Principles underpinning the Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors.

This Curriculum Framework has the potential to streamline medical education by explicitly stating the competencies expected of a junior medical officer. Many of these will have already been achieved at an undergraduate level but may be further developed during internship. While it is expected that most of the competencies will be mastered by the end of internship, it is anticipated that a trainee will become more proficient and skillful in these competencies in subsequent postgraduate years. While the Curriculum Framework supports education and training in all environments, it does not rely solely on the traditional professional groups or teaching methods for implementation. Rather, its success is dependent upon different health occupations and professions working and learning together using local and innovative teaching methods.

The Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors identifies the educational and training needs of interns and junior medical officers. The following guiding principles have underpinned its development:

  • The widely accepted principles of adult learning form a basis for the Curriculum Framework. Inherent in these is the need for respect of prior learning and experience, a requirement for the provision of clear learning outcomes, regular feedback on performance and the need to provide opportunities for reflection.
  • The contents of the Curriculum Framework reflect the classical learning domains of knowledge, skills and behaviours and identify the required learning within each learning topic.
  • Patient safety and quality health care underpin all education and training and form a core part of the training of interns and junior medical officers.
  • Interns and junior medical officers will know what learning outcomes they are expected to achieve and what education they can expect, irrespective of where the prevocational doctor is training.
  • Supervisors, health services and educators will have a clear picture of what interns and junior medical officers need to know for safe and effective practice.
  • The Curriculum Framework supports continuous and complementary learning from undergraduate training through to prevocational and vocational education and training.

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