Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

  • OUM’s distance-learning program appeals to a wide variety of students — from recent university graduates to working professionals interested in changing careers. OUM accepts students with healthcare and non-science backgrounds. Find out more about our students — from our students — by visiting the testimonials and videos on our Student Life page.

  • As of June 2024, 314 students are enrolled worldwide. OUM is selective about the students it accepts, making certain they have the self-motivation and discipline necessary to complete the hybrid curriculum. Find out more by visiting our Student Life page.

  • 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.

  • Yes. Contact your Admissions Counselor who can connect you with a current student or graduate. If you don't have one yet, send your contact information to admissions@oum.edu.ws and one will be in touch. Also, complete a form on the webinars page to hear from members of the OUM community via “Meet the Student” and “Meet the Graduate” webinar recordings.

  • 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.

  • No, standardized admissions tests such as MCAT or GAMSAT are not required.

  • Applicants need a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited tertiary educational institution, with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, 5.5 on a 7.0 scale, or an equivalent. The admissions decision is based upon a candidate’s previous academic success, healthcare experience where applicable, letters of recommendation, and the Admissions interview. For more information, take a look at our Entry Requirements page.

  • 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.

  • There are a variety of financial assistance options available for Canadian students depending on which province or territory you reside in.

    • Financial assistance options are available for eligible Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and those eligible to become permanent residents. Permanent resident status must be gained prior to applying for financial assistance.
    • Student grants and loans are managed by provincial and territorial student aid offices; application forms are available on their websites. Applicants are responsible for checking their provincial and territorial student aid websites to determine their eligibility for student aid and what student aid is available.
    • OUM is a designated institution for Canadian financial aid purposes. (CODE ZUDG)
    • OUM does not calculate eligibility for financial aid for Canadian students seeking financial aid; those decisions are made by the granting body.
    • Some provinces/territories might need additional information from OUM for application completion.
    • Additional support options are available for underrepresented student groups. Please consult Canada Student Grants and Loans or your provincial/territorial student aid office for further information.
    • Students may be eligible to apply for professional lines of credit with their financial institution.
    • In addition to potential grants and loans, Registered Education Savings Plan RESP) and/or the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) funds may be used to cover medical school expenses.
    • OUM encourages applicants to check the amount of funding available to them prior to commencing their studies. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they can cover the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses for the MD Program.

    Note: All students planning to practice in the US must follow the USMLE Pathway. This link outlines grant and loan options available in Canada and how to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/education/student-aid/grants-loans.html

  • ANZ, US, CDN: All students are encouraged to check with banks and other lenders as potential funding sources.

    Australia: As OUM is an internationally accredited university, Australian students are not eligible to apply for Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) assistance.

    Canada: Please see the following question for financial aid information in Canada, "What details can you provide regarding financial assistance in Canada?"

    US: As OUM is an internationally accredited university, US students are not currently eligible to apply for financial aid.

    Samoa: Tuition scholarships are available to Samoan citizens who meet all the entry requirements of the MD program. OUM scholarships are available only to Samoan students.

  • Students pay fees in their local currency (i.e. AUD, CAD, NZD, SAT, or USD).

  • For detailed information, please refer to Other Fees on Tuition & Fees.

  • For detailed information, please refer to Other Fees on Tuition & Fees.

  • For detailed information, please refer to Tuition & Fees.

  • Yes. There are numerous opportunities for students to meet informally online in study groups and face-to-face with members of the faculty and administration at student conferences and graduations as well as regional meet ups. You will have access to an OUM Zoom account, including the ability to schedule meetings and invite others, inside and outside OUM. Students also may join the Oceania University of Medicine Student Association (OUMSA) and graduates may join the Oceania University of Medicine Alumni Association (OUMAA). Please refer to Student Support for more information.

  • Yes. OUM provides a Student Success Advisor (SSA), and a Research Advisor to assist with the required research project throughout the program. Please refer to Student Support for more information.

  • There are limited opportunities available in New Zealand and you may need to travel both within New Zealand and Australia to complete clinical rotations. For further information, please contact admissions@oum.edu.ws.

