During your training, you are an ambassador for UQ Medicine and your conduct will be on show to preceptors, their clinical and scientific colleagues, patients and members of the general public. To assist you to display the highest possible professional conduct throughout your clinical training, please refer to the information below.

Clinical settings

If you are undertaking your elective placement in hospitals, scientific or other institutions, you will take your place as a junior member of the team in a busy professional world. Hospitals, private practices, medical clinics and scientific institutions all have their own in-house rules relating to dress, courtesy, and other standards.  You are expected to comply with all requirements of the host institution/facility/hospital.

Basic Rules

  • No smoking in the hospital grounds
  • No alcohol
  • No excessive noise
  • Do not congregate in the passageways or other areas where ward traffic may be obstructed


You must not be paid for your service during the elective placement. Whilst on the Elective placement, you are covered (with some qualifications) by The University of Queensland indemnity policy - however this becomes void if you are paid for any component of the placement.

Maintaining professional relationships

In the clinical setting, you should briefly pay respects, daily, to the Clinical Nurse Consultant in charge of any ward in which you may be working.  Similarly, many private practices have Practice Managers who act as co-ordinators for busy interdisciplinary clinical administrative teams.  Part of your training and experience in this Elective will be to see oneself in perspective and take the first steps towards correct personal inter-relationships with all other health professionals. Medicine is traditionally a conservative discipline. It is inappropriate to use first name terms unless and until the more senior members of your team ask you so to do. 

Relationships with patients

Most patients will enjoy having you as part of their extended health team.  Many of you will be going into practices which do not normally have medical students present. Be sensitive to the fact that occasionally your Preceptor may ask you to excuse yourself in certain situations where an individual patient (whether in the public health sector or in a private clinic) is under stress, or if such patients wish for a special one-to-one consultation. The privacy, modesty and dignity of patients are paramount, above all else.  Never, ever examine patients of the opposite sex alone.  Seek the presence of a nurse, a receptionist or another party, independent of the patient, when you are about to undertake such a clinical examination.  Wash your hands before and after examining every patient.


During your clinical elective, you will come into possession of highly confidential clinical information about patients; and come into contact with unpublished scientific data which is the intellectual property of your Preceptors and their teams.  Never discuss the details of any patient, or even that you have seen an individual patient, by name, with anyone not entitled to such information.  Never discuss patient's details with other professional health colleagues, in places (such as lifts or corridors) where there are third parties present.  Clinic records, hospital records, and (in many cases) scientific records in scientific institutions are confidential documents and must not be copied or divulged in any way.  Access to these records is a privilege granted to you by your Preceptor.  Such is one of the great privileges of medicine and of our elective program.

Dress code

Whenever within the hospital grounds students must:

  • be neatly dressed in clean clothing
    • long pants, medium/long skirt, or shorts with shoes and long socks, with professional-style shirt
    • students should be suitably attired to handle patients in various care situations
    • no short skirts, low-cut tops, bare midriffs
  • wear adequate footwear
    • comfortable heel height and either fully closed or sandal style with a heel strap
    • thongs are not acceptable
  • clean white coats may be required
  • your ID card showing your name and year of program must be worn at all times
  • ensure that long hair is firmly secured when bending over to examine patients
  • ensure items of jewellery are simple and unobtrusive

Entry to the hospital may be denied to students who do not meet these requirements. 

These rules are there to acknowledge the rights of sick patients to feel secure in a professional environment where you have the privilege to learn from their problems.