The MBBS Curriculum
The UOW MBBS course is a four-year programme, with each academic year being approximately 42 weeks in length. In Phase 1, students participate in approximately 25 hours of structured and an additional 20–30 hours of self-directed teaching and learning experiences each week. As the course progresses and the clinical exposure increases, the face-to-face requirement resembles fulltime clinical work.
Participation in scheduled small-group learning activities, clinical skills laboratories, anatomy laboratories and clinical placements are an integral part of each student’s learning. As the course progresses there is increasing reliance on online delivery of the structured learning activities that complement learning experiences in the clinical environment.
The Curriculum Phases
The curriculum is divided into four consecutive phases, each phase involving a progressive increase in the depth of study and skills acquisition in Clinical Competencies, underpinning Medical Sciences, Personal & Professional Development, and Research & Critical Analysis skills.
At the centre of the four-year curriculum are 93 clinical presentations (e.g. headache). For each of these core clinical presentations there are many possible diagnoses that reflect the range of conditions likely to be seen by a newly-qualified doctor. Students will make increasing use of these problems as a “blueprint” to guide the range and depth of learning they need to achieve by the end of the MBBS. They are introduced to the students via Case-Based Learning (see below), which forms the core of the curriculum.
The Medical Sciences component of the course underpins the clinical problems. All science learning and teaching is integrated with clinical medicine. Rather than having separate “subjects” such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, population health or behavioural science, these content areas are woven into the clinical presentations that are the focus of the course delivery within each week or fortnight-long component of the degree.
From the very start of the course students develop their abilities in listening to patients, in examining them, in reaching a diagnosis, in formulating a treatment plan and in being able to perform a range of procedures. In addition, students become more aware of the interpersonal skills and professional behaviours needed to work as a member of a health care team. A graduated approach to learning clinical and communication skills is complemented by the use of volunteer patients, trained actors, and a range of models for practicing procedural skills, moving on to clinical interaction with the wider medical community as the programme progresses.
Personal and Professional Development
The course includes a significant focus on the interaction between personal development and professional functioning, with structured assessable learning activities designed to foster reflective practice, commitment to life-long learning, and aid understanding of ethical, scientific and philosophical principles underlying the practice of medicine. These activities include the development of a relationship with a mentor who becomes a consistent figure in each student’s professional development. The Personal and Professional Development curriculum is informed by research evidence, and the programme itself carefully evaluated.
Research and Critical Analysis
This part of the course helps students develop the knowledge and skills to conduct research, evaluate evidence and use it as the basis for their practice of Medicine.
Case Based Learning
Case-Based Learning (CBL) activities occur regularly throughout the course and have been designed to allow students to integrate their learning in all other themes of the course.
Typically, each CBL starts with a patient presenting problems to the students. After the presentation, students work in small groups to identify what they need to study in order to understand and manage the patient’s problems. In the early years of the degree, students meet with a tutor during the CBL to further define the knowledge they require to analyse the patient’s problem. Learning is facilitated by the related topics delivered in lectures, laboratory and skills centre sessions, online learning and personal study.
In later years of the degree, the CBL cases are supplemented by related learning activities such as tutorials in the hospital and the community and online modules.
What's On - June
- 6th - Medical Education Seminar
- 26th - GSM Research Seminar
GSM Research Seminar
Speaker: Prof. Nagesh Pai, Foundation Professor of Psychiatry, GSM
Date: Wed 26th June 2013
Topic: Clinical Research: Perstringe, whinge, change and challenge
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