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Doctor of Medicine

Study medicine at the University of Sydney

About us

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    The University is ranked first in Australia and fifth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019.

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    Our medicine courses are consistently ranked highly, both in Australia and internationally

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Overview

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a four year full time professional postgraduate medical degree offering you clinical experience at leading hospitals, research opportunities at world-leading institutes, and established elective placements throughout Europe, Africa, North America and Asia. Our course will provide you with current best practice in medical education, high teacher-student ratios and extensive scholarship support. You will graduate as a medical practitioner who is responsive to the health needs of individuals, families and communities and committed to improving the health care system at all levels. Our students come from a range of backgrounds and academic disciplines.

Our graduate medicine MD program is designed to provide an excellent education and training platform on which to build a career in medicine, training excellent clinicians who will provide competent, diligent and ethical care to the community.

Our students receive extensive clinical training, with exposure in a clinical environment from the second week of their studies. This takes place in our clinical teaching hospitals, which are located all around Sydney and NSW. The basic sciences are extensively covered especially in years 1 and 2.

Key Points

  • Clinical training in leading NSW hospitals
  • Years 1 & 2 are primarily on campus, whilst years 3 & 4 are in clinical schools
  • We aim to equip you with high-level clinical skills and knowledge so you are well prepared for future medical research
  • We provide you with experience and awareness of health in an international setting.
  • Research skills training
  • Opportunities to experience rural and international health

Why study medicine here?

  • Innovative curriculum. We focus on small group, problem-based learning and integrating theory with practice. 
  • Early patient care. You will gain hands-on experience from as early as your second week. 
  • Clinical schools. We have an extensive network of clinical schools and teaching hospitals across New South Wales allowing our students access to a wide range of medical environments. 
  • Research excellence and training. You will have access to some of the world's leading researchers, institutes and networks. 
  • Placements. You will have access to placement opportunities in both rural and international settings. For example, medical students can apply to undertake a one year clinical placement in their third or fourth year at our School of Rural Health in Dubbo or Orange.
  • Accreditation. The Doctor of Medicine is fully accredited by the Australian Medical Council. Graduates are eligible for provisional registration as interns in any Australian state or territory, and in New Zealand. 

Why should study this course?

Postgraduates from any discipline who are interested in becoming a doctor, with a passion for healthcare.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations for this course.

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

How to apply

What you'll study

The MD program comprises of 4 broad themes that run through all four years of the course. These themes are: basic and clinical sciences, patient and doctor, population medicine, and personal and professional development.

In Stages 1 and 2 (Years 1 and 2), students work through a number of blocks that cover all body systems from both basic science and clinical perspectives, with an emphasis on understanding the scientific foundations of clinical reasoning and clinical practice. This ensures that the knowledge and problem-solving abilities which underpin medical practice have a strong scientific foundation.

Years 1 and 2 are spent primarily on the main university campus at Camperdown but from the second week of Stage 1 students have patient contact in our clinical schools. Clinical training is undertaken at large urban hospitals and smaller rural hospitals affording a balanced view of urban and rural health care and their differences.

In Stage 3 (Years 3 and 4 of the program), students cover all major aspects of clinical medicine and are based in their clinical school. One of the strengths of the Sydney Medical School and the MD program is the diversity and variety of our clinical schools which are so important in developing the skills and knowledge to effectively practice medicine. 

While practical clinical experience forms the basis for all learning in the latter two years of the Sydney Medical Program, it is accompanied by a structured teaching program. The balance between clerkship-based activities and scheduled sessions varies. In general, formal teaching sessions reduce in number and frequency as students move throughout years 3 and 4 of Stage 3 and are essentially withdrawn in the pre-internship block.

Research methodology is introduced in year 1, with students developing a research plan by the end of year 2. The research project culminates in a written report or an article suitable for publication by the end of year 4.

This course is also offered at the Westmead precinct.

Additional information

For more information on course structure and for a program snapshot please:

Units of Study

Admission criteria

The admission process for the MD is very detailed, please download the latest version of these documents for information on admission, selection criteria and timeline for applications:

Please note: the above documents are for our 2019 student intake. Use this information as a reference if you are considering applying in 2019 or 2020, or later. New guides will be uploaded in April 2019 for the following year. 

Domestic and international applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit average. Domestic applicants need to have achieved a competitive score in the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT),* including a minimum score of 50 in each section.

The GAMSAT is held twice a year, in March and September, in various cities. To apply in 2018 for 2019 entry, only results from the following GAMSAT tests can be used: September 2016, March 2017, September 2017, March 2018.

International applicants can submit GAMSAT or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)** results. Please note: there are special requirements for United States citizens.

Eligible applicants also need to undertake, and be scored in, an interview. To determine rankings for entry, we combine your interview score with GAMSAT score (or converted MCAT score).

