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FAQs2021-09-08T16:47:03-04:00
What is the fee for OUM’s MD Program?2022-05-06T07:02:23-04:00

Information in this section is effective 1 January 2023. For tuition information prior to 2023, refer to the Student Handbook. 

Tuition for the MD Program is dependent upon the pathway taken by the student. Students undertaking the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Pathway are expected to complete the program in four-and-a-half years (no longer than five years). Students undertaking the Standard Pathway are expected to complete the program in four years (no longer than four-and-a-half years). Students who plan to practice in the US must take the USMLE Pathway.

Effective January 2023, tuition for the Standard Pathway will be $43,000 per annum for four years (8 semesters). Tuition for the USMLE Pathway will be $39,000 per annum for four-and-a-half years (9 semesters). The total amount paid by all students is approximately the same. (Standard Pathway students pay more per annum as they are paying over a shorter period of time than USMLE Pathway students.) These fees are subject to an annual indexation (inflationary adjustment reflecting Consumer Price Index changes). The yearly CPI, as published in July, will be used and the new fee will be set in August for the next year beginning 1 January. Students in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Samoa pay fees in their local currency. Students from outside these countries, including the United States, pay fees in USD.

Does OUM have the necessary accreditation for International Medical Graduates to practice after graduation?2022-04-22T09:09:40-04:00

Yes. OUM was first accredited in 2010 by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities and its re-accreditations now take it through to 2025. It was the South Pacific’s first internationally accredited medical school, providing the requisite credentials which graduates of international medical schools need in order to practice in most countries.

How old is the school? How many students?2022-04-22T09:11:24-04:00

The University was founded in 2002 to aid the South Pacific island of Samoa in addressing its shortage of doctors. Since the school was established in close collaboration with the Government of Samoa, its future is secure. The program began small, making sure that the computer-assisted curriculum worked well before opening it to a larger number of students. The school currently has 287 students enrolled worldwide. OUM is selective about the students it accepts, making certain they have the self-motivation and discipline necessary to complete this hybrid curriculum.

What types of students do you have enrolled in the program?2022-04-22T09:13:05-04:00

OUM’s flexible distance-learning program appeals to a wide variety of students — from recent university graduates to working professionals interested in changing careers. Pre-medical school careers have ranged from nurse practitioners, nurses, and chiropractors to physical therapists, physician assistants, pharmacists, paramedics, and other healthcare professionals. OUM also accepts students with non-science backgrounds such as business, accounting, education, information technology and more.

Will I have to travel to Samoa?2022-04-22T09:14:15-04:00

All OUM students are required to complete at least one four-week elective rotation in Samoa. Students should apply for the Samoa rotation at least six months in advance through their regional dean.

How does OUM’s curriculum compare to those of traditional medical schools? Is it shorter?2022-04-22T09:15:37-04:00

OUM is not an abbreviated program. The OUM MD program is a complete and rigorous medical school curriculum based mainly on US and Australian medical education models. The difference is OUM’s virtual interactive delivery of its pre-clinical curriculum, which offers two pathways of study based upon where a student intends to practice in the future. Our hybrid approach enables students to complete the pre-clinical modules in live real-time electronic classrooms while remaining in their home communities. As with traditional medical schools, once OUM students complete their pre-clinical modules, clinical rotations occur on site at select teaching hospitals and clinics.

How long does it take to complete OUM’s MD degree program?2022-04-22T09:17:08-04:00

Students who progress through the program with no interruptions other than the scheduled breaks within or between modules, will likely finish the program in 4.5 years (usually 5 years for the USMLE Pathway students).

During the pre-clinical phase, students who successfully complete all consecutive annual modules may complete the curriculum in 32 months on the Standard Pathway, or 40 months on the USMLE Pathway.

During the clinical phase, in addition to hospital and clinic time, students should plan for a minimum two-week break between rotations to complete their logbooks and end-of-rotation exam. Given the intense workload of the clinical phase, students should expect to complete the required 72 weeks of clinical rotations within two years.

May I continue working while attending OUM?2022-04-22T09:18:20-04:00

Since OUM’s innovative online approach allows a certain amount of flexibility during the pre-clinical phase, many students elect to work reduced schedules during that portion of the curriculum. However, medical school requires a tremendous time commitment to absorb and digest a huge quantity of very complex information. Many students find it difficult to work and also devote enough time to their studies. OUM has no official policy against students working during pre-clinicals, but it is discouraged. During clinical rotations, OUM strongly advises against working and in many teaching hospitals it is, in fact, prohibited.

