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Study Medicine at Otago Medical School

Medicine is a scientific research and evidence-based profession. It covers many areas of specialisation, including general practice, public health, and hospital-based specialities such as surgery, psychiatry, cardiology, and many more.

Medical doctors prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure illness, injury, and disease; and provide health care whenever required.

There is no denying that doctors work long hours and the need for continuing study is demanding—but it is also rewarding and can bring great personal satisfaction.

Why study Medicine?

Medicine is the general term used to describe what doctors (also known as physicians) do to care for your health and wellbeing. It is a respected profession, and doctors are expected to have a high level of technical competence, patience, kindness and humanity.

Medicine teaches you about:

  • Body systems such as the cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, renal, respiratory, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems
  • Subjects such as blood, genetics, infection, immunity, cancer, metabolism, reproduction, development and ageing, public health, behavioural medicine, and ethics
  • The prevention of illness and the maintenance of good health
  • Wider aspects of health care, such as family and societal structures, health facilities in the community, and their provision

Where will I study?

The University of Otago medical degree (the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery; MB ChB) is a six-year programme.

Each of Otago Medical School's four component schools (Dunedin School of Medicine; School of Biomedical Sciences; University of Otago, Christchurch; and University of Otago, Wellington) contribute to the MB ChB programme.

First year

First year comprises the Health Sciences First Year programme, which is taught exclusively on the Dunedin campus. This is a competitive year, completion of which allows students to apply for entry into Medicine.

In some cases, applicants may be able to apply for direct entry into year 2. Details of these alternative admissions pathways are available on the Division of Health Sciences website (see the link below).

Years 2–3

The second and third years of the MB ChB are known as Early Learning in Medicine (ELM).

ELM is jointly taught by the Dunedin School of Medicine and the School of Biomedical Sciences, on the Dunedin campus.

Years 4–6

After ELM, the class is split three ways. One third of students continue their studies at the University of Otago, Christchurch; one third continue at the University of Otago, Wellington; and one third in Dunedin (at the Dunedin School of Medicine).

This period is known as Advanced Learning in Medicine (ALM). The final year of ALM, year 6, is commonly referred to as the trainee intern (TI) year—and may be completed at a hospital outside of Christchurch, Dunedin, or Wellington.

More information about studying Medicine

Download the Medicine infosheet (PDF 170 KB) for more information about the following:

  • Background required
  • Admission to the programme
  • Clinical requirements
  • Immunity status
  • International applications

Please contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office for further information.

How to apply

The Division of Health Sciences website has information about how to apply for entry to Medicine.

Applications for entry in 2018 close on 15 September 2017 (HSFY and Graduate categories).