New medical degree opens doors for local students

The University of the Sunshine Coast is welcoming a Bachelor of Medical Science next year.
Courtesy: Chagin

AS OF next year, Coast students who dream of entering the medical industry as doctors won’t have to travel to the city to study in a first for the region.

From semester one, 2018 the University of the Sunshine Coast will be offering a Bachelor of Medical Science, open to school leavers who have completed Year 12 within the past three years and have not yet done any tertiary study.

Those who are not school leavers can still pursue a medical career through the university by studying Biomedical Science and then sitting the Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test.

The three-year undergraduate degree will also provide provisional direct entry into Griffith University’s planned Doctor of Medicine program at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital at Birtinya.

This follows the recent Federal Government announcement that Griffith would open a medical program at SCUH’s Sunshine Coast Health Institute for 50 students beginning in 2019.

The new degree is modelled on Griffith’s Medical Science program and USC’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said it was expected that “up to 20 guaranteed places per year” would be available to successful local graduates in the medical program.

“The launch of our Bachelor of Medical Science embodies the relationship we have with Griffith University, Queensland Health and TAFE Queensland at the SCHI to train the next generation of doctors for the region,” she said.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for people on the Sunshine Coast who want to study medicine to study locally.”

Professor Lohmann said she anticipated strong interest from high-performing students in the degree which will include subjects in anatomy, biochemistry, chemistry, disease, health, ethics, genetics, law, microbiology, pharmacology, psychology and physiology.