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MD Subject Review


Monash BMedSci/MD III
Hey Fam, decided to write these subject reviews as a couple of things in Pi’s subject review are outdated with the introduction of the new Monash MD course. DEFINITELY still check it out as I don’t think my review will be as nearly as thorough.

Subject Code Name: MED1011 – Medicine 1

Workload: Typically 22-28 contact hrs (varies each week) of lectures, tutorials and PBL combined. 2 site visits during the semester.


For the MD course, assessments for MED1011 and MED1022 are combined.

Hence for the year - 10% Case Commentary Assignment, 8% Mid-Semester Written Test, 15% End of semester Written Test, 8% Competency-Based Assessments (CBA) and Clinical Skills Simulated Encounters (CSSE), HEP Journal (Hurdle).

Recorded Lectures: Yes! Recordings start 5 mins past the hour and end 5 mins to the next hour. Be wary of lecturers talking past over the recording time as it does happen often, though you might only miss the last 2-7 mins of a lecture. Also, if you are allocated for a back to back lecture, you will miss 10 mins of a lecture if lecturer doesn’t pause for the recording to start again. E.g. if I had a 2pm-4pm lecture, the recording will miss from 2:55 to 3:05.

Past Exams Available: Only released 1-2 exams at least 7 years back so not TOO useful as the course has changed significantly. Still suss them out though.

Textbook Recommendation:

Pi’s Textbooks list would most likely be good enough if you have the $$$. Personally, I didn’t use textbooks for sem 1 so I have no clue XD. Could easily find PDFs floating around on the web too.

Lecturers: Various lectures depending on the subject content e.g. biochemistry, cancer, immunology

Year & Semester Completed: Semester 1, 2017


Pi’s comments on high-school- uni transition were pretty good so I won’t say too much about it. However, I will stress do something other than study. It literally does wonders for your mental health and will keep you sane :).

1st year is easy to pass if you put in at least SOME effort. As of 2017, to pass 1st year, one needs to reach at least achieve 50% across year 1 total + Hurdle requirements (attendance and HEP journal). Hence by the time the last exam rolls around in Sem 2, you *technically* will pass if you skip the last exam have a 50% total over year 1 (wouldn't recommend). So don’t kill yourself if you don’t get a HD average as year 1 counts for like ~2% of your final mark for the degree anyway.

Anyway, onto the actual course structure. Like the MBBS, it is again split into 4 themes
  • Theme I: Personal and Professional Development
  • Theme II: Population, Society, Health and Illness
  • Theme III: Foundations of Medicine
  • Theme IV: Clinical Skills

Theme III and Theme IV were probably the most enjoyable themes. The main way Theme IV is delivered is through weekly tutorials. The main skills they teach this sem is injecting, vital signs and history taking. There is a LOT of history taking tutes so by the end of this sem you will be sick of it (though it is a pretty important skill TBH).

Problem Based Learning (PBL) have largely remained unchanged from the MBBS. PBL tuts usually run for 3.5 hrs and are ‘supposed’ to be student-led with tutors overlooking the discussion. PBLs are run by GPs so the tutors are of high standard.

Vertically Enhanced Study Program Approach (VESPA) groups are super helpful study groups run by higher year levels (2nd yrs for 1styr students). Usually run weekly, these groups provide informal teaching to help re-consolidate or even techahead content. These VESPAS were well run and there were 5-6 Vespa’s that ran in the med building between or after lectures. During O-week we got given a list of their FB pages, or even do a simple fb search, so definitely join them as they often post their content notes (FREEE NOTESSSS) after their sessions.

Now to the NEW aspect of the MD course. Throughout the whole of year 1 clinical skills are not assessed via an OSCE but though a CSSE and CBAs.

A CSSE differs from an OSCE in the sense that OSCES runs for 8 mins, whilst a CSSE will run for 12 minutes. However, reading the prompt is a part of the 12 minutes of a CSSE, hence once you begin to read the prompt inside the examining room the 12 minutes will begin. There is 3 mins of feedback at the end of a CSSE so the whole thing lasts for 15 mins.

Personally, a CSSE is a LOT easier than OSCEs due to the fact one has more time, and we get feedback on how to improve which is useful. However, as (I think) we inevitably do OSCEs in 2nd year, we will be less prepared for OSCEs.

Other than CSSEs and the new assessment rubric, nothing else from this unit really differs from the old MBBS.

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Monash BMedSci & MD
This looks awesome MedKid360!
I'm glad somebody is spending their holiday time for useful endeavours.

I'll add my ten cents as well, there is no need to buy textbooks for year 1. The only thing I would recommend is the Netters Flash Cards which will come useful for Med1022 as anatomy is crazy.

Buying a stethoscope is also pretty optional. It only becomes slightly useful during Med1022 and for impressing your family and friends.

Also, if you are interstate, please please please get your accommodation together. The options are Monash Residential Services, Mannix College or renting an apartment independent of the university. I personally would recommend Monash Residential Services but I am biased since I live there.

Overall first year med is pretty intense. There is a lot to get use to but like what MedKid360 said, a large part of the difficulty is determined by yourself so remember C's earn Degrees.

Message me if you have any concerns about on campus living, what to buy or something else and I'll get back to you.


Monash BMedSci/MD III
Subject Code/Name: MED1022 – Medicine 2

Workload: 8 x 1hr lectures + 2 x 1h tutorials + 1 x 3.5hr PBL + 2 x 2hr Prac + 2 site visits


Combined across MED1011 and MED1022

For the year: 5% Rural assignment, 10% Evaluating Popular information(EPI) assignment, 5% Human Lifespan Development(HLSD), 14% Clinical Skills Simulated Encounters (CSSE), 8% Mid-Semester Exam, 15% End of Semester Exam, 2 % Comprehensive Integrated Puzzle (CIP).

Recorded: Yes.

Past Exams: Faculty released 2 past exams both >than 5 years ago.

Textbook Recommendation:

- Pi’s list would be fine

Year & Semester Completed: Semester 2, 2017


Though this unit has less uni contact hrs than MED1011, its steps up the amount of at home study leading to a higher workload overall (mainly to do with anatomy). We finally start learning anatomy in this unit focusing on the upper limb, lower limb, chest and heart.

I was completely lost the first 2 weeks on how to study anatomy. What worked for me was to use the anatomy booklet, received in week 1, and learn each week’s structures BEFORE the anatomy pracs. It is quite useless to try and learn the anatomy during the pracs if you haven’t done any pre-reading as it really requires one to sit down and learn them by themselves. I’d say buying an anatomy textbook is extremely worth it (I used Clinically orientated anatomy by Moore and Dalley), and Netters flash cards are useful for revision on the go. Personally I really enjoyed the anatomy classes and lectures!

Clinical skills tutorials this semester are a lot more interesting, focusing on the musculoskeletal, peripheral neuro and cardiovascular exams and systems review. You start to get the sense you are learning actual medicine as the anatomy and content you learn in lectures are very relevant in clinical Skills tutes.

This semesters CSSE’s are spread throughout the semester and often the test was recently learnt in clinical skills tutes e.g. upper limb MSK, hence by the end of year the only assessments are two CSSEs and a written exam.

This semester introduces epidemiology which is essentially the most dulling tutorial each week (Well for me at least). I didn’t really pay attention during a tutorial, but the content can easily be learnt during SWOTVAC (As was my experience ). The content its self is important as a you learn how to critically analyse and interpret journal studies which is an important skill for a clinician.

Like I said in the previous post, one only needs to achieve a overall 50% year 1 total + meet hurdle requirements (HEP journal + attendance) so unlike previous years the final exam is NOT a hurdle .
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