The University of Newcastle, Australia

Inherent requirements for Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (BMed Sc MD) – Joint Medical Program (JMP)

Introductory Statement

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a program* or course* that demonstrate the abilities, knowledge and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes of the program* or course*. Inherent requirements ensure the academic integrity of the JMP is maintained and preserve the integrity of the JMP’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes.

Students with a disability or chronic health condition may be able to have reasonable adjustments made to assist them to meet the inherent requirements of a program.  Reasonable adjustments cannot fundamentally change the nature of an inherent requirement.

In undertaking a BMed Sc MD, students will be required to undertake activities which reflect the Australian health care context which may include mixed gender, religious and cultural diverse environments.  Registration as a Student Medical Practitioner with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency is essential for undertaking clinical placements. For further information contact smph@newcastle.edu.au.

The BMed Sc MD is an approved five year program of study under the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) accreditation requirements.  Students who meet the course requirements of the BMed Sc MD are then eligible to apply for registration as a medical practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia.

To support potential and current students' decision making, a series of inherent requirement statements has been developed. These statements specify the program* requirements of the BMed SC MD for student admission and progression. The statements are clustered under eight domains consisting of ethical behaviour, behavioural stability, legal, communication, cognition, sensory abilities, strength and mobility and sustainable performance.

This information should be read in conjunction with the Medical Deans Australian and New Zealand Inherent Requirements for Studying Medicine.

* Note: If you are a UNE JMP student program equates to course, course equates to unit


How to read the inherent requirements statements:

If you are intending to enrol in the BMed SC MD, you should review these inherent requirement statements and carefully consider whether you can meet these requirements. If you think you may experience challenges for any reason including a disability or chronic health condition, you should discuss your concerns with AccessAbility Service at UON or Access & Inclusion at UNE. These staff can work collaboratively with you to determine whether reasonable adjustments can be made to assist you to meet the inherent requirements. Where it is determined that a student cannot meet the inherent requirements of a program* even with reasonable adjustments, staff can provide guidance regarding other study options.

Each inherent requirement is made up of the following five levels:

Level 1 - introduction to the inherent requirement

Level 2 - description of what the inherent requirement is

Level 3 - explanation of why this is an inherent requirement of the program*

Level 4 - the nature of any adjustments that may be made to allow you to meet the inherent requirement

Level 5 - examples of things you must be able to do to show you've met the inherent requirement

There are eight domains of inherent requirements in the BMed SC MD. Some domains have a number of sub-domains.

  1. Ethical Behaviour
  2. Behavioural Stability
  3. Legal
  4. Communication
  5. Knowledge and Cognition
  6. Sensory ability
  7. Strength and mobility
  8. Sustainable performance

* Note: If you are a UNE JMP student program equates to course, course equates to unit


Inherent Requirement statements:

1. Ethical Behaviour

Introduction

Medicine is a profession governed by competency standards, codes of ethics, professional conduct and professional boundaries where doctors are both accountable and responsible for ensuring professional behaviour in all contexts.

Description

Student demonstrates knowledge of, and engages in ethical behaviour in practice.

Justification

Compliance with the standards, codes, guidelines and policies facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and/or the people with whom they engage. This supports the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of all.

Adjustments

Must ensure the standards, codes, guidelines and policies are not compromised or result in unethical behaviour.

Exemplars

  • Demonstrating appropriate behaviour with confidential information in classroom and clinical settings.
  • Demonstrating ability to reflect on ethical dilemmas and issues and take responsibility for ensuring awareness of ethical behavior.
  • Complying with JMP Policies or the applicable UON or UNE Policy.

2. Behavioural Stability

Introduction

Behavioural stability is required to function and adapt effectively and sensitively in this role.

Description

Students demonstrate behavioural stability to work constructively in a diverse and changing academic and clinical environment.

Justification

Behavioural stability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Medical students will be exposed to emergency situations and human suffering and will be required to have behavioural stability to manage these events objectively and professionally.

Adjustments

Must support stable, effective and professional/clinical behaviour in both academic and professional/clinical settings.

Exemplars

  • Being receptive and responding appropriately to constructive feedback.
  • Coping with own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with individuals in the clinical setting.

3. Legal

Introduction

Medical practice is mandated by legislation to enable the safe delivery of care.

Description

Student demonstrates knowledge and compliance with Australian Law, professional regulations and scope of practice.

