In partnership with an outstanding team of general practitioner teachers, we make a strong contribution to teaching across Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the MD/MBBS medical programme.  The Discipline also supervises Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students, including general practitioners and other health professionals.

The General Practice placement, Medicine in Society Course and Urban LinCc Project fall under the umbrella of the Primary Care Clinical Unit. 

General Practice placement

The General Practice placement is a six week clinical block undertaken in the third year of the medical program (or the fourth year for students studying at the Ochsner Clinical School in New Orleans). The four components of the placement are:

  • Clinical placements in teaching general practices;
  • Face to face symposia and seminars delivered by the Discipline of General Practice;
  • Weekly small group tutorials; and
  • Electronic learning materials developed and/or curated by the Discipline of General Practice.

The placement is designed to support students to develop their clinical skills and to learn about -

  • The discipline of general practice and general practice as a specialist career;
  • Primary care and its interface with other health services; and
  • A broad spectrum of clinical and ethical presentations which present and/or are managed in general practice.

For more information - 

Administrative Coordinator:  Ms Heather McMaster

Academic Coordinator:  Dr Ben Mitchell

Away Placements in 2019

Information for students applying for a General Practice Placement in Canada in 2019

The Discipline of General Practice (GP) permits up to four Canadian students to undertake their placement in Canada during each placement block (with a limit of nine per semester). In 2019, this opportunity will be available to 18 students which is an increase from 15 in 2018, and 9 years previous to that.  There are a strictly limited number of placements per block. To allow for a fair application process, if more applications are submitted than placements available, all applications will be assessed via a “lottery system”, rather than “first in best dressed”.

Step 1: Registration on the GP Canada Placement (GPC) tracker

A live tracking website will be created for Canadian GP placements and will be updated until the ballot deadlines. While it will be visible to students, it will be maintained by the Faculty Placement Team. The GP Canada (GPC) tracker will record student application status against for each placement block.  Students will only see summary data, not individual student details.

To register, a student will email the Placement Team ( indicating they wish to register for the GPC tracker. All students who register are by default in the “interested group”. If a student has confirmed a placement with a GP, then they must send evidence of that confirmation by the GP to the Placements Team. Once validated, the student’s status will be changed to Confirmed in the tracker by the Placement team.

Canada GP Tracker
  Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4 Block 5 Block 6
Interested 2 1 1 3 1 5
Confirmed 4 3 0 2 3 2
Approved 3 3 0 2 3 0

Step 2: Swaps

The Faculty of Medicine will facilitate an additional swap period for Canadian students interested in GPC. If a student decides to swap (on the basis of evidence in the tracker that one block is oversubscribed), they can register their interest to swap via UQMS using the following link, and at their own risk. Students must swap entire pathways for the year, and not just their GP placement. All swaps are final, and students unsuccessful in the ballot will retain their newly swapped pathway.

The year and block to which a registered student is assigned for the GP placement will be determined from the Placements system by the Placement Team. The block to which a student has been assigned in the GPC tracker will only change when it is changed in Placements. If two students email the Placement Team with a mutually agreeable swap, then that will be enacted within Placements. Applications to swap will not be permitted after 1 October of each year, to ensure all timetables are determined prior to the start of the next year.

Step 3: The Ballot

A ballot for GPC placements will be run 12 weeks before the start of each placement block. No changes to status, or additional registrations, will be allowed in the 24 hours before the ballot. To be eligible for the ballot, the status of the registered application must be “Confirmed”.

If a particular block has three or less confirmed applications, all will be considered by the Discipline for academic approval.  If a particular block has more than three applications, three will be chosen at random for academic approval by the Discipline, and the others will remain in the ballot until the three places have been filled. Students must be aware that final approval will not be given until the ballot is completed, and all necessary requirements (e.g. Student Placement Agreement) have been finalised. Where more than three confirmed in a placement block, it will be important for you as a student to manage your host GP expectations by advising them that confirmation cannot be given until the ballot is run, and all necessary administrative and academic approvals are in place.

Clinical Placement Block

Ballot Date

Block 1

22 October 2018

Block 2

3 December 2018

Block 3

21 January 2019

Block 4

1 April 2019

Block 5

13 May 2019

Block 6

1 July 2019

Step 4: Post hoc placements

If after the Ballot not all places are filled in that block, then any Canadian student who can arrange a confirmed placement in that block within 8 weeks of the start of the placement will be approved, on a first come first served basis. The date and time of submission will be determined from the email message sent to Placement Team by the student that contains the actual information needed to substantiate a status of “Confirmed”. Even where places remain available in a block, no further applications will be considered from 4 weeks of the start of that block, because of the time needed for the approval process.


Status definitions

  1. Interested - (student is considering or actively seeking a GP practice willing to take them on, or negotiations with single GP is underway)
  2. Confirmed – (student has evidence in writing from the GP that they will take the student in that placement block and has lodged their away placement application)
  3. Approved – (student has formal approval from UQ to undertake the confirmed GP placement). A GP placement is not finalised until it has been approved.

Successful applicants must commit to:
Students are able to email in order to obtain a GP Teacher Information Booklet to include with their enquiries to Family Medicine practitioners. 

