Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I gain licensure in the United States after completing my residency training program?2023-05-15T12:11:18-04:00

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.

How much is the total tuition for the MD Program?2023-04-26T22:02:18-04:00

In 2023, first-year tuition is the same for both pathways: $42,000 + $1,000 fees. The total program cost, over 4 or 4.5 years, is $168,000 in 2023.

This amount will be adjusted by CPI annually. It is estimated that Standard Pathway students completing the program in 4 years will pay approximately $180,000 over the duration of the program. For USMLE Pathway students it is expected to be approximately $183,000, which reflects the longer timeframe for payment and higher CPI each year.

For more information, please refer to Tuition & Fees – Oceania University of Medicine

What is the average cost per year?2023-04-26T22:03:25-04:00

In 2023 first-year tuition is the same for both pathways: $42,000 + $1,000 fees. This amount will be adjusted by CPI annually.

Do you have any financial aid available?2023-04-26T22:04:28-04:00

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 Canada FAQs for financial aid information 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.

What payment options do I have?2023-04-26T22:09:12-04:00

There are tuition payment plan options available:

  1. Purchase all credits up front (Paid in Full)
  2. Purchase credits prior to each unit commencing (Pay As You Go [PAYG])
  3. Monthly payment plan to purchase the annual credit points required for the duration of the current year (Monthly)

For more information, please refer to Tuition & Fees – Oceania University of Medicine

What fees are not included in tuition?2023-04-26T22:07:31-04:00

There is an annual fee to give you access to ClinicalKey, an interactive professional library resource, and for the Exam Proctor fee. In 2023 that fee was $1,000 payable prior to 1 January 2023 and $500 payable by 1 July 2023 for mid-year intake 2023.

Note: ClinicalKey is an interactive professional library resource featuring books, medical journals,images, videos, First Consult content and much more. All OUM students have access to the resources at Clinical Key Medical Education (CKMedEd) after paying their annual fees. In the event of a late payment there will be a Late Fee of $25 per occurrence.

Students may be charged fees by hospitals/clinics when undertaking clinical rotations, depending on the region.

For more information, please refer to Tuition & Fees – Oceania University of Medicine

In what currency do I pay?2023-04-26T22:08:10-04:00

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

When do students attend their lectures?2023-05-02T11:08:43-04:00

Three days each week, students take two-hour courses in live, instructor-led, interactive virtual classrooms delivered via Zoom. All live lectures are also recorded, allowing for study review.

What is the format of lectures at OUM and how are they delivered?2023-05-16T23:38:09-04:00

Three days each week, students participate in student-led, professor-facilitated, live, virtual classes in Zoom.

What is the expected time commitment for my studies at OUM?2023-05-16T23:38:50-04:00

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 on average 44 hours per week on their pre-clinical studies, essentially becoming a second full-time job for those who continue to work at the beginning of medical school. During the clinical phase, students spend 60+ hours per week completing hands-on rotations and clinical curriculum assignments.

Is it possible to continue my employment while studying at OUM?2023-05-16T23:39:21-04:00

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 extensive scientific material. Many students find it difficult to work and also devote enough time to their studies, so they should be prepared to adjust their outside work commitments. During clinical rotations, OUM strongly advises against working and in many teaching hospitals it is, in fact, prohibited.

How are examinations administered and scheduled at OUM?2023-05-16T23:39:53-04:00

Exams are taken and proctored online in the Examify 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.

What is the difference between the Standard Pathway and the USMLE Pathway?2023-05-16T23:40:25-04:00

The Standard Pathway is for students who do not live in North America and do not intend at any time in the future to practice in the US. The USMLE Pathway is for students who intend to, or believe they one day may wish to, rotate or practice in the US. The US requires physicians to pass a series of hurdle exams known as the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE). While other countries also have hurdle exams, USMLE Step 1 is especially focused on the basic sciences. To address this special challenge, OUM has developed a separate pathway, which includes a USMLE Prep Program at no extra cost to help ensure student success. Passing USMLE Steps 1 and 2 is a graduation requirement for OUM students intending to practice in the US.