* For admission to the MD, the average GAMSAT score has replaced the overall GAMSAT score. For the new GAMSAT calculation formula, please refer to our admissions guide. 

For general information about GAMSAT, please visit the Australian Council for Educational Research website

** For general information about MCAT, please refer to aamc.org/students/applying/mcat

Facilitated admission pathways

The MD has two facilitated admission pathways, for:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants, and
  • Rural origin applicants.

Please refer to page 23 of the MD and DMD Domestic Admissions Guide (pdf, 1.4MB) for more information.

 

Important information

Disclaimer

Please note the Sydney Medical School regularly reviews the admission criteria and application processes for its courses including the Doctor of Medicine. It reserves the right to change these criteria and processes without notice. Information on this website provides advice about the currently applicable criteria and processes, and may not be correct for future application periods.

2020 Curriculum changes

With effect from 2020, the MD curriculum will be revised to include more time in clinical settings and preparation for practice. Biomedical science knowledge teaching and learning in Year 1 will therefore be at higher level than the current program. The changes have been endorsed by Sydney Medical School and are subject to approval by the University of Sydney Academic Board.

The assumed knowledge on entry to the MD program will be in anatomy, physiology and molecular/cellular biology. At or before the start of the MD program, students will be required to complete an online Foundation Knowledge Course and self- assessment, developed and delivered by Sydney Medical School. This online course will cover the assumed knowledge. Students entering the MD program from 2020 onwards will have access to the Foundation Knowledge Course once they have been offered and have accepted a place in the program.

Sydney Medical School highly values the diversity of the medical student community and encourages entry of students from diverse backgrounds and with a wide variety of undergraduate degrees. This philosophy will be maintained after the 2020 changes. A Biomedical Science undergraduate degree is NOT a requirement for entry to the MD program, and all MD program students must complete the Foundation Knowledge Course regardless of their prior degree.

It is possible that GPA scores will, in the future, be incorporated into the ranking of applicants for entry into the MD. It is also possible that the GPA requirement will be increased. Applicants are advised to consult Sydney Medical School's website on a regular basis for any updates.

Additional costs

Additional costs are involved pre-application and during the application process:

  • GAMSAT examination costs ($505)
  • UAC Qualifications Assessment (GPA calculation) ($125)
  • International application processing fee (University) ($125)
  • Domestic applicant interview fee. ($150)

All students will need to purchase specific equipment and supplies as part of their course. 

You can find information on health cover for international students here and the university provides a guide for living away from home costs here

Other requirements

  • Successful applicants must provide evidence that they hold a current approved First Aid Certificate at enrolment. Find out more.
  • Before you attend a placement in a NSW Ministry of Health facility, you will need to meet certain requirements to be verified by the NSW Ministry of Health to ensure your safety and that of other students, staff and patients. Find out more. 
  • The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has announced that all health disciplines will be required to demonstrate English language skills at IELTS level 7 or equivalent. Please note that this standard applies to all applicants for initial registration as a medical practitioner or medical specialist. Find out more.

Deferral

Applications for deferral of enrolment following an offer of a place in the Doctor of Medicine will only be considered under exceptional circumstances, and require the approval of the Dean.

Transfer

Transfer of enrolment between medical schools is not possible except in exceptional circumstances. Applications for transfer for 2019 close on 30 September 2018.

Transfer will not be considered if an applicant has applied to the Medical Program but has been rejected.

Applicants for transfer must have met the requirements for admission to the Medical Program that were in place at the time of admission to their current medical school.

Applicants for transfer must complete at least 50 per cent of the Medical Program (ie transfers will only be considered for entry into Stage 1, Stage 2 or the start of Stage 3).

Matters that the Dean will consider in reviewing an application for transfer include:

  1. The circumstances leading to a request for transfer
  2. Whether the medical program curriculum undertaken by the applicant at the prior institution is comparable to the Sydney Medical Program, as determined by the Sydney Medical School
  3. The academic performance of the applicant in the prior medical school
  4. The availability of places in the year applied for

It may be the case that applicants will be required to undertake a barrier examination that permits entry into the appropriate year.

Applicants will be required to release all documents relevant to their current course.

Please complete a Transfer Application Form (PDF) and return it along with the required documents via email: ken.chow@sydney.edu.au

Change in immigration status

International applicants for the DMD and students who change from international to domestic status are advised to refer to clause 39 of the University’s Coursework Policy 2014.

Impermissible conduct

Sydney Medical School reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject an application for admission or to vary or cancel an offer of admission if an applicant’s conduct during the admissions process or prior to enrolment causes it to form the view that the applicant is unsuitable for admission to the MD.

