Next gen rural doctors face their first test @ UNE

Published 02 December 2013


The long road to a medical career in the bush starts this week at the University of New England, as potential Doctors swat up for their first step, the selection panel interview.

Admission into the 2014 Bachelor of Medicine – Joint Medical Program between UNE and the University of Newcastle, is so highly sought that students must pass a gruelling six-month assessment process designed to identify those applicants most likely to succeed in their studies and eventually make good rural Doctors.

A/Head of UNE Rural Medical School John Nevin said a career in rural medicine requires more than just a record of outstanding HSC and undergraduate achievements.

“It takes a special kind of person to practice medicine beyond city limits, the people we choose to enter the JMP will have the social skills, resourcefulness and aptitude to make fine rural practitioners.”

Professor Nevin said approximately 750 applicants would complete a comprehensive Personal Qualities Assessment and Multiple Skills Assessment this week in a series of interviews on the UNE and UN campuses.

“From more than 3000 students who sat the Universities Medical Admissions Test in May this year, only about 170 will be invited to enrol in 2014,” Professor Nevin said.

“In order to qualify for an interview, students had to score in the top 10 per cent of results in the UMAT or top 15 per cent if they come from a rural background.

He said during selection week applicants will sit through eight separate interviews, designed to assess everything from reasoning, comprehension and expression to compassion, motivation and importantly, an understanding of the career they intend to enter.

“It’s a long road to graduation, so the assessment process is by necessity tough. We want to make sure we select people with the greatest potential to stick with the program all the way to the end.”