University of Newcastle School of Medicine

February 28, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Established in 1975, the University of Newcastle, School of Medicine, is one of only 8 Australian medical schools that offer students an undergraduate medical degree. Soon after its launch, the University of Newcastle led a significant change in medical education in Australia by introducing problem-based learning, community orientation, early clinical experience, and the addition of personal qualities evaluation to the student selection process.

Its problem-based curricula combined with early clinical skills acquisition starting in the first year of the degree program, offered students a different approach to the study of medicine compared to other Universities that delay clinical experience

GapMedics students on their hospital work experience placement in Tanzania Programs offered

The Bachelor of Medicine Joint Medical Program (JMP) is a joint program by the University of Newcastle at Callaghan and the University of New England at Armidale. Both institutions offer a common curriculum. This exclusive partnership offers medical students a world-class program with plenty of hands-on experience.

The Bachelor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program) provides early and extensive clinical exposure, commencing in the first semester and continuing throughout the medical degree. Extensive community involvement helps medical students to see individual patients in context, so they can be treated as a whole person and in a manner consistent with their physical and social environment.

Through the JMP partnership, medical students at the Newcastle medical school have greater access to a larger range of tutors, clinical experiences, electronic resources and library facilities.

Graduates apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for a one year internship, after which they can then register for medical practice in Australia.

This degree is recognised in the UK and Northern Ireland by the General Medical Council (UK) and in Singapore by the Singapore Medical Council. It is also recognised in New Zealand. Registration in other countries may be possible after passing an examination set by the registration bodies of those countries.


The curriculum of the Bachelor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program) centres on problem-based, self-directed learning where students work in small tutorial groups to analyse clinical problems, and to gain a better understanding of relevant scientific data.

The Joint Medical Program recognises that the best type of learning in medicine is practical learning, and clinical rotations play a significant role in the medicine degree. Clinical experience begins in the first semester and increases throughout the program. Students begin to meet with patients, visit outpatient clinics and hospital wards and spend time with doctors in practice right from the first year. Some of this experience will take place in community settings which helps students see the patient as a whole person and in a manner consistent with their social or physical environment.

Placements are available in large urban hospitals in Newcastle and the Central Coast, regional and rural centres in Moree, Armidale, Taree, the lower Hunter and Tamworth and primary care settings in the Gold Coast, New England and the Upper Hunter. Some students can also undertake general practice placements in other parts of Australia as part of their degree.