Doctor of Medicine

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a four-year professional postgraduate medical degree encompassing basic and clinical sciences, clinical knowledge and skills, research, and elective opportunities.

Students are allocated to one of six Clinical Schools when their candidature is initially confirmed, and they are based at their allocated Clinical Schools for the duration of the MD Program. They undertake clinical studies within their Clinical Schools as well as placements at affiliated sites, including community centres, private practice and other clinical schools. A list of Clinical Schools may be found here.

Each of the four academic years of the MD Program is longer than the University of Sydney academic year. Students must be available to commence and complete each year of the Program at the designated time.

Course resolutions

Sydney Medical School resolutions and the printed handbook are the official statement of faculty policy. If a conflict is perceived between the content of the printed handbook and information available elsewhere, Sydney Medical School resolutions and the information available in the handbook online shall always take precedence.

See the Policy Online website: sydney.edu.au/policy, for copies of University policies.

 

Doctor of Medicine


These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2014 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Coursework Policy 2014, the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended) and the Academic Board policies on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. Up to date versions of all such documents are available from the Policy Register: http://www.sydney.edu.au/policies.

Course resolutions

1 Course codes

Code Course and stream title
MAMEDICI-03 Doctor of Medicine

 

2 Attendance pattern

(1)
The attendance pattern in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) is full-time only.
(2)
The attendance pattern in Stage 3 of the Doctor of Medicine is normally full-time. However, with the permission of the Co-Directors of the Sydney Medical Program, in exceptional circumstances it may be taken part-time.

 

3 Admission to candidature

(1)
Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admission criteria.
(2)
Admission to the Doctor of Medicine requires:
(a)
completion of a bachelor degree comprising at least three full-time equivalent years of study which will be either:
(i)
a bachelor degree (pass) accredited at Level 7 under the Australian Qualifications Framework or a bachelor degree (with honours) accredited at Level 8 under the Australian Qualifications Framework, from an Australian university or self-accrediting higher education institution; or
(ii)
a bachelor degree from an overseas university listed in the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition Guide, provided that the degree is equivalent to an Australian bachelor degree (pass or with honours); and
(b)
a demonstrated sustained academic performance to a standard considered satisfactory by the Dean or Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. In assessing sustained academic performance the Dean or Deputy Dean may, at his or her discretion, consider performance in the Bachelor’s degree(s) and/or performance in any graduate diploma, master or doctoral degree (or equivalent); and
(c)
performance in an admissions test approved by the Dean or Deputy Dean to a standard considered satisfactory by the Dean or Deputy Dean;and
(d)
performance in an interview to a standard considered satisfactory by the Dean or Deputy Dean.
(3)
If the bachelor degree was completed more than 10 years before 1 January of the year for which the applicant is seeking enrolment, the applicant must, in addition:
(a)
have completed within this 10 year period, or complete prior to 1 January of the year in which the applicant intends to commence the Doctor of Medicine, a postgraduate degree or postgraduate diploma (or equivalent), which will be either:
(i)
a postgraduate degree or postgraduate diploma accredited at Level 8, 9, or 10 under the Australian Qualifications Framework, from an Australian university or self-accrediting higher education institution; or
(ii)
a postgraduate degree or postgraduate diploma at an overseas university listed in the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition Guide, provided that the postgraduate degree or postgraduate diploma is equivalent to an Australian postgraduate degree or diploma accredited at Level 8, 9, or 10; or
(b)
have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Dean sustained research productivity in a relevant discipline within this 10 year period.
(4)
An applicant will not be admitted to candidature for the Doctor of Medicine unless he or she has completed a bachelor degree prior to 1 January of the year in which the applicant intends to commence the Doctor of Medicine.
(5)
The official results listed on an applicant’s transcript, and his or her admission test results, will be taken as the awarding and testing authorities’ assessment of the academic standards reached by the applicant, taking due account of illness and misadventure according to the authorities’ policies.
(6)
A person who has commenced the Doctor of Medicine in a fee-paying or bonded place at the University will not be eligible for admission or transfer to a Commonwealth supported or non-bonded place in the Doctor of Medicine. For this purpose, students are considered to have commenced the course at the time of their first enrolment.
(7)
The Dean may, in exceptional circumstances, admit to the Doctor of Medicine an applicant who has commenced studies in postgraduate medicine at another University, provided that the applicant:
(a)
has not previously applied unsuccessfully for admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery or the Doctor of Medicine at the University of Sydney;
(b)
would have met the requirements for admission to the Doctor of Medicine that were in place at the time the applicant was admitted to his or her previous course in medicine; and
(c)
will complete at least 50 per cent of the Doctor of Medicine at the University of Sydney.
(8)
Prior to admitting an applicant to the Doctor of Medicine in accordance with subclause 3(7), the Dean will consider:
(a)
the circumstances leading to the applicant’s request for admission;
(b)
whether the curriculum undertaken by the applicant in his or her previous course in medicine is comparable to the Doctor of Medicine;
(c)
the academic performance of the applicant in his or her previous course in medicine;
and
(d)
the availability of places in the Doctor of Medicine in the relevant year.
(9)
The Dean may, prior to admitting an applicant to the Doctor of Medicine in accordance with subclause 3(7), require the applicant to undertake a barrier examination that permits entry into the relevant year.
(10)
Subject to the approval of the Academic Board, the Faculty of Medicine may establish special admission schemes for defined classes of applicant, including:
(a)
applicants who are of rural origin;
(b)
Indigenous applicants.
(11)
The Faculty of Medicine may establish a maximum quota for the number of applicants for admission as candidates for the Doctor of Medicine within a special admission scheme.
(12)
The Faculty of Medicine will publish details of any special admission schemes approved by the Academic Board.
(13)
A committee consisting of the Dean, Deputy Deans and Head of the Medical Program may confirm or withdraw an offer which has been made to an applicant but which is not in accordance with the admission criteria.

