Preclinicals in Brisbane
At UQ we offer a medical program with a structure that will be familiar to U.S. students. The program is 4 year, graduate entry, with the first 2 years largely 'pre-clinical' and the last 2 years, clinical training.
We used a 'blended learning' approach. By this we mean a mixture of large group teaching (lectures) and small group learning (tutorials and self-directed learning). Also, a mix of face to face teaching, and online support.
In Years 1 and 2, students study body systems, once each year. So, for example, the cardiovascular system is studied in both years, covering different diseases each time, but also reinforcing key principles each time. Approximately 10 systems are studied for about 4 weeks each.
Each week during the first 2 years has a typical structure. There is a mix of lectures, Problem Based Learning tutorials, Clinical Skills Sessions, and tutorials (for example pathology) and laboratory sessions (anatomy and physiology and so on).
Year 1 has more of a focus on the basic biomedical sciences, with Year 2 having more of a clinical focus.
Then, in Years 3 and 4, students rotate through a series of Core Clinical Rotations. There are 8 of these, including an elective, and each is 8 weeks long (5 Rotations in each year).
In Year 3 we do medicine, surgery, general practice/family medicine, rural/community medicine, mental health. In Year 4 we do obstetrics, paediatrics, medical speciality, surgical speciality (including acute care), and the elective.
The philosophy we follow in terms of teaching is: provide clear direction in terms of the curriculum and expectations; work hard as an individual and work well within your study group; provide a mix of learning opportunities; provide sufficient time for your own study.