A head start in your medical career!
Throughout the six-year curriculum, training in bioethics, communication skills and professionalism are offered. These are all important attributes of CUHK graduates before they are ready to serve the community as junior doctors.
Foundation Course for Health Sciences I
This course introduces students to the foundation knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology, including cellular processes and the molecular aspects of cells and tissues in the human body. Topics in this course range from introducing the ingredients of life and biomolecules, the mechanisms of membrane transport and cellular transport, cellular events leading to energy production, the cell cycle and its regulation, and cell signalling and its relationship with neurotransmission and drug responses to basic blood components and the biology of blood cells. Selected topics are supplemented with case studies to demonstrate the relevance of these concepts to medical conditions or their applications. They then embark on the journey of Health Sciences II to gain an overview of human physiological functions.
Students will learn the structural organisation of the major organ systems in the human body, and how the different components of each system function intimately to accomplish their roles. The understanding of the subject will be further enhanced with the use of models and plastinated human bodies in laboratory demonstrations.
Foundation Course for Health Sciences II
The human body is organised at multiple levels, with each representing different features of life. At the cellular and molecular levels, one can see how excitable cells such as neurons communicate using electrical voltages created by the movement of electrolytes across cell membranes. The generation of these microvoltages is an important functional basis of various organ systems, such as the nervous and cardiovascular systems. In physiology, one of the primary ions in these electrolytes is the sodium ion, which plays an essential role in determining plasma osmolarity, water balance and even blood pressure. In this course, students are introduced to various aspects of organ-specific human physiology that are essential for understanding how the human body functions. Students learn important concepts in chemical and physical sciences that relate to human cell and organ functions. Selected case studies and e-learning micro-modules are also used to aid students in understanding the relevance of these concepts to medicine.
Offering a broad intellectual perspective of the main public health issues impacting our world, this course introduces students to the discipline of public health. Using the tools of public health to investigate topics like climate change, emerging infectious diseases, the management of non-communicable diseases and pollution, students will debate the challenges faced by health services as they assess various public health options. Students will also learn how to make a professional argument and understand the importance of effective communication with colleagues, the professionals and the general public.
Cells and Tissues
With the use of virtual microscopy, students will learn to recognize the microscopic structure and histological features of human tissues and organs and explore how these features connect to their functions. In addition to the histology of the four basic tissues (epithelial, connective, muscular and nervous), students will also examine the skin and appendages and musculoskeletal tissues (tendons, ligaments, cartilages and bones).
Perspectives of Medicine in Real Life
This course invites students to experience medicine in real life by learning basic life support medicine in the simulation setting, and by studying the history and evolution of Hong Kong’s healthcare system. Students will also come to understand the importance of making full use of the medical library, both to assist their current medical studies and foster the development of their career.
Bioethics and Humanities I
In this course, students will learn the critical thinking skills needed to address ethical questions related to biomedicine. Using insights drawn from fields like history, philosophy, health policy and medicine, students will debate the core ethical principles faced by healthcare workers, including autonomy, beneficence, justice and the theoretical concerns associated with these principles. Focusing on ethical problems arising from clinical practices, public health and research, students will develop new tools to analyse problems, formulate and defend positions using sound arguments, and they will learn to identify, offer and accept constructive criticisms.
University & College General Education
Human Structure I
This course introduces students to the various structures found in the human body, which is the foundation for further studies in medicine. The organisation of organs and tissues in the body, and how they relate to each other, are taught through lectures, histology practical, embryology and human gross dissections. The clinical relevance of anatomical knowledge is demonstrated during the Clinical Skill sessions. Anatomical topics taught includes: thorax and the cardiovascular/respiratory system, abdomen and the digestive system, pelvis/perineum and the urogenital system, and the musculoskeletal system. With the completion of the course, students will be able to describe the organisation and function of various body systems; identify structures in a specific region and its relationship to adjacent structures; and appreciate the importance of anatomical knowledge in clinical examination of various body regions and systems.
Human Function I
This course introduces basic principles of physiological control and drug actions of various body tissues and systems. It is taught through lectures, case discussion, demonstrations, practicals and small group tutorials. The topics covered include: physiology of excitable cells, muscles, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal systems, mechanisms of drug actions and pharmacokinetics, and drug actions on peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular system and gut.
