For most individuals, it takes an average of 10+ years of schooling and experience to become a doctor in Australia. While the path to working in medicine has always been a challenging one, it is becoming even more rigorous with each passing year. Students as young as high school aged are now actively preparing for their future careers in medicine. Why has this become a routine practice? Explore three of the top reasons that young Australians are preparing for medical school at an earlier age than ever before.
Undergraduate medical school acceptance depends on high school class choices and grades
University classes, grades, UCAT exam scores, and/or GAMSAT exam scores are not all that matters when applying to medical school. Due to the competitive nature of acceptance into various programs, the subjects that students study in high school, as well as the grades that are earned in specific subjects now matter when it comes to whether or not students get into the best Australian medical schools. Prior to starting high school, parents are now beginning to have conversations with their children about future career goals. If a teen shows any indication that he or she may want to become a doctor one day, course emphasis is placed on science and mathematics from the start of high school.
Careers in medicine are some of the best in the country
In addition to selecting the most relevant subjects at high school striving for the best grades possible, careers in health care have recently been named some of the best in the country. CNBC reported in 2018 that careers as a nurse, wellbeing manager (for corporate clients), and other health care positions are in high demand in Australia. Not only is there high demand for these careers, but average base pay is also high for a range of health professions. To progress their education outside of the classroom and into the realm of global health, students are learning about economic issues, such as how private health insurance influences costs for various treatments.
Schooling can be extremely expensive
One of the most practical reasons that students are having to start preparing for their medical school education as early as high school is due to the expense of education. For those who are eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place, the yearly student contribution is currently set at $10,958. However, for local students who do are not eligible, costs can soar into the mid tens of thousands of dollars for each year of tuition. To help pay for this future educational expense, high school students may need to start saving as early as possible. As competition for spots in the country’s best medical schools becomes more intense, and as tuition prices continue to rise, it is no surprise that parents are preparing their high school students early for a future education in health care.