James Cook University Medical School

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When it was launched in February 2000, the James Cook University medical school was the only medical school in northern Australia. Accredited by the Australian Medical council, the JCU medical school offers a 6-year undergraduate degree in medicine and surgery. The Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program is the only full medical course in northern Australia. Students who are accepted into the program are based in Townsville for the first 3 years. During years 4, 5 and 6, which are entirely devoted to clinical practice, the majority of students are required to relocate to other School of Medicine teaching sites in Darwin, Cairns and Mackay for the entire remaining duration. In years 5 and 6, students spend most of their learning time in hospitals and health services.

The Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery is a comprehensive degree program that blends integrated education in biomedical and social sciences, clinical medicine and professional practice in a tropical context.

The Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery Honours is a research program that provides training in research skills and runs parallel to the final two years of the MBBS course. Students undertake their own independent project under the supervision of academic and research staff, resulting in completion of a thesis, which accounts for the greater majority of the assessment mark. Other assessable components include an oral presentation of the work and a literature review.

The aim of the Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery program is to produce graduates of the highest academic standards who can progress to medical practice and to more advanced studies in medical specialties. The program places special emphasis on tropical medicine and rural and Indigenous health.

JCU medical course has a unique place among Australian medical schools. The course is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

A Unique Learning Environment

Located in northern Queensland, the James Cook University medical school offers a unique learning setting with a curriculum that relates to the region’s rural surrounds, tropical climate and large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Students graduate from JCU with skills and knowledge in:

  • Tropical medicine
  • Medical care in rural hospital and community settings
  • Remote delivery of medicine
  • The distinctive medical needs of North Queensland’s tropical populations
  • Medical facilities and unique medical experiences in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Medical students at James Cook University medical school gain early exposure and experience in tropical health care, while benefiting from a full course of medical education and training and extensive clinical experience. The program attracts students, clinicians and staff with an ambition to make a difference, whatever their background, specialty or career direction. Students benefit from modern facilities, small group teaching and extensive clinical training.

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