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Otago medical degree (MB ChB) - Health Sciences First Year

Most Otago medical students gain entry through the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) pathway. HSFY is managed by the Division of Health Sciences under the direction of Professor John Reynolds.

Prospective medical students who have any questions should contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office before enrolling in HSFY; they will provide you with all the necessary information for both the year and the admissions process. The Otago Medical School does not advise on either HSFY or admissions.

The first year for Otago's health professional programmes, HSFY is completed in its entirety in the student's first year of university study. Students take seven compulsory papers and may take an optional eighth paper in the second semester. The timetable includes lectures, tutorials, laboratories, assignments, tests, and reading every week.

The compulsory papers are

  • BIOC 192 Foundations of Biochemistry
  • CELS 191 Cell and Molecular Biology
  • CHEM 191 The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health
  • HUBS 191 Human Body Systems I
  • HUBS 192 Human Body Systems II
  • PHSI 191 Biological Physics
  • POPH 192 Population Health

Taught by staff from across the university, the papers are chosen to cover a wide range of science and provide a strong biological science foundation. Students who successfully complete the course will have learned how the normal healthy body functions at various levels: from the physical, chemical, biochemical, molecular, and cellular levels, through to functional organ systems, and factors affecting health and disease in human populations.

For further information about the structure and content of the year, refer to the HSFY website.