Flinders is excellent
by Pat (Login patlabor)

IMHO, I think Flinders has an EXCELLENT reputation in medical EDUCATION in Australia, perhaps the best because they have this new PBL course. It is well-known in Australia and Asia-Pacific region. But then sometimes it's overshadowed by the bigger name like University of Sydney or Melbourne. Sydney or Melbourne have the prestige because they are older(well over 150 years) and LOTS of research coming out from there. But then I don't know the comparative qualities.
I agree with most of what you said. Tuition is high?? I am not sure about that. Stafford alone will cover the tuition, but not living expense. I am from the University of Melbourne and it's actually quite expensive living in the city, I guess adelaide(where flinders is at) is cheaper. But then even if you live in Sydney, you can always arrange in student accommodation in the hospital, which is REALLY REALLY cheap(15 to 20 dollars a week!!) However, the lifestyle in Sydney or Melbourne is DRASTICALLY different from that of Adelaide. If you like quiet environment, then go to Flinders, if you like busy, highly metropolitan like life, I would suggest Melbourne or Sydney. Don't worry about cost, you can always find cheap accommodation anywhere. IT is extremely important to go there and LOOK at the place before you decide, I was gonna go to the University of Adelaide for medicine but then I didn't like the city very much(eg. too quiet, not much fun) so I tried again and went to University of Melbourne.

Pat,

Melbourne, Australia

Posted on Mar 30, 2001, 6:20 AM
from IP address 129.78.64.5

Untitled
by Anonymous (Login Montanna)

Hi Pat,
I appreciate your info. and I agree with you saying that Flinders is excellent. By the way, I don't think Flinders is shadowed by those bigger name Universities, because even I know about Flinders and our friend who wanted to know about Flinders specifically asked about Flinders, not Melborne nor Sydney. Anyway, congratulations on your admission to Melborne. I wish you the best in your career in medicine, which I think is the noblest of all other careers.

sincerely,



Posted on Mar 30, 2001, 4:48 PM
from IP address 206.47.244.60

Really?
by Pat (Login patlabor)

Sorry I might have misused the word, 'overshadowed'. Oh I got in Melbourne long time ago. I am about to be finished with the MBBS degree. "Noblest of all other careers", huh? Perhaps I should say probably ONE of the most practical careers. I went into medicine not so much for the people but for my genuine interest certain aspects of medicine. Don't get me wrong I do care about patients and I do show basic respect and decent communication skills in it. You might have heard the trite saying, "Caring for patients is the most important quality", but I think in a real setting, technical expertise is more important than your heart. I don't mean to totally geek out in mastering the skills of medicine in expense of decent respect, but just have a genuine desire to be polite as to everyone else, not just patients.

Posted on Mar 30, 2001, 7:18 PM
from IP address 129.78.64.5

Makes sense,
by Anonymous (Login Montanna)

Hey Pat,
Sure your statement does make sense. Of course in practical settings, technical expertise is more important than compassion. But what I was getting at when I said "career in medicine is the noblest career" was that MOST of us (knowing I will get into one soon) ought not to be a businessman-like-physician but a physician who cares more of patients and fellow human beings than material gains. Though human's insatiable desires drive this world, I pray that physicians won't be driven by such foolish desires for material gains which ceaselessly poison our society. I wish you all the best in your career, Pat. Maybe I will come across you someday in Aus. Till then, let our hearts remain full of compassion and deficient of greed.

sincerely,

JC

Posted on Mar 30, 2001, 11:21 PM
from IP address 206.47.244.60

Maybe down under
by WDC (Login WDC)
Forum Moderator

I think to any premed or med student reading this who practices in America, be aware of one fact : Your chance of being sued is probably more dependant on the kind of person you are and the rapport you have for your patients, then how good you are.
Rude, obnoxious extremely gifted surgeons often get sued for minor problems when complete quacks with a great bedside manner and a mutual respect for their patients do not.
This is not only my opinion, but that of any good risk management dept.

I have worked in the UK, and if the system in Australia is similar, then docs are still up on a pedestal to some extent, and the type of person you are is less important.

