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Q&A Thread - studying medicine and being a doctor (1 Viewer)

thush@decode

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Hi everyone! I'm Thushan and I am currently a medical registrar at Monash Health. I completed my MBBS at Monash University in 2017.

I would be very happy to offer my time on this forum to anyone who has any questions about what it is like studying medicine, and what it is like being a doctor.

For Year 12 students who are thinking about pursuing Medicine, this is the place to ask questions!
 

Directrix

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couldn’t the old medicine chat be revived?
 

Qeru

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Hi everyone! I'm Thushan and I am currently a medical registrar at Monash Health. I completed my MBBS at Monash University in 2017.

I would be very happy to offer my time on this forum to anyone who has any questions about what it is like studying medicine, and what it is like being a doctor.

For Year 12 students who are thinking about pursuing Medicine, this is the place to ask questions!
do you make more money than ppl with other degrees?
 

thush@decode

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do you make more money than ppl with other degrees?
The renumeration is certainly very healthy and I am very grateful for it. The work is quite difficult, but personally I think we are very well renumerated for it.

In Victoria this year, a medical intern (straight out of medical school) would earn about $82,000 per year (base salary + allowances) before tax.
A first-year medical registrar like myself (for doctors in the Physician training pathway, this happens at approximately the 3rd year out of medical school) in Victoria would earn about $125,000 per year.

As of 2011, the average GP earned about $182,000 per year and the average non-GP specialist earns about $333,000 (MABEL survey data). This figure would be significantly higher in 2021, but I don't have those numbers in front of me.

Compared to other degrees - it is definitely well above average. Is it the highest? Could potentially be (on average); other competing industries would include dentistry and investment banking, and possibly law (once you are quite senior), but I am not 100% sure.
 

Directrix

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The renumeration is certainly very healthy and I am very grateful for it. The work is quite difficult, but personally I think we are very well renumerated for it.

In Victoria this year, a medical intern (straight out of medical school) would earn about $82,000 per year (base salary + allowances) before tax.
A first-year medical registrar like myself (for doctors in the Physician training pathway, this happens at approximately the 3rd year out of medical school) in Victoria would earn about $125,000 per year.

As of 2011, the average GP earned about $182,000 per year and the average non-GP specialist earns about $333,000 (MABEL survey data). This figure would be significantly higher in 2021, but I don't have those numbers in front of me.

Compared to other degrees - it is definitely well above average. Is it the highest? Could potentially be (on average); other competing industries would include dentistry and investment banking, and possibly law (once you are quite senior), but I am not 100% sure.
So uh, do you write neatly?
 

Time&moretime

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Hi everyone! I'm Thushan and I am currently a medical registrar at Monash Health. I completed my MBBS at Monash University in 2017.

I would be very happy to offer my time on this forum to anyone who has any questions about what it is like studying medicine, and what it is like being a doctor.

For Year 12 students who are thinking about pursuing Medicine, this is the place to ask questions!
First week of med & I'm feeling overwhelmed 😫,could you please offer any advice/strategies on studying the content - Phase 1?
Thank you for any advice you could offer me.
 

thush@decode

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First week of med & I'm feeling overwhelmed 😫,could you please offer any advice/strategies on studying the content - Phase 1?
Thank you for any advice you could offer me.
Hey Time@moretime! Sorry for my relatively late reply.

From doing a little digging around the term "Phase 1" I take it you're doing Medicine at UNSW?

I gather that your course is structured around PBLs? If so, what I'd do is first study the characteristics of the associated organ system first (I'd recommend Boron's Medical Physiology - highly in depth, but explains everything from first principles using a scientific approach) - the anatomy and physiology simultaneously, then the associated pharmacology and pathology/diseases after studying the physiology - then dissecting through the PBL case and making logical connections between what you have learnt and the PBL case. Studying medicine is most similar to the approach that one would take in studying HSC Biology - a lot of base facts/rote content, which coalesce together to form beautiful complex concepts.

One thing that tripped me up with the PBL approach when I was a med student was that we essentially studied the material "backwards", first looking at the PBL case, then going back and looking at the relevant medical science material. What happens there is that you get confused as to what is physiological and what is pathological, and that is a right pain in the posterior and gets extremely confusing!

Does that help at all? Sorry I couldn't be of more help without knowing more intimately how your course works!

