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Doctor of Medicine (MC-DMED)

Masters (Extended)Year: 2019 Delivered: On Campus (Parkville)

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Award titleDoctor of Medicine
Year & campus2019 — Parkville
CRICOS code071304G
Fees informationSubject EFTSL, level, discipline and census date
Study level & typeGraduate Coursework
AQF level 9
Credit points400 credit points
Duration48 months full time

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a four year graduate entry medical course. The first year of the course combines bioscience, clinical, population health and behavioural science learning in a case-based context to develop the foundations of biomedical knowledge and skills required for subsequent years. Years 2 and 3 of the course build on key clinical skills and knowledge from Year 1 learning in a full time clinical context, focusing on a broad range of patient encounters in a wide variety of settings. In Year 4 students complete a research project in an area of their interest.The second semester of Year 4 is a capstone semester in which students consolidate their learning in preparation for their imminent entry into the health care workforce. A yearly student conference provides opportunities for broader disciplinary and inter-disciplinary learning and rural rotations available to all students provide opportunities to experience clinical training in a rural setting.

Students will also have the option of completing an elective placement outside of their allocated clinical school to broaden their understanding of health care by exploring another area or setting in greater depth.

Entry requirements

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • either

– an undergraduate degree in any discipline, with studies to have been completed within 10 years of 1 January in the year in which the applicant intends to commence the Doctor of Medicine; or
– for applicants whose most recently completed undergraduate degree was completed 10 or more years before 1 January of the year in which the applicant intends to commence the Doctor of Medicine, a Graduate Diploma, Master or PhD degree or equivalent completed within 10 years before 1 January of the year in which the applicant intends to commence the Doctor of Medicine; and

  • prerequisite studies in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry consisting of at least one subject at second-year level of each, with prerequisite subjects to have been completed within 10 years of commencing the Doctor of Medicine; and
  • the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT) or for international students who are located overseas only, either the GAMSAT or the North American Medical Colleges Admission Test (MCAT); and
  • a Multi Mini Interview.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and
  • the GAMSAT or MCAT score; and
  • the interview.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the University’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 7 is required.

See Notes below for further details.

  1. The Selection Committee will shortlist applicants for Multi Mini Interview on the basis of their performance in previous studies, using a Grade Point Average (GPA) computed in a manner approved by the Academic Board for the Doctor of Medicine (see note 2 below), and their results in the GAMSAT or MCAT. All sections in the GAMSAT will be weighted equally to determine the GAMSAT score. Offers will be made on the basis of a combined ranked list where the interview will contribute 50%, GPA will contribute 25% and GAMSAT (or MCAT) will contribute 25% to the final ranking after interview.

    2. Except for (i) applicants eligible under the Guaranteed Pathway and (ii) as explicitly provided for under clause 5 below, the Grade Point Average (GPA) used to rank applicants on academic merit based on their previous tertiary studies will be computed in the following way. The most recent bachelor degree results (including Honours*) will be used for the purposes of calculating the Grade Point Average (GPA) regardless of any subsequent graduate studies completed. The Grade Point Average (GPA) will be measured by considering the last three years of the applicant's undergraduate coursework studies (including Honours*). Weightings will be applied by weighting the first of the final three years by 1, the second year by 2 and the final year by 2.

    3. In considering students under special entry schemes the Selection Committee will consider aspects of disadvantage as set out from time to time in the University of Melbourne Graduate Access policy, evidence of rurality for rural applicants, and confirmation of Aboriginality for Indigenous applicants.

    4. Students applying for the Doctor of Medicine (Doctor of Physiotherapy, or Doctor of Dental Surgery) from the University of Melbourne degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Biomedicine, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Environments, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Science who meet entry and course requirements for a guaranteed place are admitted subject only to meeting any minimum Grade Point Average as prescribed by the Academic Board; satisfactory performance at an interview to demonstrate adequate communication skills (Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Physiotherapy only); and completion of relevant prerequisite subjects on the first attempt.

