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Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)

Overview

The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree is commonly referred to as the 'medical degree'. School leavers enrol at Otago for the common Health Sciences First Year course and then apply for admission to second year medicine.

Graduates may also apply for admission at second year. If successful, students will complete a further five years, then after graduation work for another year under probation in order to gain general registration.

There is a wide range of specialisation available in the public and private sectors, involving research, academic medicine, public health, clinical medicine and other areas. Specialties include Cardiology, Oncology, Paediatrics, Psychological Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Public Health, General Practice and many others. Most doctors complete postgraduate training in their chosen specialty.

Medicine is a respected, rewarding, and truly international career.

More detailed information about the MB ChB can be found on the Otago Medical Degree website.

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Information for new applicants

Applications for admission to Medicine via the HSFY and Graduate categories for 2020:

Open: 1 August 2019
Close: 15 September 2019

Applications for admission to Medicine via the ‘Alternative’ category for 2020:

Open: 1 April 2019
Close: 1 May 2019

Information regarding the guidelines for admission can be found on the following website.
Division of Health Sciences

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Contact details

For further information about the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree please contact:

Health Sciences Admissions Office
Division of Health Sciences
PO Box 56
Dunedin
Tel +64 3 479 7428
Fax +64 3 479 5058
Email health-sciences@otago.ac.nz

Website Otago Medical Degree

Subject area

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Programme Requirements

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)

Year Papers Points
1st year

Health Sciences First Year Course

Note: Students enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course will be required to achieve a satisfactory mark in a standard diagnostic English test or another approved measure of achievement.

126
2nd year

MICN 201  Medicine Second Year

120
3rd year

MICN 301  Medicine Third Year

120
4th year

MICN 401  Medicine Fourth Year

120
5th year MICN 501  Medicine Fifth Year 120
6th year

MICN 621  Medicine Sixth Year 1st Quarter

MICN 622  Medicine Sixth Year 2nd Quarter

MICN 623  Medicine Sixth Year 3rd Quarter

MICN 624  Medicine Sixth Year 4th Quarter

Note: MICN 621-624 shall normally be taken in sequence in one year of study, but in approved cases the order may be varied or the total period of study extended.

30

30

30

30

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Regulations for the Degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    Note: For specific enquiries about admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme, intending students should make an appointment with the Health Sciences Admissions Office (health-sciences@otago.ac.nz).

    1. Admission to the second year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme shall be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee.
    2. Admission to the second year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme is limited to a number, determined annually, of Domestic students (but see regulation 1(h) regarding International student admissions).

      Note: ‘Domestic student’ is defined in the Admission to University Statute 2011, clause 3.3.

    3. Applications for admission may be made under the following categories:
      Health Sciences First Year (see 1(e))
      Graduate (see 1(f))
      Alternative (see 1(g))
    4. Graduates who have already completed a qualification in medicine, and for whom pathways exist to obtain registration through the Medical Council of New Zealand, are not eligible to apply for admission to the MBChB program under any category.
    5. The University of Otago is committed to promote and facilitate academic equity for Māori students, and for students from other under-represented groups, who have the potential to succeed academically.
      Applicants in any category (see regulations 1(c)) who have fulfilled the criteria as described in the Mirror on Society Policy and associated admissions entry requirements, may be considered in one or more of the Mirror on Society Category Groups.
    6. To be considered for admission under the Health Sciences First Year category an applicant must:
      1. be enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course at the University of Otago (see also 1(i));
      2. pass all of the papers prescribed for the University of Otago Health Sciences First Year course, with a minimum mark of 70% in each paper (but see 1(d));
      3. meet any other requirements as determined by the Medical Admissions Committee. See Guidelines for Admission for current requirements.

      Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on their marks in all of the Health Sciences First Year papers.

      Note:
      (i) If an additional optional paper from the approved list is taken, and provided all of the prescribed papers are passed at or above the required minimum standard, the results in the highest scoring seven papers will be counted for admission purposes.
      (ii) To be admitted to the Health Sciences First Year course, the applicant must not have studied any university degree-level papers that include a subject that is the same, similar to, or contains significant portions of any of the prescribed Health Sciences First Year papers. Prior university degree-level study in any subject areas must not comprise more than one year of equivalent full-time study.