How are Gross Anatomy and other lab courses taught online?2022-04-22T09:19:48-04:00

When the COVID 19 pandemic forced medical schools to transition to remote learning, many schools learned what OUM has known for some time: that the didactic portion of a medical school curriculum can effectively be taught online. Even before COVID, traditional medical schools were moving towards high-quality electronic teaching material as an alternative to traditional Gross Anatomy labs. Certain laboratory skills and analysis of data and testing results are also gained through simulated lab assignments instead of live labs.

How are clinical rotations handled? May I get one near my home?2022-04-22T09:21:05-04:00

While most students complete clinical rotations at accredited teaching hospitals formally affiliated with OUM, the University will also work with students to seek clinical rotations at an accredited hospital that is geographically convenient. In Australia, regional clinical coordinators help students secure their placements. This portion of the curriculum also involves case assignments and other learning activities that support and enhance the clinical rotation. Students are required to keep detailed logbooks and complete an End-of-Rotation examination which are factored into the student’s grade for that clinical module. In many countries, OUM students work and learn side-by-side with students from other medical schools.

What are the admissions requirements?2022-04-22T08:50:55-04:00

Applicants need a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an appropriately accredited tertiary educational institution, with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Standardized admissions tests such as MCAT or GAMSAT are not required. OUM selects students who it believes are capable of successfully completing the rigorous and demanding distance learning medical degree program. The admissions decision is based upon a candidate’s previous academic success, healthcare experience where applicable, letters of recommendation, and his or her admissions interview.

What if I already have an advanced health care degree?2022-04-22T08:47:43-04:00

OUM does not offer advanced standing because spending a minimum of four years in medical school is a licensing requirement in many countries. Four years of study is also required to receive certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), which graduates of foreign medical schools must obtain in order to begin a residency or obtain a medical license in most US states. Some students who graduated from Caribbean medical schools that offered advanced standing were denied medical licensure in a number of US states.

May I speak with current students?2022-04-22T08:49:54-04:00

Yes. Contact your Admissions Counselor who can connect you with a current student or graduate. OUM also sponsors “Meet the Student” and “Meet the Graduate” webinars where prospective students interact with students and graduates. Many of those sessions are recorded and your Admissions Counselor is able to provide you with a link to the recordings.

What are the annual start dates for the MD program?2022-04-22T08:53:09-04:00

OUM welcomes two classes each year – in January and July. Application deadlines are September 1 for the January term and March 1 for the July term.

How do OUM students perform on standardized licensing exams?2022-04-22T08:55:38-04:00

Students who score well on OUM’s final Pre-Clinical Exam (PCE) and Final Clinical Exam (FCE) score well on the Australian Medical Council exams (AMC), the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREZ), or the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). As the USMLE is much more focused on the Basic Sciences, OUM developed the USMLE Pathway with added emphasis on the Basic Sciences, designed specifically for students who intend to take the USMLE and practice in the United States.

Are OUM students eligible for US federal loans and grants?2022-04-22T08:57:37-04:00

Not at this time. OUM is internationally accredited, which is the first step towards gaining loan eligibility for its students and is in the process of meeting additional eligibility requirements. Students are encouraged to check with banks and other lenders as potential funding sources.

Will I be able to practice medicine after graduating from OUM?2022-04-22T08:59:43-04:00

Yes. As an accredited medical school, OUM provides the requisite credentials which graduates of international medical schools need to practice in most countries. Graduates who take and pass the required exams for licensure/registration and successfully complete an internship/residency in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Samoa, the United States, or other jurisdictions, are able to practice medicine there. All applicants should research the locations where they wish to practice in order to understand the licensing and registration requirements for international medical graduates in those regions. OUM Admissions Counselors are also knowledgeable on many of these requirements.

Where are OUM graduates practicing?2022-04-22T09:01:47-04:00

OUM graduates are currently completing residency training or practicing medicine in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Samoa, and the United States.

Will I be eligible to get into a residency program in the US?2022-04-22T09:04:18-04:00

Yes. OUM students who have successfully completed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 are eligible to apply for US residency programs through the National Residency Match Program. Certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is also a requirement, both to begin a residency and to obtain a medical license in many US states. That certification process begins when students first apply to take the USMLE Step 1 and finishes upon verification of OUM graduation. For more information, visit ECFMG’s website at www.ecfmg.org.

Am I eligible to practice medicine in Samoa after graduation?2022-04-22T09:06:15-04:00

Yes. In fact, OUM’s Samoan scholarship recipients are required to serve the country’s health system for five years following their medical training. Citizens from other countries wishing to practice medicine in Samoa must meet the country’s immigration requirements and successfully apply to the Samoan Ministry of Health. Being eligible to practice in a foreign medical school’s home country helps to meet US licensing requirements in some states. Students and prospective students are advised to check with their respective state licensing boards for specific information.