Final year placements in palliative care in Bendigo

Female patient lying in hospital bed with her hand in student's hand

 Male student

Undertake a final year placement in palliative medicine in Bendigo with the School of Rural Health and Bendigo Health.

Rotation: Palliative Medicine
Where: Bendigo Health


The palliative care team at Bendigo Health consists of two staff specialists, a registrar, and a resident. As a final year pre-intern student you will be an integral part of the team and perform many of the roles and functions of the resident, but with greater degrees of supervision.

Learning opportunities

The department runs an active teaching program for undergraduates, junior doctors, registrars and consultants that includes:

  • weekly Grand Round
  • weekly tutorials with staff physician
  • daily ward rounds / bedside teaching
  • fortnightlyJournal Club
  • M&M meetings
  • multidisciplinary meetings

There are also separate teaching programs for students through Monash and for residents and registrars in the hospital.

Pre-internship position

Palliative Medicine demonstrates the value of whole patient assessment and the value of the multidisciplinary team. In our death denying culture it is important to see that: 

  • people die
  • this is ‘normal’, even if it might be sad or untimely
  • there is much to be done even when a patient has an incurable illness, to improve their situation and quality of life
  • there is skill and clinical judgement in knowing what can and should be done: “Cure occasionally, relieve often, comfort always”.

As a final year student you will be based in the hospice which houses the inpatient palliative care beds and partake in the day to day work of the unit under supervision and encouragement of the whole team.

There will be opportunity to experience the other areas of work with the community team, the consultancy team (within the Health Care Group and within the region) and in outpatients.  You will learn the definitions of palliative care, how to manage pain, manage neuropsychological symptoms such as agitation and confusion, manage other symptoms such as dyspnoea and nausea, have an introduction to the ethics and law, experience the patient/family/non-clinical caregivers perspectives and learn exceptional clinical communication skills.

Final year students in palliative medicine will be expected to: 

  • learn that death is part of life
  • learn good symptom assessment
  • learn basic symptom management with familiarity of commonly used medication and  modalities
  • appreciate the value of the multidisciplinary team.