    7. To be considered for admission under the Graduate category, an applicant must:
      1. have completed, normally in the minimum academic time, at least one of the following qualifications awarded by a university in New Zealand:
        - a bachelor's degree; or
        - a bachelor's honours degree; or
        - a bachelor's degree, followed by a postgraduate diploma;

        Note:
        (i) The qualifying degree for the Graduate category will be the first university degree awarded to that applicant.
        (ii) The grades obtained in a bachelor’s honours degree (if separate from the qualifying degree) or postgraduate diploma will be included in the GPA calculation, along with the qualifying degree.

      2. meet any other requirements as determined by the Medical Admissions Committee. See Guidelines for Admission for current requirements.

      Applications must be received within three years of completion of the qualifying degree. Normally, the date of completion will be taken as the end of the teaching period in which the final paper or papers included in the programme are undertaken. Repeat applications within the eligibility period are allowed.

      Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on their grade point average (GPA), as calculated by the Division of Health Sciences.

      Notes:
      (i) For guidance on how average grades are calculated, see the Guidelines for Admission into the Health Sciences Professional Programmes at otago.ac.nz/healthsciences
      (ii) For purposes of admission into the second year of the programme, a second attempt in a First Year paper in the Schedule in which a pass has already been achieved will not be considered.
      (iii) Applicants offered a place under the Graduate category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.

    8. To be considered for admission under the Alternative category, an applicant must be a Domestic student and:
      1. hold a degree from a New Zealand university, and no longer be eligible under the Graduate category;
        or
        have completed a degree at an overseas university at a standard of at least NZQF Level 7 no less than three years prior to the application;
        or
        hold a master’s or doctoral degree;
        or
        demonstrate health-related professional experience in a relevant field to a standard acceptable to the Medical Admissions Committee.

        Note: Applicants seeking admission to Medicine with health-related professional experience will be required to demonstrate academic and/or professional experience in the relevant field, to a standard acceptable to the Medical Admissions Committee, as part of the selection process.

      2. have provided a statement of interest and current curriculum vitae, and have achieved at least a minimum academic standard, to be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee from year to year, in the course of study on which the application for admission is based. An applicant may be required to attend an interview.

      Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on academic merit and a possible interview. An applicant may apply only once under the Alternative category.

      Notes:
      (i) Applicants offered a place under the Alternative category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
      (ii) For purposes of admission into the second year of the programme, a second attempt in a First Year paper in the Schedule in which a pass has already been achieved will not be considered.

    9. The Medical Admissions Committee shall have discretion to offer a limited number of places in second year classes to International students who meet all the requirements determined by the Medical Admissions Committee. (See Note (i) below.)
    10. Admission to the programme shall be subject to applicants’ meeting an English language requirement as determined by the Medical Admissions Committee.
    11. Notwithstanding any of the above provisions, the Medical Admissions Committee shall have discretion to consider any applicant who, not having satisfied these regulations in a particular aspect, warrants admission to the programme for exceptional reasons.
    12. Any applicant who
      1. is, or who has been, the subject of criminal charges; or
      2. is, or has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body; or
      3. has been found to have an issue (whether in connection with their mental or physical health, or their professional attributes or conduct, or otherwise) that compromises or is likely to compromise their fitness to practise; or
      4. is found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (k)(i)-(iii),

      may be declined admission to the programme by the Medical Admissions Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to medical tests or requests for information regarding an applicant’s health status or past conduct have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant’s suitability for admission.

    Notes:
    (i) See the Guidelines for Admission into the Health Sciences Professional Programmes at otago.ac.nz/healthsciences.
    (ii) The due date for Alternative category applications is 1 May in the year before admission into the second year course; the due date for applications under the Health Sciences First Year and Graduate categories is 15 September in the year before admission.

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  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. Every programme of study shall satisfy the programme requirements above.
    2. No student may take any paper additional to the programme without first obtaining the approval of the Dean of the Otago Medical School (or nominee) or the Dean of a School of Medicine.
    3. In approved cases, the Medical degree may be combined in an integrated programme of study with any of the following degrees: Bachelor of Medical Sciences with Honours, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, Bachelor of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy.
    4. Note: For further information and details of the integrated programme requirements contact the Faculty Manager, Otago Medical School.

