Guidelines for the education of students

Teaching methods and activities to be employed with the student

Teaching should be based on the university curriculum and other perceived needs that arise during supervision. It should include a range of methods such as:

  • direct observation
  • discussions on clinical problems and interesting cases
  • joint consultations
  • formal teaching on specific topics
  • demonstrations
  • participation in clinical procedures
  • selected or random case analysis.

Sometimes, small group discussions with other members of the practice might be employed.

The student’s overall education should be discussed as well as perceptions of clinical strengths and weaknesses and consulting, counselling and communication skills.

The student needs to understand the practice protocols, administration and other important features. Discussions with the student should be based on the principles of constructive feedback. This will include frank discussion on progress to date and possible variation of the supervision to meet needs as they arise. The following guidelines apply in relation to the education of medical students in general practice:

  1. The supervisor should assist the student to understand the requirements for the term
  2. The supervisor should provide direct observation sessions whenever possible
  3. The supervisor should provide planned education as outlined by the university. These sessions should be at an appropriate level considering the student’s knowledge and experience. The student may prepare them.


Guidelines for the Supervision of Medical Students in General Practice (PDF 651 KB) is designed for use by general practitioners and the primary care team to assess their suitability and capability to take on the responsibility for supervising medical students and prevocational doctors.

Teaching medical students - Tips from the frontline an article by Dr James Best uses a case study to illustrate key aspects of supervising medical students in general practice.

Trainees in the Practice: practical issues an article that describes the key aspects of patient and financial management when trainees are present in the practice and suggests solutions to potential issues.

Practice teaching tips for busy clinicians from a series of articles originally published in the Medical Journal of Australia. These also include hospital training, but the principles apply to supervision in the general practice setting. Each topic focuses on how the clinical environment provides enormous opportunities for effective experiential learning.


For further enquires about these resources or supervision of medical students:

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 international +61 (3) 8699 0300