As I wait for my flight back to Christchurch (which as someone very,very conscious of time means arriving 3 hours early), I think I’ll write about the amazing opportunities out there in the FMHS  (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences). Here’s a gorgeous view from grafton student flats (which are pretty cool, and very close to the Grafton campus – around 5 minutes walk) of the Grafton campus (where the FMHS is based at) and is opposite Auckland City Hospital. 

As a health science student aiming for med, there is a harsh reality that not everyone will make it in (even for Law, around 40% of the cohort got cut after 1st semester). Even though it’s always been a dream for me to become a doctor, it’s a cruel realisation that not everyone will make it into the medicine programme this year. However there are heaps of other opportunities out there!

Currently, I’m contemplating doing a bachelor of science, majoring in physiology. I think one of the most important things to do before coming to uni, is to think of a plan B in case things don’t work out. What if the degree is not right for you? What if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing? You’ve got 2 weeks to change your courses before you have to pay (although since you’re first year, that probably won’t happen since it’s well…free), but I highly recommend having an alternate plan and being open to do other things. The first two weeks of the semester (no matter if it’s sem1 or sem2) is crucial, because it gives you a good idea about what you’ll learn from the papers, and what kind of workload you’ll have (A good idea could be to sit into lectures you might be interested in, ’cause who knows? Maybe you’ve just discovered you’re dream paper?).

I’ve really enjoyed the health science programme, and I think it’s an amazing course. It’s well put together, the papers are truly relevant to today’s world and will prepare those who want a career in the health sector (I mean if you don’t become a doctor, become the doctor’s boss am I right?). This is one of the reasons I think health science is a better degree to undertake than a BSc in biomed, because it prepares you for jobs in the health sector (whether you want to be an epidemiologist or a Primary health organisation manager), there are so many career pathways. It’s also a good degree to take as a conjoint (law, commerce, science are all great options). It’s also a good degree to do, if you want an easy option to switch to another degree, such as science 🙂 

So as I spend the break trying to figure out what I want to do next year, I thought I might write about some other great options in the FMHS. These are also cool career pathways which can lead to amazing careers and if med is still the goal, serve as great graduate pathways. One of the great things about the University of Auckland is the vast array of degrees there are. They offer many degrees in the health sector, such as optom and medical imaging (which are only offered at Uoa). The Anatomy and Physiology department ( based in Grafton) is also ranked 18th in the world!

I also thoroughly recommend looking at the prospectus, coming to courses and careers day, or contacting the FMHS for more info. This is just a brief overview from info I’ve pulled from the website while looking at other courses 🙂

1.Bachelor of Nursing (BNurs)

Minimum rank score of 230

When you take Population Health 101 (which is a pretty chill and interesting paper may I add, and part of FYHS) you have a much greater idea of what being a nurse is about. The FMHS offers nursing, which is a 3 year degree. From Pop101 I’ve learned that nursing has a lot to do with the care for a patient both in a clinical and non-clinical setting. Nurses are particularly important in the health sector, and in my opinion, are just as vital as doctors It also serves as a great pathway, if you ultimately decide to pursue for medicine and also serves as a great conjoint with another degree.

2.Bachelor of Medical Imaging (Honours)   (BMedImag (Hons))

 Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) at the University of Auckland (Rank Score of 280)

Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) at the University of Otago (Rank Score of 150)

This is a new 4 year degree offered by the university, and like other clinical degrees this also includes an interview. I don’t know too much about it since it’s a new degree, but from the UoA website it ‘is the first undergraduate Medical Imaging programme to be offered by a university in New Zealand. It’s the only honours degree in Medical Imaging.’. From the information given, a minimum GPA of 5 is required for an interview 🙂

3.Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)

 Bachelor of Science (BSc) (Rank Score of 165)

 Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS) (Rank Score of 250)

A lot of people this year, if they’re not considering Medicine are thinking about doing pharmacy. I’ll be honest, and also have been considering pharmacy as a career option because it seems like a very interesting and rewarding career. This is also another 4-year degree, and requires Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0 in order to be eligible for an interview.

4. Bachelor of Optometry  (BOptom)

Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) at the University of Auckland (Rank Score of 280)

Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) at the University of Otago (Rank Score of 150)

It’s interesting to note, that that optometry is a 5 year degree (incl first year biomed). I won’t get into the details, as I’m a bit fuzzy on the details,but from what I’ve seen, it would probably be the 2nd most popular degree that people are gunning for.

Grafton campus is a short 10 minute walk from city campus (feat. Huia Residence)

Other degrees offered by the FMHS are of course med and health science (which I’ll have a detailed blog post about later in the year). If I could give some words of wisdom (culminating from 1 semester of uni experience and an extensive knowledge of dance moms), I would say to keep an open mind about what you want to study but also to research a little bit into what you want to study. Also if you want to know more, I highly recommend coming to courses and careers day ( 25th of August!!) or just even checking out the website! I’ve found web forums, videos and just generally talking to those in the profession your looking into really helpful as well :))

Lily

As always -> Any questions lemme know!

p.s Don’t forget Hall applications have opened!

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Lily Li

Hi there! I'm studying Health Science and staying at University Hall Apartments this year! I'm from Christchurch (shout out to all my fellow Cantabrians) and love sushi. I also love to talk (most of the time anyway), so any questions lemme know 🙂

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