The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


As a component of the pre-internship year, this course develops the skills that will be required for clinical practice by giving students the opportunity to review and apply previously learned topics.

Through active participation in the clinical work of the medical teams to which they are attached, the Medicine attachment will permit students to refine their basic clinical skills and knowledge, to perfect core practical skills that are necessary for internship, and to integrate their knowledge of basic science/physiology with clinical practice. Students will also learn the administrative skills required for internship including rational planning of investigations, appropriate referral to other medical and allied health services, discharge planning, and liaison with community services and general practitioners.

The Psychiatry attachment is a type of clinical apprenticeship. Students will be expected to attend all functions of the unit to which they are attached, including participating in ward rounds, clinical clerking of patients, and other unit activities. There will be regular discussion of issues pertaining to diagnosis and treatment of patients with registrars and consultant psychiatrists. Students will learn how to identify, assess and manage common psychiatric disorders and psychosocial problems.

Palliative Medicine is the care and study of patients with active, progressive, far advanced disease, where the prognosis is limited and where Quality of Life issues are the central concern. Meticulous management of pain and other symptoms together with psychospiritual care are the main areas of focus in Palliative Medicine. The support of carers / families extends into the bereavement phase.

In relation to the Primary Health Care Selective, students will primarily undertake placements in community settings and with general practitioners, focusing on the management of chronic illness and disability in the community.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

Central Coast Clinical School

  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Hunter Clinical School

  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Manning Base Hospital

  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Tablelands Clinical School

  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Tamworth Base Hospital

  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. The aetiology, pathophysiology, presentation and prognosis of common mental and physical conditions

2. The appropriate use of common diagnostic procedures, including their uses and limitations

3. The basic principles of management of common medical, psychiatric and psychosocial problems

4. Those common medical, psychiatric and psychosocial problems that require urgent assessment and treatment

5. The design and engagement of health services, programs and resources available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

6. The public health aspects of common clinical problems in the community, including the epidemiology of common risk factors and the use of early intervention strategies and in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

7. The doctor¿s and the primary health care team¿s role within the context of the primary health system

8. The effect of psychosocial, cultural, religious, educational and economic backgrounds on the impact of disease in an individual and the impact of these factors on health care, and in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

9. The principles of palliative care, including pain control, symptom assessment and management and the issues surrounding death in the community.

10. Obtain an accurate, problem-oriented, tactful and organised medical history

11. Show the capacity to perform accurate, appropriate, problem-oriented, tactful and organised physical and mental state examinations

12. Show the capacity to collect and appropriately interpret information from persons, including history and physical examination, to take into account the person¿s psychological, social, cultural and economic circumstances as well as their personal values and then to be able to integrate this into a biopsychosocial framework

13. Show the capacity to formulate a plan addressing the investigation and management of the patient's illness, and the personal and social problems to which the illness may contribute

14. Show an appreciation of the importance of taking into account the values and preferences of the patient when considering the investigation and management of illness and of the need, in all cases, to plan management in concert with the patient

15. Ability to acknowledge cultural basis for the illness when applicable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

16. Demonstrate the capacity to communicate clearly and sensitively with patients and their families and with other health professionals, including communication regarding death and dying, counselling, and education of patients and their families

17. Demonstrate culturally competent, holistic, patient centred care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which includes diagnoses and treatment of complex and masked presentations in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

18. Show the capacity to contribute appropriately as a member of the health care team, including referral to other disciplines, interaction with other health care professionals and understanding of the role of other members of the health care team

19. Students shall demonstrate the capacity to evaluate and interpret medical evidence in a scientific manner at a level similar to that of an intern, and to use information sources to pursue independent inquiry.

20. The principles of ethics related to health care and demonstrating the capacity to apply those principles to the care of patients, including understanding legal responsibilities

21. The emotional stresses in professional environments, including those related to the management of the terminally ill patient, and develop appropriate strategies for self-care

22. The factors that affect the quality and safety of health care

23. How the cost of care may affect optimal patient care and the benefit to the community of appropriate use of resources, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

24. The interaction between the health of individuals and the well-being of populations, and in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

25. The responsibility to maintain standards of medical practice at the highest possible level throughout a professional career.


