus some of the lack of realism of potential career opportunities is really scary/shocking, which is why I'm posting as much as I can. I know a lot of you look at GPs driving nice cars and think, wow that guy must be making "bank". But sadly this is far from the truth. I've been offered jobs working for others in Canada as a GP, and you'd be lucky to get $100-$150k. The US is no different, a good friend of mine over at a famous caribbean website who went to SABA gets $150k US working for someone.

What many of you do not realise is that overhead costs (secretaries, rentals, competition from other GPs etc.) whittle down your net substantially. Realistically many of you will be lucky to make $60k after all of that. Now, sure there are others that make a lot more, but many of them are well established or have other sources of income. Also you could get sent to rural country towns by the provincial government to fulfill any return of service obligations, meaning it might be years before you actually live close to your family. Working in a small town you are responsible for running the local hospital, plus your clinic which may mean being on call every second day, with virtually no weekends off.

Now if I were to tell you to take the same $250k and gamble it on blackjack, most of you would think I'm crazy, yet this would be similar to the odds of CaRMs or other matching programs. You have to be very careful with how you invest your money (and let's face it medical school IS an investment), or have a very realistic understanding of what is possible after you graduate. A lot of the Canadians that didn't get jobs through CaRMs were VERY lucky that there were plenty of jobs here, and so at least they weren't stuck with not being able to pay off unreasonable loans. However plenty of my friends in the Caribbean who didn't have green cards/citizenship and had pretty average USMLE scores are sitting at home with huge amounts of debts and no way to pay them off. These are the stories you don't hear about, because everyone always talks about their cousin, brother or friend of a cousin who got a neurosurgery match at harvard. And for many of you the days of easy to get jobs in Australia will likely be over.

Ok so keep that in mind, you start off with $250k (plus your undergradate debt, if any) in debt. The interest accumulates on that, and you make 40-50k in Canada while training so you don't pay back a meaningful amount. Then you start working for someone else, you are lucky IF you get $120k as a GP. 60k of that virtually gone to taxes, you have to pay off living expenses and your loan. So then it takes you years to pay off the student loan debt, plus you can't buy a house because of your huge debt (banks are getting very tight on giving out mortgages) so you rent, again wasting money you could have used to gain equity. Which means you will be even further off from borrowing money to start your own practice, therefore limiting your chance at gaining more income....etc. etc. I know plenty of people in this exact situation.

Here is the view of a GP from Windsor:
www.caribbean-medicine.com/article29.pdf
take out the hyphen to visit the site.

*Edit*

As for Alberta, it's already been easy if you have a FRACGP, as a good friend of mine working there did:

www.rpap.ab.ca/images/upload/RPAP-Hotsheet-January2007.pdf

This article has been written by Anthea Maseka, a physician spouse, wife of Dr. Dereck Maseka, living in Drumheller, AB having moved with family in 2005 from Australia

http://www.rpap.ab.ca/images/upload/RPAPNews%20April2006.pdf

Originally from Zambia, the Maseka’s first
moved to Swaziland, South Africa and then
to Australia where they lived in Halls Creek,
Kimberley Region for seven months before
settling in Port Hedland, Bilbara Region.

dadoc
07-05-2009, 02:59 AM
Queensland does not have a worldwide reputation. Not at all. Even the schools with so called "reputation" gain it from research rather than graduates.

Simply do not choose a school because of its reputation, especially in QLDs case.

redshifteffect
07-05-2009, 03:08 AM
Queensland does not have a worldwide reputation. Not at all. Even the schools with so called "reputation" gain it from research rather than graduates.

Simply do not choose a school because of its reputation, especially in QLDs case.

Finally! Something worthwhile (and for a change accurate) being added to the conversation.

I agree with this statement 100%

redshifteffect
07-05-2009, 03:15 AM
To be able to work in Singapore your school must be on this list:
Singapore Medical Council (http://www.smc.gov.sg/html/1153709442948.html)

Once again you'll see that undergraduate schools again outnumber graduate schools.

kumz
07-05-2009, 07:08 PM
Good point dadoc. Do you have a source backing that Queensland's medicine program does not have a reputation? I did some research and I found this on wikipedia right away:

According to The Times Higher-QS World University Rankings 2007, UQ is the only Queensland university in the top 50 (ranked 33rd along with the National University of Singapore), and one of only nine Australian universities in the top 200[6]. UQ moved from being the sixth-ranked Australian university in the 2006 world rankings to become the fourth-ranked Australian university in 2007. In 2008 the university was ranked 43rd, behind University of Melbourne (38), University of Sydney (37) and Australian National University (16).
The Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities also placed UQ among the top five Australian universities.[7] UQ was also listed at number 91 in a 2006 Newsweek ranking of the world's top 100 universities, placing seventh among Australian universities after the Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Monash University and University of Western Australia.[8] These six higher ranking institutions together with UQ and the University of Adelaide also form the Group of Eight consortium, which consists of the top eight Australian research universities.[9]
The University was independently ranked as one of Australia's best universities in the 2007 edition of The Good Universities Guide; receiving a maximum five-star rating in six key performance indicators.[10] These include student demand, positive graduate outcomes (reflecting both graduate employment and going on to further study), staff qualifications, research grants, research intensivity and toughness to get in (specifically for the St Lucia campus).

