MED1200 - Principles of medicine 1 - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

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


Dr Richard Loiacono (Clayton)
Dr Amudha Kadirvelu (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • Full year 2019 (On-campus)


  • Full year 2019 (On-campus)



Must be enrolled in course version 4531, 4533, M6011, M6019.


This unit introduces students to fundamental concepts and principles of medicine across the four themes of the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD) 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 and skills required by a medical student. Content is organised to assist students to further develop and apply core learning in integrated active teaching workshops in order to consolidate the key knowledge, concepts and skills for later years of study in the medicine course.


Theme I - Personal and Professional Development

  1. Describe key ethical and legal principles pertinent to health care and clinical contexts.

    Theme II - Society, Population, Health and Illness

  2. Identify key social determinants of health and describe their impact on health status and outcomes in marginalised groups, including the Indigenous population.
  3. Identify key concepts in prevention science and health promotion.
  4. Identify key concepts in population health, epidemiology and measurement of health and disease in populations
  5. Describe the role of health care services in maintaining health and in monitoring, managing and preventing disease.
  6. Collect, record and evaluate information from specified medical research literature and popular information sources using prescribed methodologies and critera.

    Theme III - Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice

  7. Describe the structure and function of the human body at cellular, organ, system and whole body levels.
  8. Describe biological, psychological and social factors pertinent to understanding human development, health, illness and behaviour.
  9. Identify common and important illnesses, conditions and disorders
  10. Describe fundamental pathological processes and causes underlying specified illnesses and conditions.
  11. Describe the principles of drugs and their actions.

    Theme IV - Clinical Skills

  12. Elicit and summarise a structured, comprehensive and logical history in simulated environments.
  13. Perform and summarise an appropriate examination for specified systems in simulated environments.
  14. Propose a differential diagnosis (list) at a basic level for specified systems.
  15. Perform specified clinical procedures and tasks in simulated environments.
  16. Identify relevant investigations for specified problems or conditions.
  17. Describe elements of a basic management plan for specified problems and conditions.
  18. Use principles for effectively communicating medical information to patients in simulated settings.


  • 2 x Comprehensive integrated puzzles (2 hours each) (10% total)
  • 6 x Practical Clinical Skills assessments (12 minutes each) (30%) (hurdle)
  • 2 x Mid-year examination (3 hours each) (30% total) (hurdle)
  • 2 x End of year examination (3 hours each) (30% total) (hurdle)

Hurdle requirements:

Students must attend a minimum of 80% of designated teaching activities to pass this unit.

Students must complete all requisite on-line modules

Students must pass the practical clinical skills assessments and pass the combined written examinations to pass this unit. The Angoff method is used to determine the pass score and borderline range for the combined written examination.

Workload requirements

Note: This is a 24 credit point unit delivered across a full year which equates to a 12 credit point workload per semester.

In each semester students will be provided with 14 hours of teacher directed study per week including lectures (6 hours) active learning integrated workshops (2 x 2 hours) each week plus 10 hours of on-line and self-directed study.

Total per week = 24 hours

See also Unit timetable information

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