  • Applications are encouraged, need to come directly from the student, and any such applications MUST be reported to OUM's Clinical Coordination Team once scheduled and completed. Application fees will apply. See individual hospital/university websites for further details.

  • For specific state and territory information, please contact admissions@oum.edu.ws.

  • OUM has relationships with a number of teaching hospitals and we will endeavour to place you at a geographically convenient location, where possible. There is a high likelihood that students may need to travel and/or relocate for some clinical rotations.

  • Some hospitals do charge a placement fee. These fees vary depending on the health facility and length of placement, and are payable by the student. Students are also responsible for accommodation and travel costs associated with their clinical rotations.

  • Yes. Fees generally range from $0 to $500 per week of clinical rotation and are charged to the student by the hospital.

  • No. There are internships available for international medical graduates (IMGs); however, we do not guarantee or secure them. It is the responsibility of students to build good clinical relationships through their excellent performance during their clinical rotations in order to secure their internships after graduation.

  • OUM’s primary affiliated hospital in the US for clinical rotations is in Chicago, Illinois. Students may also work with OUM's Dean for North America and the Clinical Placement Team to attempt to arrange rotations closer to home.

  • International medical graduates (IMGs) residents typically sign Return-of-Service agreements with their province/territory in Canada. These agreements refer to your commitment to serve in the geographic area of your residency for a defined period of time. Further information about Return-of-Service agreements may be found on provincial/territorial government/Ministry of Health websites.

  • Yes. Most provinces have dedicated residency positions for international medical graduates (IMGs).  As you may know, Canada has a physician shortage – in particular in rural, remote, and other underserved areas. IMG residency positions are designed both to provide optimal training to the resident and to address the physician shortage.

    OUM’s mission to improve the health of underserved communities in Oceania and beyond is very well aligned with Canada’s needs.

  • As an OUM graduate, you will be eligible to participate in the first iteration of the R-1 Match as an international medical graduate (IMG). In addition to obtaining an MD degree from OUM, you will need to pass the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam (MCCQE) and the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Exam. The USMLE Step Exams are not required for residency match or licensure in Canada.

  • OUM is one of the acceptable medical schools as defined in the Model Standards for Medical Registration in Canada of the Medical Council of Canada.

    OUM is a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDMS), which includes the Canada Sponsor Notes. For Canadian students who may wish to practice in the US, OUM also has the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)/USA Sponsor Note.

    An MD degree from OUM is the first step toward licensure in Canada. After graduation, candidates will complete the remaining requirements to become a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) and become authorized through their provincial Medical Regulatory Authority (MCA).

    Canadian students seeking US licensure must pass USMLE Steps 1 and 2 and be certified by the ECFMG. These students must also complete a US residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and pass USMLE Step 3 before applying for a state medical license.

  • The Match process is a uniform system by which residency candidates and residency programs simultaneously “match” to fill post-graduate training positions accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The NRMP maintains the Match system and uses a computerized mathematical algorithm, the “matching algorithm,” to place applicants into the most preferred residency and fellowship positions at programs that also prefer them.

    Learn More About How the Matching Algorithm Works

  • 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.

  • All international medical graduates (IMGs) seeking US licensure must be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and complete a US residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Before applying to the State Medical Board for licensure, IMGs must successfully pass US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 3. Every medical graduate must apply for a license in the state(s) in which they intend to practice, and each state has its own requirements and processes for application and a separate dues structure.

  • OUM graduates have received full or preliminary licensure to practice in the following states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, and the US-territory of American Samoa. In addition to the US graduates, OUM has licensed physicians working in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Samoa.

  • Yes. OUM was first accredited in 2010 by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) and its re-accreditations now take it through April 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. See the Accreditation page for additional details.

  • 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 Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE), the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREZ), or the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). As the USMLE is more focused on the basic sciences, OUM offers the USMLE Prep Program to prepare students who intend to practice in the US for their USMLE Step 1 and 2 exams.

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

  • 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.

  • All OUM students MUST complete at least one four-week elective rotation in Samoa. Students must apply for the Samoa rotation at least six months in advance through their regional dean and plan for additional travel and accommodation costs.