  • Obtaining a GP Teacher Information Booklet from the UQ Placement Compliance Team to include with their enquiries to Family Medicine practitioners
  • Securing their own placement with a Family Medicine practitioner in Canada. This clinical teacher must not be a close relative, current employer or the personal family practitioner of the student. He or she must be unconditionally registered with the relevant Board. Their practice premises must be appropriately accredited.
  • Attending an orientation session with the  Academic Course Coordinator, Primary Care Clinical Unit, in Brisbane towards the end of the previous placement block before leaving for Canada 
  • Attending all weekly tutorials via video-conference (regardless of time-zone differences)
  • Attending 28 General Practice/Family Medicine placement sessions at the practice selected (each session should be a minimum of 4 hours duration)
  • Personal study of the GP Course Learning Materials provided to all students
  • Completing a log of consultations observed over four sessions during the placement, to assist in Discipline of General Practice evaluation of student clinical exposure
  • Participation in an interview about their placement experiences with the Academic Coordinator on return to Brisbane if requested
  • Returning to Brisbane for end of Semester examinations as scheduled in the assessment week

The Primary Care Clinical Unit will be available via email to address queries from a Family Medicine practitioner considering accepting a student.

Please direct all questions relating to:

To apply please follow the instructions on the Faculty of Medicine webpage.

Away Placements in 2020

In 2020 the Discipline of General Practice will offer up to four places in each placement block for Canadian students to undertake a self-arranged away placement in Canada (with a limit of 18 placements in total over the year). From February 18 2019, we will be taking expressions of interest to indicate which block you would like to take your GP away placement in 2020. We will advise the number of students who have registered interest for each block, for those who would like to consider swapping their preference. Places will be allocated based on the block that each student has preferenced and a ballot will be run if a block is oversubscribed. You will then have 6 weeks to secure a GP placement and provide evidence, to secure your place.


12pm Mon 18 February – 12pm Mon 25 February 2019: submit your expression of interest to

Mon 25 February 2019: Placements team will contact all students who have submitted EOI with the number of students interested in each block and instructions on how to request a swap

Mon 25 February – 12pm Mon 4 March 2019: Period to request block swap

Tues 5 March 2019: Placements team will run a ballot for each block and advise successful students they have 6 weeks to provide evidence of placement

Wed 17 April 2019: Placements team will run second ballot for any blocks where students were previously unable to provide evidence of placement

Students who receive a spot in the ballot and are able to provide evidence that they have secured a placement for that block will need to submit a request for special consideration, to ensure that they are allocated the appropriate block order in 2020.

Medicine in Society

This course is offered to our international student cohort and domestic students who are not able to undertake the Rural and Remote Medicine placement.

It provides a unique opportunity for medical students to understand and experience the rewards, benefits and challenges of clinical practice among population groups and/or in communities that face access and equity challenges associated with health service delivery. Such challenges can be attributed to contextual factors such as: disability, dependency on others, life-limiting illness, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and/or life circumstance. Clinical practice within such a contextual framework requires generalist knowledge, skills and attitudes. The core values underpinning care in these contexts include: the dignity of, empowerment of, respect for, and compassion towards the patient, their caregiver/s and family; advocacy on behalf of the patients, families and their communities and excellence in the provision of care and support. Whilst the context might be different, clinical practice is governed by a number of common parameters such as professional challenges, whole person care and team-based case management. An important focus of this course will be understanding the person who is the patient and how social determinants of health impact on patient health and wellbeing. A second focus will be to encourage students to be reflective and compassionate practitioners. Students will have the opportunity to engage in experiential, contemplative, reflective and narrative learning to deepen their understanding of the core values of medical practice in a tutorial context.

At the core of each student's learning experience will be a structured clinical placement where students will work closely with a clinical preceptor who will guide and support students as they provide health-care in context and continue to develop their general medical skills. A diverse range of clinical placements will be available including geriatric medicine, rehabilitation medicine, palliative care and refugee health in Australia and through Ochsner Clinical School, placements are also available in disadvantaged youth services and developing or disadvantaged communities.

For more information -

Administrative Coordinator:  Kim Wicks

Academic Coordinator:  Dr Michaela Kelly

Urban LinCc

Selected Year 2 medical students have the opportunity to spend a half day for 13 weeks based in general practices in either Semester 1 or 2, in addition to their normal weekly MD learning activities.

This offers them additional patient contact to that provided by limited hospital ward time in a supportive, one-on-one teaching context. In addition, it allows students to experience continuity of patient care; to view the complexities of managing patients with multiple problems in the community; and to develop their clinical skills in history taking, physical examination, management, follow-up and prevention, across the broad range of patient presentations spanning all disciplines.

Underpinning this program is the recognition that much healthcare is conducted outside teaching hospitals, and that this presents an opportunity for more medical education to occur in the community setting.

Students have been enthusiastic about their experiences in the Urban LInCC programme and indicate that it has enhanced their clinical skills and their understanding of their future role as clinicians.

For more information -

Administrative Coordinator:  Jocelyn Selwood

Academic Coordinator:  Dr Margaret Henderson