Having settled into the swing of year 1 semester 2, year 2 is in many respects more of the same.
Like year 1 semester 2, year 2 takes a systems-based approach to teaching. Having tackled the musculoskeletal, peripheral nervous and cardiovascular systems in year 1, year 2 semester 1 covers the respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal and endocrine systems, while semester 2 covers the remainder: the reproductive and central nervous systems.
The teaching proceeds as it did in year 1 semester 2, with the anatomical and physiological basis integrated with practical clinical skills and case-based learning. Teaching in the other themes – including ethics, medical law and population health – also continues.
Excitingly, 2 weeks in each semester are dedicated ‘urban/rural weeks’. Each semester half the cohort undertakes ‘urban week’, and the other half ‘rural week’.
‘Urban week’ is a clinical-skills-focused fortnight, covering skills such as breast examination and ophthalmoscopy.
‘Rural week’ is opportunity for most students to be placed for 2 weeks at one of Monash University's associated rural hospitals. Many students greatly value this experience of clinical medicine, and it is often an opportunity to develop hands-on skills.2
Alternatively, based on availability and student preferences, students might, instead of rural week, undertake a prevention science placement, based at the Alfred Hospital in the city and Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, which students interested in those areas may find to be a valuable experience.2
Assessment in year 2 is largely comparable to year 1. Formative written, oral and group assignments, as well as online quizzes, continue.
As in year 1, summative assessment includes online quizzes and 4 written papers (2 at the end of semester 1, and 2 at the end of semester 2).3
The most notable change in assessment is the introduction of the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Rather than the individual practical clinical skills assessments seen in year 1, the OSCE is a format similar to the MMI – with a circuit of stations completed one after the other during the examination period. The OSCE stations could examine any content from clinical skills during the year.
The OSCE is a staple of medical examination, and is used in future year levels, and even beyond medical school.
Studying/tips in year 2
My suggestions for year 1 continue to apply to year 2. Textbooks are probably unnecessary, except for anatomy, and potentially clinical skills. A stethoscope is handy to have this year, particularly for practising clinical skills.
Like year 1, prior to 2019, year 2 was divided into 2 semester-long units: MED2031 and MED2042, and an additional 0-credit-point unit, MED2000, which represented the overall year 1–2 grade. As grades are now reported each year (in MED1200/2200), there is no longer a MED2000 unit. ↩
I realise this kind of sounds like Monash propaganda (‘blink twice if you're under duress!’), so I should balance this out by saying that I elected not to go on rural week, and prevention science was okay but hardly amazing – but many other students did enjoy these more than I did/would have. ↩ ↩2
Prior to 2020, there was an additional written paper known as the ‘vertically integrated assessment’ (VIA), which assessed all content from years 1 and 2. ↩