UQ Medical School student’s clinical rotation at Queen’s

The University of Queensland School of Medicine is considered Australia’s Global Medical School, offering a variety of clinical training opportunities within Australia and around the world. Working in partnership with a dedicated community of scholars, clinicians and stakeholder groups both domestically and internationally, the UQ Medical School promotes excellence in medical education by providing integrated case-based/problem-based training for student doctors.

University of Queensland School of Medicine
UQ Medical School, Herston campus

The MBBS program is 4-year full-time intensive program, and the 4 years are split into Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2), the foundation knowledge and skills years; and Phase 2 (Years 3 and 4), the clinical rotations years.

Recently, OzTREKK had the opportunity to speak with UQ Medical School student Daniel Beamish, who has just completed a clinical rotation at Queen’s University in Ontario. Dan is the International Subcommittee Chair of the University of Queensland Medical Society, and did his clinical rotation elective at the medical school’s International Partner, Queen’s University in Canada, along with fellow UQ Medical School student Richard Ly, who is currently completing a fourth year surgical specialties rotation.

The University of Queensland School of Medicine and Queen’s University have an agreement whereby Queen’s students come to UQ’s clinical schools in Brisbane and UQ students study at Queen’s clinical schools as part of their clinical training. Dr Jenny Schafer, the director of the UQ MBBS program and head of Discipline of Medical Education, says that this agreement is an important part of UQ‘s international partnerships as approximately 80% of UQ medical students undertake at least one clinical placement (Elective or Core) overseas.

Dan finished his Internal Medicine rotation in Brisbane at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital prior to leaving for Canada, and he felt that the Medicine in Society (Stream C) “Geriatrics” rotation in Kingston allowed him to cement the foundations he had put into place in Brisbane.

Stationed at St. Mary’s of the Lake, a hospital that focuses on rehabilitation medicine, Dan began his clinical rotation in Kingston and found that while the patients there have less “acute” issues, there was a great deal of medicine and learning that occurred on the wards.

How did the Canadian hospital differ from the Australian hospital?
It took a perhaps the first week to get used to the new health care system: electronic patient records, filing orders, writing discharge summaries, (and using my pager!) etc.

University of Queensland School of Medicine
UQ’s beautiful campus

What benefits did you gain from your experience?
The residents and attending staff at the hospital were very helpful and made the transition extremely smooth. We were given our own patients and a lot of responsibility, but given all the tools and support to succeed. We were considered invaluable members of the treating team, and did everything from admissions to attending family meetings to discharge planning.

It’s a team-based attitude to rehab medicine and I enjoyed working with the physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, nurses, pharmacy staff, and spiritual care team at St. Mary’s.

There is on-site teaching three times a week at St. Mary’s, as well as many impromptu sessions with senior residents. It was a great environment to be a part of, and I feel better prepared for my future career as a result.

Kingston was also a beautiful town to be in for the summer—lots of outdoor activities like kayaking on Lake Ontario, running along the water, playing beach volleyball or enjoying one of the many restaurants. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity in Kingston.

About International Clinical Schools & Pre-approved Partners

Core rotations can be completed in both international clinical schools in Brunei and the USA, or can be completed with the UQ School of Medicine’s partners in Malaysia or Canada. This is a great opportunity to take your medical degree global and learn various medical techniques from around the world while developing a strong global network. Students who are of good standing may undertake up to two core rotations (or part thereof) at location(s) at an international (or interstate) location.

About Medicine in Society (MIS) Stream “C”

This stream exposes international medical students to clinical practice in communities that face access and equity challenges associated with health service delivery. The key focus of this stream is on the provision of health care to the community. There are currently two subject areas available, which emphasize holistic patient-centred care, and effective collaborative practice:
  • Rehabilitation & Palliative Care
  • Geriatric Medicine
In Week 1 an Orientation session is scheduled to enable students to prepare for their placements. Students are expected to read the recommended essential course materials and familiarize themselves with the placement site. Weeks 2 to 7 consist of the clinical placement. The written examination is scheduled on the Thursday of Week 8.

Pre-approved Locations
“Pre-approved” refers to locations where the UQ Medical School has arranged for specific disciplines to be undertaken and are subject to change from year to year. Applications for these international rotations are competitive and require a formal application.

About the UQ Medical School Program

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Brisbane or Ipswich, Queensland
Semester intake: January
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: The University of Queensland Medical School applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. Applications are still open.


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