 

4 Deferment

(1)
Applications for deferral of enrolment following the offer of a place in the Doctor of Medicine are permitted only on the following grounds:
(a)
progression to honours, masters or a PhD; or
(b)
under exceptional circumstances which could not be foreseen at the time of application; or
(c)
for completion of "professional years" where awarding of a bachelor's degree is dependent upon such completion only.
(2)
Deferral will only be granted one year at a time and will not be expected to last longer than two years.

 
 

5 Course structure and units of study

(1)
The Doctor of Medicine Program is an integrated program of study framed by four Themes that run across all four years. These themes are:
(a)
Basic and Clinical Sciences (BCS)
(b)
Patient and Doctor (Pt-Dr)
(c)
Population Medicine (PopMed); and
(d)
Personal and Professional Development (PPD)
(2)
In addition to the units of study encompassed in the Themes, all students must complete a unit of study in Research Methods and a research or capstone project known as the MD Project.
(3)
The Doctor of Medicine Program is divided into three Stages:
(a)
Stage 1 comprises Year 1
(b)
Stage 2 comprises Year 2; and
(c)
Stage 3 comprises Years 3 and 4.
Stages 1 and 2
(4)
Stages 1 and 2 both start at the beginning of February and finish late in November.
(5)
Students attend their allocated Clinical Schools for at least one day each week and classes on the University’s main Camperdown campus for the rest of the week.
(6)
In both Stage 1 and Stage 2, the course is delivered as a series of 10 sequential blocks:
(a)
the first block in Stage 1 is designed to provide orientation and a foundation for the subsequent blocks.
(b)
eight of the blocks focus on a particular organ system from both basic science and clinical perspectives, with an emphasis on the scientific foundations of clinical reasoning and clinical practice.
(c)
the last block in Stage 2 covers cancer and palliative care.
(7)
Content relating to each of the four Themes is delivered across and within each block. The blocks are as follows:
(a)
Stage 1
(i)
Orientation and Foundation Studies
(ii)
Musculoskeletal Sciences
(iii)
Respiratory Sciences
(iv)
Haematology
(v)
Cardiovascular Sciences
(b)
Stage 2
(i)
Neurosciences and Vision and Behaviour
(ii)
Endocrine, Nutrition, Sexual Health and HIV
(iii)
Renal and Urology
(iv)
Gastroenterology, Nutrition, and Drug and Alcohol
(v)
Oncology and Palliative Care
(c)
The Haematology Block in Stage 1 and the Oncology and Palliative Care Block in Stage 2 are delivered mainly at the Clinical Schools. During these blocks, students attend their allocated Clinical Schools for four days, visiting the Camperdown campus to attend teaching sessions for one day each week, thus equating to full-time attendance during these blocks.
(8)
Units of study
(a)
The units of study that may be taken for the course are set out in the Table of Units of Study: Doctor of Medicine
(b)
The units of study in Stages 1 and 2 correspond to the four Themes.
(c)
Stage 1, Semester 2 contains a unit of study in Research Methods, delivered during the Musculoskeletal, Respiratory and Cardiovascular Blocks.
(d)
Students are allocated to and begin work on their MD Projects in Semester 2, Year 1, and finish them by the end of Year 3.
(e)
The MD Project equates to approximately 320 hours of full-time work over the two-year period
(f)
A unit of study in Year 2, semester 2 is devoted to the MD Project
Stage 3
(9)
Stage 3 consists mainly of clinical immersion, supported by lectures and structured tutorials.
(10)
Students are based full-time in their allocated Clinical Schools.
(11)
Year 3 begins in January and ends in December.
(12)
Year 4 begins in March and ends in October-November, depending on individual students progression.
(13)
Between December of Year 3 and March of Year 4, students undertake a compulsory eight-week Elective Term.
(14)
The Stage 3 curriculum comprises eight eight week clinical blocks, the Elective term, Pre-Internship term (PRINT) and MD Project work.
(15)
Students must complete all of these components successfully to graduate.
(16)
Students undertake the eight clinical blocks in four different sequences known as streams. This ensures that students are evenly distributed across the available clinical teaching facilities.
(17)
Students express preferences for one of the four streams and are allocated during Year 2, in anticipation of the commencement of Stage 3.
(18)
Content relating to each of the four Themes is delivered across and within each Core and Specialty Block.
(19)
The eight clinical blocks are as follows:
(a)
Core Blocks:
(i)
Medicine 3 (Year 3)
(ii)
Surgery (Year 3)
(iii)
Medicine 4 (Year 4)
(iv)
Critical Care (Year 4)
(b)
Specialty Blocks:
(i)
Community Medicine (Com) (Year 3)
(ii)
Perinatal and Women’s Health (PWH) (Year 3 or Year 4)
(iii)
Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine (PAAM) (Year 3 or Year 4)
(iv)
Child and Adolescent Health. (CAH) (Year 3 or Year 4)
(20)
The Elective Term consists of either one eight-week placement, or two four-week placements, at approved sites within or outside Australia.
(21)
Most elective term placements are clinical but students may undertake a research placement if they are not simultaneously enrolled in a concurrent research higher degree.
(22)
PRINT is completed after students have completed all Core and Specialty Blocks and Elective Term requirements.
(23)
Three sequential PRINT terms are offered, each of four weeks duration; students must complete one of these to graduate.
(24)
The MD Project must be completed by the end of Year 3, with the MD Project Final Reports examined in Semester 1, Year 4.
(25)
Students in Stage 3 enrol each semester in units of study corresponding to the Core and Specialty Blocks that they will undertake during that semester.
(26)
Students in Year 3 enrol in:
(a)
five clinical blocks (two Core and three Speciality)
(b)
four Themes
(c)
two MD Project units of study, one in each of semester 1 and semester 2.
(27)
Students in Year 4 enrol in:
(a)
three clinical blocks (two Core and one Specialty)
(b)
Elective Term
(c)
PRINT
(d)
four Themes; and
(e)
the MD Project.