BUT, Pat my friend, just remember one lesson : Being a good person, and learning how to communicate effectively and learning how to express genuine concern for your patients , and listening to their concerns does not detract from your techincal abilities.
I have mastered all of the techincal procedures for my job. I still get a kick out of sticking a radial arterial line in a 500 gram baby in septic shock who ahs a mean arterial pressure of 17, but I get just as much if not more gratification out of making sure that my patient's families get effective communication, and caring.



Posted on Mar 31, 2001, 4:30 AM
from IP address 205.188.193.154


You are right
by Pat (Login patlabor)

I didn't think I have communicated to you effectively. I apologise for that. I do communicate at a decent level and I do show "compassion" to patients. However, my compassion is more of an intellectual curiosity about their conditions rather than mere sympathy. This "curiosity" has surprisingly brought out the same attitude of caring and "compassion" that patients can sense. In other words, the end result is the same in a "real" sense. I think the theme of our discussion rather revolves around motive instead of the physical action that can be seen and felt. I am more of a scientist than clinician that why I have done tons of research in the field of neurology and neurosurgery. The same reason why I have chosen the neuro- field as my academic career for the future. In medicine, we need people with your atitude as much as mine. There are certainly no one, correct way to be a physician, and if there is, then there wouldn't be as much innovative development as it is now. I can hardly imagine there would be MRI today if not the work of many physicists who had devoted their life for science and innovation. I seriously doubt their motive is purely for people. But without them, we wouldn't have MRI today. But on the other hand, without caring physician like you, then medicine would be in a real crisis. In a nutshell, the diversity of medicine is as important as having diversity in society. Without the "greedy" doctors we can look upon to, self-reflection wouldn't be quite as possible by other doctors to improve themselves and to give them a higher mission in their career or to make you a relatively "better" person. It's all involuntary reflex. We live in a democratic society where we should be judged by our results and work rather than our motives.

Pat

Melbourne, Australia

Posted on Mar 31, 2001, 6:40 AM
from IP address 129.78.64.

agree
by WDC (Login WDC)
Forum Moderator

It take all types, and very often the person in the lab is the one that allows me to take al the credit for the latest gadget or drug that I ordered.

One curious thing that I found with my own training : Once the technical part of the job becomes second nature : You begin to think less about the actual " what" that you are doing, and enjoy the whole process.
Kind of like driving a car. At first, you must focus on the actual act of shifting, steering wtc.
But, after time you can begin to enjoy the drive.
Best of luck. ( or should I say cheers mate)

Posted on Mar 31, 2001, 2:33 PM
from IP address 170.57.49.9

Licensure in the US
by Richard (Login Richard75)

Hello Pat. I am considering applying to Australian medical schools. I was wondering if you knew of anyone who got into US residencies from your school or other Australian medical schools and I assume that you also plan to return to the US. Can you write the USMLE I & II in Australia? Also, I understand that you need to have reference letters from US physicians. How would you go about getting those letters of reference if you never did any clinical rotations at US teaching hospitals? I read in the AMA website that it is recommended to do "Observerships" in US Green Book hospitals (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1554.html)(..."Once an IMG has become ECFMG certified and received a visa, he or she is then eligible to apply to enter a residency program in the U.S. However, it is strongly recommended that IMGs participate in observership rotations in a clinical setting before applying to residency programs. Observerships provide IMGs with invaluable knowledge of U.S. medical clinical practice settings and with U.S. physicians who can serve as references."...). Personally, I am in a dilemma. I have been accepted to the American University of the Caribbean for the Sept. 2001 entering class and I know that I will be able to do rotations in US hospitals and hopefully get some good references. But, as I am a Canadian, it is going to be very expensive for me to study there and funding is going to be hard to come by for me. It will be somewhat less expensive for me to go to Australia. So, I am deciding to apply to several Australian medical schools and hopefully defer my Caribbean medical school entrance to a later date just in case. Are you concerned about obtaining reference letters from US physicians when you decide to apply for the Match? Also, when you had your interview for Univ. of Melbourne did you have to go to Australia, did they come to the States, or did you do it over the phone? I hope you can help answer my questions. I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Richard

To richard
by Pat (Login patlabor)

First of all, I am not from the U.S., though I was born there and hold U.S. citizenships.