What is the average duration of the MD Program for students in the Standard Pathway and the USMLE Pathway?2023-05-16T23:40:57-04:00

Standard Pathway students typically complete the MD Program in 4 to 4.5 years, while USMLE Pathway students typically complete the Program in 4.5 to 5 years.

What is the structure of the OUM MD Program, and how does it differ from traditional medical school programs?2023-05-16T23:41:26-04:00

OUM’s MD is not abbreviated. Our medical degree program is a complete and rigorous curriculum based mainly on US and Australian medical education models, with special influence from Samoa, our home country. The difference is OUM’s virtual interactive delivery of its pre-clinical curriculum. Our hybrid approach enables students to complete the pre-clinical modules in live, real-time virtual 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.

OUM requires each student to write and publish a research-based, peer-reviewed article to qualify for graduation. Is collaborative work and co-authorship on these projects permitted?2023-05-16T23:41:58-04:00

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.

May data and statistics from my previously published research be used in the OUM research project?2023-05-16T23:42:26-04:00

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

What is the purpose of the OUM Clinical Mentor Program?2023-05-16T23:42:57-04:00

Clinical Mentors offer clinical experience and advice relevant to the student’s coursework and help monitor students’ progress as they acquire the knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary to practice medicine and become lifelong learners. Mentors serve as guide, professional coach, and role model, and they aid in student assessment. Click here to learn more about our Clinical Mentor Program.

How are OUM clinical rotations acquired? Will I be able to secure a rotation near my home?2023-05-16T23:43:24-04:00

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. There is a high likelihood that students may need to travel or relocate for clinical rotations. Additional fees including hospital and accommodation fees also may be required, payable by the student.

Is travel to Samoa a requirement for my studies at OUM?2023-05-16T23:43:57-04:00

All OUM students are required to 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.

Are OUM students able to connect with each other and with staff and faculty? Are study groups common?2023-05-16T23:44:31-04:00

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 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).

Is there supplementary academic support available outside the virtual classroom setting?2023-05-16T23:44:58-04:00

Yes. Students receive plenty of support throughout the program. OUM provides an Academic Advisor who remains with the student throughout the pre-clinical years, and a Research Advisor to assist with the required research project throughout the program. To accommodate a global student body covering multiple time zones, OUM offers around-the-clock Advisor Support when a student’s Academic Advisor may not be available.

How are laboratory-based courses like Gross Anatomy taught in an online environment?2023-05-18T09:23:07-04:00

OUM students use “Complete Anatomy.” Rather than taking a separate anatomy course and memorizing the human anatomical structures independently, Complete Anatomy is integrated into every unit. For example, students learn the anatomy of the heart and blood vessels and immediately relate that knowledge to physiology, pathology, and pharmacology.

Complete Anatomy: This 3D Learning Platform is a Fan Favorite

In which US states have OUM graduates been licensed?2023-05-15T12:12:48-04:00

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.

What time are the live classes for US students?2023-04-26T14:46:23-04:00

Live classes are offered three days a week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 8 pm to 10 pm Eastern Time (USA).

What is the process for matching in a residency program through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)?2023-04-26T14:46:26-04:00

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

What are the current opportunities for rotations where I live in the United States?2023-04-26T14:46:29-04:00

Students have the option to work with OUM’s Dean for North America and attempt to arrange clinical rotations at preferred clinical sites closer to home.

Are there fees for clinical rotations at OUM’s affiliated hospitals?2023-04-26T14:46:32-04:00

Yes, fees generally range from $0 to $500 per week of clinical rotation.

Where are OUM-affiliated hospitals located in the United States?2023-04-26T14:46:35-04:00

OUM’s primary affiliated hospital in the US is in Chicago, Illinois.

Is it possible to get an internship in the hospital or clinic where I do my rotations in Australia and/or is it difficult to get an internship in Australia?2023-04-26T14:46:39-04:00

This is entirely up to the availability for each region and OUM has no control over healthcare positions. It’s the responsibility of students to build good clinical relationships through their excellent performance during their clinical rotations in order to secure an internship after graduation.

