||Overview of Medicine
Medicine is a tough but equally rewarding career for people who like studying science, helping others and promoting healthy lifestyles.
There are many careers available to medical degree graduates, from the doctor you see at the clinic to the specialist you’re referred to by your doctor, to the surgeon who works in the operating theatre.
Everyone who wants to work in those fields needs to do a medical degree.
To get into an undergraduate medical course, you will need very high marks in Year 12 and the Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT), and attend an interview with the university. The degree usually takes five to six years.
Some universities have a different medical study structure. They need you to do an approved undergraduate degree before starting the four-year postgraduate or graduate-entry medical degree.
You also need to do the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMAT) and attend an interview to get into the course.
After graduating, you have to do a one-year internship, register with your state medical board and spend at least one more year as a resident before you can start vocational studies (which you need to do to be a medical specialist).
Careers in Medicine
There are many specialisations in medicine, including general practitioner (GP), surgeon, anaesthetist, dermatologist, gynaecologist, pathologist, neurologist and cardiologist.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners trains GPs in their vocational years, while the Royal Australasian College of Physicians trains internal medicine specialists and paediatricians.
There are many other medical colleges in Australia, accredited by the Australian Medical Council. But you won’t have to worry about specialisations until after university.
The average weekly income for GPs is $2000 and for internal medical specialists, like cardiologists and oncologists, it’s $2750. Other medical specialists like gynaecologists and radiologists earn $1750 a week, according to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Skills needed in Medicine
Not every medical course in Australia has prerequisites, but you should study English and chemistry in high school to be able to understand the university material.
Medical professionals need to have good communication skills, empathy, and high levels of motivation, discipline, conscientiousness and self-confidence.
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