Best Medical Schools in Australia
If you want to study medicine, chances are you’ve been wondering about the best medical schools in Australia. In this article, we’ll list the top medical schools based on both QS and Times rankings, tell you all you need to know about the top schools from each, and answer all your questions about the importance of medical school rankings in Australia.
Does Medical School Prestige Matter in Australia? Why or Why Not?
Before we get into the complete list of the best medical schools in Australia, we should first discuss just how important medical school rankings are for future doctors. I’m currently a provisional medicine student and I’ve been accepted into 5 medical schools in 3 different states through both undergraduate and postgraduate pathways.
From speaking with several medical students and doctors, I can confidently say that medical school rankings matter far less in Australia compared to other countries (such as the United States). The reason for this is actually very simple, and it’s all based on how the junior doctor training system works in Australia.
Firstly, when you graduate from medicine you will immediately have a guaranteed job (as a domestic graduate) in the form of an intern year (with the exception of Victoria). This means that competition during medical school is relatively low as your performance, and which medical school you graduate from, has essentially no bearing on your internship allocation (except maybe in Victoria).
Secondly, the timeline from graduating as a doctor to being selected for specialty training in Australia is far longer than in the United States. Selection is based on a number of criteria far beyond your medical school grades (which are relatively unimportant) and the specific medical school you graduated from (which is essentially negligible).
However, it is important to note that many higher-ranked universities may have more extensive research opportunities, connections and research funding available for students, and the rankings are certainly somewhat more important if you plan to move overseas after your medical degree.
2023 Times & QS Rankings
With that being said, the medical school rankings are still valuable indicators of medical programs’ national and international reputations and are arguably quite valuable for students who are particularly interested in research, specific university connections, or working overseas. Here are the best medical schools in Australia based on both QS and Times ranks:
|School Name||QS Rank||Times Rank|
|University of Melbourne||1||1|
|University of Sydney||2||3|
|University of Queensland||5||4|
|University of Adelaide||6||5|
|Australian National University||7||7|
Best Medical Schools in Australia (QS)
The University of Melbourne is currently ranked as the top medical school in Australia based on the QS World University Rankings from 2023. The Melbourne Medical School is the oldest medical school in Australia. It was also the first to switch its program from the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) in 2011 which almost all other universities have since adopted. Learn more about the MBBS vs MD.
The University of Sydney is ranked as the second best medical school in Australia based on the QS World University Rankings from 2023. The University of Sydney is renowned for its early clinical exposure (one day per week from year one) and its extensive network of clinical schools from the Royal Prince Alfred to Nepean. The University of Sydney selects candidates based entirely on GAMSAT with a cutoff GPA of 5.0 and no interview.
Monash University is ranked as the third best medical school in Australia based on the 2023 QS World University Rankings. Monash is the only university in Victoria to offer entry into medicine in Year 12 as well as a graduate entry program leading to the same degree – Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD). However, the University of Melbourne does technically allow for “guaranteed” entry via their Chancellor’s Scholarship program with a 99.90 ATAR and subsequent MMI interview.
Best Medical Schools in Australia (Times)
The University of Melbourne is also ranked as the best medical school in Australia based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings from 2023. Like we said above, the Melbourne Medical School is the oldest medical school in Australia and the first to switch from the MBBS to the MD.
Monash University is ranked as the second best medical school in Australia based on the Times rankings. This puts it above the University of Sydney, although QS puts these two in opposite positions. Like we said above, Monash is a great option for school leavers in Victoria and has a well established medical program.
The University of Sydney takes its spot as the third best medical school in Australia based on the 2023 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The University of Sydney has a brilliant program, and is the only medical school to condense all preclinical knowledge into just the first year of the MD degree.
We hope you now have a good understanding of the best Medical schools in Australia. All of the schools on this list are excellent and boast strong academic and extracurricular results; however, it is always important to consider your individual needs. While a school may be on this list, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best school for you.
It’s also important to remember that every medical school in Australia is accredited by AHPRA and qualifies students as doctors. As we mentioned above, the nature of the medical training process after graduation makes the prestige and rank of the medical school you attend much less important in Australia compared to other countries.
A much-used adage is “the best medical school is the one you get into” and this is super important to keep in mind. The reality is, it’s hard enough to get in to any medical school, let alone worrying too much about the rankings. Other (arguably more) important factors to consider the medical school’s location, availability of support networks, and length of the degree.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your studies!