Clinical Placements Update

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, Melbourne Medical School has paused all clinical placements for MD students until at least 19 April 2020. All teaching will occur online.

This has occurred on the basis of:

  • Reducing the risk of infection to particularly vulnerable patients from medical students who have at most one year of MD clinical placement experience and do not have responsibility for patient care.
  • Assisting our clinical teachers to focus on caring for patients and defeating this virus.
  • Minimising disparities in learning opportunity as existing placements continue to be withdrawn by hospitals in a piecemeal fashion.
  • Removing our students from public transport, car parks, hospital cafeterias and toilets to help preserve physical distancing for frontline health workers and reduce the risk of contaminating isolated crisis work-teams. These strategies remain the key to containing the spread of the virus.
  • Preserving limited stocks of personal protective equipment, which must be used by those with the greatest responsibility for direct patient care.
  • Many of our students living with and caring for elderly relatives.  They, like us, put their family’s health ahead of attending classes and placements and are willing to learn from home.  We can provide our medical students with excellent learning opportunities that do not require them to travel or congregate during this crucial period.

The temporary suspension of clinical placements for Melbourne MD students is effective immediately and will continue until 19 April 2020. This period includes a two-week holiday break and may need to be extended depending on the pandemic’s progression. Setting this initial time span is to allow students who wish to return to family interstate to do so. International students are urged to seek advice from their subject coordinators before leaving the country.

The Medical School is already delivering all medical student teaching and assessments online. The range of learning opportunities will expand throughout March and April as more resources are created and interactive sessions are scheduled. We will work with our health service partners to establish suitable clinical placements to which our students may return as soon as possible, including enhanced roles through which our students can make a more significant contribution to patient care while they learn.  We acknowledge the leadership provided by our dentistry, nursing and allied health colleagues for generations in providing their students with placements that deliver significant service alongside educational excellence.

The Medical School has been dedicated to producing the highest quality doctors for 158 years. That is one thing that has not changed. We have already redesigned our assessments to ensure accurate and secure examinations of our students’ knowledge and skills in an online environment. Our graduates will continue to be certified as competent, confident and complete medical professionals.

MD students

For MD student updates please check MD-Connect and for any queries, please contact

Master of Genetic Counselling / Master of Genomics and Health students

For students of each of these programs, you will have received advice specific to your program from your course coordinator. Please continue to check your university email account. For any queries, please contact

Last updated : 23 Mar 2020

Selective suspension of some clinical placements for a limited period

Student placements are an integral part of a clinical education and we are thankful that our strong relationship with our many healthcare partners, big and small, allow us to offer world-class education to 3,600 students via over 261,000 placement days.

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