6 Assessment

(1)
The Doctor of Medicine is an integrated program and assessment occurs throughout each year, not in the designated University of Sydney Examinations periods.
(2)
Assessment is designed to test:
(a)
content delivered across all four Themes
(b)
clinical skills; and
(c)
knowledge of research methods.
(3)
Details of assessment requirements in each Stage, including the structure, content and overall contribution to Unit of Study results for each examination, are available for enrolled students on the Sydney Medical Program MD Learning Management System (Compass)
(a)
Stage 1
(i)
Three Single Best Answer (SBA) examinations
(ii)
Two practical examinations in Anatomy and one in Pathology
(iii)
Clinical Placement assessments
(iv)
One Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
(v)
Completion of requirements for the first MD Project Milestone
(b)
Stage 2
(i)
Two SBA based examinations
(ii)
Two practical examinations in Anatomy
(iii)
Two practical examinations in Pathology
(iv)
A Population Medicine short written answer examination
(v)
Clinical Placement assessments
(vi)
One OSCE
(vii)
Completion of requirements for the second, third and fourth MD Project Milestones
(c)
Stage 3
(i)
An SBA examination in September of each of Year 3 and Year 4
(ii)
Practice Long Case examinations in the Core Medicine 3 and Medicine 4 Blocks
(iii)
Clinical Placement Assessments in the Core Medicine 3, Medicine 4, Surgery and Critical Care blocks
(iv)
Specialty Block in-term workplace assessments
(v)
Specialty Block in-term examination for each Specialty Block completed
(vi)
Assessment of an Elective Term placement report
(vii)
A summative Long Case viva voce clinical examination in August of Year 4
(viii)
PRINT placement assessment
(ix)
Completion of requirements for the fifth and sixth MD Project Milestones
(x)
Examination of the MD Project Final Report

7 Requirements for Award

(1)
All units of study in the Doctor of Medicine Program are prescribed and must be taken in the Stage of enrolment to which they correspond. They are set out in the Table of Units of Study: Doctor of Medicine
(2)
To qualify for the award of the Doctor of Medicine degree, a candidate must successfully complete 192 credit points across the four years, made up of:
(a)
48 credit points in Stage 1
(b)
48 credit points in Stage 2; and
(c)
96 credit points in Stage 3.

