Macquarie University now offers medical degree with stint in India
Macquarie University medical students will have 5 months of clinical training in a hospital in India. Source: Shutterstock

The new course on offer at the public university will let students conduct their clinical training for five months in a local hospital at Hyderabad, India.

According to Financial Review, the four-year, graduate-entry programme, which will start next year, will cost AUD256,000 for domestic students and AUD280,000 for international students. Up to 40 Australian students and 20 international ones will be able to enroll, reports

“Our students will be global citizens, they will be experienced beyond their own home town, their own home cultures,” the university’s executive dean for medicine and health sciences Patrick McNeil said.

“We are interested in doing distinctive things. We have designed a very high-quality programme to deliver an exceptional student experience.”

The students will be required to train at Sydney’s Royal North Shore hospital as well.

Admission to the programme will be “highly competitive”, requiring applicants to prove, among others, “a high level of achievement in tertiary study and the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)”.

Macquarie will be the first public university to charge fees to domestic students as the Australian government has declined to subsidise the new medical degree.

However, the cost of the medical degree still puts it cheaper than the only other full-fee medical degree at the private Bond University which costs AUD361,872. The university is also providing “the most generous scholarship programme” for 15 percent of its intake.

While McNeil says the new course is a natural transition for the university – which teaches and offers extensive health services – the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the new course will lead to an oversupply of medical graduates, making it harder to find internships and specialist training places for them.

AMA says the new course will lead to an oversupply of medical graduates. Source: Shutterstock

“The establishment of a medical school at Macquarie University will simply divert training resources away from where they are needed, ie postgraduate medical education, and feed more graduates into a training pipeline already overwhelmed by existing graduate numbers,” AMA president Michael Gannon wrote to Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie last December.

To solve this, McNeil says the university is starting postgraduate places at its own university hospital.

“We are trying to provide solutions to the issues in the medical workforce in Australia rather than compounding them.”

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