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Ranking of Australian/New Zealand Medical and Dental Schools

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Just as you would go to Wiki on the internet to obtain unbiased information on a topic, you have come to the right place to obtain unbiased information regarding medical school rankings in Australia and New Zealand.  

The reputation and prestige of the University is not as important in Australia in general, as in the USA. In the USA there is a hierarchy of universities with Ivy League Universities such as Harvard and Yale, being miles ahead of the mediocre universities. In Australia however, there is little standard deviation in terms of quality, standard and prestige of the 40 or so universities.

Particularly in the case of Medicine and such Health Science courses, it matters very little which university you go to in Australia. If you are aiming to obtain a degree in engineering, commerce or law, the prestige of the university may matter to some extent (not as much as in the US even in these disciplines).

If you are a doctor however, what patients really care about are your diagnostic skills, bedside manner and so on, not which university you went to. In fact, most patients would not even know which university their doctors graduated from.

An important fact of which most people are not aware, is that in many countries such as USA and Canada, gaining a medical degree means nothing. Unless graduates pass the national medical licensing exams after graduating from medical school, they can not practice as a Doctor. It therefore makes some sense why candidates may aim to go to higher ranked medical schools in those countries (to increase the probability of passing the licensing exams). However, in Australia, as soon as you graduate from any medical school, you automatically obtain a licence to practice medicine - exactly the same licence. You don't get a better quality 'licence' by going to a pretigious medical school.

However, for those who are interested in having an idea of the university rankings, it is provided below. Obviously depending on the criteria you use, the ranking is going to vary, and therefore it is subjective to some extent.

What is given below takes into account the factors such as: meritocracy in selection; difficulty of getting in; graduate outcomes such as: employer satisfaction of graduates, ability of graduates to be able to get into the specialty that they want, graduate salaries etc.

Other rankings which take into account the research output of the university are irrelevant to most people in practical terms and therefore this has not been considered here.

Some people may say 'Why is JCU medical school ranked so low?. It has high student satisfaction ratings!'. Well, not really. On the independent Google Reviews, its rated a mere 3.8 with only about 170 reviews, far short of most medical schools. JCU Medical School has the weakest student cohort of all (with the lowest UCAT and ATAR scores: which is one reason it does not use UCAT).

In general, the more quotas a medical school has, weaker the cohort of its students tend to be. This is one reason for Adelaide and WSU not ranking as highly as they would otherwise (due to their postcode based quotas). Similarly University of Tasmania, JCU, Otago University (among others) have quotas of various sorts.

The new medical schools (Curtin and Macquarie University) have not been ranked since there isn't enough data yet.

Students and parents should note that gaming the international rankings has become a specialty in itself and universities spend a lot of time and effort trying to do that. In other words, published rankings tells you little more than how successful a university has been in playing the rankings game. (10/6/20, The Australian). Hence what is given below is likely to be more objective and relevant in your decision of where to study.

 What you study matters not where you study: The Grattan Institute report, Mapping Australian Higher Education, has found that the choice of university degree has a strong effect on lifetime earnings but that the choice of university has little impact. "The starting salaries and career earnings results both suggest that research-based prestige is not particularly important in the Australian labour market" the report says. "The report shows that when it comes to earnings, what you study matters more than where you study," Grattan Institute higher education program director Andrew Norton said.

So studying at a sandstone university will confer hardly any advantage and, in the case of medicine, no advantage. Therefore, it is best to apply to as many medical schools as possible and choose shorter medical degrees that will get you into the medical workforce earlier.

In the end, you will get an AHPRA license, a Medicare provider number and a fantastic grounding in medicine no matter where you study in Australia / New Zealand. This is because all medical schools in Australia/New Zealand have to obtain accreditation from the Australian Medical Council as proof of certain minimum academic standards.

There are two public universities (Melbourne and Macquarie) which have full fee places for medicine (approx $80,000 per year). This is one reason why University of Melbourne does not rank highly in the rankings table below. At Macquarie, all the available places are full fee places. Full fee courses are likely to attract weaker cohort, because most students can't afford to pay the fees. Therefore those who are eligible will not apply (or accept when a place is offered), forcing these universities to go down their list of ranked applicants to fill places.

In general, Graduate Entry courses tend to attract weaker cohort than School Leaver entry courses. For example, about 90% of students at graduate entry medical schools were not successful in their earlier attempt at the school leaver entry medical schools. The other 10% were those who did not consider medicine as a career after high school.

Please also read this blog: "University rankings and prestige: how much do they really matter for studying medicine?" 

Ranking of Australian/New Zealand Medical Schools

Ranking 
(in Australia/ NZ)
   University
1    Monash University (Melbourne Campus)
2    University of New South Wales
3    University of Newcastle
4    University of Queensland
5    University of Adelaide
6    Western Sydney  University
7    University of Sydney
8    University of Western Australia
9    University of Melbourne
10    University of New England
11    University of Auckland
12    Otago University
13    Flinders University
14    Monash University (Gippsland Campus, Graduate Entry)
15    Australian National University
16    Bond University
17    Griffith University
18    Deakin University
19    University of Wollongong
20    University of Tasmania
21    Notre Dame University
22    James Cook university

Ranking of Australian/New Zealand Dental Schools

Ranking
(in Australia/ NZ)
   University
1    University of Queensland
2    Adelaide University
3    University of Otago
4    University of Western Australia
5    University of Melbourne
6    University of Sydney
7    Charles Sturt University
8    Latrobe University
9    Griffith University
10    James Cook University

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