Moving overseas to pursue your career in medicine is a big step and sometimes you need a little support. To ensure you get the most out of your medical studies and enjoy your time at UQ and Ochsner, you'll be provided with easy access to a network of staff and students who are there to assist you every step along the way.

USMLE preparation

In order to apply for United States (US) medical residency programs, and eventually become licensed in the US to practice medicine, you must pass the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE). The exams are divided into four distinct parts: Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), and Step 3.

UQ Ochsner students must attempt the USMLE Step 1 examination before commencing Phase 2 of the program. We offer a suite of initiatives to support you in preparing for the Step 1 exam which include:

  • ‘Roadmap to Step 1’ seminar series co-presented by UQ academic staff and near-peer students
  • ‘UQ to First Aid Study Links’ which highlight where high-yield topics reviewed in the First Aid for Step 1 textbook are covered in the UQ curriculum so that students can align their Step 1 preparation with their UQ studies
  • A dedicated ‘Preparation for Step 1’ course (subject) in the final semester of Phase 1. This course includes access to the gold-standard UWorld question bank and the requirement to sit two Comprehensive Basic Science Examinations produced by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
  • Opportunities to seek advice from Ochsner academic staff via the Society Head network.

The Clinical Science curriculum that all UQ students complete during Phase 1 will also prepare you well for the Step 1 exam; there is strong correlation between success in these courses and Step 1 results.

Learn more about USMLE support

Medical Societies

In Year 1, UQ Ochsner students are assigned to one of five medical societies, named after an Ochsner physician founder, all of whom made important contributions to research, clinical care and/or education at the Ochsner Health System. The five societies are named

  • Alton Ochsner Society
  • Curtis Tyrone Society
  • Edgar Burns Society
  • Francis LeJeune Society, and 
  • Guy Caldwell Society.

Medical societies provide structure for educational advising and coaching from both faculty members and peers. Societies are also social units organised to promote a sense of community within the larger UQ Ochsner cohort. Each medical society is led by a faculty member, the Society Head, who was chosen for expertise in advising and coaching. Information about your Society will be provided early in Year 1.

Learn about Medical Societies

Student support team

We have a dedicated student support team for medical students at UQ, and offer a range of bespoke services including pastoral and wellbeing, academic and medical careers. These include:

  • Practical tips and strategies such as manage your time, achieve work-life balance, daily life skills, and adjustment to living away from home
  • Pastoral support
  • Psychological wellbeing
  • Disability support and plans
  • Adjusting to life in Australia
  • Workshops to support wellbeing, coping, and ways to maximise performance
  • Learning support e.g. time and study management, exam preparation, assignment writing skills, mental preparedness
  • Referral into UQ Support Services e.g. counselling, accommodation, learning support

It is never too early to ask for support. If you are travelling to Australia with a prexisiting condition, or require extra support during your studies, the Medical Student Support team can begin putting support mechanisms in place before your arrival. It is always better to be proactive and reach out before settling in Australia. Remember, medicine is a marathon and not a sprint. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help.

Meet the team

Personal Advisor Network

The Personal Advisor Network (PAN) has been developed by the Faculty of Medicine as a commitment to supporting you to realise your goals and ambitions during your time at UQ and Ochsner. You will access this network during Phase 1 and it will complement the support provided by your Ochsner Society Head throughout your medical program.

Personal Advisors are senior colleagues associated with the Medical Program and during Phase 1, you will have regular semi-structured meetings with your assigned Advisor. These meetings are designed to increase personal support, provide a sense of belonging and affiliation with the medical community, and provide guidance for accessing support if required. During these meetings, you will be encouraged not only to discuss your academic progress, but also your general wellbeing. This will ensure you are able to create the necessary balance between your academic and non-academic activities.

Learn about the personal advisor network

Career development

A career in medicine is challenging, rewarding and ever changing; and becoming a medical student is your first step on a lifelong journey of learning. Employment opportunities exist in spheres you may not yet have imagined and you will find yourself excited and perhaps overwhelmed by the many things to consider. 

Our student support teams are in place to help you navigate your options and provide you with access to events, networks and useful resources to prepare you for your career as a physician.

Building your medical career

Support for families

Thinking of bringing your family down under for the first two years of the program? UQ has developed a family friendly guide for international students travelling to UQ with their family. This includes information about visa obligations, finding appropriate schools for your children, activities for families, and general life in Brisbane.

Download the guide (PDF, 448.4 KB)

Ochsner Medical Student Association (OMSA)

Founded in March 2011, the Ochsner Medical Student Association (OMSA) represents the UQ Ochsner student body in matters related to their medical education. Academics, research, community outreach, and social events are a few of the facets of student life in which OMSA is involved. In essence, OMSA’s mission is to help you make the most of your medical education and to prepare you for U.S. residency training following graduation.

Learn more about OMSA

UQ Medical Student Society (UQMS)

The University of Queensland Medical Society (UQMS) is a not for profit organisation that aims to serve over 1800 medical students enrolled at UQ. Their goal is to enrich the medical student experience and provide members with once in a life time opportunities to develop skills, friendships and life long memories.

Learn more about UQMS