University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Doctor of Medicine (2020 enrolment)

Transitional Arrangements

Students commencing the Doctor of Medicine from 2020 enrol in this degree structure and adhere to the Resolutions of the Doctor of Medicine

Students who commenced the Doctor of Medicine prior to 2020 will continue in their original degree structure and the Resolutions of the year of original enrolment.

Academic Year

  • The Sydney Medical Program (SMP) does not follow the usual semester pattern undertaken by other postgraduate courses in Medicine and Health.
  • The Sydney Medical Program is full-time. Students are expected to be available to attend classes or other assigned activities five days per week.
  • The teaching is delivered in eight systems-based blocks in Year 1 and four blocks of 8 weeks in Year 2.
  • In Year 3, there are four blocks of seven weeks, followed by a 14-week research project block. Finally, Year 4 is made up of an eight-week Elective block, three blocks of 8-week extended clinical placement blocks and a final four-week block of clinical or research elective in an agreed specialty.
  • The academic year runs from:
  • Late January to mid-November for Year 1
  • Early February to mid-November for Year 2
  • Late January to mid-December for Year 3
  • Mid-February to end of November for Year 4.

Course Outline

The course outline for each year of study in the Doctor of Medicine is below.

Year 1: Setting the Foundation

Year 1 is made up of eight systems-based blocks:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Musculoskeletal/Immunology
  • Neurosciences
  • Renal
  • Respiratory
  • Sexual Health and Reproduction.

The duration of all the blocks is 4-weeks with the exception of Sexual Health and Reproduction (2 weeks) and Neurosciences (6 weeks).

Students will be based three days a week on the Camperdown campus, one day at their clinical schools, and the remaining day of the week will be a flexible learning day so they can ensure they have completed the online videos for the week.

Year 2: Transition to clinical and research practice

Year 2 is divided into four blocks of 8 weeks each.

The first block is Medicine/ Surgery/Community where students will spend 3 days at their clinical schools in Medicine and Surgery rotations, and one day at various community settings, including a longitudinal placement at a general practice. The remaining one day is reserved as a flexible learning day.

The second block is Back-to-Basics block where students will return to the Camperdown campus for lectures, TBLs, workshops and seminars on topics linking clinical experience with the basic and clinical sciences in various clinically relevant topics. This is based on a life-span approach from paediatrics to aged care.

The third block is Oncology/Haematology/Palliative care followed by another 8- week exposure to Medicine/ Surgery/Community.

Year 3: Clinical Specialty and Research

Students will undertake seven-week rotations in four specialty blocks:

  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Critical Care (Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care and Anaesthetics).
  • Perinatal and Women’s Health
  • Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine.

At the end of the year is a 14-week dedicated time to complete the Doctor of Medicine research project.

Year 4: Preparation for Practice

The first block is an eight-week Elective Term. The next three blocks are extended clinical placements in hospital medical, surgical and general practice settings, each with a duration of eight weeks.

There is a back to university week allowing students to celebrate with their peers the near-completion of the degree. The program concludes with a four-week clinical or research elective in an agreed specialty.

Course Outcomes

The vision, mission and values of the program are:

  • Vision: to develop compassionate, diverse and innovative lifelong learners, who work in partnership with individuals and communities to improve health through clinical care, education and research.
  • Mission: to deliver excellence in medical education and research training. We will provide opportunities for students to develop personalised pathways to develop expertise in their area of choice through the Program. Our graduates will be prepared for collaborative practice to improve the wellbeing of all communities, recognising the specific contexts impacting First Peoples’ health.
  • Values: Integrity, compassion, curiosity and inclusion

The program is committed to producing graduates who can collaborate and are work ready for modern team-based healthcare. It is expected that students will participate along with all other health care professionals in nursing, dentistry, allied health and pharmacy in one of several interprofessional learning activities.

On graduation students will be expected to demonstrate that they are compassionate and innovative lifelong learner, who can work in partnership with individuals and communities to improve health through clinical care, education and research.

In order to achieve this goal, the curriculum is built around eight vertical themes which describe major areas of capability.

They are:

  1. Basic and Clinical Sciences
  2. Clinical Skills
  3. Diagnostics and Therapy
  4. Research, Evidence and Informatics
  5. Population Health
  6. Indigenous Health
  7. Ethics, Law and Professionalism
  8. Interprofessional teamwork.


The Doctor of Medicine is fully accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). As a consequence, our graduates are eligible for provisional registration as interns in any Australian state or territory, and in New Zealand.

Mandatory and voluntary notification requirements

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) in partnership with the Medical Council of New South Wales, implements the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (known as 'the National Law'). This applies to graduates of medical schools in NSW.

All medical students enrolled in Australian medical schools are registered with the Medical Board of Australia in accordance with processes of the AHPRA. Information about student registration can be found on the Medical Board Student Registration website.

AHPRA has developed guidelines under the National Law that provide direction to education providers, about the requirements for mandatory notifications of individual students. Students should make themselves familiar with the Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications on the Medical Board of Australia website. More information about reporting requirements can be found on the Medical Board Student Registration website.