So uh, do you write neatly?
LOL. Definitely not. These days we type our medical notes and order drugs electronically via an electronic medical record anyway.

The few times I have handwritten stuff...my handwriting has certainly become increasingly less legible as I get older.

I tutor Year 12 Chemistry too - and I often resort to writing in capitals because my script handwriting is quite difficult to read.
 

Time&moretime

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Hey Time@moretime! Sorry for my relatively late reply.

From doing a little digging around the term "Phase 1" I take it you're doing Medicine at UNSW?

I gather that your course is structured around PBLs? If so, what I'd do is first study the characteristics of the associated organ system first (I'd recommend Boron's Medical Physiology - highly in depth, but explains everything from first principles using a scientific approach) - the anatomy and physiology simultaneously, then the associated pharmacology and pathology/diseases after studying the physiology - then dissecting through the PBL case and making logical connections between what you have learnt and the PBL case. Studying medicine is most similar to the approach that one would take in studying HSC Biology - a lot of base facts/rote content, which coalesce together to form beautiful complex concepts.

One thing that tripped me up with the PBL approach when I was a med student was that we essentially studied the material "backwards", first looking at the PBL case, then going back and looking at the relevant medical science material. What happens there is that you get confused as to what is physiological and what is pathological, and that is a right pain in the posterior and gets extremely confusing!

Does that help at all? Sorry I couldn't be of more help without knowing more intimately how your course works!



LOL. Definitely not. These days we type our medical notes and order drugs electronically via an electronic medical record anyway.

The few times I have handwritten stuff...my handwriting has certainly become increasingly less legible as I get older.

I tutor Year 12 Chemistry too - and I often resort to writing in capitals because my script handwriting is quite difficult to read.
Thank you for your reply, I'm not a Biology student but have collected a few secondhand Biology texts through high school. I have to put that on my list now. Thank you for starting this topic. Have to say, you've an impressive list of awards!
 

thush@decode

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Thank you for your reply, I'm not a Biology student but have collected a few secondhand Biology texts through high school. I have to put that on my list now. Thank you for starting this topic. Have to say, you've an impressive list of awards!
Any time! You're very welcome to post again if you need some more advice/tips!
 

Sunaina123

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Hi everyone! I'm Thushan and I am currently a medical registrar at Monash Health. I completed my MBBS at Monash University in 2017.

I would be very happy to offer my time on this forum to anyone who has any questions about what it is like studying medicine, and what it is like being a doctor.

For Year 12 students who are thinking about pursuing Medicine, this is the place to ask questions!
Would you be able to offer any insights into the medicine program at ANU (structure, offers etc.)?
Thanks:)
 

edds7575

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Hi everyone! I'm Thushan and I am currently a medical registrar at Monash Health. I completed my MBBS at Monash University in 2017.

I would be very happy to offer my time on this forum to anyone who has any questions about what it is like studying medicine, and what it is like being a doctor.

For Year 12 students who are thinking about pursuing Medicine, this is the place to ask questions!
Hi there! My questions are kinda far into the future but I'm just curious. How stressful was your intern year, and how many hours in average would you work per week? Also, how competitive was it to get into your registrar position, and do you mind sharing what specialty you're working in (you don't have to if you don't want to!)?
 

Directrix

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Hi there! My questions are kinda far into the future but I'm just curious. How stressful was your intern year, and how many hours in average would you work per week? Also, how competitive was it to get into your registrar position, and do you mind sharing what specialty you're working in (you don't have to if you don't want to!)?
Unrelated, but Happy Birthday!
 

thush@decode

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Would you be able to offer any insights into the medicine program at ANU (structure, offers etc.)?
Thanks:)
I'll try my best. Incidentally, my sister did her medical degree at the ANU and I did do an elective rotation in Canberra in my final year, so I have a tiny amount of familiarity.

Looking through the handbook, looks like Year 1 and 2 are preclinical years and Years 3 and 4 are clinical years.

Year 1 and 2
Looks like the preclinical material is studied in "blocks" organised by organ system.
  • Year 1 Sem 1
    • Foundation (Cell and Molecular Biology)
  • Year 1 Sem 2
    • Cardiorespiratory and Renal - cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems
    • Endocrinology and Reproductive Health - endocrinology, gynaecology and some andrology potentially
  • Year 2
    • Musculoskeletal and Neuroscience
    • Gastroenterology and Nutrition
    • Haematology, Oncology and Infectious Diseases
    • "Consolidation" - appears to be an integration of all the previous blocks
Each block in Year 2 appears to be examined via an end-of-block MCQ test/exam, and there are mid-year and end of year written examinations and an OSCE.