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  3. Admission of Students by Transfer

    Transfer of students to the Medical programme at the University of Otago from the Medical programme at the University of Auckland (and vice versa) is possible only at Trainee Intern (sixth year) level. Students will be admitted with the approval of the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School and provided that:

    1. a one to one exchange of students can be arranged;
    2. the student has achieved a standard of performance acceptable to the Academic Board;
    3. the Academic Board is satisfied there are special reasons for the student to transfer;
    4. the Otago Medical School has sufficient resources and facilities to accept the student.

    Note: Students transferring from Auckland will graduate with the Auckland MB ChB degrees and students transferring from Otago will graduate with the Otago MB ChB degrees.

  4. Division of Class after Third Year

    Facilities for the teaching of the fourth, fifth and sixth years of the programme are provided in the Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington campuses. After completion of third year, the class will be divided and students allocated to one of the three schools for the remainder of their programme.

    In dividing the class, account will be taken of each student's personal preference as far as possible. However, if the numbers of applicants for entry to any one of the clinical schools exceeds the number of places available, a ballot will be held to determine which students will be required to take a place in one of the other schools.

    The division includes international students who will be allocated equally among the three schools. Once class division has been finalised, exchanges between schools will be permitted only if there is a vacant place and with the approval of the Deans concerned.

    Note: No transfer is possible between the Auckland and Otago Schools of Medicine at this stage in the programme.

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  5. Terms

    1. A candidate must obtain terms in order to sit the final examination and/or to proceed to the following year of study. It is the decision of the Board of Censors for the year concerned to award terms, deny terms, or defer terms. The Board may, for a student for whom terms have been deferred in Second, Third, or Fifth Year, admit the student to the final examinations and allow completion of the terms requirements up to the time of the relevant special examinations. The Board may, for a student for whom terms have been deferred in Fourth Year, allow completion of the terms requirements up to the commencement of the Fifth Year.
    2. Terms will be awarded by Boards of Censors for each year based on attendance, knowledge, professional behaviours and skills assessments, and on the overall performance of each student in all components of the course during the year. Concerns about performance with respect to any of these components during the year can contribute to a decision to deny terms. Such denial of terms can also take into account concerns of a similar nature raised in previous years, particularly if there is a pattern of behaviours that suggest that there is insufficient progress in addressing the concerns.
    3. The Sixth Year will be a Trainee Internship designed to introduce clinical responsibility for patients. It will include clinical modules and an elective period. To be awarded terms and pass the Sixth Year a candidate shall normally obtain a passing assessment from each clinical module and from the elective period. The assessment will be made on performance of clinical and other work, and other assessments. Passing the Sixth Year as a whole is based on all available information and is made as a collective decision by each campus, which is recommended to, and approved by, the Board of Censors for Sixth Year.

      Note: In the event of absence through illness likely to be prejudicial to the granting of terms, students are advised to submit a medical certificate to the Dean of the appropriate School of Medicine.

      Notes:
      1. At the beginning of each year of the Medical programme, each department or the appropriate Board of Censors will clearly indicate to students specific requirements for the award of terms.
      2. Sometimes the decision to pass the year can be made only after a further period of observation (such as repeating a module or modules which may require enrolment in additional quarters) and/or by collecting further information from end of year assessments.

    4. Students who are denied terms will normally be required to repeat the year as a whole.

      Note: In the event of absence through illness likely to be prejudicial to the granting of terms, students are advised to submit a Health Declaration to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs of the appropriate campus.

  6. Examinations

    1. Examinations at the end of the Second, Third, and Fifth Years shall be conducted by means of written questions and/or by oral and practical, including clinical, examinations.
      In determining the outcome for the Second and Third Years, examination results are aggregated with the results of pre-advised in-course assessments and the designated Board of Censors may also take account of performance during the year of study. In determining the outcome for the Fifth Year, the Board of Censors may take account of performance during both the Fourth and Fifth years.
      1. A candidate for examinations at the end of the Second, Third, or Fifth Years, who has not sat the whole of the examination may be admitted to a special (incomplete) examination.
      2. A candidate for examinations at the end of the Second, Third, or Fifth Years, who having sat, has not passed the whole of the examination, may be admitted to a special (re-sit) examination.

