Our Student Placements:
The Department of General Practice is committed to enhancing general practice and primary health care through excellent education that engages with the community and the wider health care system.
Doctor of Medicine (MD) students at the University of Melbourne undertake general practice placements throughout the course. All students have a previous undergraduate degree, usually (but not always) from a biomedical, science or allied health field.
MD Year 1: Longitudinal GP Placement
Placement length: Twelve days (1 Thursday a fortnight for their academic year)
Placement period: March - October
Relaunching in 2022, the MD1 placement is a longitudinal community-based clinical placement. It is the students’ first clinical exposure. First year students will spend one Thursday a fortnight at their general practice. Taking into account exams and holidays this amounts to between 12 and 13 days across the year.
The placement will expose students early to the intrinsic role that primary care plays in the health care system. It will provide an opportunity for students to contextualise and apply their learnings from the classroom and see how GPs practice patient-centred medicine.
Students, usually in pairs, will visit the same practice once a fortnight throughout their first year (12 days per student in total). This placement will replace the two day visits to general practice that first year students currently undertake.
We believe that providing a longitudinal placement to the whole student cohort is a very positive step given that early exposure to general practice in medical courses is associated with more appreciation of the role of GPs in the health care system, and more uptake of general practice as a future career.
MD Year 3: General Practice Block (GPB)
Placement length: Eighteen days (Tuesday-Thursday for six weeks)
Placement period: Six rotations of five or six weeks, from February- October
The GP block placement is the general practice specialty training for students in the penultimate year of the MD. The objective of this placement is to develop medical students' knowledge and skills in primary health care. Students participate in all practice activities and meet regularly with GP supervisors to review progress and receive feedback. Supervisors complete ongoing formal assessments of students throughout the placement.
Learning will predominantly occur in the practice through:
- advanced history taking and examination;
- formulating a problem list and determining diagnoses;
- constructing a management plan that ensures that the goals of optimum acute care, preventative care and continuing care are met;
- contributing to chronic disease management plans;
- spending time with nursing, allied health, pharmacy and other practice functions such as home visits, clinical audits and research.
MD Year 4: Trainee Internship Selective
Placement length: Sixteen days (four days a week for four weeks)
Placement period: 27th September- 22nd October
Trainee Internship Selective occurs in the final semester of the MD program as part of the Transition to Practice (TTP) capstone subject. In this elective placement, final semester students explore in further detail a discipline that is of interest to them and that they may consider as a future vocation. Students work closely with a GP supervisor who will introduce them to the many facets of their discipline, attending the clinic daily. They also contribute to their placement site through undertaking a small quality assurance project.
Learning activities in the term may include:
- reinforcement and extension of knowledge from the MD3 GP block rotation;
- further exploration of general practice as a discipline including developing appreciation for GP special interests; and
- completing a small quality assurance project.
GP Supervisor training
To support our GP Supervisors, we have a GP Supervisor Community which is where supervisors can access a range of resources to support them in supervising our students.
When you are allocated a student, you will be given access to the community. If you are not sure of your login credentials or you are a new GP supervisor, please submit your details below and the Teaching & Learning Team will arrange access.
Below are a list of additional resources for GP supervisors:
RACGP: Supervising medical students and pre-vocational doctors in general practice
RACGP provide guidance for general practitioners supervising medical students:
This booklet is designed for use by general practitioners and the primary care team to assess their suitability and capability to take on the responsibility for supervising medical students and pre-vocational doctors.
A series of articles originally published in the Medical Journal of Australia. These practice teaching tips for busy clinicians also include hospital training, but the principles apply to supervision in the general practice setting. Each topic focuses on how the clinical environment provides enormous opportunities for effective experiential learning.
Free podcasts and videos; list of useful medical podcasts and videos from various international medical websites
Melbourne East GP Network
Have made a series of short videos:
- Effective supervision
- A student’s perspective on clinical placements
- Ideas for student activities when in placement
- Planning for increasing the student's responsibility observation to hands on, independent practice
- Keeping a student safe during and after a critical incident in the workplace
- Best practice for the clinical learning environment
- Supervising international students
- Giving feedback
- 4 step method of teaching from TOTR (Teaching on the run; uses hand washing as an example)
- The supervisor's perspective
- A team approach to student placementshttps://www.youtube.com/user/IEMMedicareLocal/videos
WA Clinical Training Network
A free online eLearning package covering planning, commencing, carrying and evaluating student placements. Designed for rural and remote allied health and nursing professionals and appropriate for both experienced supervisors and those new to supervision, the course can be completed singularly or together as a whole course. http://health.wa.gov.au/wactn/home/wachs_resources.cfm
Bayside Medicare Local
Bayside Medicare Local has an online training module for practice managers with CPD points covering: Prepare key areas of your clinic; Student Activities; Patient Consent; Forms and Templates; Insurance; PIP Funding.
There are downloadable forms and templates to prepare your practice for medical students:
- Orientation Checklist
- Patient Consent Form
- Student Confidentiality Agreement
- Student Registration Form
- Student Timetable Sample
- Student Welcome Letter
Practical Doc: By rural doctors for rural doctors
Calgary Cambridge: teaching and learning communication skills in medicine
These Calgary Cambridge pages are mostly derived from the work of Kurtz SM, Silverman JD, Draper J and is clearly referenced in full in the two books:
- Kurtz SM, Silverman JD, Draper J (1998) Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Medicine. Radcliffe Medical Press (Oxford)
- Silverman JD, Kurtz SM, Draper J (1998) Skills for Communicating with Patients. Radcliffe Medical Press (Oxford)
The following articles are available on open access:
- Armstrong E, Parsa-Parsi R. How Can Physicians’ Learning Styles Drive Educational Planning? Academic Medicine. 2005;80(7):680-4. Based on the Kolb learning styles, the authors offer a framework for teaching. Available from http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2005/07000/How_Can_Physicians__Learning_Styles_Drive.13.aspx Or http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/toc/2005/07000 (It is under Article near the bottom of the page)
- Best J. Teaching medical students - tips from the frontline. Aust Fam Physician. 2012;41(1-2):22-4. A case study illustrates key aspects of supervising medical students in general practice. It includes a description of wave or parallel consulting. Available from http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2012/januaryfebruary/teaching-medical-students/
- DeWitt D. Incorporating medical students into your practice. Aust Fam Phys 2006; 35 (1/2): 24-26Available from http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/200601/3469
- Howe A. Twelve tips for community-based medical education. Medical teacher. 2002;24(1):9-12. Available from http://informahealthcare.com/toc/mte/24/1 (it’s the first research article)
- Laurence C, Docking D, Haydon D, Cheah C. Trainees in the practice - practical issues. Aust Fam Physician. 2012;41(1-2):14-7.Describes the key aspects of patient and financial management when trainees are present in the practice and suggests solutions to potential issues. Please note that the links in the table of useful resources are not current – updated links are proved in this guidebook. Available from http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2012/januaryfebruary/trainees-in-the-practice/
Each teaching practice within the Primary Care Community has a practice profile page containing detailed information which can be viewed by using the search function below.
General enquiries: +61 3 8344 7276
Main Reception: +61 3 8344 3369
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Department of General Practice
The University of Melbourne
Level 3, 780 Elizabeth Street,
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