Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

24 points, SCA Band 3, 0.500 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences


Dr Richard Loiacono, Professor Shah Yasin



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


Through the theme based curriculum, this unit continues to provide integrated studies that build the foundations for commencing studies in clinical settings. A deeper understanding of the socio-economic context of health and illness, awareness of the non-medical services which support the practice of medicine, and improved health outcomes is developed. Ethical/legal issues relevant to professional responsibility, the doctor-patient relationship and public accountability link directly to future clinical practice. Students acquire skills in basic research, including data management and critical appraisal of evidence and knowledge which provide the basis for evidence based clinical decision-making. Scientific basis of clinical practice aims to provide students with detailed knowledge of selected body systems in health and disease. In the clinical skills component of the curriculum, students are expected to draw upon theoretic knowledge, and apply this during the development clinical reasoning, and the performance of key clinical skills tasks. An integral component of this unit is the weekly problem based learning activity (PBL). Each PBL integrates content presented to students across the four themes throughout the week.


Theme I:

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

  1. Recognise the legal requirements and protocols in clinical practice including documentation, patient care and safety
  2. Respect and maintain privacy and confidentiality (peers, university & health care staff, external stakeholders, patients, clients)
  3. Discuss issues related to justice, the importance and role of advocacy within the health system
  4. Practice principles of ethical decision making and consultation with peers and teachers
  5. Describe characteristics of a respectful, non-judgemental and empathic approach to others
  6. Maintain an appropriate standard of behaviour including demeanour, appearance and meeting commitments
  7. Communicate clearly, effectively and appropriately in oral, written and electronic formats
  8. Identify the types of risks and errors in health care settings and the role of health care professionals in ensuring the quality of patient care
  9. Recognise the importance of research and quality improvement
  10. Recognise the need to evaluate and critically reflect upon judgements and health care practices relating to patient outcomes
  11. Recognise peers experiencing difficulty and identify available support services
  12. Describe appropriate environments and use strategies for sensitive and effective communication and interaction with others (simulated patients, peers, teaching staff)
  13. Identify the roles and responsibilities health care team members and their professions and show the ability to work collaboratively within a team
  14. Engage in learning opportunities and participate in peer learning, leadership and teaching activities
  15. Recognise own strengths and limitations, including personal factors which impact upon performance, and seek support for improvement
  16. Take responsibility for own self-care and health issues.

Theme II:

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

  1. Discuss the interplay of medical, scientific, social, cultural, political, economic and ethical factors in health promotion
  2. Describe and compare medical, behavioural and socio-environmental approaches to health promotion
  3. Explain key concepts in medical screening and diagnostic programs including validity and reliability of these programs
  4. Describe the relationship between exposure, causation and risk factors for disease and morbidity in populations
  5. Appraise a health promotion program
  6. Source and interpret biostatistical information relevant to health and disease in populations across a range of contexts (e.g. rural, indigenous, refugee vulnerable/'at-risk' populations)
  7. Describe the characteristics of different study designs used in population health and clinical research
  8. Describe the role of health care services and the essential roles of systems in maintaining health and in monitoring, managing and preventing disease across a range of contexts (e.g. rural, indigenous, vulnerable/'at-risk' populations)
  9. Describe sources of information used to support clinical decision making and management in health care
  10. Describe human and organisational factors that may impact upon patient care
  11. Outline the structure of medical literature and the roles of the different academic styles of writing
  12. Search effectively and efficiently medical research information and data from personal, print and electronic sources
  13. Organise and manage information sourced from medical research publications and popular information sources
  14. Critically appraise articles in medical and health care literature.

