About the program
The Joint Medical Program (JMP) is a unique partnership created with the specific aim of addressing the chronic health workforce shortage that exists in remote, rural and regional communities. It delivers a medical program of international standing with early and broad clinical experience and a curriculum using problem-based learning as its major teaching and learning strategy.
Working in partnership
The JMP is founded on a unique four-way partnership between the University of Newcastle, University of New England, Hunter New England and Central Coast Local Health Districts. This innovative partnership endeavours to combine academic rigor with the skills, expertise and projected needs of service providers across the continuum of metropolitan, rural, regional and remote health care delivery.
Choice of location
The JMP partners share a common belief that medical students who undertake some of their training in rural communities are more likely to practice in those areas on completion of their degree. Offering the highly successful University of Newcastle curriculum through the University of New England as a joint program allows greater opportunity for this to happen. JMP students choose either a metropolitan or rural campus in which to study an identical curriculum and benefit from the differences each location offers. Hunter New England and Central Coast Local Health Districts complete the partnership in providing the metropolitan, regional and rural experience that gives our students the expertise they need to practice throughout Australia.
Our program recognises that the best type of learning involves active engagement of students, so clinical experience begins in the first semester and increases throughout the program. As well as learning in the NSW hospital systems, placements also occur in private institutions, health organisations, individual practitioners and overseas. Placement experiences, particularly those in community settings, help students to see the patient as a whole person and in a manner consistent with his/her social and physical environment.
Self Directed Learning
Learning is self-directed and problem-based which reflects a doctor's encounter with a patient's health problem. Students work in small tutorial groups learning from each other through discussion and team work under a facilitator's guidance. The problem-based learning scenarios encourage learning by experience and allow a student to recognise and resolve gaps in knowledge. This style of learning teaches vital skills for the lifelong commitment to learning a medical career requires and was pioneered by the Newcastle medical program when it began in 1978.