Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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48 points, SCA Band 3, 1.000 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Rural Health Churchill
OfferedGippsland Full year (extended) 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Shane Bullock


This unit reflects an introduction to the four themes of the MBBS curriculum: Theme I (Personal and Professional Development), Theme II (Society, Population, Health and Illness), Theme III (Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice) and Theme IV (Clinical Skills). Students begin to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes required by a medical student. Knowledge in the basic medical and behavioural sciences is developed within inter-disciplinary units related to clinical and other problems through problem based learning clinical case studies. Clinical skills development introduces history-taking, physical examination and procedural skills through clinical skills tutorials and clinical placement activities. Community partnership placements are also a part of the unit.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and develop strategies for their own health enhancement.
  2. Examine the similarities and differences between ethical issues in personal and professional life.
  3. Appreciate the legal framework within which medical practice operates and the legal basis of the doctor-patient relationship.
  4. Differentiate ethical debates about the following: doctor-patient relation; health and illness; ideas of personhood and body.
  5. Apply concepts of professional responsibility and public accountability with reference to the role of the courts and common law statutes and professional self-regulation.
  6. Develop a perspective on issues of social equity, welfare, advocacy and justice, particularly as they relate to the practice of medicine.
  7. Demonstrate that from their position of responsibility within the community they have knowledge and skills that can contribute to the well-being of those people who are disadvantaged.
  8. Develop the concept of the 'whole person' and in particular, the social and economic context of health and illness.
  9. Discuss different perspectives on health, illness and medical practice through application of the 'sociological imagination'.
  10. Describe associations between health and illness and social influences such as culture, disability, place, rurality, social position, gender, ethnicity, ecology and access to healthcare.
  11. Consider appropriate adaptations of healthcare practice to suit particular cultural and social circumstances.
  12. Demonstrate basic skills in accessing and critiquing research materials from personal, print and electronic sources.
  13. Discuss the basic concepts and methods of biostatistics in medical research and epidemiology.
  14. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological study designs.
  15. Explain how rural diversity can impact on rural health, illness and health service delivery.
  16. Articulate the relationship between data, information, evidence, knowledge and informed care.
  17. Demonstrate in applied situations the following:
    • Enhanced information technology skills (searching and medical database identification skills, including computer presentation skills);
    • Application of critical skills to clinical and research questions;
    • Application of a range of knowledge based systems in clinical practice (bibliographic software, decision support systems).
  18. Discuss the theories and approaches to health promotion.
  19. Participate in the basic health promotion process of program development, planning, implementation and evaluation.
  20. Identify appropriate strategies for health promotion interventions including targeting high risk and population-based strategies.
  21. Recognise the conceptual and practical implications of a Community Based Practice program.
  22. Describe and discuss the health, illness and community services and facilities available in a rural, regional and outer urban location.
  23. Describe normal cell and tissue structure and formation.
  24. Identify the role of genes in health and disease.
  25. Describe the immune system and immune responses in health and disease.
  26. Discuss the pathophysiology and management of conditions caused by microbes.
  27. Describe the pathophysiology of neoplasia.
  28. Discuss the general principles, concepts and language of neuroscience that will provide a basis for understanding the neural control of body systems and neurology.
  29. Outline the structure and functions of neurons, signalling mechanisms, drug actions and receptors, and the organisation, inter relationship and general function of all divisions of the nervous system.
  30. Describe the function of peripheral sensory systems, the sensory pathways, the motor pathways and the importance of sensory feedback.
  31. Explain the general and detailed organisation and function of the musculoskeletal system.
  32. Discuss the theories associated with human psychology and describe the neurobiological basis of human behaviour.
  33. Describe the structure and function of the healthy cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems and the formation and function of blood.
  34. Describe the general pharmacological principles and the mechanisms of action of therapeutic agents commonly prescribed to combat disorders of the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, reproductive systems.
  35. Describe the mechanisms and effects of selected common pathologies affecting the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, reproductive system.
  36. Describe the basic processes of reproduction and early development, comprehend infertility and strategies to manage reproduction and contraception.
  37. Discuss how fetal conditions can determine adult disease, recognising how specific anomalies can be diagnosed prenatally and how some of them may be corrected or managed.
  38. Describe the trajectory of human development and explain the normal growth pattern and the attendant nutritional requirements of individuals from birth to adulthood.
  39. Demonstrate clear and appropriate communication skills and active learning with clarity, consideration and sensitivity to patients and other health professionals.
  40. Describe the framework for taking a comprehensive medical history.
  41. Demonstrate an awareness of basic ethical and legal issues when communicating with patients.
  42. Describe the principles of clinical reasoning.
  43. Describe the elements of a Mental State Examination and perform a Mini Mental State examination.
  44. Recognise the importance of context in medical history taking and the development of health conditions.
  45. Apply a framework for taking a focused medical history in the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, reproductive, haematological and endocrine systems.
  46. Apply a framework for taking a sexual history using a patient centred, non-judgemental approach.
  47. Perform a basic examination of the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, haematological and endocrine system using a systematic patient-centred approach.
  48. Perform a systematic patient-centred examination of the breast recognising the importance of communication during intimate examinations.
  49. Demonstrate a structured approach to describing the features of normal basic investigations including Chest X-ray, Abdominal X-ray and 12 lead electrocardiograph.
  50. Describe the elements of the patient safety framework including hand hygiene, teamwork and communication.
  51. Demonstrate a structured and empathic approach to dealing with emotion in the patient encounter in a simulated environment.
  52. Perform a series of procedural skills in a simulated environment using patient centred communication.
  53. Recognise the social and health needs of Indigenous communities in urban, rural and remote locations.
  54. Discuss traditional Indigenous culture and the complexities of contemporary Indigenous societies in urban, rural and remote locations.


This unit requires students to undertake off-campus clinical placements. In the clinical setting students will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under supervision. Attendance is mandatory for the clinical component of each unit.


Attendance (80% mandatory class attendance) (Hurdle)
Professionalism and engagement (7.5%)
Clinical skills competencies (5%)
Critical reflection on a learning experience (5%)
Indigenous health assignment (5%)
Mid-semester 1 exam (5%)
Community-Based Placement (CBP) program assignment (7.5%)
End-of-semester 1 written examination (5%)
Population health assignment (5%)
HHB / HLSD assignment (5%)
End-of-year summative OSCE (20%)
End-of-semester 2 written examination (10%)
Vertically Integrated Assessment (VIA) examination (20%)

Workload requirements

On-campus: Class contact hours: 24 hours per week. Students would be expected to do a minimum of 24 hours private study.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in course 4532.