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Doctor of Medicine

Study medicine at the University of Sydney

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Overview

The Sydney Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a masters-level degree that provides students with world-class clinical and research training. On completion, graduates are eligible for registration with the Australian Medical Board as a doctor.

The Sydney MD is based on current best practice in medical education, with opportunities to learn in Sydney’s premier teaching hospitals as well as in rural and international locations.  Graduates leave as medical practitioners, responsive to the health needs of individuals, families and communities and committed to improving the health care system at all levels.

In 2020 a new MD curriculum and course structure will be introduced. The program will maintain the best aspects of the current course, while enhancing learning opportunities through earlier clinical exposure, added personalisation options, new research opportunities, and immersive clinical placements in the last year of the program, preparing students for practice as a doctor.

Key program features

  • Diverse student cohort. A biomedical science degree is not a prerequisite.
  • Preparation for entry. A foundational knowledge course is available to all students on enrolment to ensure assumed knowledge in anatomy, physiology, molecular and cell biology is met.
  • Opportunities to undertake research. The University has a number of leading centres of excellence, as well as options to partake in electives overseas.
  • MD project and personalised pathways. The program offers dedicated time to complete a substantial research project in year three over a 14-week period. Students also have the opportunity to develop skills in specific areas (personalised pathways) through elective and selective studies.
  • Graduated clinical immersion. The program increases clinical exposure and immersion throughout the degree in rural and urban settings with integration into medical teams. Students are directly supervised on wards, in clinics and in community settings by experienced clinicians and educators.
  • Prepared for practice. The entire fourth-year of the program acts as a pre-internship, giving students full clinical immersion.  
  • Enquiry-based, integrated, spiral curriculum. Clinical knowledge, reasoning and other skills are built on a foundation of biomedical sciences. 
  • Clinical Schools. The University of Sydney has a huge range of clinical schools at teaching hospitals in both Sydney and in wider NSW for students to complete placements.
  • Overseas opportunities. Sydney Medical School has extensive international connections. You can undertake a four to eight week clinical or research placement during your elective term.

Why study medicine here?

  • Innovative curriculum. We focus on small group, team-based learning and integrating theory with practice. 
  • Early patient contact. 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. 
  • International student opportunities. If you are an international student, there are a number of opportunitites for you to undertake rotations in your home country, with the aim of allowing you to more easily return home after your studies in Sydney.

Who should study this course? 

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

Mission, vision and values

Mission

The mission of the Sydney MD is to deliver excellence in medical education and research training.  We will provide opportunities for students to develop personalised pathways to develop expertise in their area of choice through the program. Our graduates will be prepared for practice to improve the health and wellbeing of all peoples in Australia and internationally through collaboration in prevention and treatment of disease.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to develop compassionate, diverse and innovative lifelong learners, who work in partnership with individuals and communities to improve health through clinical care, education and research.

Values

Integrity, compassion, curiosity and inclusion.

Please note: The University of Sydney's MD course changes are pending approval from the Australian Medical Council in 2019. 

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 eight vertical themes that run through all four years of the course. These themes are: basic and clinical sciences, clinical skills, diagnostics and therapy, research, evidence and informatics, population health, indigenous health, ethics, law and professionalism and interprofessional teamwork.

In year one 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.

These key areas of study include: cardiovascular sciences, respiratory sciences, musculoskeletal/immunology, endocrine nutrition, renal urology, gastroenterology, sexual health and reproduction and neurosciences.

This ensures that the knowledge and problem-solving abilities which underpin medical practice have a strong scientific foundation.

During their first year, students will spend three to four days per week on the main University campus, with one day per week in our clinical schools.

In year two, students cover major aspects of clinical medicine and spend up to fifty per cent of their time in the 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. 

During year two, students will also be allocated to a research project that they will conduct in year three. The allocation will be based on personal experience and interest and supported by training in research methods in year two. The objective of the ‘MD Project’ is to add depth to aspects of the medical studies and give students the experience of developing, managing and reporting on a circumscribed project under supervision.

Students will have a number of options for their projects, ranging from an advanced clinical assignment to a small research project. The project will culminate in a written report or an article suitable for publication.

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 through year three and the main emphasis in year four is on preparation for practice.  This entails a full time, extended clinical placement in a hospital medical, surgical or general practice settings. Students work as part of the clinical multidisciplinary team under supervision, cementing and integrating the knowledge, skills and professional attributes they have developed over the program.

Additional information

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

Units of Study

Admission criteria

To receive an offer of admission to the Doctor of Medicine (MD), applicants must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Satisfactory performance* in an eligible bachelor’s degree at the time of application, as indicated by Grade Point Average (GPA).
  2. Satisfactory performance* in an admissions test – Domestic applicants must submit valid Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) results with their application. International applicants may alternatively submit valid Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) results.
  3. Satisfactory performance* in an interview - Applicants who meet the minimum GPA and admission test requirements will be considered for participation in the interview process, the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI).

*Satisfactory Performance is defined in the relevant Admissions Guide (see below).

Important dates for the 2020 intake are available below:

You will be ineligible to apply if:

  • You have not been or will not be qualified for an eligible bachelor’s degree by 1 January of the year in which you intend to enrol in the MD. (Please note the exception for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students under the Indigenous Admission Pathway – see below.)
  • You have previously applied unsuccessfully for admission to the MD at the University of Sydney and have commenced studies in postgraduate medicine at another University.

If you have previously accepted an offer of a place in the MD at the University of Sydney, and have:

(a) failed to submit any outstanding documentation to proceed with an unconditional offer or to enrol; or

(b) enrolled in and subsequently withdrawn from or discontinued the MD without prior approval from the Head of School and Dean;

you will be ineligible for admission to the MD for a period of two years from the date of application or enrolment, as relevant.  

Facilitated admission pathways

Facilitated admission pathways are available to the following applicants:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

o    Indigenous Facilitated Admission Pathway (for applicants with a bachelor’s degree and GAMSAT results)

o    Indigenous Admission Pathway (for applicants with a postgraduate degree)

  • Australian citizens of rural origin as defined by the Australian government.

Please refer to the MD and DMD Domestic Admissions Guide (pdf, 1.1MB) for definitions and information on facilitated admission pathways..

Places and Demographics

The intake for the MD is usually about 300 students each year. These include Bonded Medical Places  (BMP) and 65 international fee-paying places.

Demographics can be found here.

 

Important information

Disclaimer

Please note 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. 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 this website on a regular basis for any changes to entry criteria or program updates.

Additional costs

Additional costs are involved pre-application and during the application process. Find out more (pdf, 94KB).

Other requirements prior to commencement of the MD:

Students who are offered and accept a place in the MD will be required to provide a current approved First Aid Certificate and meet Clinical Compliance requirements.

Post-degree Registration Requirements: Information about registration, internships, and practice in Australia and other countries can be found here (pdf, 79KB).

Deferral

Applicants should be prepared and ready to commence the course in the year for which they have applied. Applications for deferral of enrolment following an offer of a place in the Doctor of Medicine will only be considered under exceptional circumstances that could not have been foreseen at the time of application, and require the approval of the Head of School and Dean.

Transfer

Transfer of enrolment between medical schools is not possible, other than in exceptional circumstances. Applications for transfer for 2020 close on 30 September 2019. Please click here (pdf, 92KB) for information.

Change in immigration status

International applicants and students who change from international to domestic status can find the relevant rules here (pdf, 106KB). 

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 Sydney Medical School 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.

 

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.

Career Pathways

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, protective 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 a government approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government. Further information is available from https://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/living-costs/health-insurance.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.

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