To secure a place in a medical school requires multiple elements combining in a student's favour. There is the ATAR from secondary school or a GPA score from their undergraduate degree, GAMSAT or UCAT scores, a portfolio (required in a small number of universities), and select universities add bonus points for prior medical professional work and supporting references. Then some consideration must be given to the types and number of places available in each university. An up-to-date outline of the requirements for Australian medical school entry can be found here.
The types of places offered by medical schools include Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs), Bonded Medical Places (BMPs), Medical Rural Bonded Scholarships (MRBSs), and Full-Fee Places:
- Commonwealth Supported Places – these are subsidised by the federal government and are available to domestic students in all undergraduate and some postgraduate courses at public universities. Students who receive a CSP do not pay the full cost of their course; instead, they pay a smaller “student contribution”, with the government paying the difference. Importantly, applicants for CSPs must be citizens (including permanent residents) of Australia and citizens of New Zealand.
- Bonded Medical Places – BMPs are a type of CSP and students who accept a BMP offer are required by the Australian government to commit to working in a workforce shortage area after gaining fellowship for the length of the medical degree. However, up to half the return of service obligation can be met while completing prevocational training and vocational training.
- Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship – MRBS places are another type of CSP, and recipients are required to work for six continuous years in a rural or remote area of Australia. MRBSS doctors start their six-year commitment to work in rural Australia after completing their vocational training.
- Full-Fee Places – these are non-CSPs where the student pays up front for their medical degree.