Course descriptions

  • Doctor of Medicine

    MEDI6100 Foundations of a Medical Vocation

    The focus of teaching and learning in this full year course is to facilitate knowledge of normal structure and function and the homeostatic response to physiological challenges. The first year curriculum is integrated across four domains of learning: Basic Clinical Sciences, Communication and Clinical Practice, Population and Preventive Health, Personal and Professional Development. The year comprises a core communications skills block, introducing patient-centred interviewing, progressing to organised, medical history taking and examination skills with a range of simulated cases. Critical thinking, systematic interpretive inquiry and evidence based medicine, across local urban, rural and global population contexts are introduced, in congruence with professionalism, ethics, reflective practice, personal health and well-being. The core instructional method is Problem-Based Learning (PBL), utilising clinical, real life clinical case scenarios to actively engage students in constructive, collaborative, contextual learning in small group settings. The PBL program is supported by practical sessions, lectures, tutorials, clinical debriefing, site-visits and self-directed learning. The students will participate in journal clubs to enhance their preparation for research.

    MEDI6200 Foundations of Clinical Practice

    Pre-requisite: MEDI6100 Foundations of a Medical Vocation

    The second year of the MD program builds on learning in first year with further development of normal structure and function, but with the emphasis changing to the range of pathological processes which impact on the human body, and the body's response to those processes. The four domains of learning continue with greater emphasis on clinical history taking and examination with integration of the basic clinical sciences, population and preventive health and personal and professional development. The PBL approach continues to provide the basic teaching strategy for learning about the major organ systems in the body. As well as the teaching strategies used in first year, the PBL problems are supported by experiential opportunities in general practices, aged care placements and theatre observation. Additionally students participate in Aboriginal health, rural and remote placements. Small group work continues in the acquisition of skills in systematic investigation involving literature searching, critical analysis, problem-solving, professional communication, teamwork, and reflective practice. All of these elements are capstone and professionally focused in nature.

    MEDI6300 Clinical Apprenticeships

    Pre-requisites: MEDI6100 Foundations of a Medical Vocation, MEDI6200 Foundations of Clinical Practice 
    Co-requisite: MEDI6302 Systematic Research Inquiry

    In MEDI6300, students begin their clinical apprenticeship whereby they apply their clinico-pathological knowledge, history taking, examination skills and knowledge of principles of applied research in the clinical setting. Students undertake a series of clinical rotations (medicine & medical specialties; surgery and surgical specialties, including ophthalmology; general practice, paediatrics and women’s and neonatal health) in hospital and community settings. The emphasis is on students gaining real clinical experience, participating in patient care and understanding how health care teams work. The four domains (Basic Clinical Sciences, Communication and Clinical Practice, Population and Preventive Health and Personal & Professional Development) are fully integrated into the clinical rotations curriculum and experiential learning is supplemented by a series of weekly ‘back-to-base’ teaching and learning activities where students explore a range of common and serious clinical problems. Under the guidance of clinical experts, students attend clinical debriefing sessions where they have the opportunity to reflect on their professional development as a practising clinician.

    MEDI6301 Clinical Apprenticeships in a Rural Setting

    Pre-requisites: MEDI6100 Foundations of a Medical Vocation, MEDI6200 Foundations of Clinical Practice 
    Co-requisites: MEDI6302 Systematic Research Inquiry

    This course brings together students from The University of Notre Dame Australia and The University of Western Australia to complete their third year of the Doctor of Medicine in the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia. Students will learn and work together in a range of clinical sites across Western Australia to address a broad-based curriculum which has primary care and rural health as its focus. During the course of the year, students will be exposed to key discipline areas including general practice, surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, psychiatry and ophthalmology. The integrated teaching and learning that forms the basis of primary care means that the proportion of time spent in each area will differ considerably from urban practice. Aboriginal health and personal and professional development are core to the practice of clinical medicine in rural and remote Western Australia, and are embedded in learning experiences throughout the entire year.

    MEDI6302 Systematic Research Inquiry

    Pre-requisites: MEDI6100 Foundations of a Medical Vocation, MEDI6200 Foundations of Clinical Practice 
    Co-requisites: MED6300 Clinical Apprenticeships or MEDI6301 Clinical Apprenticeships in a Rural Setting 

    This Course provides students with the opportunity to construct a formal research proposal. Equipped with the skills acquired from pre-requisite courses, students will be guided by a discipline expert and peers in the development of a research question specific to their selected area. Using an available granting body proforma, they will develop and provide an oral defence of a research plan that includes: a lay summary, abstract, background literature summary, research aims, an hypothesis and a detailed description of methodology (participant selection, power analysis, proposed statistical analysis), predicted outcomes, an interpretation of the possible results, project budget, timeline and an evaluation of the ethical issues that require consideration and accommodation. In completing this task, students will compile and report information using high level scientific communications skills. They will demonstrate the ability to formulate new ideas based on critical analysis of published information and clinical observations. They will present and defend the use of the research design and associated analytic techniques in light of relevance, cost effectiveness and ethical practice. Students will also be required to discuss how possible results could be interpreted in the context of published material with a view to formulating and disseminating new ideas.