The Medicine clinical attachment focuses on General Internal Medicine. This may include elements of:

  • Addiction medicine
  • Aged care medicine
  • Cardiovascular medicine
  • Cerebrovascular medicine
  • Clinical pharmacology and toxicology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Haematology
  • Immunology & infectious diseases medicine
  • Neurology
  • Renal medicine
  • Respiratory medicine
  • Rheumatology and musculo-skeletal diseases medicine
  • Therapeutics and quality use of medicines

During the Psychiatry attachment, students will develop the skills for assessment, diagnosis and management of the psychiatric patient and be aware of general treatment modalities; biological, psychological, social / community based. Students will be aware of their responsibilities and obligations under the Mental Health Act. Students will understand dual diagnoses and the relationship between psychiatric illness and substance abuse. During Palliative Care, emphasis will be placed on equipping students with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable them to cope with dying patients in their early years as JMOs and SRMOs. The attachment will place emphasis on practical skills and will aim to familiarise students with medical tasks associated with pain and symptom management, understanding and prescribing analgesics, ethical issues, supporting families, etc. Students will be familiarised with the skills and practices of all members of a multidisciplinary Palliative Care team. This will enable them to understand the benefits not only for patients and their families, but also for themselves in their future roles as doctors. During the Primary Health Care Selective students will be expected to act as a member of the primary health care team as much as possible, and may take histories, perform physical examinations, develop management plans, participate in case conferences, undertake home visits and attend educational events within the level of their abilities, and under the general supervision of the team leader / GP. Students are expected to maintain their awareness of Indigenous and migrant health issues by spending time with the Indigenous / migrant liaison officers at their attachment hospitals. Students are expected to maintain, strengthen and apply their knowledge of integrated basic science, ethics and health law, population health and interactional skills.

Review of Progress

This course is a compulsory program requirement for students in the following program(s):

In addition to meeting the University's overall requirements for academic progression, students enrolled in these program(s) must satisfactorily complete this course in order to progress in their program.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine degree programs.

Pre-requisite - successful completion of all 4th year requirements

Assumed knowledge

MEDI1011, MEDI1012, MEDI1013, MEDI1014, MEDI1015, MEDI2011, MEDI2012, MEDI2013, MEDI2014, MEDI3014, MEDI3017, MEDI3018, MEDI4015, MEDI4016

Assessment items

In Term Test: Clinical: Psychiatry/Interactional skills Clinical OSCEs

Log / Workbook: Medicine Log Book

Report: Medicine Supervisor Report

Participation: Group/Tutorial Participation and contribution

Professional Task: Assessment of Professional Skills and Behaviour - psychiatry

Professional Task: Clinical: Medicine Long Case Assessment

Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Activities: National Inpatient Medication

Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Activities: Palliative Care Q Stream

Report: Palliative Care Supervisor Report

Journal: Journal: PHCS

Report: Supervisors Rating Form - PHCS

Written Assignment: Essay/Written Assignment (Longitudinal task - group)

Written Assignment: Essay/Written Assignment (48 hour task)

Log / Workbook: Psychiatry Log Book

Written Assignment: Palliative Care Student Pack

Professional Task: PHCS contract

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Pre-Placement Requirements:

  • First Aid Certificate - students must complete a First Aid Certificate issued by an approved provider. - Students must hold a current WorkCover approved Provide First Aid Certificate or equivalent
  • NSW Health Verification Requirements - Mandatory NSW Health Verification Requirements must be met.
  • Working with Children - A national criminal history check and review of findings of misconduct involving children, required for any child-related work.

Contact hours

Central Coast Clinical School, Hunter Clinical School, Manning Base Hospital, Tablelands Clinical School and Tamworth Base Hospital


Face to Face Off Campus 35 hour(s) per Week for Full Term