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 UnitSchool of Primary Health Care
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Lyn Clearihan


The aim of this unit is to assist clinicians, who are currently working as primary healthcare practitioners, to enhance and refine their consulting skills. It is particularly relevant for International medical practitioners who wish to improve their community based patient care. Cultural context will thus provide the background when discussing consultation styles, with students expected to gain knowledge in cultural literacy and competency. Strengthening and enhancing communication skills will also form a consistent theme throughout the unit. The unit will encourage students to draw on their own experience to critically appraise and evaluate clinical encounters using evidence based consultation modelling. They will be expected to analyse current theories underpinning the construct of a consultation, describing and exploring aspects of it that may result in suboptimal patient care or outcomes. This unit explores the unique dynamic that occurs in the exchange and interplay between clinician and patient, within a specific cultural context. In the process of doing so it guides students to a deeper layer of reflection of how the consultation process itself might impact on patient outcomes. The focus of the unit is on skills development to ensure health care practitioners retain and build on the knowledge they gain to both teach and practice more effective primary healthcare within a community.


Upon successful completion of this unit the student will be able to:

  1. Use consultation skills' theory to critically appraise the relationship between clinical decision-making, cultural literacy and the management of a clinical problem
  2. Discriminate between evidence based models of the consultation process and explain their application in a variety of clinical and culturally diverse situations
  3. Apply knowledge of the consultation process to specific clinical problem solving within the practitioner's practice
  4. Critically evaluate current consultation skills techniques and demonstrate how advanced consulting skills can influence patient outcomes in a culturally competent way.
  5. Use enhanced communication skills in managing a clinical problem in a culturally sensitive manner and demonstrate the impact on patient outcomes
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of an application of consultation skills theory to a clinical problem.


Essay (2,000 words) (25%)
Demonstration (45%)
Presentation (30%)
Participation in webinars and at least 80% of online discussions (Hurdle)
Complete online quizzes (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

Participation in online activities and discussion boards is estimated to take approximately 3 hours per week. Assessment activities, prescribed reading, recommended reading, student interactions, reflection on relevant clinical practice and private study is estimated to take approximately 9 hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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



Concurrent clinical practice is desirable and beneficial to successfully complete this unit but not a requirement.