    5. The Selection Committee may re-rank applicants with a high level of performance in postgraduate studies in a cognate area subject to the following:
    • postgraduate study must have been completed within ten years of commencement of the
    Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Physiotherapy;
    • postgraduate study must be the equivalent of at least a one year full time program;
    • postgraduate study must be in a discipline that builds upon studies completed at the undergraduate level;
    • postgraduate study must be in a health related or biological sciences discipline.
    The quotas of places available for selection of applicants re-ranked on the basis of postgraduate study as prescribed below are set initially as follows:
    (a) Doctor of Medicine — up to 10 places
    (b) Doctor of Dental Surgery — up to 2 places
    (c) Doctor of Physiotherapy — up to 3 places
    Re-ranked applicants not selected on this basis, who otherwise satisfy the selection criteria, will be considered on the basis of their undergraduate results. The Selection Committee is not required to fill the quotas and any unused places will be allocated as normal.

*For further information about Honours and prerequisite subjects, please refer to: http://mdhs-study.unimelb.edu.au/degrees/doctor-of-medicine/entry-requirements#entry-requirements

Core participation requirements

The curriculum of The University of Melbourne Doctor of Medicine (MD) course has been developed using 67 graduate attribute statements in six domains (self, knowledge, patient, medical profession, systems of health care and society). In order to make informed decisions regarding their study, students should carefully consider the attributes set out below (the Core Participation Requirements).

The Core Participation Requirements are categorised under specific skill areas and are based on the “Inherent Requirements for studying medicine in Australia and New Zealand”. This document has been endorsed by Representatives of Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand (8 October 2015). Additional information from the publication “Higher Education Occupational Physicians (HEOPS) Practitioners: medical students – fitness to train”, has also been incorporated.

The University of Melbourne welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University policy to take reasonable and proportionate measures to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study.

With appropriate support and reasonable adjustments where possible, students must be able to meet the Core Participation Requirements in order to graduate from the MD course.

In determining whether an adjustment is reasonable, the University will consider:

  • The nature of the disability;
  • The effect of the adjustment on the student’s ability to demonstrate the required learning outcomes and participate in the MD course;
  • The effect of the adjustment on any other person, including other students, staff and patients; and
  • The cost and logistical impact of the adjustment.

Students should note that a reasonable adjustment may include modification to assessment and providing additional support services, but the University cannot make an adjustment which would affect the academic integrity of the MD course or patient safety. Similarly, part of the MD course takes place at clinical sites off-campus where it may not be reasonable for the University to make the same adjustments that are possible on campus. This means that having a disability which prevents training in a particular context may have implications for completion of course requirements and future practice.

Once enrolled in the MD course, students with a disability are encouraged to register with the Student Equity and Disability Service as early as possible. The role of this Service is to determine reasonable adjustments, following consultations with students and the School, and to provide information and advice to students in this context.

Adequate visual acuity is required to provide safe and effective medical care. A medical student is expected to demonstrate: Sufficient visual acuity to perform the required range of skills, including reading small print on ampoules or similar, reading a monitor across a bed and responding to visual alarms.

Visual acuity with maximal correction of N8 and/or 6/18 (or better) is required for the practice of medicine. Students whose vision is insufficient to meet these criteria or who have significant other visual problems (such as visual field defects, nystagmus, etc.) may require assessment by an ophthalmologist.

Adequate auditory ability is required to provide effective and safe medical care. A medical student is expected to demonstrate: Sufficient aural function to undertake the required range of tasks including the ability to work effectively in the emergency situation.

A student, wearing functioning hearing aids (if required), should demonstrate the ability to understand the human voice at 1 metre with less than 40db loss across speech frequencies.

Sufficient tactile ability is required to perform competent and safe medical care. A medical student is expected to demonstrate sufficient fine touch to undertake the required range of skills and clinical assessments, such as palpation of vessels and organs, and to estimate the size of skin lesions.