Examples of conduct that might make an applicant unsuitable for admission to the MD include (but are not limited to):

  • failure by the applicant to treat University of Sydney employees, students, applicants or other members of the University community with respect and courtesy, including failure to use appropriate language and tone in written or verbal communications;
  • failure by the applicant to act honestly and ethically in their dealings with University of Sydney employees, students, applicants or other members of the University community;
  • conduct that results in the applicant being excluded from another higher education institution, or from a course or program offered by another higher education institution;
  • conduct that gives Sydney Medical School reasonable cause to believe that enrolling the applicant in clinical training may place them, their peers, or members of the public at risk of harm; and
  • conduct that results in the applicant being charged with a criminal offence.

Inherent requirements

To assist students in making informed choices about their study, we have identified and set out the inherent requirements for coursework award courses in medicine.

 

Registration and practice in Australia and other countries

Student registration
Students enrolled in the medical program will be registered with AHPRA by the University. Information about Student Registration can be found on the AHPRA website.

Registration and practise in Australia
Following the successful completion of the Medical Program, graduates enter the medical workforce, primarily in the major public teaching hospitals, and complete a 1 year internship program. Upon successful completion of this internship junior doctors are eligible to receive full registration with the State Medical Board or Council. In general, registration in one state of Australia entitles the doctor to registration in other states.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has English Language Skills Registration Standards, and it is important that you read these carefully; Additional information about this standard is available on the AHPRA website.

Most junior doctors undertake an additional year of hospital training before commencing postgraduate medical training leading to specialisation. Specialist medical training is carried out by the relevant specialty medical college in conjunction with the state public health system. This training is not conducted by universities.

Contact details of the specialist medical colleges are available from the AMC website.

Internships
Internships are allocated by HETI or by the Commonwealth via the Junior Doctor Training Program - Private Hospital Stream, not universities. The NSW Health Department has made it clear that no Australian trained international medical student is guaranteed an internship upon graduation. Please visit the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) website for any updates.

Australian-trained international medical graduates may stay on and work as interns in public hospitals and access vocational medical training. This policy however is subject to change. Australian-trained international students should check the current situation at the Department of Home Affairs or contact the department for details.

Registering to practice in countries other than Australia
Graduates intending to practise medicine in a country other than Australia must satisfy the particular requirements of that country.

These requirements are different in each country and students must contact the relevant professional medical association of their intended country of practise. Sydney Medical School University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health is listed on the World Directory of Medical Schools and Sydney Medical Program is a well-regarded degree.

In addition to your degree, some countries will have other requirements, such as registration exams.

Rural placements

Rural placements in the Sydney Medical Program allow students to see and experience a range of clinical problems that don’t present in metropolitan settings. Clinical practice often reflects local resources and custom, and exposure to new ways of doing things can be an important learning experience.

Placements can take place at our rural campuses in Dubbo, Orange, Broken Hill and Northern Rivers. Learn more about student life on our rural campuses.  We also teach in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

A range of scholarships are available for rural medicine students via the NSW Rural Doctors Network.

Future study options

Higher Degree by Research

Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a postgraduate coursework masters or a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy offered by Sydney Medical School. Further details can be found here.

Combined medicine and master by coursework

Develop specialist knowledge and broaden your medical education with a combined MD and masters by coursework program while completing the MD.  For example, you might like to combine with a Master of Public Health or Master of Bioethics. 

How to apply

Contact Associate Professor Leo Davies, to discuss your aspirations prior to submitting your application. MD students must have successfully completed Stage 1 (first year) and be achieving good academic results to take on the additional academic load of a concurrent degree.

Concurrent degree local provisions

The concurrent degree local provisions can be found on the University of Sydney's Policy Register.

Short professional development courses

Sydney Medical School offers a wide range of short professional development courses for health professionals through its clinical schools, disciplines and associated research institutes.

Many of the courses offered are pre-accredited for Continuing Medical Education (CME) points, and other courses may be awarded CME points on request to your relevant association or professional body. For further information and a list of courses available please see the Sydney Medical School website.

Graduate opportunities

One year of internship is required prior to registration. In Australia, State Health Departments are responsible for the funding of, and placement of students for, internships. Internships are therefore determined by the relevant State Health Departments, not universities. The NSW Health Department has made it clear that no Australian trained international medical student is guaranteed an internship upon graduation. Please visit the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) website for any updates.

Australian-trained international medical graduates may stay on and work as interns in public hospitals and access vocational medical training. This policy however is subject to change. Australian-trained international students should check the current situation at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or contact the department for details.

Most junior doctors make their career choice during their second postgraduate year, most commonly opting for general practice or one of the specialties. Clinical training under the supervision of one of the specialist colleges (RACGP, RACP, RACS, etc) takes between three and six years in most instances. Australia is in special need of doctors for rural and remote practice, including Indigenous health care. Other careers for Sydney medical graduates include medical research, teaching, medical administration, medical communication or journalism, consulting and overseas aid work.

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increase


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy


Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students


The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html. In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy


Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.