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: Principles of Clinical Practice 1 (PCP1)
The PCP1 placements are among the students’ first clinical visits and have an emphasis on communication skills. Students undertake two individual placements, one each semester. During each placement (practices must be within 1 hour travel time from Parkville), students will observe a doctor’s consultations for a three-hour period. We ask doctors to set aside a small amount of time after the observation to talk to the students about their experience.
During this placement, students will:
- concentrate on specific aspects of the communication between the doctor and the patient
- attend in pairs (where possible) enabling them to discuss specific aspects of their visit; and
- be encouraged to discuss their observations with their on-campus tutorial group, ensuring that the identities of doctors and patients are not disclosed during these discussions.
Students have not yet learnt about the skills and techniques required for universal precautions. We therefore advise that first year students must not become involved in activities such as immunisation, taking blood samples or carrying out a procedure on a patient.
MD Year 2: Ambulatory Care (AC)
The aim of the Ambulatory Care (AC) term is to provide students with an understanding of non-ward based health care. Students will be based within the Emergency Department and will rotate to outpatient specialty clinics, day facilities, diagnostic facilities and general practices. Students will spend four days in general practice (one day per week) under a nominated GP supervisor to gain exposure to primary health care settings. We encourage practices to take pairs of students, enabling students to maximise their reflective learning.
Learning activities during this term may include:
- determining how the GP mobilises a multidisciplinary team for a chronic illness or other complex conditions, understanding the choice of allied health involvement
- interviewing a patient to enable observation of doctor/patient concordance, analysing examples of communication between the GP and the hospital and/or other specialist; and
- gaining exposure to practice management: appointment systems, triage, clinical consultation, investigations and multidisciplinary management, follow up, monitoring and referral.
MD Year 2: Primary Care Community Base (PCCB)
The Primary Care Community Base is a longitudinal community-based clinical placement that sits alongside the hospital-based training for students from the Northern and Western Clinical Schools (at Epping and Footscray/Sunshine). Second year students from these clinical schools will spend one day a fortnight at their PCCB practice (alternating weeks for the two clinical schools), in addition to an immersion period of 3 consecutive days in March, intended to familiarise them with the General Practice environment.
This placement allows students to:
- focus on the community context of health care;
- learn about the management and prevention of chronic long-term health issues in the community context; and
- follow and understand the patient's journey through the health care system and gain some experience of inter-professional practice.
MD Year 3: GP Block Rotation (GPB)
The six-week rotation is the general practice specialty training for students in the third year of the MD. The objective of the rotation is to develop medical students’ knowledge and skills in community primary health care. This is the main opportunity for students to learn about the theoretical underpinnings of General Practice as a distinct specialist discipline. Students are encouraged to participate in all practice activities and should meet regularly with the GP supervisors to review their progress and receive specific feedback. There are six rotating terms (blocks) of General Practice commencing in February and finishing in November. In addition to General Practice, students will rotate through Women’s Health, Child and Adolescent Health, Mental Health and Aged Care.
MD Year 4: Research Project (MDRP)
Students undertake a research project in the first semester of their final year to gain research skills training and explore in greater depth an area of interest. Students undertaking their research at the Department of General Practice do five days clinical placement during the semester to keep them engaged clinically. MDRP runs between February and May each year and placement days are every second Friday.
MD Year 4: Vocational Selective (VS)
Students attend full-time for a four week block. There are three rotations which occur between August and October. The Vocational Selective allows students who have almost finished their medical course to explore an area of clinical practice in which they think they might like to develop a career.
GP Supervisor Training Modules
The GP Supervisor Online Training Modules have been developed to train GP Supervisors to enrich the educational quality of general practice placements for our students. Clinical supervision skills and educational standards are covered in the modules, as well as general information on the GP component of the Doctor of Medicine course.
Click the button below which will take you to the log-in page to access the modules:
Need a log-in and password to access the modules?
If you are a GP involved in teaching our MD students you may complete and submit your details by clicking below, you will be sent an email with your log-in and password.
GP Supervisor/Practice Manager Guide
For your information, please see the GP Supervisor/Practice Manager Guide which has useful information to assist practice staff in organising the clinical placements for our students, it covers student attendance, orientation, practice based learning activities, and other resources that will be invaluable to teaching students at your practice.
Below are excerpts from the MD3 student guide that you may find useful when supervising your student. The PDFs contain information around Core Topics and Presentations, Assessment, and the Clinical Workshops that 3rd year students complete during their GP rotation.
If you are teaching an MD Year 2 student for their Ambulatory Care (AC) placement, you will find useful information in the document below about the purpose of the placement and various learning activities while your student is at your practice.
Below is the PCCB Year 2 student guide to be used as a reference when hosting your Northern or Western Clinical School students.
Excellence in Clinical Teaching (E.X.C.I.T.E) online modules
http://excite.mdhs.unimelb.edu.au/E.X.C.I.T.E online modules cover:
- clinical teaching,
- effective feedback skills,
- teaching clinical reasoning,
- scoring miniCEX assessments* and
- a 30 second video about the Melbourne Medical School’s vocational selective.
*The Scoring mini-CEX assessments module will help you to set a standard for expected performance.Registration is free and we strongly recommend that all GPs involved in teaching watch these videos.
The student curriculum portal MD Connect https://mdconnect.medicine.unimelb.edu.au (contact DGP to gain access) provides access to the medical students’ lectures and resources
- Supervisor and practice manager guidebooks for block and PCCB placements; access by clicking Curriculum – Year 2 –PCCB – click on the green dot or Curriculum – Year 3 – General Practice – click on the green dot
- Term guides for each of the clinical rotating terms
- Library resources; accessed via Curriculum –Library on the left hand side
- Lectures, particularly on:
- Perspectives in health care: the four lenses - used by the students for their reflective piece during the GP block rotating term
- Discussing sensitive issues (sexual, drug and alcohol, abuse and violence; downloadable video).
Both are accessed by clicking Curriculum – Year 3 – General Practice – Introductory Day.
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.