Is OUM able to guarantee an internship spot for its MD graduates in Australia?2023-04-26T14:46:42-04:00

There are internships available for international medical graduates (IMGs); however, we do not guarantee them. It’s 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.

What are the current rotation opportunities for New Zealand students?2023-05-18T09:15:02-04:00

As of May 2023 there are opportunities for students to complete a suite of rotations (Internal Medicine, OBGYN, Surgery, Psychiatry, and various electives) within the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, South Australia Health (NALHN). Students are currently allocated to both the Modbury and Lyell McEwin Hospitals there and excellent accommodation is available at the Torrens Valley International Residence (TVIR) Modbury. In WA there are limited opportunities in Perth. Please contact admissions@oum.edu.ws with any questions.

Are there fees for clinical rotations in Australia?2023-04-26T14:46:50-04:00

A small number of hospitals do assess a fee. Application fees for elective rotations with domestic universities also apply.

Where are OUM-partnered hospitals located in Australia?2023-05-01T09:20:49-04:00

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

What is the cost of OUM’s MD Program?2023-04-14T10:19:33-04:00

Detailed information regarding OUM’s tuition, fees, payment plans, and its refund policy are outlined in the Tuition and Fees section of the website.

What is Canada’s Return-of-Service agreement?2022-08-12T20:55:26-04:00

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.

Will I have access to compete for residency positions in my Canadian province or territory?2022-08-12T20:54:48-04:00

Yes. Most provinces have dedicated residency positions for international medical graduates (IMGs). For example, Ontario currently has 200 dedicated IMG residency positions (as of August 2022). 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.

Will I be eligible for a residency through Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS)?2022-08-12T20:54:08-04:00

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.

Will I be eligible for licensure in Canada (or the US, if I want to practice there)?2023-04-19T10:31:55-04:00

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.

What details can you provide regarding financial assistance in Canada?2023-05-08T10:01:28-04:00

Financial Assistance is available for eligible Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and those eligible to become permanent residents. For further information about status in Canada, please refer to the Government of Canada website. Please note that permanent resident status must be gained prior to applying for financial assistance.

Prospective OUM students are automatically assessed for Canada Student Grants and Loans in addition to provincial/territorial funding when they apply for student aid with their province or territory of residence. Student grants and loans are administered by provincial and territorial student aid offices, such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and StudentAid BC. Further information and application forms may be found on your provincial or territorial financial aid program’s website. Some provinces/territories may require additional information from OUM to complete your application.

Underrepresented student groups have access to additional support options. Please consult Canada Student Grants and Loans or your provincial/territorial student aid office for further information.

In addition to grants and loans, Registered Education Savings Plan and/or the Lifelong Learning Plan funds may be used to cover medical school expenses.

Note: All students planning to practice in the US must follow the USMLE Pathway.

How many students are currently enrolled?2023-04-14T10:34:44-04:00

As of April 2023 over 310 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.

Am I eligible to practice medicine in Samoa after graduation?2022-05-09T14:53:55-04:00

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.

Where are OUM graduates practicing?2022-05-09T14:53:22-04:00

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

Will I be able to practice medicine after graduating from OUM?2022-05-09T14:52:48-04:00

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.

Will I be eligible to get into a residency program in the US?2022-05-09T14:52:06-04:00

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.

How do OUM students perform on standardized licensing exams?2023-05-12T09:43:34-04:00

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 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.

Does OUM have the necessary accreditation for International Medical Graduates to practice after graduation?2022-05-09T14:50:48-04:00

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.

What are the annual start dates for the MD program?2022-05-09T14:46:04-04:00

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.

Are OUM students eligible for US federal loans and grants?2023-05-25T09:40:29-04:00

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.

May I speak with current students?2022-05-09T14:44:47-04:00

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 if I already have an advanced healthcare degree?2022-05-09T14:44:04-04:00

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.

What are the admissions requirements?2023-04-14T10:25:27-04:00

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. For more information, take a look at our Admissions Prerequisites page.

Who are the students who typically enroll in the program?2023-04-14T10:31:45-04:00

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. Find out more by visiting our Student Life page.

How old is OUM?2022-05-09T14:41:47-04:00

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.

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