Why should Canadians consider studying at JCU Medical School in Australia?

There are many reasons that encourage people to study medicine. Among the most popular include the desire to help others. Sometimes that wish goes beyond the standard “I want to make a difference in my community” to “I want to make a difference in the world.”

Why should Canadians consider studying at JCU Medical School in Australia?
Meet Prof Ian Wronski (Photo: JCU)
So what makes JCU stand out from other Australian universities? And how on earth can we compare Australia’s and Canada’s health care needs?

James Cook University may not be the largest university, or the most well-known, but JCU has something the others don’t: their riveted focus on Aboriginal health, rural medicine, public health, tropical medicine and the needs of under-served populations.

James Cook University Deputy Vice Chancellor Tropical Health and Medicine Professor Ian Wronski explains why JCU concentrates on rural, remote and tropical health care.

“JCU was established as Australia’s university for the tropics, and so we focus on programs that are particularly relevant to the tropical world,” Prof Wronski says.

“In the medicine, health, molecular science part of the university—that includes all the health professions and molecular biology and biomedicine, and the research institutes we have—we’ve particularly targeted issues relating to under-served populations, especially rural, remote, indigenous and tropical peoples.”

Tropical peoples? How can that relate to Canada you ask? When speaking about Canada, most people think frigid winters, not tropics.

But the connection between Australia and Canada is stronger than you may think.

In fact, in 2013, JCU Medical School Dean and Head of School Richard Murray travelled to Canada as a member of an Australian government delegation at a Canadian-Australian roundtable on recognition of professional credentials between the two countries.

Dean Murray made a case for why Canada and Australia should collaborate our shared interest in health care innovation to meet the needs of our geographically dispersed populations. Prof Murray said that the opportunities this creates for Australian and Canadian practitioners to gain experience in each other’s countries could only benefit the quality and depth of rural medical services.

“In medicine for rural areas, there are opportunities for movement and exchange for students, doctors in training as well as specialists in rural general practice and other generalist specialties. Innovation in areas such as telemedicine and socially accountable health professional education are shared interests,” Prof Murray wrote in an article he published in the JCU Medical School’s journal, A Taste of our own Medicine.

Prof Wronski said there are many countries in a similar position to Australia, including Canada. Like Australia, our population is concentrated on the fringes of the country, where the climate is most ideal and the land most usable. But where people live in rural and Northern Canada, away from the general population, finding health care can be more challenging—just like the people in remote and tropical locations of Australia.

So what kind of student does James Cook University wish to attract?

When asked why JCU likes Canadian students, Professor Wronski narrowed it down: “Canada has a good education system, and students come to us well educated and broad-minded. Also, many of them have that fire in their belly to put something toward the health services side of making life better for under-served populations. Canada, like Australia, has large areas, large rural and indigenous populations,” the JCU professor explains.

“We like Canadian students because we see ourselves as a global hub, and we want to attract students who are interested the tropical world and the health of under-served peoples.”

Does this sound like you? If you’re passionate about changing the world, particularly the lives of those who live in rural or remote areas, JCU wants to talk to you!

About the JCU Medical School Medical Program

The 6-year, full-time MBBS degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. Graduates will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

As part of the MBBS application process, all candidates must participate in an interview with Prof Ian Wronksi. For the 2018 intake, JCU will hold interviews with eligible international applicants from Canada either
  • in person in Canada this June, or
  • via video-conferencing following the August 30th program application deadline.
In-person interviews in Canada (dates are subject to change)

June 22 – 23, 2017: Toronto
June 24, 2017: Edmonton
June 25 – 26, 2017: Vancouver

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017 (Note: Early offers of admission may be made to high-achieving international applicants! Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible and well before the August 3o deadline.)

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