      Note: Entries for special examinations must reach the Manager, Student Administration, at least seven calendar days before the start of the special examination week.

    2. On the recommendation of the Board of Censors, candidates for any examination may be credited with a portion of that examination.

    3. Students who have reached an exceptionally high standard of performance in the Second or Third Year, on the recommendation of the Board of Censors, shall be granted a pass with Distinction in that year. Students who have reached an exceptionally high standard of performance throughout the Fourth and Fifth Years, on the recommendation of the Board of Censors, shall be granted a pass with Distinction at the end of the Fifth Year.
    4. Candidates who, in the opinion of the Board of Censors, have reached an exceptionally high standard in any discipline or disciplines throughout the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Years shall be granted a pass with distinguished performance in the discipline or disciplines concerned and/or Distinction at the end of the Sixth Year.

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  7. Withdrawal from the Programme

    1. Deferral of admission to second year classes
      1. In limited circumstances, the Medical Admissions Committee may allow a student to defer admission to second year classes for one year. Any application for deferral must be made no later than the end of the third week of classes in the original year of admission. Where deferral is granted the right of re-entry to second year classes remains subject to confirmation by the Medical Admissions Committee.
      2. Applications for deferral and for confirmation of the right of re-entry will be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee in accordance with the criteria and procedures set out in the Admissions Guidelines.
    2. Temporary withdrawal from programme
      1. Except in circumstances covered by 7(a), a student who wishes to withdraw from the programme on a temporary basis must obtain the prior approval of the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School. Where temporary withdrawal is approved, readmission to the programme remains subject to the approval of the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School. Any application for such approval needs to be made no later than 1 June in the year prior to that for which readmission is sought.
      2. Applications for temporary withdrawal and for readmission will be determined by the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School in accordance with the criteria and procedures set out in the Withdrawal and Readmission Guidelines.
    3. Permanent withdrawal from programme
      1. Students who withdraw permanently (including students who withdraw without prior approval and students who fail to communicate their intentions within 12 months of when they were last enrolled or for any other 12 month period) have no right to be considered for readmission.
      2. Despite the previous clause, the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School may allow a student who has permanently withdrawn to submit a fresh application under the regulations governing admission to the programme. In considering whether to allow such an application to proceed, the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School may have regard to all of the circumstances of the student’s withdrawal. Where an application is allowed to be made, the Medical Admissions Committee may also have regard to those circumstances when considering the application.

    Note: For withdrawal and readmission criteria and procedures, see the policy and application forms at otago.ac.nz/medical-school/undergraduate/medicine/policies-and-guidelines

  8. Exclusion from the Programme

    1. A candidate may be excluded from the programme by the Academic Board of the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School on the basis of repeated academic failure and/or other grounds as detailed in regulation 8(c) below.
    2. A candidate who fails to complete the requirements for any year of the programme (other than the First Year) may enrol again, but this concession may normally be granted only once in the programme.
    3. A candidate may be excluded from the programme who during the course of their studies, is
      1. subject to criminal charges;
      2. subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body; or
      3. found to have an issue (whether in connection with their mental or physical health, or their professional attributes or conduct, or otherwise) that compromises or is likely to compromise their fitness to practise; or
      4. found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (c)(i)-(iii).
  9. Level of Award of the Degrees

    If, in the opinion of the Board of Censors for Sixth Year, any candidate has maintained a sufficiently high standard throughout the whole programme, the Board may recommend that the degrees be awarded with distinction.

  10. Variations

    On the recommendation of the Dean of the Otago Medical School, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

    Notes:

    1. A small number of dental postgraduate training programmes require both Medical and Dental degrees. With the approval of the Academic Boards of Medicine and Dentistry on the recommendation of the Combined Medicine and Dentistry Programmes Board of Studies, a BDS graduate may be admitted directly to the 4th Year of the MB ChB programme.

    2. For further information and details of the additional requirements of this pathway please contact the Manager, Otago Medical School.

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