The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a four year full-time course comprising:
- One year of integrated bioscience and clinical learning featuring a new case-based teaching approach
- Two core clinical training years which facilitate learning with patients in a wide range of settings
- Scholarly selective subjects in which each student is immersed in a single medical discipline and completes a research project
- A capstone semester in which students “rehearse” the skills required for effective and safe clinical practice
- An annual medical conference to provide opportunities to interact with leaders in research, policy and clinical healthcare
Year 1 of the MD course explicitly builds on the prerequisite bioscience knowledge of each student to attain the requisite knowledge and skills for the optimal clinical learning. This learning is delivered in a year-long subject – Foundations of Biomedical Science. In this subject, clinical cases, lectures, practical classes and computer assisted learning will be used to develop the requisite knowledge of each student. Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, pathology, pharmacology, population health and psychological science learning will be integrated in a body system approach over 36 weeks. The focus of the assessment in this subject will be knowledge and its application in a scientific and clinical context. A student conference in this first year will consolidate this approach in a conference setting.
In addition, Year 1 commences the sequence of clinical learning with another year-long subject, Principles of Clinical Practice 1 (PCP1). PCP1 will begin the development of the core clinical skills of the medical interview, physical examination and diagnostic reasoning. The subject material will align with the body system approach in the Year 1 subject Foundations of Biomedical Science, connecting the enabling bioscience with early clinical skills acquisition.
Year 2 consists of Principles of Clinical Practice 2 (PCP2) and a student conference that will connect your learning backwards and forwards in the course. PCP2 is a year-long subject in the second year of the course that builds on PCP1 in a full-time clinical setting. The subject will begin with a foundation term to bridge the learning styles of the University to the clinical setting and consolidate the key clinical skills prior to rotating terms in medicine, ambulatory care and emergency medicine, and surgery and anaesthetics.
The student conference again provides an opportunity to present new and different clinical and other views as well as connect knowledge forward and backwards in the course.
Year 3 further develops your clinical skills while also providing each student with the opportunity to begin to apply research skills to a research project. It consists of three subjects – PCP3 and Scholarly Selective 1 (SS1), and another student conference.
PCP3 is a year-long subject that will further develop your critical clinical skills in a variety of new settings including general practice, mental health, aged care, women’s health and children’s and adolescent health.
SS1 is also a year-long subject, in which you will select a topic and supervisor with the assistance of the medical school. You will then work with your supervisor to develop a research plan and complete an ethics committee application if appropriate. This research project is then completed in Year 4 with SS2.
In the third Student Conference of the course, students will again be expected to more actively participate in the development of the conference program, building on the previous year’s participation, and contribute to the program with presentations and discussion.
The final year of the course draws together the clinical skills built over the previous three years, while continuing to focus on research work with the completion of your Scholarly Selective. The year culminates in a capstone semester in which students ‘rehearse’ the skills required for effective and safe clinical practice.
Scholarly Selective 2 (SS2) is a semester-long subject in which each student completes their research work and writes up the results for examination. It is envisaged that many of you will have an opportunity to present your findings (as a poster or oral presentation) during the student conference.
In the Transition to Practice (TTP) subject, students will build on their prior knowledge and skills to develop the requisite skills for internship. The subject commences with a trainee intern term, in which students will become part of their allocated medical or surgical unit team and under the supervision of the unit registrar take on all of the roles and responsibilities of an intern. In the vocational selective term students will increase their knowledge in a discipline area of their choice. In the preparation for practice term the core skills of safe and effective patient management will be consolidated prior to commencing internship.
- Scholarly Selective 2 (50 credit point semester-long subject)
- Transition to Practice (43.75 credit point semester-long subject)
- Student Conference 4 (6.25 credit point one week intensive)
Students will be expected, with the assistance of their clinical school, to find and confirm a clinical placement for at least four weeks at some point prior to their graduation from the course. It is likely that the majority of students will complete this elective in the summer break between first and second year, second and third year, or third and fourth year of the program.