It seems like this university might have a reputation. And if we assume that we are comparing to 500 other universities, then it falls in the top 10-15%.

Just a quick note: i didnt find any Ireland universities in the top 100.

Yes its not equivalent to Harvard or Washington or John Hopkins, but its respectable.

Also, I am aware that there is no real way to measure how good a university is based on its graduates. Therefore, I look at the research output, the facilities, and what the students have to say.

Redshift, you made some great points as well. I fortunately have no student loan so far but thats beside the issue. I am not doing medicine for the bling bling (and I hope to god no one is). I am doing it for the lifestyle and because I will be in the field in medicine which I find very interesting.

I luckily do have a nuclear bomb option after med if I dont get residency in Canada. I will have Malaysia, New Zealand and singapore to consider. If not that, then I can do a degree in public health.

I dont want to really turn this into a philosphical discussion, but overall I know the risks I am taking and I think the benfits outweigh the costs.

Redshift, did you get a chance to look at the website for AIMGs?

Overall, great discussion guys. Thanks for your input.

MedMan87
07-05-2009, 07:18 PM
Very good post, going overseas for medicine is a very tough decision, it's a second chance option for most of us. Without family support i don't think anyone can do it on their own. But a dream is a dream, and i know picking any other career I would be looking back at myself wondering, i could have attempted medicine :D

redshifteffect
07-05-2009, 07:59 PM
Good point dadoc. Do you have a source backing that Queensland's medicine program does not have a reputation? I did some research and I found this on wikipedia right away:

According to The Times Higher-QS World University Rankings 2007, UQ is the only Queensland university in the top 50 (ranked 33rd along with the National University of Singapore), and one of only nine Australian universities in the top 200[6]. UQ moved from being the sixth-ranked Australian university in the 2006 world rankings to become the fourth-ranked Australian university in 2007. In 2008 the university was ranked 43rd, behind University of Melbourne (38), University of Sydney (37) and Australian National University (16).
The Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities also placed UQ among the top five Australian universities.[7] UQ was also listed at number 91 in a 2006 Newsweek ranking of the world's top 100 universities, placing seventh among Australian universities after the Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Monash University and University of Western Australia.[8] These six higher ranking institutions together with UQ and the University of Adelaide also form the Group of Eight consortium, which consists of the top eight Australian research universities.[9]
The University was independently ranked as one of Australia's best universities in the 2007 edition of The Good Universities Guide; receiving a maximum five-star rating in six key performance indicators.[10] These include student demand, positive graduate outcomes (reflecting both graduate employment and going on to further study), staff qualifications, research grants, research intensivity and toughness to get in (specifically for the St Lucia campus).

It seems like this university might have a reputation. And if we assume that we are comparing to 500 other universities, then it falls in the top 10-15%.

Yes its not equivalent to Harvard or Washington or John Hopkins, but its respectable.

Also, I am aware that there is no real way to measure how good a university is based on its graduates. Therefore, I look at the research output, the facilities, and what the students have to say.

Redshift, you made some great points as well. I fortunately have no student loan so far but thats beside the issue. I am not doing medicine for the bling bling (and I hope to god no one is). I am doing it for the lifestyle and because I will be in the field in medicine which I find very interesting.

I luckily do have a nuclear bomb option after med if I dont get residency in Canada. I will have Malaysia, New Zealand and singapore to consider. If not that, then I can do a degree in public health.

I dont want to really turn this into a philosphical discussion, but overall I know the risks I am taking and I think the benfits outweigh the costs.

Redshift, did you get a chance to look at the website for AIMGs?

Overall, great discussion guys. Thanks for your input.

I'm not trying to knock anyone's dreams. I'm just giving you informed consent, so that you guys know what you're getting into.

As for the Singapore option keep in mind that it's critical to spend time during your summer there making connections or having experience. They will not accept experience in Canada/US or even Oz in lieu of experience in Singapore. I've seen many people waste their summers doing electives in the US or Canada, and not worrying about other countries and then come match time been shut out by both.

Haven't checked out the aimg website, anything you care to point out?

kumz
07-05-2009, 09:21 PM
ww w.aimg.c a/h tml/img_ro utes.p hp

Just take out all the spaces. And i know you arent trying to knock down any dreams. This discussion is very valuable to me. By presenting the other side of the debate, I promise I am not antagonizing you.

Let me know what you think about the website.

kumz
07-05-2009, 09:22 PM
woops try this instead:

w w w.ai mg.c a/h tml/fin alye ar.p hp

redshifteffect
07-05-2009, 09:41 PM
Very interesting. It's good to see that they have a final year program for medical students.

Prudent questions I didn't find an answer to (but I just scanned the website)

1. How many spots are there?

2. What sort of chance do you have of getting a job?

3. What residency positions (if any) are available in the program?

4. Do jobs occur outside of CaRMs or are these jobs in CaRMs

5. What RoS obligations are required?

I did notice that you have to be a resident of Alberta, which is good for you Albertans.







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