Course descriptions

  • Medicine courses

    MEDI1000 Foundations of a Medical Vocation
    This course is 40 weeks in length. It is designed to lay the foundations of the knowledge skills and attributes you will need to practise medicine. Four Domain Committees: 1) Basic and Clinical Sciences, 2) Communication and Clinical Skills, 3) Population and Public Health and 4) Personal and Professional Development are responsible for designing and delivering this course as well as the other three year-long courses that comprise the MBBS program. The Basic and Clinical Sciences of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Immunology, Microbiology and Pathology will be delivered in an integrated manner with assistance from the University of Technology, Sydney and senior medical clinicians. The emphasis in MEDI1000 will be on the normal structure and function of the human body.

    MEDI2000 Systematic Preparation for Clinical Practice
    Pre-requisite: MEDI1000 Foundations of a Medical Vocation
    This course builds on the foundations laid in MEDI1000, and completes the second turn of the educational spiral. The emphasis changes from your understanding normal structure and function to understanding altered structure and function. An important concept is the understanding of Pathology. You will devote further attention to communication and clinical skills, population and preventative health and personal and professional development, and the PBL model continues in MEDI2000. By the end of this course, you will be competent in clinical examination of all the major organ systems, and you will have learned advanced counselling skills for use in a variety of clinical settings. You will again receive 8 hours a week of small group tutorial teaching with a senior clinician. This commitment to personalised teaching is the hallmark of the Notre Dame Sydney School of Medicine Program, and will ensure that each of you is individually mentored to attain competency, so that we generate the clinical leaders of the future. The Notre Dame Core Curriculum (LOGOS) modules will be an integral part of MED2000.

    MEDI3000 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice
    Pre-requisite: MEDI2000 Foundations of Clinical Practice
    You now enter the first major clinical year of the Course with rotations through the core clinical specialities. These include medicine, surgery, women and children's health, psychiatry and general practice. Your learning will change from a single weekly problem-based learning approach into a multiple weekly clinical case learning approach. This ensures that greater breadth is given to your learning. The focus is on "the common" and "the important" in terms of clinical presentations.

    MEDI4000 Preparation for Internship
    Pre-requisite: MEDI3000 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice
    This final year of the Program consolidates your learning, prepares you for internship and allows you to explore special interests.  Your learning will again be through multiple weekly short case presentations, based around core topics, but increasing complexity is added with the integration of 2 or more core topics into a single case, to mimic real life and our ageing and increasingly complex medical caseload. You will participate in PRINT (Preparation for Internship) tutorials, small group clinical skills training, and a program of lectures and interactive sessions.

    MEDI4001 Supervised Honours Research (Medicine)
    Pre-requisite: MEDI3000 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice
    Co-requisite: MEDI4000 Preparation for Internship

    The MEDI4001 Course is the Honours component of the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery [MBBS] degree. To enrol in the course, students must have completed successfully the MEDI1000, MEDI2000 and MEDI3000 Courses at the level required by the Regulations. This Course is taken concurrently with the MEDI4000 Course and needs to be completed within a one year period. The satisfactory completion of MEDI4001 requires a Research Proposal, an Ethics Application, and a draft Journal Article, as set out in the Regulations. In addition, students need to present the results at an annual SOMS Student Research Day and complete and obtain a passing grade in each of three online research methodology tutorials (Appendix A). Students will conduct research projects approved by the School under the supervision of persons authorised by the School. The Honours Program aims at introducing medical students into the practice of medical and health research by providing basic training in research methodologies and skills. These include writing a research proposal for a project, drafting applications for Ethics approval, completing the project, reporting the results in a thesis and/or as a manuscript prepared for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal.

    MEDI5001 Scientific Literacy and Communication
    This course will develop students’ skills to describe, interpret and appraise biomedical data and health information. By using practical scenarios and information available in the public domain, students will acquire the knowledge and the communication tools needed to engage with biomedical science-related issues in a range of contexts. They will critically examine how science is being presented in the media, evaluate the quality and integrity of the communication of scientific information presented and critique the appropriateness of the communication to the intended audience. Factors that affect health literacy at the individual and population level and strategies that can mitigate these will be explored.

    MEDI5002 Environment, Society and Health
    This course provides an introduction to public health and understanding the health of populations. It examines how public health approaches have evolved to tackle changing threats to population health.
    Topics covered include: the development of public health over the last two centuries, definitions and models of health, changing patterns of health, the measurement and monitoring of health, understanding public health data, the importance of the early years of life, communicable and non-communicable diseases, mental health, Indigenous health and health services, vulnerable populations, climate change and environmental degradation and their impact on health, the development and implementation of programs to protect and promote health, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the application of systems theory to public health issues. The focus will be on Australia but examples from overseas will be used to highlight and compare issues in the global context. Two cases studies will focus on Australian public health success stories and the Australian bush fires during the summer of 2019/20.

