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Fourth year teaching, MBChB, Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice

This page is about the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice contribution to the University of Otago medical degree.

Learn more about the University of Otago medical degree

General Practice is taught in conjunction with Public Health – each discipline taking primary responsibility for 5 weeks of the combined 10 week module. This involves clinical tutors in the community, as well as tutors from a number of different disciplines within the School.

The curriculum is similar to that covered in Christchurch and Dunedin Medical Schools, although the structure of the individual courses is different.

The most important component of General Practice is the consultation . As Franz Kafka observed: "to prescribe pills is easy but to reach an understanding with people is very hard." Students work in small groups with an actor and experienced clinical tutor to develop their consultation skills and this is also one of the key assessed areas in the program.

Management of long term conditions is taught using the Chronic care model and student are asked to interview a patient living with long term conditions in the community and present their perspectives to the group.

End of life care is another important strand of the program with input from the hospital based palliative care team, the local hospice and patients at end of life.

Substance abuse issues are specifically addressed in this module, all student attend either a AA or NA meeting as well as tutorials in the Department.

There are clinical sessions with patients in the community, through general practices, the Accident and Urgent Medical Centre and Community Nursing.

Other areas of importance for Primary care and Public Health are taught in small group tutorials.

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