Rural students urged to study medicine

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Rural high school students interested in a career in medicine, take note. Your chances of gaining entry into the University of Adelaide are far better than you think.

In a bid to attract more rural students, the University is keen to break down the myths that it believes are discouraging a large percentage of country teenagers from considering a medical career.

For a start, a TER in the high 80s could secure you a place in the Medical School and the cost of studying and moving to Adelaide can be offset through a range of rural scholarships.

And the clincher - no prerequisite subjects are required for application to the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the University of Adelaide.

A study commissioned by the Spencer Gulf Rural Health School (a joint initiative of the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia) has revealed a range of real and perceived barriers faced by rural students.

The study, funded by the Federal Government's Department of Health and Ageing, reveals that a high percentage of rural South Australian students are extremely pessimistic about their chances of being accepted into medicine.

The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Justin Beilby, said only a small number of rural South Australian students apply for entry to medicine at the University of Adelaide each year, despite a serious shortage of doctors in country areas.

"It is a challenge to recruit young people from a rural background into medicine because many of them believe - incorrectly - that the required TER is higher than 95," Professor Beilby said.

"In fact, the TER required for entry into medicine at the University of Adelaide is 90, but rural students can get the Fairway bonus points, so a TER in the high 80s is theoretically enough to get into MBBS."

Many rural students are also unaware of the three-stage process involved in applying to study medicine at the University.

Applications to sit the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT) must be received by June 9, 2006 for students to be considered for the 2007 intake of medical students at the University of Adelaide.

Having done the UMAT, more than 400 students are then invited to take part in a structured Oral Assessment. Once their TER is obtained in late December, all these factors are taken into account by the University, which then makes its offers.

"There is evidence that suggests that if medical schools could attract more secondary school students from rural areas, then those students would be more likely to return to a rural area to work as a doctor," Professor Beilby said.

Rural medical scholarships are also available to help offset the costs of studying medicine and relocating to live in Adelaide.

Students are reminded of the 9 June, 2006 deadline for the UMAT application date for the 2007 cohort. For more information about the UMAT, go to email or phone (03) 9277 5673.


Contact Details

Professor Justin Beilby
Executive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5193
Mobile: 0403 017 457

Professor Jonathan Newbury
School of Population Health
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: 0418 818 469

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762