Transition from and MBBS to and MD – Using innovation and thinking outside the square

Janie Dade Smith, Elizabeth J Edwards, Peter D Jones, Colleen Cheek, Richard Hays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

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There has been a trend globally to move from a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) to a Doctor of Medicine (MD) for primary medical education. This shift has seen many Australian universities change to an MD, mostly from graduate entry programs. This paper describes the novel and unique 3+2 model from one Australian university, that enabled undergraduate entry, student flexibility, and a master’s exit qualification without increasing time.


The method included a curriculum review in 2013 where its problem-based learning curriculum shifted from a seven to a five-semester program; changing the third year to a virtual hospital clinical year using simulation, and introducing in 2016 a new 3+2 curriculum model in the final two years using a 100 point system as a masters level program.


The MD model was described in the external evaluation as ‘novel and innovative’, where students can choose from three project options – a research project, or a professional project or an international capstone experience as well as a number of scholarly tasks. The structure is fully integrated with the existing curriculum and assessment process, supported by an innovative technology platform.


Now in its third year of implementation this innovative model is breaking new ground in the way in which a masters level MD program could be developed, whilst maintaining undergraduate entry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2019


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