Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - 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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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 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 UnitDepartment of General Practice
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Online)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ian Chenoweth


In order to prescribe in the most appropriate manner, the prescriber needs a broad perspective. Rational prescribing needs an understanding of the pressures affecting a prescriber which may influence his or her prescribing patterns. As well, the prescriber must be aware of consumer and other factors which impinge upon optimal use of medication, and the subtle and not so subtle influences of manufacturers and government. This unit aims to have such a perspective, covering topics from the practical philosophy of rational prescribing, to the future of clinical pharmacology, to the planning for quality improvement within a primary care health setting.


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

  1. Discuss the Australian and international use of prescribed medication in terms of research directions, funding, rates of prescribing, the major stakeholders, the influences on prescribing and policy directions such as quality use of medicines initiatives.
  2. Demonstrate the use of a particular model for deciding the most appropriate therapeutic medication for a particular condition.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge, practice and skill in a chosen prescribing situation in general practice, including the therapeutic medications used, and the particular steps necessary for safe prescribing.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking in reviewing the evidence about a medication via a planned and recorded interview with a pharmaceutical detailer.
  5. Create a plan for improving the quality of prescribing in your own practice or within the clinic, using audit and feedback.


Assignment 1 (25%)
Assignment 2 (25%)
Assignment 3 (25%)
Assignment 4 (25%)

Chief examiner(s)


Students in non award programs (single unit cross institutional enrolment): Applicants must have a medical degree or other health practitioner degree and be currently registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), or a similar local national registration body. Applicants who do not have a registrable degree with AHPRA or similar will be required to have the appropriate bachelors degree or equivalent. A minimum of 2 years vocational experience in a general practice setting is essential for both Australian and International applicants.