Mobility and gross motor skills
Mobility and gross motor skills are required in medicine to undertake appropriate clinical care. A medical student is expected to demonstrate the ability to perform gross motor skills to undertake a full physical examination, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and to function within scope of practice including independent mobility in order to attend medical emergencies when required. A student must demonstrate the ability to undertake a full physical examination avoiding injury to patients, colleagues and self, and possess one fully functional arm and the other capable of providing support.

Fine motor skills
Medicine is a profession that requires manual dexterity, and possession of fine motor skills is fundamental in providing adequate clinical care. A medical student is expected to demonstrate the ability to use fine motor skills to provide safe, effective diagnosis, treatment and clinical care and the ability to undertake a full physical examination without harming patient or self, including having one fully functioning arm and the other capable of providing support. Medical students, by the end of their training should be able to carry out the following: venepuncture, wound suture and intravenous cannulation.

Interruptions to consciousness
Medical practice requires the student to be conscious and aware at all times when interacting with patients. Unexpected interruptions to consciousness place patients at risk. A medical student is expected to demonstrate that there must be no risk of interruptions of consciousness that would present a risk to patients. Uncontrolled epilepsy in a medical student will put patients at significant risk. Narcolepsy and repetitive fainting will require careful assessment and treatment.

Verbal communication
Effective and efficient verbal communication, in English, is an essential requirement to provide safe delivery of care during medical training. A medical student is expected to demonstrate the ability to understand and respond to verbal communication accurately, appropriately and in a timely manner and the ability to provide clear and timely instructions in the context of the situation.

IELTS 7.0 (or other standard as promulgated) is required by AHPRA for international students at the point of commencing an internship. A medical student must have the ability to be understood at 3 metres in a quiet room.

Written communication
Effective written communication is a fundamental medical responsibility with professional and legal ramifications. A medical student is expected to demonstrate capacity to construct coherent written communication appropriate to the circumstances.

Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential for safe and effective patient care. A medical student is expected to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and numerical criteria, and to prescribe safely and effectively including calculating drug dosages.

Sustainable performance
Medical training requires both physical and mental performance at a consistent and sustained level to meet the MD course requirements over time. MD subjects are typically integrated over the course of a year and are structured to ensure progressive development of attributes. Fragmentation of the course, for example through prolonged absences during parts of the year or during parts of a day, hinders such learning. A medical student will be expected to attend for 30–40 hours per week for up to 40 weeks a year. A medical student will be required to undertake the MD course in a full-time, continuous fashion.

Monitor and manage own health
A medical student is expected to monitor their own mental and physical health and their behaviour, and to seek help when required.

Clinical examination
It is a requirement of the course that students will be expected to physically examine their peers (of all genders) in classroom settings, and patients (of all genders) in clinics and hospital wards.

Professional accreditation

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is accredited by the Australian Medical Council.

Graduates of the Doctor of Medicine are eligible for provisional registration with the Medical Board of Australia and full registration upon completion of an accredited internship.

Intended learning outcomes

The Doctor of Medicine draws on the University of Melbourne’s reputation for excellence in teaching and research to inspire and enable students to become outstanding doctors ready to excel as world-class leaders in their chosen field.

Desired graduate attributes have been carefully defined, developed and mapped to every component of the course. The 67 attributes, listed in full below, have been collated into six domains:

1. Self
2. Knowledge
3. Patient
4. Medical Profession
5. Systems of Health Care
6. Society

Graduate attributes

The graduate attributes for the Melbourne MD were derived using a formal concept mapping process using seven reference groups (students, patients, bioscientists, doctors, allied health professionals, public health practitioners and Faculty members), and refined by an expert group who then developed the graduate attribute framework. The framework was approved at a large, representative workshop. The product of this process was 67 graduate attribute statements collated into six domains of Self, Knowledge, Patients, Medical Profession, Systems of Health Care and Society.