Theme III:

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

  1. discuss the relevance of biomedical science to the practice of respiratory, endocrine, haemopoetic and renal medicine, and apply knowledge in these areas in an integrative manner to the understanding of particular cases or clinical issues
  2. describe the structure and function of the healthy respiratory and renal, endocrine systems and the formation and function of blood
  3. discuss the mechanisms and effects of selected common pathologies affecting these systems
  4. outline therapeutic agents commonly used to deal with disorders of these systems
  5. give an account of the interactions of these systems in the maintenance of homeostasis, drawing upon knowledge acquired in preceding semesters
  6. discuss the relevance of biomedical science to the practice of medicine in the areas of endocrinology and metabolism, gastroenterology and nutrition, and apply knowledge in these areas in an integrative manner to the understanding of particular cases or clinical issues
  7. describe the role of endocrine systems in normal and pathological function
  8. discuss the normal growth pattern and the attendant nutritional requirements of individuals from birth to adulthood, recognise the sources of deviation from such normal patterns and appreciate the role of nutrition in health and disease, taking account of social and cultural influences
  9. describe the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract and comprehend the pathophysiology of common symptoms and major diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
  10. outline therapeutic agents relevant for endocrine, gastrointestinal conditions.

Student Project Cases:

On the completion of this activity students will be able to:

  1. integrate information from the four curriculum themes based on the range of learning activities, including self-directed research
  2. integrate and synthesise information from different body systems and human perspectives in the appreciation of clinical issues
  3. identify relevant resources and critically analyse information from a variety of sources
  4. develop skills in problem solving and apply in a medical context
  5. develop interpretative skills related to the evaluation of endocrine, metabolic, gastrointestinal, nutritional, reproductive and developmental information and issues, interfacing biomedical science with clinical medicine
  6. work effectively and communicate constructively within small groups in the planning, development and implementation of teamwork tasks, with individual and group responsibilities and adherence to project timelines
  7. discuss issues and problems in a structured manner and act as spokesperson for a group in a wider forum
  8. apply skills in audiovisual presentations on particular topics in medicine
  9. develop skills in preparation of written summaries in the form of notes suitable for effective communication and education
  10. apply constructive critiques to verbal and written presentations.

Theme IV:

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

  1. Conduct a structured patient centred interview in simulated environments
  2. Elicit a structured, comprehensive and logical history in simulated environments
  3. Perform an appropriate examination for specified systems in simulated environments
  4. Perform specified clinical procedures and tasks in simulated environments
  5. For specified conditions, identify relevant investigations for the patient's presenting problems or conditions
  6. Describe the requirements for requests/ordering relevant investigations.
  7. Interpret results of specified investigations in simulated settings/scenarios
  8. Outline the reasons for prioritising patient care
  9. Generate a problem list
  10. Formulate and discuss their reasoning for a differential diagnosis (list)
  11. Outline a basic management plan for specified common problems and conditions
  12. For specified conditions identify clinically appropriate medications
  13. Explain the importance of monitoring patients
  14. Recognise the need for the management of conditions using fluid, electrolyte and blood products
  15. Identifies the importance of procedures and documentation for continuity of care
  16. Provide structured and effective case presentations
  17. Recognise the basic elements of patient case files.


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.


Some activities may be completed in either MED2031 or MED2042

Two written exams (3 hours each) (MCQ/SAQ) (10% each/ 20% total) [MED2031]
Two written exams (3 hours each) (MCQ/SAQ) (10% each/ 20% total) [MED2041]
Written assignments in Health Promotion (2 x 3000 words) (17%) [Either MED2031 or MED2042], & Additional Piece (a creative piece of work with a variable presentation) (3%) [MED2042]
Written assignments for Rural and or Prevention Science placements (3000 words) (10%) [Either MED2031 or MED2042]
Student project cases (written assignment and oral presentation) (3500 words written, 30 min presentation) (10%) [MED2031]
Clinical skills practical examination (OSCE) (20%) [MED2042]

Assessment of materials presented in the result for MED2031 will be a pass grade only (PGO)

Hurdle requirement: Students must satisfactorily complete a breast examination activity; and must attend a minimum of 80% of designated small group teaching activities to pass this unit.

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Peter Barton (Clayton), Professor Parasakthi Navaratnam (Malaysia)

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




MED2000 and must be enrolled in courses 0040, 1074, 3856, 4531 or 4533.