What you will study

Studying to be a doctor can be challenging and rewarding. Medical students have a full study load and must work hard to achieve their goals. Students enrolled in the Joint Medical Program gain a thorough and broad understanding of medicine and the basic sciences, and learn how to apply their knowledge to specific medical problems. Each year of study covers specific themes and topics, as outlined below. Medical students have higher than average student loads in years four and five. The five-year program pathway provides further information on the structure of the JMP.

Assessments are conducted during each year, with major assessments at the end of each teaching period and major progression hurdles at the end of each year. Assessments incorporate a variety of written and clinical instruments including, but not limited to, short answer questions, multiple choice questions, objective structured clinical examinations and clinical cases, logbooks, reflective diaries and portfolios.

For more information, view the UON course handbook or the UNE course catalogue.

Year by year overview

During first year, students are presented with an introduction to medicine, and an overview of concepts revisited through the 5 years of the curriculum.    Students are introduced to the teaching and learning methods of Problem-Based Learning, JMP Clinical Method workshops, clinical forums (patient centred, clinical panel, and professional development), Research Seminars, and clinical placements.  This is all underpinned by interactive online materials.

The learning is designed within Themes covering topics in Biomedical Sciences, Research, Clinical Practice, Professional Development, and Health Societies & Environment.  The Themes include content in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Rural and Remote Health, as well as Interprofessional and Patient Centred Care.

First year studies in Biomedical Sciences introduce major body structures, the mechanisms required for normal function, and how disruptions lead to disease.  Clinical skills workshops introduce safe practice, information gathering, communication, basic patient assessment, and specific physical examination techniques.  Students focus on the structure, function, and patient assessment of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems.

The second year of study revisits the knowledge and skills from first year, and expands upon all the Themes and associated content areas.  Students focus on the structure, function and patient assessment of the immune, nervous, musculoskeletal reproductive, growth, psychiatric, and haematological systems. Clinical skills workshops revise prior learning and go into more depth in delivering information to patients, Interpersonal communication, dermatology basics, falls and risk assessment, assessing conscious and cognition, sexual history and identity, health behaviour modification as well as other specific examination techniques.  Clinical skills placements in Year 2 transition to include time in the clinical setting of General Practice.

In third year, students focus on patient assessment and are introduced to the principles of patient management.  The teaching and learning methods build to include Case Based Learning and Student Directed Seminars, as well as increased clinical placement time in the areas of General Practice, General Medicine, and Surgery.  This reflects the nature of the year, and the transition to applied clinical learning in clinical contexts with a mix of on campus time, and immersive clinical placements.

The other defining features of this year are the Community Placement Option and the Research Project.

The Students design a Community Option Placement in partnership with a supervisor, which is an elective-like placement in a community organisation.  This can be undertaken in a variety of locations, including interstate and overseas.

The Research Project is conducted over Year 3 and Year 4, and in Year 3 involves designing a project in a team with oversight by a research supervisor.

The first one or two weeks of the year are spent participating in an intensive orientation program before students undertake learning in different cycles across the University and Clinical School footprints.

The fourth year of studies involves further immersion in the clinical environment with students undertaking full time placement in the areas of Medicine and Psychiatry, as well as in Women's, Adolescents' and Children's Health.  The teaching and learning methods build to include Interprofessional Learning Workshops, and Workplace Based activities in an extensive range of clinical settings such as hospital clinics, theatres, procedural facilities, birthing suites, and community mental health facilities.

The other defining features of this year are the Research Project and Student Selected Pathway.

For the Year 4 Research Project component the students continue the research project that was designed in Year 3.  Year 4 focusses on students conducting the research, which involves gathering and or analysing data, and writing a report of the findings.

The Student Selected Pathway is an elective-like component conducted over Year 4 and Year 5. The Year 4 Student Selected Pathway includes coursework in one multidisciplinary area, and the student lead design of a related clinical experience in Year 5.

The first one or two weeks of the year are spent participating in an intensive orientation program, after which students will begin a placement at one of the Clinical School locations where they are based for the year.

The final year of studies involves further immersion in the clinical environment with students undertaking full time placement in the role of a pre-intern. The placement areas for Year 5 are Surgery, Medicine, and Critical Care which includes Emergency Medicine and Anaesthetics.

The Student Selected Pathway initiated in Year 4 is continued in Year 5.  The Year 5 Student Selected Pathway component involves a student designed placement.  This Student Selected Pathway experience can be undertaken in a variety of locations, including interstate and overseas.

The first one or two weeks of the year are spent participating in an intensive orientation program, after which students will begin a placement at one of the Clinical School locations where they are based for the year.

The final year is designed to best prepare students for the transition into their intern year as a Junior Medical Officer (JMO).

World-class five-year medical program