Choose medicine...choose dentistry

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences’ choose medicine…choose dentistry programs are specialised programs within Aspire UWA.

Their aim is to promote equitable access to the highly competitive professions of medicine and dentistry for students from under-represented schools: all rural secondary schools and many Perth schools, particularly those in outer metropolitan areas.
I am one of four siblings who grew up in a single parent home, in which my mother was the financial provider. I had considered every profession except becoming a doctor until a visit from the Choose medicine program persuaded me. Fast forward a few years and here I am, waking up each morning thankful that I have the opportunity to attend university…and that I am exactly where I should be – 6th year medicine at UWA Sarah Kingston
Scholarship winner and Aspire ambassador

Key features

  • Provides students in Years 10–12 with information, support and exposure to role models in medicine and dentistry through in-school workshops
  • Assists students sitting the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) and entry interviews by:
  • Paying for rural students’ travel and accommodation
  • Inviting rural and metro students to dinner before the UMAT for mentoring and encouragement
  • Offers interview presentation and team building workshops
  • Supports students through the complex entry process Provides on-going support throughout their undergraduate and medicine/dentistry courses

choose medicine… choose dentistry has an outstanding reputation for supporting students through the challenging process of applying for medicine or dentistry. The rural arm has been operating since 2000 and now achieves its ambitious target of 25 per cent of places for rural students in each intake of medical students and 10% of dental students. Students from a rural background are three times more likely to practice medicine in a regional area than those from an urban background, addressing a critical skills shortage in regional Australia.

Since 2009, Aspire has supported the expansion of choose medicine… choose dentistry to those metropolitan schools where few if any students have ever gained admission to medical or dental courses. These schools include Aspire schools and schools under UWA’s Broadway pathway. Dedicated support, confidence-building activities, accurate timely information and access to scholarships at university have delivered impressive results.

Choose medicine...choose dentistry engagement strategy

School based workshops (1 hour; in school)

To increase diversity in the student cohort and promote equity in the selection of students with respect to different socio-economic, geographic and ethnic backgrounds.
To increase awareness of medicine and dentistry as careers to academically able students.
Hands-on clinical sessions (plastering, suturing and dental cavity temporary fillings)
A DVD presentation on 'life as a medical/dental student' by current UWA students

Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) preparation

Students will
benefit from mentoring and support prior to sitting UMAT, to have an understanding of the requirements of the aptitude test
Information Evening dinner with current medical/dentistry students on what to expect and tips for sitting the UMAT
Debrief following UMAT

Personal Development Workshop (PDW)

Students will
enhance their leadership skills,confidence and personal wellbeing.
identify and acknowledge their strengths.
A day long workshop, including team building and goal setting sessions

Interview preparation

Students will
benefit from mentoring, support and advice through the interview process.
An information session prior to selection interview offers advice on presenting for an interview

Ongoing support

To offer support and mentoring and to be a point of contact for students and teachers
Staff are a point of contact throughout the year to provide advice and support


Mrs Sue Pougnault
Student Support Coordinator
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

+61 8 6488 4851
+61 8 6488 8045