IMED4111 Foundations of Medical Practice

24 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
The Medicine and Dentistry course in which this unit is offered is based around six themes of Professional, Leader, Advocate, Clinician, Educator and Scholar. The content for this unit introduces students to the basics of medical practice in each of these themes.

Students cover the introductory concepts of the biomedical sciences of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology and pathology. The teaching progresses through molecules, cells and tissues to organs with introduction to gross anatomy, histology, cell structure and function. The generic concepts of physiology, principles of pathology and concepts of pharmacogenetics and pharmacokinetics are also covered. There is an introduction to embryology, cell differentiation and development and growth of tissues.

Students are also introduced to epidemiological, social, and behavioural sciences including the learning of communication skills within medical practice and an introduction to medical consultation and history-taking. The concepts of epidemiology, medical research and evidence-based practice is introduced along with the opportunity to discuss the main issues in social determinants of health, global health, mental health, healthcare systems and health economics. Students have opportunities to develop their information literacy skills as applied to medicine. Introduction to professional aspects of medical practice includes professional behaviours, medical law and ethics, leadership and teamwork, collaborative practice, educational theory and practice, diversity within medicine, and Aboriginal health.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate professional behaviour and self care principles, define some bioethical and medicolegal issues; (2) discuss leadership, collaborative practice and health systems; (3) explain historical and socio-cultural factors on Aboriginal health care, understand the principles of health advocacy, describe factors contributing to health disparities and describe some strategies for health maintenance and promotion; (4) demonstrate generic knowledge of relevant normal and abnormal structure, function, behaviour and development, knowledge of epidemiological concepts, elements of the patient interview and communication skills, perform some procedural skills, explain the use of some therapies, recognise the elements of quality health care; (5) identify principles of learning, mentoring and patient education, apply adult learning educational principles; and (6) have a basic understanding of research, biostatistics, evidence-based practice and demonstrate ability to access, evaluate and organise a range of information resources. The learning is through lectures, seminars, laboratories, online resources, small group tutorials, clinical experiences with simulations and in real clinical environments, and case enhanced learning.
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) written examinations; (2) assignments and clinical skills assessment; and (3) professional behaviour and attendance assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the written examinations, assignments and clinical skills assessment, and professional behaviour and attendance assessment components.

Supplementary assessment is available for those students who obtain a mark of 45 to 49 inclusive in this unit and the professional behaviour assessment meets exceptions.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Helena Iredell
Unit rules
Approved quota: 240—domestic (210) and international (30)
An acceptable rating is required in the professional behaviour and attendance component to pass the unit.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.