I don't know if I am gonna go to the U.S. and practice. If I do, then I would apply for neurosurgery or neurology.

I have arranged rotation at BWH in Boston, ucsd for 8 weeks, and cleveland clinic starting in June for neurosurgery and neurology(at Hopkins possibly).

Well it's good to have references letter from the U.S., but not absolutely necessary.

VERY VERY few aussies in the past ten years have gone to the states for residency, they prefer to stay in their own country and practice medicine. 99.99% of aussies don't think about the states. Somehow this website assumes that everyone wants to go to the states. And so I only know a couple of Aussies who went to the states. People here careless whether the whole U.S. medical system crumbles. They exist SOLELY for their own country, not for the U.S of A.

No I am not concerned about U.S. letters because once I start rotating, I will be getting letters from top neurosurgeons or neurologists in the states, that why choose to rotate at top places. And also they have professors there who know professors here, or there are aussies graduates at these places who are professors of either neurology, neurosurgery, or surgery. Or I will be get letters from some well-known neurosurgeons here, like my supervisors, who is a FACS and once was the board examiner for the american college of neurosurgery. So i would assume he is more than well-respected in the states among neurosurgeons.

Well you be disadvantaged? If you suck, you suck. But then there will be programs that don't take any IMG even if you are from Oxford. I was going to try smaller university program for rotation and they didn't want to take me cuz I am an IMG. But then the bigger program took me without ANY problem. So it depends on the personality of the guy in charge. The PD at Cleveland knows my professor very well and so he actually told him that he would LOVE to have an aussie graduates as a neurosurgical resident in the future cuz they never had one. And so they offer me a rotation over there to see how things go. So it really depends on how they see you and whether they are petty about this IMG/US grad thing. Plus University of Melbourne is TOP notch in the field of neurosurgery. Most people would claim that how come they never heard of it. If you are in field, then you would know. Just open a recent 2 volumes text called "Operative neurosurgery", it's a text written by
literally top notch neurosurgeons here in Australia, America, UK, and Japan. Cuz they want to have an international standard in neurosurgery. My supervisor is the main author.

Well why I do want to go to the states.MORE MONEY!! Well, you do make MORE money for the same amount of work you put in. Sounds greedy but you will be as you get older.

I personally know two persons who went to the states and doing residency there, but then there might be more in Sydney or the recent emerging Flinders. One is in UCLA doing internal medicine, and the other is in Duke doing neurosurgery. There might be more, but then the university careless about gradutes going oversea and do their internships and residency, so we have NO officical data. I have heard this bloke from Sydney that his friend is doing Urology at Hopkins. Do they have high scores of the "usmle", I have got NO ideas. I know the guy who is in UCLA scored below average on his step 1.

Pat,

Melbourne, Australia



Posted on Mar 30, 2001, 11:19 PM
from IP address 129.78.64.5

Aussie Schools, US residency
by Kimberli Cox (Login kimberlicox)

Richard -
I encourage you to read my posts at the following URL:
http://network54.com/Hide/Forum/75738

But in a nutshell, I believe I can answer your questions as follows. Flinders, Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland all operate on the more American style 4 - 4 1/2 year curriculum and have an international quota. Only Flinders and Sydney have graduated classes with a substantial number of Americans and Canadians. Queensland and Melbourne are set to do so in the next couple of years.

