MED5101: Applied studies in medical research and professional practice

(AKA “Scholarly intensive placement: SIP”)

Brief Overview

MED5101: Applied studies in medical research and professional practice, forms an integral part of the new Monash University MD degree. In Year 5/D, students will spend 6 weeks full-time in MED5101, working on a scholarly activity gaining in-depth knowledge in a particular area relevant to medicine. Because the focus of MED5101 is on a Scholarly activity, many people have been referring to it as the “Scholarly Intensive Placement (SIP)”. In this website we will use MED5101 and “SIP” interchangeably.

MED5101 Learning objectives

  1. Utilise specialist knowledge and skills to justify the need for a research, teaching or professional practice issue to be investigated or evaluated.
  2. Devise and implement a plan for the placement and identify key outputs
  3. Review, synthesise and critically appraise clinical and scientific literature in a specific area of medical science, education or professional practice
  4. Practice, and demonstrate an understanding of, academic integrity, research integrity and ethical behaviour in the context of medical science and/or delivery of care
  5. Collect and categorise information related to a key question relevant to the community and to medicine
  6. Analyse and summarise information related to a key question relevant to the community and to medicine
  7. Justify approaches to solve a complex problem relevant to their placement
  8. Communicate critical concepts and findings to a professional audience in oral and written formats

What Types of Placements will be Available for MED5101?

The MD degree at Monash is a “Masters Extended” degree. The advantage of the Masters extended degree, is that you have a wide variety of the types of placements that you can become involved in. The common element in all placements, is a focus on scholarly work (ie reading, analyzing and interpreting the literature and writing a report) about a particular area relevant to medicine.

The Scholarly work that can be undertaken during the SIP will be very broad and may include research, education or professional practice placements. For example, placements may require the collection or analysis of clinical research data, a quality, safety or patient satisfaction audit, designing patient information material or generating or assessing clinical education tools. In most cases you will make a small contribution to a much larger project, but in some cases, projects will be fully contained within the 6-week period.

Here is an image with an overview of the types of SIPs that might be available at your School (note that SIP topics are not limited to those shown in this image).

There will be many opportunities to contribute to a research project in the SIPs, but it is important to remember that 6-weeks is a very short time in relation to most research projects.

Medical students who are aiming to be a clinician-researcher, should undertake the BMedSc(Hons) degree, which will give you a full academic year of formal research training under the supervision of an experienced supervisor  BMedSc(Hons) will also qualify you for a post-graduate research degree, either as part of an intercalated, accelerated research pathway (the MD-PhD Pathway ), or as a stand-alone PhD later in your career.

Where can I do my SIP?

SIP placements are available at the Schools and Departments listed below:

Click on each School to find out more about what each School/Dept has to offer for SIPs.

Note that actual SIP topics will not be available until much closer to the start of your SIP rotation.

You will be able to submit preferences for the School where you would like to do your SIP, using the same system, and at the same time, as you submit preferences for your other year 5/D rotations. Click here for more information about submitting preferences.

When and how do I choose a SIP topic?

The types of placements available at each School are available via the links above. Once you have been informed of the School where you will be undertaking your SIP, actual SIP titles and descriptions at your School, will become available before the start of your SIP rotation (2-6 weeks beforehand). Each SIP topic will have at least one supervisor who you will have formal meetings with at the beginning, mid-point and end of your 6-week SIP rotation (as a minimum). Once you know your SIP topic you should email your supervisor to arrange a meeting with them sometime during the first week of your SIP rotation (as early in week 1 as possible).

MED5101 Assessment Overview

Completion of your SIP placement and assessment items will provide you with experiences and skills in relation to audits, educational tool development, or research, that you would not have been formally exposed to in the MBBS(Hons) degree. Most importantly it is an opportunity to learn about a particular medical issue in depth by spending an entire 6-weeks focusing on a single medical issue. Continual learning is a critical component of maintaining up-to-date medical knowledge and this unit will enable you to search out the most up-to-date evidence about your topic, and prepare you with life-time learning skills critical for evidence-based practice.

Assessment of MED5101 is comprised of:

  • Compulsory Online Modules (10%)
  • Student-Supervisor Output Agreement (0%, Hurdle)
  • Scholarly Report (60%, Hurdle, up to 4000 words)
  • Executive Summary (30%, Oral and Written)

Several compulsory online modules will help prepare you for your MED5101 rotation. These modules will be available within the MED5101 Moodle site and should be completed within the first week of your SIP rotation. These modules are worth 10% of your MED5101 grade. There will also be some non-compulsory online modules that will help particular types of SIP activities.

The student-supervisor output agreement is a ‘learning contract’ to ensure you have clear understanding of the background to the topic, the objectives to complete during your 6-week MED5101 Placement, any data that must be returned to your Supervisor and the information that must be included in your MED5101 Scholarly Report.

The Scholarly Report is a written report describing, interpreting and analysing your SIP topic in relation to the published literature in the field.  The exact components of the report will vary with the topic and your supervisor will guide you on the information that should be included in the report. The report should be clear and concise and a maximum of 4000 words in length. If the placement includes collecting and summarizing data (eg audits or research topics) or creating or evaluating (eg educational tools), then that summarized information will reduce the overall word length required in the Scholarly Report.

The Executive Summaries are very concise overviews of the SIP topic and activities you have undertaken during MED5101.

1. A brief oral presentation to either your School, Department, Clinical Unit, Research Group or Supervisor. This oral presentation is worth 10% of your overall Unit Grade.
2. A brief written report (Maximum 250 words), akin to a journal or conference abstract. The written Executive summary is worth 20% of your overall Unit Grade.

We hope that you now have a much clearer overview of what will be required during the MED5101 Unit. If you have any questions, please refer to the list of Frequently Asked Questions is available here.

Also refer to the MED5101 Handbook Entry.

Frequently Asked Questions about the SIP