    MEDI5003 Bioethics in Professional Life
    This course addresses selected bioethical issues relevant to health care and clinical research and guides students in developing and using an ethics toolbox. Topics covered include: respecting the dignity of the human person, bioethics in contemporary medical practice, beginning and end of life issues, bioethics and the law and autonomy and protecting the common good. These topics will be considered from a local, institutional, societal, and global perspective. These considerations will include the context provided by the Catholic liberal arts tradition.

    MEDI5004 The Australian Health Care System
    This course will examine the structure, financing and delivery in the Australian Health Care System, including the roles and responsibilities of the Federal and State Governments along with the private sector. The principles of public health policies, including prevention, screening and early detection, disaster management and national infection prevention and control measures; and how they can influence the health of the community will be explored.
    Students will be encouraged to critically appraise the current Australian health system and policies, compared to key features and performance of other health systems from around the world. The course will also equip students with a basic understanding of health system design and measurement of performance.
    Using a case study approach, students will be challenged to identify the key elements of a health care system that is affordable, sustainable and of high quality. The emerging focus on person and family centred care and the challenges of chronic disease, health risk management and introduction of new and emerging technologies will also be examined.   An online learning format will include lectures from health industry leaders featuring the latest data and evidence; interactive workshops with expert panels; and small group discussion exploring online resources.

    MEDI5005 Human Body 1
    This course will take a combined and systemic approach to the study of the structure and function of organ systems in the body during the lifecycle. This includes an introductory module about the organisation of the human body, body regions and specific organ systems. Modules will cover the anatomy, histology and physiology of organ systems responsible for the support and movement of the body and the maintenance of the body’s homeostasis (respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urinary systems). An online learning format will include lectures, laboratory sessions, online work and workshops.

    MEDI5006 Cellular and Molecular Biology
    The course outlines the principles of cell and molecular biology as underpinnings of life and organism function. Topics covered include cell structure and function, the molecular aspects of the cell cycle and the molecular basis of genetics. Gene structure, the control of gene expression, regulation of gene function, molecular processes involved in protein synthesis and the role of genomics and of gene therapies in medicine will be examined. The ethical dimensions of adopting gene therapies will be explored.

    MEDI5007 Human Body 2
    This second course on the human body will continue the study of the structure and function of organ systems in the body during the lifecycle. Modules will cover the anatomy, histology and physiology of organ systems responsible for the internal body coordination and control (nervous and endocrine systems), the organ systems responsible for body defence (lymphatic and immune systems), and normal human development and aging. A further module covers principles of microbiology and the roles of micro-organisms in human infection.
    An online learning format will include lectures, laboratory sessions, online work and workshops.

    MEDI5008 Research Methods in Health
    This course develops students' understanding of research processes used in biomedical sciences, including quantitative and qualitative study designs. Students will acquire an understanding of statistical power and effect size, will appropriately interpret research findings and will be able to formulate scientifically sound conclusions. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to prepare a ministerial briefing or policy paper on a research topic, OR a submission to a Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Doctor of Medicine courses

    MEDI6001 Foundations of a Medical Vocation
    The student's major goal in this year-long course is to achieve a basic familiarity with the normal structure and function of the human body, as well as the body's response to challenges. The year is comprised of an introduction to patient-centred interviewing and physical examination, critical thinking and problem-solving, ethics, professionalism, patient safety, the skills of reflective practice, research methods and the concepts of population and public health. The educational approach is through Problem-Based Learning (PBL), in which a clinical problem sets the context for the students' integrated learning of content material each week. In small groups, students explore a series of these problems, supported by tutorials, lectures, practical sessions, workshops, site visits, and self-directed learning. The problems are constructed to facilitate the acquisition of relevant clinical skills, in particular clinical reasoning, and to develop the consideration of professional and ethical issues, including critical problem-solving in the broader context of the health of the whole population. During this course students will also undertake an embedded Core Curriculum program of study, tailored specifically for the needs of those entering the medical profession focusing on bioethics.

