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Medical school entry rule changes

Changes to medical school admissions for 2016 entry

by , 29 April, 2016
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As Bob Dylan said, The Times They Are a-Changin'.  The beast that is the world of graduate medical school admissions just got a whole lot more confusing, with yet another university pulling out of the GEMSAS consortium in favour of direct applications. 

And then there were three

The University of Sydney (USyd) parted ways with GEMSAS back in 2011 and as noted in our blog post last November Monash University will leave the GEMSAS consortium at the end of 2015 (candidates will continue to apply through GEMSAS for 2016 entry).  In addition, effective immediately, Flinders University has withdrawn from GEMSAS so candidates must make a direct application to Flinders for 2016 entry. 

This is good and bad news. 

The good news is you get three bites at the cherry - a GEMSAS application and a direct application for both USyd and Flinders.  The bad news is that places are drying up.  For 2016 entry, Flinders are reserving up to 75% of their places for Flinders graduates of certain degrees (it’s yet to be confirmed what this means, but one can assume it will be akin to Monash reserving places for students who have completed their own branded biomedical science degree). 

The other bad news is you’ve got to cough up more money.

  • GEMSAS application fee: $185
  • UAC GPA calculation fee (required for USyd application): $120
  • USyd interview fee: $150
  • Flinders application fee: TBC (application fees for international students are $100 so expect something similar).

If you’re thinking ‘getting into medicine: priceless’ then this probably won’t phase you too much.  But if you’ve already dropped $455 on the exam and purchased preparation materials, parting with another 11 crisp pineapples might necessitate a bulk order of Mi Goreng at your next shop, particularly if this isn’t your first time around the medical school admissions block.

The other issue is the cut-off.  Flinders uses your GAMSAT® Exam alone to make interview offers, which usually means that the minimum GAMSAT® Exam score sits a little higher – peaking at 67 for 2014 entry – when compared to combination schools (those that use your GAMSAT+GPA to rank you for interview offers).  Interestingly, when USyd broke away from the GEMSAS consortium in 2011, the GAMSAT® Exam cut-off rose dramatically (62 for 2011 entry to 67 for 2012 entry) as every man and his dog decided USyd was worth a shot.  However, in some potentially good news, application fees weren’t what they are now, and as the Flinders cut-off is sitting pretty high already, we might not see that same jump.

But in more bad news, the frogurt is cursed.*

What next?

  • Get reading!  Read the GEMSAS admissions guide.  You’ll also want to read the USyd admissions guide and the Flinders admissions guide (published mid-April).
  • Then, you should make sure you visit each medical school’s website and read up on their specific admission requirements and important dates. 
  • Finally, if you’re thinking of applying to The University of Notre Dame (Sydney and/or Freemantle) or The University of Wollongong, you’ll need to start thinking about your portfolio.
  • It’s going to be a long year, but if you get started now and make sure you read through everything, the admissions process will be a lot easier to handle.

Note: If you don’t understand this reference, you missed out on your childhood.  That’s bad.  But you can go here to find it:  That’s good.