About our teaching

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.