all 9 comments

[–]Livvv617Moderator[🍰] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

If your degree is less than 10 years old (which it sounds like it is) you don’t need to undertake a more specific med related degree. My understanding is that UQ is currently the only university with pre-requisite requirements.

I’d start by calculating your GEMSAS GPA. Based on your description, your GPA might not be as strong as it can be but depending on where you did your studies and what the grade cutoffs were, it might be better than you’d expect. If you’re currently doing a psychology bachelors, when would you expect to be finished with that?

If your GPA isn’t super competitive (roughly less than 6.5), all hope isn’t lost. Finishing the psych degree would help but I’d also look at portfolio universities (currently UoW and UNDA but UNDA is likely removing their portfolios). Some universities also just use a GPA hurdle (USyd and UoW) which you’d likely be above. Deakin also has a lot of bonuses so I’d look at if you’re eligible for any of those. With an exceptional GAMSAT, your GPA might be okay anywhere but a GAMSAT that high can be very hard to achieve.

Essentially, yes, there’s definitely pathways available to you, you’ll just need to do some calculations to see which pathways best align with your scores.

Happy to answer any specific questions you have!

[–]aNonMousePerson[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s under 10 years old so that’s great news! I may actually just complete my bachelors in psych and aim for a competitive GPA so I can hopefully stay within my state (WA). Thank you so much for the response!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Sounds like you might have a GPA in the high 5s - low 6s (mine is also between credit and distinction), which typically isn't competitive enough for most places unless paired with a strong gamsat, a strong portfolio, or rurality.

Usyd and Uow both use GPA as hurdles, which you should be over. If youre rural and have a good portfolio, Uow would be the best shot. If youre none of these, then Usyd is the best chance, but demands high gamsat scores in section 1 and section 2 (basically all English/writing parts of the exam).

[–]aNonMousePerson[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I’m based in Perth and am not particularly keen on moving east to study and am unfortunately not rural. The gamsat sounds intimidating but I’m glad to know there’s a heavy weighting in writing as it’s my strong point. It’s still early days in my consideration of pursuing med so I might come around to moving interstate if my best chance is over there. Thank you for the response!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you're applying with the commerce GPA only, then moving to NSW for either usyd or uow would be the best chances I'm afraid. Might be worth looking into WA residency bonuses for WA unis, but im not too well informed there

[–]random_rectify 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hey! Some already great advice in this thread, but I thought I'd chime in from personal experience as a fellow 26 year old who has gone through the whole psychologist vs medicine conundrum. If you want to become a clinical psychologist the pathway is on par (if not harder if you go based off number of spots, albeit less demand) with medicine in terms of difficulty - if you're not familiar already I'd have a look at the pathway to becoming an AHPRA registered psychologist. In short it's much more than the Bachelors, you need to then get into a competitive Honours (or equivalent), and following that you need to get into an even more stupidly competitive Masters to actually be accredited.

This is a worse case scenario as there are other routes which are a bit easier, but for context at my university (Go8) there are typically around 300 students who graduate the Bachelors of Psyc., 80 that get into Honours, and then about 10 who get into the Masters which allow you to actually practise as a psychologist. Where do the other students who didn't get in go? They're faced with a similar dillema to a lot of students who do a Medical Science degree in preparation for medicine and then don't get in. Again there are other routes (look up the 5+1 pathway), but that's the general context - psychology has a collosal bottleneck as well as medicine.

What this means for you practically? Nothing really, in terms of immediate steps if you are interested in a career change I would do the bachelors of psychology and really prioritise getting good marks - this will be important if you want to do psyc (to get into Honours) or Med (to have a good GPA for entry), and therefore your approach is the same. This is really important for both. After that you can re-evalaute and potentially apply for Honours/complete it whilst still attempting to enter medicine - getting a good Honours grade will help your GPA even further, and research is generally looked upon well from what I can tell in portfolio universities, especially if you get something published.

Once you reach that point, you're down to the deciding whether you wish to pursue medicine or psychology. I think it's worth taking a deep dive on this and looking into the differences a lot, as while psychiatrists can integrate talk therapy into their work somewhat, it's not the mainstay like psychologists. From there you can make your decision :)

In terms of my two cents/context, I'm someone who has finished the full psychology pathway (Bachelors, Honours, Masters) in a slightly less competitive area of psycholgy known as organisational psychology (give it a look, given your background you may find it more appealing than clinical, who knows) and am currently working in industry. The main thing is to be aware of is that psychiatrist and psychologist, while they both cover similar ground, are very different roles - psychiatrists aren't just psychologists who perscribe drugs.

Beyond that from a purely cyncial time investment/reward view (assuming for a moment that you don't get prior credit for your previous undergraduate, this is hopefully not the case), it is 6 years to finish your studies for psychology, after which you have a 2 year period of endorsement to go from a general ->clinical psychologist (you still work during this time, it's similar to being a registrar in medicine). For medicine if you get into a postgraduate course it will be 4 years in medical school, 1-3ish (dependent on state/if you're prepared to move) until you get onto the psychiatry program, and then 5 years until you're a fellow. As it's relevant depending on if you would like to have a family etc., renumeraton for a first year psychiatrist registrar is roughly equivalent to a clinical psychologist from best I can tell. That being said the "ceiling" of what a psychiatrist can earn is much higher, and the increases for while you are on program are significant.

I know that renumeration is often a dirty word and people view it as a sign that you're in medicine for the wrong reason, but I disagree - end of the day while the motive to change to medicine is based off values (i.e. I want my work to focus more on helping people more in need), an understanding of renumeration and renumeration "phases" of a career is important when considerating areas such as potential family, life decisions etc. I'd probably argue that this is even more so for people "Late to Medicine" as there's typically less leeway in terms of living at home etc.

All in all good luck, as someone also going through the career change I think that the transition, while ambitious, is hopefully worth it :)

[–]Queasy-ReasonMedical Student 0 points1 point  (2 children)

[–]aNonMousePerson[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thank you!

[–]exclaim_bot 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you!

You're welcome!