8 Progression rules

All Stages
(1)
Candidates for the Doctor of Medicine degree must enrol in all the prescribed units of study in each Stage and Year of the Doctor of Medicine Program.
(2)
Candidates must pass all Themes and all prescribed units of study in order to progress to the next Stage.
(3)
Candidates who do not meet the attendance requirements of each Stage, as detailed in the Sydney Medical Program Attendance Policy, will need approval by the Co-Directors of the Sydney Medical Program and/or the relevant Examination Committee to be permitted to continue their candidature and/or to take the examinations.
(4)
In accordance with the Sydney Medical Program Statement of Expectations (SoE) and the Sydney Medical Program Professionalism and Satisfactory Progress Local Provisions 2013, candidates for the degree who demonstrate significant or repeated unprofessional behaviour may be required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(5)
Candidates who fail one of the Stage or Year SBA examinations may be offered a supplementary SBA examination by the responsible Examination Committee, taking into account the candidate’s performance level compared to the set passing standard, the candidate’s attendance record, performance in other examinations, past academic history and adherence to the professionalism standards detailed in the Statement of Expectations.
(6)
Candidates who fail the supplementary SBA examination will repeat the applicable Stage or Year in its entirety, unless, in accordance with Part 15 of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014, they are required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(7)
Subject to Clause 10 (Time limits) of the Course Resolutions, candidates may only repeat one of Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 (Year 3) or Stage 3 (Year 4) once.
(8)
Candidates who are required to repeat a Stage or Year must repeat the entire Stage or Year, including all Themes and all prescribed units of study. No credit is given for any unit of study or Theme in the repeat Stage or Year.
(9)
The only exceptions to Clause 8(8) are in relation to the units of study for the Elective Term and the MD Project. If the candidates have met the requirements for these Units of Study as set out in the corresponding unit of study outline, they will be exempt from repeating them. The responsible unit of study Co-ordinator will determine whether the candidate has met the requirements.
Stages 1 and 2
(10)
Candidates must complete both Semester 1 and Semester 2 in the same calendar year in order to progress to the next Stage. This Clause may be waived in exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Co-Directors of the Sydney Medical Program.
(11)
Candidates who withdraw in Semester 2 of Stage 1 or Stage 2 will be required to repeat all of the applicable year subject to Clause 8(9) and Clause 8(10).
(12)
Candidates who achieve a mark of two or more standard errors of measurement below the pass mark in the SBA examinations during Stage 1 or Stage 2 will not be permitted to continue their candidature in that Stage in that academic year. They will be permitted to withdraw and to return the following academic year to repeat the Stage in its entirety.
(13)
Clause 8(12) does not apply to the SBA examination at the end of Foundation Block in Stage 1 unless the candidate has failed to meet the attendance requirements and/or has demonstrated unprofessional behaviour as defined in Clause 8(4).
Stage 3 Years 3 and 4
(14)
Candidates must pass the Core Blocks in each Year of Stage 3 in order to be permitted to take the September SBA examination.
(15)
Candidates in Stage 3 may only fail one of a Core or Specialty Block or the MD Research Project unit of study and be permitted to continue the year.
(16)
Candidates who fail a Core Block will repeat that Core Block in its entirety in the same academic year. The Specialty Block that has been displaced by the repeat Core Block will be completed in the final academic term of Year 4.
(17)
