University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Medicine

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

DESCRIPTION The study-unit follows completion of the teaching programme offered in Years 3 and 4 ensuring that the programme in basic clinical medicine from an integrated systems perspective has been completed and assessed.

The educational objectives of this study-unit are different from the preceeding study units offered by the Department of Medicine, and also involve transition from a systems-based approach to a holistic one.

Structure of the programme: A. teaching methods, B. assessment.

A. Teaching methods.

1. Classroom-based integrated teaching sessions aimed at discussing and reinforcing basic principles of clinical medicine and at introducing advanced medicine with a multisystem case-based approach. The programme of lecture/seminars is designed to complement hands-on and ongoing clinical experience involving both in-patients and out-patients.
2. Tutorials: aimed at 1.refining communication and examination skills involving real patients. 2. analysis, interpretation of clinical data and discussion of management options based on such data.
3. Clinical attachments with specific consultant physicians.
4. Log-book. The Department of Medicine has a proforma electronic logbook that spans the last three years of the course of studies. It is designed to be a reflective record for the experiences gained in the three years of clinical study. The logbook, is based on learning objectives and expected competences.

B. Assessment

The examination is regulated through two detailed documents that are updated annually: MD Degree Final Examination in Medicine: a protocol for candidates and examiners (version 8: 16.02.2012) and Essential information for the proper conduct of the examination (version 8: 23.05.2012).

The general aim of the summative examination is to test both presence of knowledge and its practical application. The scope of the criterion-referenced examination is to certify competence as well as an academic grading exercise with practical ranking implications. It is specifically designed to test the declared learning outcomes and competences for the Department of Medicine.

This will be supplemented by the synoptic Final Qualifying Clinical Exam which is offered as a separate study-unit.

Study-unit Aims

The raison d’ etre of the programme, at the end of a spiral and integrated curriculum, is one of synthesis and takes into account several body systems concurrently into a complex whole.

The overreaching aim of this particular programme is to prepare students to achieve a level of safety and competence, (in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude) for them to be able to qualify for a first degree in medicine and to legally practice as doctors at Foundation Year 1 level.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. Apply scientifically reliable principles, method and knowledge to the practice of medicine.
2. Access information sources, carry out an appropriate literature search and critically appraise published medical literature.
3. Use information technology including hospital-based electronic sources such as iSoft, PACS and census databases

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. Carry out a consultation with a patient: taking a history, carrying out physical examination, and assessing a patient’s mental state.
2. Make evidence-based clinical judgements and decisions.
3. Communicate with patients effectively and empathically, by providing explanation, advice, reassurance and support.
4. Assess clinical presentations, order and interpret appropriate investigations and make differential diagnoses.
5. Make and negotiate a management plan.
6. Provide immediate care of medical emergencies.
7. Prescribe drugs accurately while being cognizant of the benefits and risks.
8. Carry out basic practical procedures including administration of oxygen, intravenous therapy and blood transfusion.
9. Communicate effectively in a medical context with colleagues, relatives of patients and disabled people.
10. Assess the psychological and social aspects of a patient's illness.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Textbooks as suggested for the whole three-year teaching programme in medicine:

1. Clinical Medicine. Parveen Kumar P & Michael Clark. Saunders. 8th Edition, 2012.
2. Macleod's Clinical Examination. Graham Douglas, Fiona Nicol, Colin Robertson. Churchill Livingstone. 12th Edition, 2009.
3. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. Murray Longmore, Ian Wilkinson, Edward Davidson, Alexander Foulkes, Oxford University Press. 8th Edition, 2010.
4. 100 Cases in Clinical Medicine. P John Rees, James Pattison, Gwyn Williams. Hodder Arnold. 2nd Edition 2007
5. 250 Short Cases in Clinical Medicine. Ragavendra Baliga. Saunders. 4th Edition, 2012.

Online resources:

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Placement

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
MCQ & Examination (3 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Josanne Aquilina
Oscar Aquilina
Martin Balzan
Andrew A. Borg
Jesmar Buttigieg
Mario J. Cachia
Davis James Camilleri
Franco Camilleri
Robert Camilleri
Brendan Caruana Montaldo
Andrew Cassar
James Clark
Pierre Ellul
Emmanuel Farrugia
Anthony Fiorini
Charles Mallia Azzopardi
Carmel P. Mallia
Adrian Mizzi
Stephen Montefort
Tonio Piscopo
James Pocock
Myra Kay Tilney
Josanne Vassallo
Mario John Vassallo
Dino Vella Briffa
Norbert Vella
Robert George Xuereb

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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