The Footnotes

HEALTHCARE & NURSING

Should you study Medical Science? As told by 3 current students

“I think it’s fair to say that 90% of the students enrolled missed out on undergraduate medicine. “

Welcome to another, Footnotes Roundtable Discussion 

Hi Footnotes,

I want to get into medical science and then see what time of medical career I want to pursue (most likely dentistry), but I’m not sure about what the course actually entails and the skills required. 

I was just wondering what other medical science students had to say about the course. Would they recommend it? Are they enjoying it?

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For this round table discussion we called in:

  • 1 x third year medical science student 
  • 1 x medical science drop out (dropped out second year)
  • 1 x medical science graduate (who works in medical device education)

3rd year medical science student:

I think it’s fair to say that 90% of the students enrolled missed out on undergraduate medicine. I am a third year medsci student and post graduate medicine and GAMSAT are my key goals. After studying for almost three years I feel a lot more prepared to sit the GAMSAT again – and my GPA is high enough for post grad med, so I guess, granted my goals… I am really happy with my choice. 

I personally wouldn’t recommend the course to someone that won’t be studying a post graduate course though –  I think as a stand alone course, it’s too generic.

Medical Science drop out (I swapped from medsci to business in my 2nd year):

I loved the sound of medical science when I finished high school. Though, I didn’t do enough research before I jumped in. In my opinion, the problem is that a medical science degree is too broad to grant you a pathway into the medical industry. Ultimately the course is full of students looking to do the GAMSAT.

If you graduate with a medical science degree you can use it to get into biomedical science research, hospital education or rep work for biomedical companies (this is selling pharmaceuticals or devices to medical professionals).

I went into the degree thinking that I’d like to end up in something like diagnostic pathology or transfusion. I ultimately dropped out because I got frustrated at how difficult and technical the course was – yet on the flip side – how frustrating graduates were finding the job market. You are learning really, really high level medical and science facts. But, it’s kind of like, “Oh okay, you have lots of knowledge, but can you do surgery?” – no.

In a sense a medsci is just an anatomy major.

Medical scientist:

I don’t think anyone above has really summed up ‘what medical scientists do’. We are the behind the scenes health professionals! If you’ve ever had blood taken a medical scientist has been involved behind the scenes.

I am a medical scientist and think that the job prospects are not as bad as everyone above is saying! It’s no different to finishing with a law degree, or a business degree – of course it is going to be competitive.

In saying that, you need an AIMS accredited course OR one the covers the main areas of a diagnostic medical lab (micro, biochem, haematology, histology and transfusion) to land a role.

I work in a medical devices company that sells technology for heart surgery.

Medical devices are based on biomedical engineering and, as a general rule, either permanently or temporarily replace a body function. They can be every day products like sticking plasters or spectacles; at the sharp end, they might be sophisticated surgical supplies, like cardiac stents or joint prostheses.

The biggest proportion of my time is spent in hospitals within the theatre setting. Another aspect of my role is education. It’s my job to work with hospital managers, nurses and clinical staff to educate them about the product, instruments and the procedure. The aim of my job is to improve the patient outcomes on behalf of the medical device company. I love my job! 

Our Footnotes:

These are the undergraduate courses that are accredited by AIMS:

CENTRAL QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Medical Science (Pathology) – (accreditation expires December 31, 2017)*
* This means that students who complete this course by 31 December 2017 will graduate with an AIMS accredited degree.

CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science

CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Medical Science (Pathology)

CURTIN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Bachelor of Science (Laboratory Medicine)

GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science

JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science

QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Science) – LS37
Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science – LS47

RMIT UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Laboratory Medicine)

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine (Honours)

UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA
Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine

Formerly accredited: UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY

Bachelor of Biomedical Science – (accreditation expired December 31, 2016)*
Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) – (accreditation expired December 31, 2016)*
*Students who enrol in these UTS courses after 31 December 2016 will not be considered graduates of an AIMS accredited course. Students who commenced study in these courses prior to 2017 may still be considered graduates of an AIMS accredited course, provided the subjects they have completed comply with the AIMS accreditation requirements, as stated in the accreditation report (dated November 2015) held by the University. This will only apply until December 2019 after which any UTS graduate will be considered as holding a non-accredited degree. Prospective applicants should contact the program co-ordinator at the University for advice on the accreditation requirements.

Should you study Medical Science? As told by 3 current students
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