Year 3 (Clinical)
You do four rotations:
  • Medicine - you do a rotation in a medical unit (when I was on elective in The Canberra Hospital, there were a couple of third-years with me in the Cardiology unit)
  • Surgery
  • GP
  • Paeds
Two exams - an MCQ exam and an extended answer "Minicase" exam which in my sister's year was 4 hours long, and there was an OSCE too.

Year 4 (Clinical)
You do four blocks - here you are expected to take on some of the jobs an intern would do:
  • Medicine/Surgery (again)
  • Acute Care - I think this means an Anaesthetics or an ICU term
  • Psychiatry
  • Obstetrics/Gynaecology
There doesn't seem to be any exams in this year.

Pathways from high school
From the website, there are a couple of pathways:
  • PhB Pathway - You do a Bachelor in Philosophy (Science) at ANU for 4 years. This enables you to apply for one of up to 10 places in the ANU Medical program without doing the GAMSAT. You have to do an interview and they look at your academic record. It's not clear whether you just need to meet a hurdle to get in, or whether offers are competitive.
  • Health Science - You do a 3-year Bachelor of Health Sciences at the ANU; here you do not have to sit the GAMSAT either. Offers are competitive, and they look at your uni marks (40%) which must be minimum 75%, interview (40%) and an application statement (20%).
  • Tuckwell Scholarship - ANU offers 25 scholarships to Year 12s who are outstanding in character, leadership and grades. If you get a Tuckwell Scholarship and you state that you want to do Medicine consistently, you are ?guaranteed a place in the Medicine program without a further interview or GAMSAT.
Hope that helps!

Hi there! My questions are kinda far into the future but I'm just curious. How stressful was your intern year, and how many hours in average would you work per week? Also, how competitive was it to get into your registrar position, and do you mind sharing what specialty you're working in (you don't have to if you don't want to!)?
Intern year was stressful at the start as you get used to the job and the workload/workflow and learn how the hospital system works. Being proactive as a final year med student takes the pressure off a great deal.

Working hours are pretty variable, depends on the rotation. Per week I usually worked about 38-43 hours? Didn't do very much unpaid overtime in the terms I was in. There are some units where interns/residents have to spend multiple hours a day doing unpaid overtime - I kind of lucked out of sorts.

I'm doing Basic Physician Training (BPT) with the Royal Australasian College of Practitioners, currently in my third year (BPT3) - just did the written exam! As I understand it, the structure in Victoria works a little differently from NSW; in Victoria, the structure is as such:
  • PGY1 - intern (1 year contract)
  • PGY2 - BPT1 (you can do BPT1 straight after internship in Victoria, you'd be what NSWers call an RMO); some people get into BPT in PGY3 or 4 etc and do BPT1 then. Getting into BPT is reasonably competitive and is not limited by the College, but limited by the hospitals as there are a limited number of hospital jobs that are BPT-accredited.
  • PGY3 - BPT2; mostly RMO jobs with occasional junior General Medicine registrar jobs
  • PGY4 - BPT3; junior registrar in General Medicine
  • PGY5 - Advanced Training (Year 1 of 3)
The first big bottleneck is getting into particular specialties in Advanced Training, especially procedural specialties like Cardiology and Gastroenterology which are also the most lucrative due to the way Medicare works and because you can charge a fair whack for procedures.
 

Eagle Mum

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Intern year was stressful at the start as you get used to the job and the workload/workflow and learn how the hospital system works. Being proactive as a final year med student takes the pressure off a great deal.

Working hours are pretty variable, depends on the rotation. Per week I usually worked about 38-43 hours? Didn't do very much unpaid overtime in the terms I was in. There are some units where interns/residents have to spend multiple hours a day doing unpaid overtime - I kind of lucked out of sorts.
Did you do significant hours of rostered PAID overtime as a JMO?
How are evenings/nights/weekend shifts covered? Are they part of a rostered 38-40hr week?
 

thush@decode

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I did rostered overtime and it is always paid.

Evenings/nights/weekends are included in the roster, yes. When do you work weekends you end up going into paid rostered overtime.
 

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