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The Sydney to London Switch

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 01 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:0206204
  1. Rabia Khalique, fourth year medical student1
  1. 1Guy's, King's, and St Thomas's School of Medicine, London

Rabia Khalique is in the unusual position of having transferred between two different countries to complete her medical degree. But which one does she like better and why?

“You must be mad!” This was the frequent response to my revelation that around eight months ago I transferred from studying medicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia to complete my clinical years at Guy's, King's, and St Thomas's in London.

I was marrying a Briton and had to move to London so that we could be together. My circumstances were highly unusual, to say the least: I was able to secure an international transfer without repeating any of what I had already done.

Since then, I have spent many days wandering the corridors of London hospitals, comparing them to those I knew in Sydney; speaking with my new colleagues, thinking how different they are to the ones I left; and getting used to the NHS, compared with Australia's Medicare.

Getting into medicine

Getting into medicine in Sydney is a little different to here. We have a higher school certificate (HSC), which is equivalent to A levels, and we generally study four or five subjects. To do medicine, these must include English and Chemistry, but the others can be chosen according to your individual interests. At the end of the HSC (which is taken over two years) we are given a tertiary entrance rank (TER); it is generally necessary to be in …

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