Candidates who fail one Specialty Block in Stage 3 may repeat it in the final academic term of Year 4 if they have not failed any other block, unit of study, Theme, Long Case Examination or SBA examination.
(18)
Candidates who fail a single Specialty Block or the September SBA examination or the Long Case Examination may be granted a replacement or supplementary examination. Eligibility for a replacement or supplementary examination will be determined by the Examination Committee, taking into account the candidate’s performance level compared to the set passing standard, the candidate’s attendance record, performance in other examinations, past academic history and adherence to the professionalism standards detailed in the Statement of Expectations.
(19)
Candidates who are eligible for a supplementary examination will be provided with remediation prior to the supplementary examination.
(20)
Candidates who fail the replacement or supplementary SBA examination or the replacement or supplementary Long Case Examination will repeat the applicable Stage or Year in its entirety, unless, in accordance with Part 15 of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014, they are required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(21)
Candidates who fail two or more of:
(a)
a Core block
(b)
a Specialty Block, or the Specialty Block replacement or supplementary examination
(c)
the September SBA examination, or the replacement or supplementary SBA examination
(d)
a Theme
(e)
the Long Case Examination, or the replacement or supplementary Long Case Examination
(f)
the Elective term
(g)
the MD Research Project unit of study.
Will repeat the applicable Year unless, in accordance with Part 15 of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014, they are required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(22)
Candidates who fail the MD Project unit of study will be required to undertake remediation prior to the end of Year 4.
(23)
Candidates who fail the MD Project remediation will repeat the Year in its entirety, unless, in accordance with Part 15 of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014, they are required to show good cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
Stage 3 Year 3
(24)
Candidates must pass the Year 3 Core Blocks, and the Year 3 September SBA examination or the SBA replacement or supplementary examination, in order to be eligible to take the Elective Term unit of study.
(25)
A repeat Year 3 shall include 40 weeks of clinical placement (five Core and Specialty Blocks, in total, each of eight weeks duration).
Stage 3 Year 4
(26)
Only candidates who have passed all eight Core and Specialty Blocks, the Elective term, all Year 3 and Year 4 SBA examinations, Themes, Units of Study and the MD Research project will be permitted to enrol in the PRINT term.
(27)
Students who fail their PRINT term will repeat it in the next available PRINT term, which may be in the following academic year if a candidate has failed the last of the available PRINT terms in that academic year.
(28)
A repeat Year 4 shall include 36 weeks of clinical placement (four Core and Specialty Blocks, in total, each of eight weeks duration, and a four week PRINT term).

 

9 Medicine weighted average mark (MWAM)

(1)
The MWAM is calculated using the following formula:
       
 
MWAM =
 
sum(Wc x Mc)  
sum(Wc)
Where Wc is the unit of study credit points x the unit weighting and Mc is the mark achieved for the unit. The mark used for units with a grade AF is zero. Only Stage 3 units are used for the purpose of the calculation.
(2)
All Stage 3 units are weighted 1.

 

10 Time Limits

(1)
Subject to sub-clause 10(2), a candidate for the Doctor of Medicine must complete the requirements for the degree within five calendar years.
(2)
The Dean may, in exceptional circumstances, extend the time limit for completing the requirements for the Doctor of Medicine to a maximum of 10 years.

 

11 Credit for previous study

Advanced standing and credit for previous study is not available in this degree, except where approved by the Dean for the purposes of subclause 3(7).