The University of Newcastle School of Medicine, located at the University of Newcastle, is one of only eight medical schools in Australia that offers an undergraduate medical degree, and is the shortest undergraduate medical degree offered at a public university in Australia. The only other shorter course is that offered by Bond University. The first cohort of medical students began in 1978 and the school has educated more Indigenous medical students than any other University in Australia. The University of Newcastle led a major change in medical education in Australia in the late 1970s by introducing Problem-based learning, early clinical skills acquisition, community orientation,and the addition of personal qualities evaluation to the student selection process. A focus on rural medical experience has been in place for many years, and the school now offers its medical program as a partnership with the University of New England, Hunter New England Health and Northern Sydney Central Coast Health. Known as the Joint Medical Program it is the first jointly run medical program in Australia.HistoryThe University of Newcastle's Medical School was established in 1975 as the Faculty of Medicine. Under the steerage of Professor David Maddison (Founding Dean), it very quickly gained an international reputation for excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. Its problem-based curricula coupled with early clinical experience starting in the first year of the degree program, offered students a different approach to the study of medicine compared to other Universities that delay clinical experience.
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