    MEDI6400 Preparing for Internship

    Pre-requisites: MEDI6100 Foundations of a Medical Vocation, MEDI6200 Foundations of Clinical Practice, MEDI6300 Clinical Apprenticeships or MEDI6301 Clinical Apprenticeships in a Rural Setting, MEDI6302 Systematic Research Inquiry

    The final year of the MD has a continuing emphasis on clinical skills, communication and discipline-specific expertise, but with an emphasis on further developing decision-making skills and work readiness. Students will advance their capacity to develop differential diagnoses based upon clinical findings, formulate rational investigation plans and develop proficiency in formulating patient management and treatment plans. There is also a continuing emphasis on working in interprofessional teams. This will occur through clinical placements in general medicine (including geriatric and palliative medicine), psychiatry, critical care (including anaesthetics, emergency medicine and intensive care), surgery, ENT and musculoskeletal. Students will be required to complete a four-week rural rotation and will also have access to selective rotations. Experiential learning in the hospital and community setting will be supplemented by back-to-base teaching and learning activities and clinical debriefing tutorials. Students will also complete and report on an Evidence Based Practice Project in the form of a hospital based clinical audit. After the end-of-year examinations, students undertake and report on a four-week elective experience that is designed to extend learning in an area of medicine that is of particular interest to them.

  • Health Professional Education Units

    ED5115 Designing Curriculum for Effective Learning

    ED5117 Principles and Practices of Assessment and Evaluation

    MEDI5121 Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Health Professional Education

    This course aims to provide participants with opportunities to explore and apply a core set of knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for quality teaching and learning in the health professions. The course firstly acknowledges the uniqueness of educating in the health professions. The health professions are interdisciplinary in nature and have complex regulatory, ethical and legal frameworks with which to comply. Further, the health professions call for specific pedagogical approaches (e.g. problem- and case-based learning), and need to embed certain types of knowledge and skills into teaching practices across the curricula (e.g. clinical reasoning). The course then moves on to applying these understandings to individual teaching roles through the development of a personal teaching philosophy, and related instructional strategies covering cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Finally, the course looks at how health educators should build reflection in to their practice through the development of an individualised quality assurance framework.

    MEDI5122 Assessing Competence in Health Professional Education

    This course aims to provide participants with an opportunity to explore the theoretical rationale for assessing the multiple dimensions of competence in the variety of contexts that characterise the health professions. Developing valid and reliable assessment practices is critical both from an educative and credentialing perspective. This course unpacks the complexity of formative and summative assessment in health professional education, taking account of knowledge, skills and attitudinal domains. It also discusses the important role of psychometrics in increasing the reliability, validity and overall integrity of assessment programs. Participants are encouraged to critically analyse and synthesise best practice assessment techniques in health professional education, seeking authentic assessment solutions to apply to their own teaching practice.

    MEDI5123 Teaching Clinical Reasoning

    This course will explore theories and models related to clinical reasoning & decision-making in the medical, nursing and allied health literature. Students will be introduced to a range of strategies to facilitate the development of clinical reasoning practices. They will be given opportunities to plan and implement clinical reasoning strategies in the context of their own educational environments.

    MEDI5124 Best Practice in Clinical Supervision in Health Professional Education

    This course considers the specific challenges of teaching and learning in clinical settings. By linking contemporary educational approaches to the clinical environment (e.g. setting learning objectives, acknowledging students prior understandings, activating a student-centred approach to teaching and learning, providing critical feedback), participants can situate themselves within a framework for best practice in clinical supervision. The course also investigates the principles that underpin effective mentoring and role-modelling, and examines how these principles can be linked to the clinical context.

    MEDI5110 Contemporary Issues in Health Professional Education

    This course aims to acquaint participants with some critical issues facing health professional educators in the Twenty First Century. Established principles pertaining to leading organisational and systemic change are first discussed, before the course moves into specific contemporary issues including: the tension between competency- and outcomes-based approaches to health education; issues around the scarcity of clinical placements and the need to seek alternative approaches to clinical skills development (e.g. Simulated Learning Environments); current trends towards inter-professional health and what this might mean for health professional education; the application of information and communications technologies (ICT) to the provision and support of health services (e.g. e-health and tele-health) and subsequent implications for educators; and educational implications of moves to reduce disparities across populations and manage global threats that transcend national borders (global health). No pre-requisite or co-requisite courses are required.

    RSCH7003 Developing a Research Proposal

    This course is designed to assist students in understanding the principles of writing a research proposal through the process of preparing a proposal for their Higher Degree by Research project. Students will be introduced to the key components of preparing and writing a proposal including: the purpose(s) of the research question; critically analysing and reviewing the existing literature; preparing an abstract; deciding on a research methodology and methods of data collection; proposing an approach for data analysis; identifying ethical issues and preparing for an ethics application; providing a clear plan and timeline for each stage of research. Students may find their supervisors a useful resource for defining the specifics of the research and the disciplinary context, and supervisors will be invited to participate in the development of the proposal.

    SR7903 Supervised Research – Education

  • Perinatal Units

    MEDI6102 Parents and their Young Children - Developmental Considerations

    Pre-requisite: MEDI6101 Introduction to Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

    This course centres on the development of toddlers and pre-schoolers, and of adults as they establish themselves as parents. A particular focus is placed on attachment relationships, including relationships between professionals and those families and individuals with whom they work. Students learn about these relationships and will gain an understanding of how humans develop as individuals, and as social beings. They will participate in activities around toddlerhood, pre-schooler development, and parental mental health across the transition to parenthood. Students will also observe of a toddler or pre-schooler in the home environment, and a toddler or pre-schooler in the day care or school environment.