Justification

Knowledge, understanding, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary pre-requisites to clinical placements in order to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Compliance with professional regulations and laws ensures that students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.

Adjustments

Must be consistent with legal and regulatory requirements.

Exemplars

  • Complying with legal requirements regarding all aspects of practice.
  • Complying with the requirement for student registration with AHPRA.
  • Complying with relevant child protection and safety legislation.

4a. Communication (verbal)

Introduction

Effective and efficient verbal communication, in English, is an essential requirement to enable the safe delivery of care.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • Sensitivity to individual and/or cultural differences
  • The ability to understand and respond to verbal communication accurately, appropriately and in a timely manner.
  • The ability to provide clear instructions in the context of the situation.
  • Timely and clear feedback and reporting.

Justification

  • Communication with patients is essential to the diagnosis and management process in medicine.
  • Communicating in a way that displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships is essential for the safe delivery of care.
  • Communication may be restricted to verbal because of physical limitations of the individual (e.g. injury, disease or congenital conditions).
  • Speed and interactivity of communication may be critical for individual safety or treatment.
  • Timely, accurate and effective delivery of instructions is critical to individual safety, treatment and management.

Adjustments

For impaired verbal communication must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure safe and appropriate care.

Exemplars

  • Participating in tutorial, simulation and applied clinical discussions.
  • Responding appropriately to a care request in the clinical environment.

4b. Communication (non-verbal)

Introduction

Effective non-verbal communication is an essential requirement of the BMed SC MD. Communication must be respectful, clear, empathetic, honest and non-judgmental.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • The capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues.
  • Consistent and appropriate awareness of own behaviours.
  • Sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.

Justification

The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues assists with building a rapport with people and gaining their trust and respect in academic and professional relationships.

Displaying consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, being mindful of space, time boundaries and body movements and gestures promotes trust in academic and professional relationships.

Being sensitive to individual and/or cultural differences displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships.

The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues is essential for the safe and effective observation of patient symptoms and reactions to facilitate the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Adjustments

Must enable the recognition, initiation of or appropriate response to effective non-verbal communication in a timely and appropriate manner.

Exemplars

  • Recognising and responding appropriately to non-verbal cues in the clinical environment.
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to non–verbal cues in classroom situations.

4c. Communication (Written)

Introduction

Effective written communication, in English, is a fundamental medical responsibility with professional and legal ramifications.

Description

Student demonstrates capacity to construct coherent written communication appropriate to the circumstances.

Justification

Construction of written text based assessment tasks to reflect the required academic standards are necessary to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter for professional practice.

Accurate written communication, including record-keeping and patient notes, is vital to provide consistent and safe patient care.

Adjustments

Must meet the necessary standards of clarity, accuracy and accessibility to ensure effective recording and transmission of information in both academic and clinical settings.

Exemplars

Constructing an assessment to academic standards

Constructing a medical report in a timely manner and that meets professional standards.


5a.  Knowledge and cognitive skills

Introduction

Consistent knowledge and effective cognitive skills must be demonstrated to provide safe and competent medical care.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • The capacity to locate appropriate and relevant information.
  • The ability to process information relevant to practice.
  • The ability to integrate and implement knowledge in practice.

Justification

Safe and effective delivery of medical care is based on comprehensive knowledge that must be sourced, understood and applied appropriately.

Adjustments

Must ensure that a clear demonstration of knowledge and cognitive skills is not compromised or impeded.

Exemplars

  • Ability to conceptualise and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items.
  • Appropriately applying knowledge of policy and procedures in the clinical setting.

5b. Literacy (language)

Introduction

Competent literacy skills are essential to provide safe and effective delivery of care.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • The ability to acquire information and accurately convey appropriate, effective messages.
  • The ability to read and comprehend a range of literature and information.
  • The capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly manner.

Justification

The ability to acquire information and to accurately convey messages is fundamental to ensure safe and effective assessment, diagnosis, treatment and delivery of medical care.

The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for safe and effective delivery of medical care.

Adjustments

Must demonstrate a capacity to effectively acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurate information.

Exemplars

  • Ability to listen to information.
  • Ability to convey a spoken message accurately.
  • Ability to paraphrase, summarise and reference in accordance with appropriate academic conventions.
  • Producing accurate, concise and clear medical documentation which meets legal requirements.

