GAMSAT stands for the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test, a standardized exam that the Australian Council for Education Research has coordinated. If you plan on taking an Australian graduate entry medical course, you’ll be required to take this test for almost all programs. This includes podiatry, optometry, and dentistry courses.
The GAMSAT Purpose
The GAMSAT exam aims to assess your ability to undertake studies in the health and medical fields that require a high level of intellectual thinking. How well you do on the exam will be determined by your ability to think analytically and critically and how well you can organize your ideas and communicate them.
As a healthcare practitioner, your interactions with your patients start by understanding their medical histories and social histories before looking at their investigation results and thinking about how you can build a treatment plan. Together these different strands of information form a story, and you must be focused enough to determine a patient’s state of health to provide the proper medical care. The critical and logical reasoning skills assessed by the GAMSAT exam are essential in the day-to-day work of a healthcare practitioner. You need to be able to combine the symptoms of a patient with what their blood results are telling you, or even what any X-Rays and scans might show to come up with an appropriate management plan.
Assessment of Your Communication Skills
Communication is also an essential skill required in all medical professions. The information must be passed along to your patients and families and you need to be able to also extract relevant information from patients. For example, imagine a teenager who comes in with an asthma attack can be treated in a hospital and sent home but as a healthcare practitioner you need to be able to dig further and try and understand the cause of the attack. Maybe they’ve recently gotten a pet or started smoking without their parent’s knowledge, maybe they’re not using their puffers properly for fear of being bullied at school – As a doctor you need to be able to communicate and empathise with patients.
Communication must also be provided concise and accurate to other professionals in the medical field. Communication levels also need to be adjusted according to the audience you speak to. The ability to communicate scientifically with colleagues, for example, versus communicating scientifically using layman’s terms to a patient, is a skill that needs to be perfected by all medical students and health practitioners.
Assessing your Ability to Interpret Data
Almost all medical strategies and decisions are based on data assessments. Healthcare professionals must be able to interpret anomalies and patterns to make key decisions regarding the health of a patient and come to a medical diagnosis. The information may be provided by examinations, patient histories, ECGs, blood tests, imaging, etc. Medical professionals and students must understand how to apply the knowledge they have learned about physiology with their collected data.
It’s important to note that the format of the GAMSAT can evolve, and this is especially true now more than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdowns, social distancing and other regulations are constantly changing. Hence, it’s essential to get the most up-to-date information regarding the GAMSAT format and how and when it is offered.
GAMSAT preparation will play a crucial part in doing well on the exam. Learn your options in preparation courses and materials for this critical test early so that you are well-prepared for it in advance.