  • Standard Pathway students typically complete the MD Program in 4.5 years, while USMLE Pathway students typically complete the Program in 5 years. OUM has developed the USMLE Pathway for students who intend to rotate or practice in the US and/or Canada. The US requires physicians to pass a series of hurdle exams known as the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) and passing USMLE Steps 1 and 2 is a graduation requirement for OUM students intending to practice in the US.

  • OUM students use “Complete Anatomy,” an advanced 3D anatomy platform produced by Elsevier Publishing. Rather than taking a separate anatomy course and memorizing the human anatomical structures independently, Complete Anatomy is integrated into every organ system curriculum. For example, students learn the anatomy of the heart and blood vessels and immediately relate that knowledge to physiology, pathology, and pharmacology. Learn more at "Complete Anatomy: This 3D Learning Platform is a Fan Favorite."

  • You may use previously collected data of your, or other, published studies to generate new questions, statistics, and results for your OUM research project.

  • Yes. Students may work together on collaborative research projects. These collaborative projects are usually larger-scaled studies involving more in-depth statistical analysis. As a result, these types of studies have the potential to be published in high-impact journals.

  • Exams are taken and proctored online in the Examplify platform. OUM students must have a functioning webcam and microphone and are required to perform a video room scan of their test-taking environment in advance of each examination. To accommodate schedules and time zone differences, exams are held during designated windows of 24-48 hours, generally on weekends.

  • Three days each week, students take two-hour courses in live, instructor-led, interactive virtual classrooms delivered via Zoom. All live courses are held on T/W/Th at 8 pm EST (NA) and 8 pm AEST (AUS). Students may attend at either time, but not at both times. All sessions are recorded.

  • OUM’s innovative online pre-clinical curriculum allows many students to work reduced schedules during that phase of the program However, medical school requires a tremendous time commitment to absorb and digest extensive scientific material. Many students find it difficult to work and also devote enough time to their studies, so they should be prepared to significantly adjust their outside work commitments. During clinical rotations, OUM strongly advises against working and in many teaching hospitals it is, in fact, prohibited.

  • Each pre-clinical unit requires mastery of extensive information during a relatively short period. Students should anticipate spending a minimum of 40 hours per week for successful completion.

    In a recent survey, OUM students reported spending an average of 44 hours per week on their pre-clinical studies.

    During the clinical phase, students spend 60+ hours per week completing hands-on rotations and clinical curriculum assignments.

  • Currently, OUM Canadian students are eligible for rotations in affiliated hospitals in the United States, supporting Canadian students’ ability to apply to both the Match and CaRMs systems for residency. Rotations at local hospitals in Canada may and have been arranged with joint approval from the regional Dean and hospital/health system.

  • The University does not offer any bridge programs in the health professions. Advanced credits for degrees obtained by Nurse Practitioners are not given because of the rules set by many medical boards, which require physicians to study medicine for at least four years, thus completing OUM’s full Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program. Please visit our Curriculum page to learn more about our MD Program.

  • OUM’s Student Ambassadors assist prospective students and support first-year colleagues during their transition to medical school. They serve for one year, which they spend sharing their OUM journeys, discussing course content, our interactive classrooms, remote exams, preparing for clinical rotations, and much more. Student Ambassadors take calls from prospects and peers and attend our live webinars and orientation sessions. The experience is also a great mentoring and leadership experience which strengthens a student’s CV.

  • The OUM Peer Support Program is a student-led initiative to support students’ mental health and well-being throughout their medical school journey. The Peer Support Program allows students to discuss topics and issues with a trained medical student peer in a confidential, non-judgmental, and safe environment.

  • The Student Success Advisor (SSA) Program encourages students to be proactive in finding ideal study styles, study aids, time-management resources, and overall techniques for maximal medical school performance. SSAs are faculty/staff who serve as mentors, bringing their education and lived experience to sessions with their student advisees. They may also assist with making referrals for students to other staff members or support services.

  • Yes, academic support is provided during faculty office hours.

  • Weekly quizzes may be taken at any time, and there is no limit to the number of attempts. The quizzes are not graded, and faculty feedback is provided. Four graded summative assessments (exams) are provided at different times during each pre-clinical unit. Exams are scheduled over a 24-hour period, and students take them from home using a remote proctor.

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Let’s Start Transforming Your Future.