5c. Numeracy

Introduction

Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential for safe and essential care.

Description

Student demonstrates the ability to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and numerical criteria.

Justification

Competent application of numeracy skills is essential in medicine to facilitate the safe and effective delivery of medical care.

Adjustments

Must demonstrate a capacity to interpret and apply concepts and processes appropriately in a timely, accurate and effective manner.

Exemplars

  • Performing accurate drug calculations.
  • Demonstrate accurate interpretation of patient’s fluid balance status.

6a. Sensory ability (visual)

Introduction

Adequate visual acuity is required to provide safe and effective medical care.

Description

Student demonstrates sufficient visual acuity to perform the required range of skills. For example:

  • Reading small print on ampoules or similar.
  • Reading a monitor across a bed.
  • Responding to visual alarms.

Justification

Sufficient visual acuity is necessary to demonstrate the required range of skills, tasks and assessments to maintain consistent, accurate and safe care of self and others.

Visual observations, examination and assessment are fundamental to safe and effective medical practice.

Adjustments

Must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of a vision impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety.

Exemplars

  • Accurately drawing up medication to administer.
  • Observing and detecting subtle changes in patient’s response to medical procedures.

6b. Sensory ability (auditory)

Introduction

Auditory ability is required to provide safe and effective medical care.

Description

Student demonstrates sufficient aural function to undertake the required range of skills.

Justification

Sufficient auditory ability is necessary to monitor, assess and manage an individual's health needs consistently and accurately.

Auditory assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective medical practice.

Adjustments

Must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of the hearing impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety.

Exemplars

Accurately undertaking a blood pressure measurement by auscultation.


6c. Sensory ability (tactile)

Introduction

Sufficient tactile ability is required to perform competent and safe medical care.

Description

Student demonstrates adequate tactile function sufficient to undertake the required range of skills and assessments.

Justification

Sufficient tactile ability is necessary to monitor, assess and detect patients' physical characteristics and act on any abnormalities detected to provide appropriate medical care.

Tactile assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective medical practice.

Adjustments

Must have the capacity to make effective assessments of physical characteristics and abnormalities within safe time frames.

Exemplars

  • Detecting any changes in circulation observations e.g. temperature and pulse palpation.
  • Conducting a physical assessment and detecting any anatomical abnormalities.

7a. Strength and mobility (gross motor skills)

Introduction

Medicine involves physical demands and requires gross motor function.

Description

Student demonstrates the ability to perform gross motor skills to function within scope of practice.

The Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand provide the following guide: Possess one fully functional arm and the other capable of providing support.

Justification

Sufficient gross motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve gross motor skills include lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting and bending. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Adjustments

Must facilitate functional effectiveness, safety of self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care.

Exemplars

  • Undertaking emergency life support.
  • Performing a physical assessment such as percussion and/or palpation of body parts.

7b. Strength and mobility (fine motor skills)

Introduction

Medicine is a profession that requires manual dexterity and possession of fine motor skills is fundamental in providing adequate clinical care.

Description

Student demonstrates the ability to use fine motor skills to provide safe effective diagnosis, treatment and clinical care.

Justification

Sufficient fine motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve fine motor skills include being able to grasp, press, push, turn, squeeze and manipulate various objects and individuals. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Adjustments

Must facilitate functional effectiveness, safety of self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care.

Exemplars

  • Manipulating instruments in diagnostic procedures.
  • Performing treatment techniques e.g. cannulation and/or venipuncture.

8. Sustainable performance

Introduction

Medical practice requires both physical and mental performance at a consistent and sustained level over time.  Medical programs are typically integrated over the course of a year and structured to ensure progressive development of attributes.  A medical student can expect to attend for approx. 35-40 hours per week for over 30-40 weeks a year.

A medical student is expected to demonstrate that there would be no significant risk of interruptions of consciousness that would present a risk to patients.

Description

Student demonstrates:

  • Consistent and sustained level of physical energy to complete a specific task in a timely manner and over time.
  • The ability to perform repetitive activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately.
  • The capacity to maintain consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of time.

Justification

Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in an assigned period to provide safe and effective care without compromise.

Adjustments

Must ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period.

Exemplars

  • Participating in tutorials, lectures, skills.
  • Provide consistent care over a negotiated time frame.

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