All of the schools allow you to do electives during your 4th year provided you are in good academic standing and with approval of the elective by the curriculum committee. Therefore I would suggest that you use this elective time (a minimum of 12 weeks to a max of 24 weeks at Flinders [albeit with some finagling to get 24 weeks]) to do visiting clerkships in the US. While not required at *most* programs, it is your best way to meet US faculty, get LORs from US faculty, get your face and name known and get familiar with US hospital procedure. Its not much different from Oz, but there are some differences and you should be accustomed to them. Bear in mind that some residency programs require US clinical experience. Flinders and Sydney (the two schools I am more familiar with) have formal agreements with several US med schools, allowing for reciprocal rotations but you are not limited to these. As a matter of fact, you have a wide range of universities to choose from. I did my 4th year electives at UVA, Baylor, UCSF, U of Louisville, Kentucky and Hopkins. Others have done them at Columbia, Harvard, UCLA, Cleveland Clinic, LSU, Tulane, UC Davis, etc. Most schools accept visiting clerks as long as you meet their academic requirements, pre-reqs for the electives, have support of your school, etc. The information is usually found on the school's web site.

Observerships are designed for graduates who have completed their medical degree and therefore are not eligible for clinical electives. Traditionally observerships have been just that - you observe. For obvious reasons these are not as desirable as actual clinical contact with patients.

I do not have the data for Sydney's matches in the recent process, but can tell you that I will be starting Categorical Gen Surg at Penn State and others from Flinders have matched into Ortho (Henry Ford), IM at Penn, IM at Duke, Med/Peds at U Illinois, Rad at Penn State, IM in Grand Rapids, Peds in Albany. Rumor has it one of my classmates matched into Derm but I haven't been able to verify that!

It is true that at the Caribbean schools you spend your last 2 years in the states. I frankly don't think that makes much of a difference. My classmates and I were all told we compared favourably to US students clinically. The lifestyle is better is a first world country as well.

At any rate, I am starting to forget all of your questions, so will end my post here. Please feel free to check the other forum and email me should you have any other specific questions.

Best of luck...

Posted on Apr 9, 2001, 8:09 PM
from IP address 24.13.250.207

More Questions
by Kimberli Cox (Login kimberlicox)

I see your other questions I neglected to answer in my earlier post.

Interviews: interviews for the schools are conducted in the US, usually in LA and NY during the late summer and early fall. However, you are encouraged to come and have a look but I can assure you that the facilities at ALL of the Australian medical schools mentioned are first class. MY mother has a wonderful picture of me in front of the Ivy-covered gates at Melbourne Uni, Pat!

Letters: preferable from US physicians but I think you will be suprised at the number of Australian physicians who are known in the US. Because I was interested in Plastics, I was constantly asked at my rotations whether I knew this or that Australian surgeon. One of the world's foremost experts on craniofacial surgery is in Adelaide and Melbourne is a pioneer in microvascular surgery. The Chief of Neurosurg at Sydney is a legend. At any rate, the best tack is to do your electives in the US before the US fall, and get your letters then to supplement the Australian letters. Some fields are very small and everyone knows each other, as Pat has mentioned. Even if you have NO US letters you will not likely be at a significant disadvantage.

USMLE: Steps 1 and 2 can be taken in Australia, although currently they are not available in Adelaide. However, you are not required to take them by a certain time in Australia so I would simply recommend that you put off taking them until you either return to the US for vacation or during your 4th year electives. There is no reason to take Step 1 before then as the clinical acumen you will gain during your clinical rotations will help you on the increasingly clinical exam. But if so desire, you can travel to Sydney, Mebourne or Perth to sit the exams.

Whew...think I got all of the left over questions this time. If not...I may post one more time!

Posted on Apr 9, 2001, 8:16 PM
from IP address 24.13.250.207

Thanks
by Richard (Login Richard75)

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions. This also goes out to Pat too. When I am finally attending an Australian medical school I hope I can meet more helpful people like you amongst my upper classmen. Also, thanks for the offer of answering any more of my queries. I will certainly take you upon that. Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Richard

Posted on Apr 9, 2001, 11:20 PM
from IP address 24.76.143.32

THanks
by Kimberli Cox (Login kimberlicox)

You're welcome. I'm just relaxing now between graduation and start of residency July 1 - so enjoy helping others if I can.

Best of luck to you in your future endeavors and let me know if I can help in anyway.

Posted on Apr 10, 2001, 7:04 AM
from IP address 24.13.250.207