Subject objectives for each subject have been derived from these graduate attributes. It is envisaged that the educational process necessary to attain the graduate attributes by the completion of the course will require the objectives of each subject to build sequentially over the four years of the program. The subject objectives are derived in this way and are designed to allow the student to understand what they need to achieve in the individual subject in the context of the larger goal of attaining the graduate attributes for the course. As a result of this approach, individual subject objectives may have different curriculum content weightings depending on the specific objective and the timing of the subject within the course.


In building their relationship with self, students will develop:

1. an understanding of the principles of empathy, compassion, honesty, integrity, altruism, resilience and lifelong curiosity; the ability to demonstrate them and a recognition of their importance in health care
2. an understanding of the principles of reflective practice, the ability to apply them, and a recognition of their importance in health care
3. an understanding of the principles of self-awareness, the ability to recognise when clinical problems exceed their knowledge and skill, and a willingness to seek help
4. the ability to identify and address their own learning needs
5. the ability to respond constructively to appraisal, performance review or assessment
6. the ability to manage uncertainty
7. the ability to apply effective time management and organisational skills
8. the ability to recognise and manage emotion in themselves and others
9. the ability to maintain their own physical, emotional, social and spiritual health and a recognition of the importance of professional support in this process
10. a recognition of their own personal, spiritual, cultural or religious beliefs and an awareness that these beliefs must not prevent the provision of adequate and appropriate care to the patient


In building their relationship with knowledge, students will develop:

1. an understanding of the scientific method relevant to biological, behavioural and social science
2. an understanding of research methods and their applications
3. an understanding of normal structure, function and development of the human body and mind at all stages of life
4. an understanding of the molecular, biochemical and cellular mechanisms that are important in maintaining the body’s homeostasis
5. an understanding of normal life processes including conception, development, birth, ageing and death
6. an understanding of the factors that might disturb normal structure, function and development
7. an understanding of the aetiology, pathology, symptoms and signs, natural history and prognosis of important physical and mental illnesses in all stages of life
8. an understanding of the management (pharmacological, physical, nutritional, behavioural and psychological) of important medical conditions
9. the ability to access new knowledge from all sources, to analyse and interpret it in a critical manner, and to apply it appropriately to their provision of health care
10. the ability to learn from patients, health professionals and the community in a broad range of settings
11. an appreciation of the responsibility to contribute towards the generation of new knowledge


In building their relationship with patients, students will develop:

1. an understanding of and respect for the rights of patients including patient choice, dignity and privacy
2. the ability to communicate with patients from diverse backgrounds including the ability to listen to, respond to, inform and understand the patient’s perspective
3. the ability to advocate appropriately on behalf of the patient
4. an understanding of factors affecting human relationships and the psychological, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of patients
5. an understanding of principles of rehabilitation in the amelioration of suffering from acute or chronic disability
6. an understanding of the principles of the care of the dying and a commitment to ease pain and suffering in all patients
7. an understanding of chronic illness and disability and its impact on the patient, their carers and communities
8. the ability to construct with the patient an accurate, thorough, organised, medical history and to perform an accurate physical and mental state examination
9. the ability to integrate and interpret clinical findings and apply rigorous reasoning to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis or differential diagnosis
10. the ability to recognise serious illness
11. the ability to select and interpret the most appropriate and cost effective diagnostic procedures
12. the ability to formulate an evidence-based and cost effective management plan in collaboration with the patient
13. the ability to perform relevant medical procedures effectively and safely, with due regard for the patient’s comfort including important emergency and life-saving procedures
14. a recognition that it is not always in the interests of the patient to do everything that is technically possible to make a precise diagnosis or to attempt to modify the course of an illness

Medical Profession

In building their relationship with the medical profession, students will develop:

1. an understanding of the continuum of medical training and the diverse roles and expertise of doctors
2. an understanding of the potential conflicts of interest that may confront doctors
3. an understanding of and ability to apply the principles of ethics in the provision of health care and research.
4. an understanding of organisational governance, the ability to be an active participant in professional organisations, and an appreciation of the benefits of this participation
5. an understanding of the principles of mentorship and the ability to apply them with colleagues
6. the ability to give effective feedback to colleagues in order to help them improve their performance
7. an understanding of educational theory and practice and the ability to teach
8. an appreciation of the responsibility to maintain standards of medical practice at the highest level throughout a professional career

Systems of Health Care

In building their relationship with systems of health care, students will develop:

1. an understanding of the roles, responsibilities and expertise of all health professionals, and how they work in teams to deliver health care
2. a respect for the roles and expertise of other health care professionals and the ability to communicate effectively with them
3. an understanding of the principles of team work and the ability to work effectively in a team, including as a leader
4. an appreciation of the responsibility to contribute to the education of all health professionals
5. an understanding of the principles of quality and safety in health care systems
6. the ability to work effectively as a doctor within a quality and safety framework including the ability to recognise, respond to and learn from adverse events and medical errors
7. an understanding of the principles of effective record keeping and the ability to maintain high quality medical records
8. an understanding of the principles of continuity and coordination of health care
9. an understanding of the structure of the Australian health care system and health care systems globally
10. an understanding of the principles of efficient and equitable allocation and use of finite resources in health care systems, locally and globally
11. an understanding of the role of political systems in shaping health care systems locally, nationally and internationally


In building their relationship with society, students will develop:

1. an understanding of the interactions between humans and their social and physical environment
2. an understanding of the determinants of a well society and the economic, political, psychological, social and cultural factors that contribute to the development and persistence of health and illness
3. an understanding of the principles of health promotion including primary and secondary prevention
4. an understanding of the health of Indigenous Australians including their history, cultural development and the impact of colonisation and the ongoing health disparities of Indigenous people in this country and globally
5. an understanding of the burden of disease in differing populations and geographic locations
6. an understanding of the differing requirements of health care systems in a culturally diverse society
7. the ability to respect community values, including an appreciation of a diversity of backgrounds and cultural values
8. an understanding of the principles of health literacy and a willingness and ability to contribute to the health education of the community
9. the ability to consider local, regional, national and global ramifications of health care issues
10. the ability and a willingness to contribute to the community
11. a commitment to contribute to the resolution of health inequities locally and globally
12. an understanding of the relationship between environmental issues and the health of local communities and society
13. a commitment to practise medicine in an environmentally responsible way

Course structure

In order to qualify for the Doctor of Medicine (MD), students must successfully complete all subjects listed in Subject Options below (400 credit points).

Notes about Clinical Electives

  • Students commencing the MD course from 2014 onwards will have the option of undertaking a clinical elective of least 1 week duration, during any non-teaching period, arranged by the student in consultation with the relevant Director of Medical Education and participating institution.
  • Students who commenced the MD course prior to 2014 must successfully complete the following hurdle requirement in order to qualify for the Doctor of Medicine (MD): Students will be expected, with the assistance of their clinical school, to find and confirm an elective place of four weeks duration at some point prior to graduation from the course. It is anticipated that the majority of students will complete this elective in the summer break between first and second year, second and third year, or third and fourth year of the program.

Subject options

Students must complete all subjects listed

Year One Subjects:

Code Name Study period Credit Points
MEDS90001 Foundations of Biomedical Science
MEDS90002 Principles of Clinical Practice 1
MEDS90003 Student Conference 1

Year Two Subjects:

Code Name Study period Credit Points
MEDS90004 Principles of Clinical Practice 2
MEDS90005 Student Conference 2

Year Three Subjects

Code Name Study period Credit Points
MEDS90020 Principles of Clinical Practice 3
MEDS90021 MD Research Project 1
MEDS90022 Student Conference 3

Year Four subjects

Code Name Study period Credit Points
MEDS90026 MD Research Project 2
MEDS90025 Transition to Practice
MEDS90024 Student Conference 4

Last updated: 9 November 2018