The Flinders Medical School was the first in Australia to develop a 4 year Doctor of Medicine as an alternative to traditional 5-6 year courses for school leavers. This was an opportunity to rethink curriculum design and the way in which students are selected. Now about 17 years later, the majority of Medical School places in Australia are graduate-entry and as the Australian Medical Council noted in renewing the Flinders Medical School's accreditation recently: "The curriculum is nationally and internationally recognised and has been adopted by other schools in Australia".
"Tradition" at Flinders involves building on the strengths of our widely-adopted curriculum via continued review and innovation to create or capture the best new ideas in medical education.
Some features of Medicine at Flinders include:
- A co-operative/collaborative learning environment with a strong emphasis on team work. This is underpinned by the moderate size of the School, selection of a talented, motivated student group with varied prior experience, learning in small groups and a supportive Faculty.
- A strong focus on developing hands-on clinical skills from Week 1 of the program. From the outset, students build clinical skills with clinical tutors, using the resources of the clinical skills and simulation laboratories and through patient contact.
- Integration of clinical medicine with a strong underpinning of the relevant biomedical science. This is facilitated by the problem-based format of Years 1 and 2 but also the physical co-location of basic science Faculty and research laboratories with the clinical activities of Flinders Medical Centre.
- Options for gaining clinical experience in varied settings, including hands-on involvement in patient care. Students in Years 3 and 4 can select from a large range of clinical experiences - from traditional rotations in big city hospitals, through single rotations or year-long involvement in health care delivery in outer urban, rural or remote communities, to electives almost anywhere in the world.