    MEDI6002 Foundations for Clinical Practice
    Pre-requisite: MEDI6001 Foundations of a Medical Vocation
    The second year of the MD program continues to build on the foundations for clinical practice, with further development of student understanding of normal human 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. Students continue learning through the Problem Based Learning approach. The range of problems explored by the students ensures that, by the end of the course, they will be familiar with all the major organ systems of the body. Students will have practiced the clinical examination skills that they will use to acquire information about the normal and abnormal function of each system. During this year, they will continue their exploration of ethics, personal and professional development, patient safety, and population and preventive medicine. Small group work continues in the acquisition of skills in literature searching, critical analysis, problem solving, communication, team work, and reflective practice. Pre-requisites: MEDI6001 Foundations of a Medical The second year of the MD program continues to build on the foundations for clinical practice, with further development of student understanding of normal human 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. Students continue learning through the Problem Based Learning approach. The range of problems explored by the students ensures that, by the end of the course, they will be familiar with all the major organ systems of the body. Students will have practiced the clinical examination skills that they will use to acquire information about the normal and abnormal function of each system. During this year, they will continue their exploration of ethics, personal and professional development, patient safety, and population and preventive medicine. Small group work continues in the acquisition of skills in literature searching, critical analysis, problem solving, communication, team work, and reflective practice.

    MEDI6003 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice
    Pre-requisites: MEDI2000 Foundations of Clinical Practice OR MEDI6002 Foundations for Clinical Practice
    This first clinical year of the program is undertaken in a series of placements in the Sydney Clinical School, Melbourne Clinical School, or Rural Clinical School (Wagga Wagga). These placements are based on eight five-week clinical rotations through the core clinical specialties: general practice, psychiatry, paediatrics and child health, obstetrics and gynaecology, surgery (2) and medicine (2). Experiential learning in these specialties is supplemented by a series of weekly Back-to-Base Days. These learning experiences involve participation in clinical debriefing tutorials, clinical skills training, lectures, tutorials, Grand Rounds and Journal Club sessions. Under the guidance of experts, students explore a defined range of common and serious clinical problems, and have access to e-learning and other resources to support self-directed learning.

    MEDI6004 Preparation for Internship
    Pre-requisites: MEDI3000 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice OR MEDI6003 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice
    Co-requisite: MEDI6005 Applied Research Project

    The fourth and final year of the program is undertaken in a series of placements in the Sydney Clinical School, Melbourne Clinical School, or Rural Clinical Sub-Schools (Ballarat, Lithgow, Wagga Wagga). These placements are based on eight four-week clinical rotations through core clinical specialties: community-based practice, emergency medicine, intensive care, anaesthetics, and surgery and medicine (4). Students at the metropolitan Clinical Schools are required to spend one four-week rotation in one of the Rural Clinical Sub-Schools. Experiential learning in these specialties is supplemented by clinical debriefing tutorials, clinical case tutorials, Pre-Internship tutorials, lectures, and "Journal Club" sessions. After the end-of-year examinations, students plan and undertake a four-week elective experience in an area of medicine that is of particular interest to them. Students are required to write and submit a report on this experience. In addition, students plan and undertake a research-based and/ or professionally-focused project, called the Population and Public Health (PPH) Applied Learning Activity. This learning activity is assessed via completion of a 2000 word report based on 60 hours of work.

    MEDI6005 Applied Research Project
    Pre-requisites: MEDI3000 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice OR MEDI6003 Apprenticeship in Clinical Practice
    Co-requisite: MEDI6004 Preparation for Internship

    This course is a compulsory requirement of the MD program and builds on work undertaken in the preceding courses. The MD requires all students to conduct a research-based or professionally-focused project. These projects are completed and assessed during this final year Course. After completing this Course students will have demonstrated that t they can: identify research questions; design and implement a project plan; critically appraise the literature and, where appropriate, explore, analyse and summarise research data sets; synthesise ideas and present coherent arguments; communicate through scholarly writing and contemporary presentations; and promote career development through original and applied research.

    MEDI6006 Contemporary Issues in Bioethics
    Contemporary Issues in Bioethics addresses selected ethical issues relevant to health care and clinical research. Topics to be covered will include: ethical issues at the beginning and at the end of life; ethical issues in contemporary health care practice, including informed consent; conscientious objection; the just allocation of health care resources; organ transplantation; health and climate change; circumcision and female genital mutilation. The course also includes research ethics and the pharmaceutical industry; ethical issues involved with genetic technologies; the ethics of public health interventions; and the role of artificial intelligence in health care.

    MEDI6007 Putting Bioethics into Practice
    This course examines ethical theories and concepts needed to put bioethics into practice. It guides students along a structured approach to bioethics decision-making. General concepts considered will include principles and approaches to decision-making in applied ethics, the relation between ethics and law, dealing with values conflicts, embedding ethics in and examining levels of decision-making. It will also examine the ethics of uncertainty and multiple ways of human knowing. The course will develop concepts or ideas that are useful in ethical decision-making, including how to identify and cope with ethically and morally challenging experiences. It will consider conflict of interest, the difference between blind and earned trust, and dealing ethically with mistakes. Considerations of the common good, the importance of basic presumptions, and justice in ethics decision-making, together with ethical decision-making processes and procedures will also be examined.