The future of medical education: UON and UNE’s Joint Medical Program introduces new medicine degree

Published 20 December 2016

As of 2017 the Joint Medical Program (JMP) will be offered as a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD-JMP) qualification over five years.

This is a milestone achievement for the JMP, one which would not have been possible without the strong partnership between the University of Newcastle (UON) and University of New England (UNE), in collaboration with the Central Coast Local Health District and the Hunter New England Local Health District.


Professor Brian Kelly, Dean of Medicine and Head of School, Medicine and Public Health (UON) and Professor Geetha Ranmuthugala, Acting Head of School, Rural Medicine (UNE) are looking forward to the continued development of the JMP, and were keen to note the importance of supporting the partnerships that the program has fostered.

“Our Program’s ability to offer our students an enriched experience across multiple settings reflects the support received from our Local Health Districts, their clinicians who teach our students and the region’s general practitioners.” said Professor Kelly.

The MD-JMP will enable students to undertake the two programs sequentially with the Bachelor of Medical Science undertaken in Years 1 – 3 and the Doctor of Medicine in Years 4 – 5. This pathway will enable students to progress from university-based teaching with structured clinical teaching and experiences, to intermediate clinical experience complemented by structured teaching, and then to more complex immersive clinical experience in preparation for postgraduate training in the workforce.

“Our globally recognised, regionally based, medical program will continue to graduate doctors with a dedication to excellence in all aspects of patient care with the skills and capacity to adapt and respond effectively to new and emerging health needs” Professor Ranmuthugala added.

From 2017 the current Bachelor of Medicine (BMed-JMP) will continue to be offered at both UON and UNE until all current students have completed, or left, the program. Professor Kelly spoke proudly of the current BMed students and the critical role they provided during the accreditation process for the new program.

“We are fortunate that our current cohort of students provided invaluable feedback and insights that have informed the program”.

Upon completion, the MD-JMP will equip graduates with the advanced knowledge, skills and professional attitudes to become highly effective medical practitioners and leaders in the future.

For more information about the new degree, please visit the JMP website