Doctor and Patient I
Students will learn the key building blocks essential in the establishment of a sound doctor-patient relationship and communicating effectively in the community. There are many opportunities for doctor and patient contact from shadowing family doctors, sitting in on clinical consultations as well as visiting a family with a newborn in the hospital and at their home. This immersive course enables understanding of factors such as the socio-economic background and health, health beliefs and practices, social and child-care support; which will help students appreciate various elements that may impact the health prospects of a baby.
Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Students will learn the basic principles of cellular structure, cell division and death, cellular metabolism, molecular genetics and genomics. Students will not only get to know the science behind the biochemical and molecular controls across various cell functions but also review new advances in genomics with the potential development of personalised treatments to patients.
Bioethics and Humanities II
Bioethics inform healthcare policy and guide the relationship between doctors, patients, researchers and their subjects. In this course, students will delve into how society can allocate scarce healthcare resources fairly. They will explore the balance between our collective interest in public health and safety with concerns for individual liberties, especially in relation to the beginning and end of life issues. Students will also examine the professional responsibilities of doctors and researchers, learn to manage conflicts between medical duties and patients’ wishes, and reflect on the ethical implications of technology for medicine. Finally, they will gain the tools to think critically about bioethical issues.
Resilience Building in Professional and Personal Development I
This multi-year course, which is integrated into the curriculum from year 2 onward, is designed to help students develop the resilient personality and openness required to engage with patients in a meaningful way. Students will first learn how to use empathic engagement to establish a sound relationship with patients before being called to reflect on their experiences in order to improve further.
University & College General Education
Human Structure II
Students will examine the anatomy of the head and neck and learn the organisation of the extra-cranial structures before focusing on the central nervous system. After investigating the different regions of the head and neck from their bony components to their associated organ systems, students will examine how blood supply and cranial nerve innervation work. They will also analyse the organisation of the brain and the role of the spinal cord while reviewing the development of the head and central nervous system within the embryo. Featuring numerous practical sessions, the course also makes use of the Dissecting Laboratory.
Human Function II
This course focuses on the physiological function and pharmacological regulation of respiratory, endocrine, reproductive and nervous system as well as the integrated control of various body functions that involve hormonal, neural and immunological mechanisms. The course includes lectures, practicals and small group tutorials. Topics include: respiratory physiology, endocrinology, reproductive physiology, nervous system function, basic immunology and drug actions in pain control, CNS function and inflammation
Doctor and Patient II
The doctor-patient relationship is a core area of medical study. Following from Doctor and Patient I, students will explore the patients’ perspective and doctors’ strategies and challenges in communication and within the consultation as they diagnose and treat patients. Students will witness the bio-psychosocial components involved in the patient narrative and clinical presentations while gaining a new understanding of the importance of communication when delivering patient-centred care as a doctor. Students will also continue to engage with the family and the baby they met in the previous year and insights into the biological, social, psychological and medical context of child health as the child celebrates his first birthday.
Ethics and Society
Building upon what they have learned about ethics and public health over the past two years, students will examine important dilemmas in biomedicine by retracing the history of these issues, understanding key actors shaping how we think about these questions and identifying current trends and latest research impacting these debates. After examining major philosophical issues of bioethics linked to clinical practice and health policy, students will explore issues of public health ethics relevant to Hong Kong before investigating how ethics guide doctors, researchers and administrators involved in medical research projects.
Resilience Building in Professional and Personal Development II
In this course, students are expected to build their reflective capacity and empathy skills to consider the role of doctors across a range of challenging medical situations, including war zones and humanitarian crises, poverty, disability & impairment and life & death studies. By exploring how doctors and healthcare workers connect with communities and society in such critical situations, students will go better understand what is expected of doctors, not only as medical professionals but also as human beings.
University & College General Education
Students will learn about the causes of diseases by analysing the principles behind the pathological changes occurring in various systems across the body. Taught as an intensive course for students about to begin their clinical training, Basic Pathology will equip students with foundation knowledge in anatomical general pathology, microbiology and forensic pathology required in clinical practice.
Clinical Anatomy and Clinical Skills
This intensive 3-week bridging course is organised at the end of Year 3, which serves as a capstone course on pre-clinical education and prepares students for their clinical rotations during clinical studies in Year 4, 5 and 6. It is aimed not only to help students revise their knowledge of anatomy, but also gain a better appreciation of the importance of basic clinical examination skills through meeting real patients and attending radiology sessions.
Anatomical Pathology and Clinical Haematology
Building on course Basic Pathology, students will explore further the mechanisms of laboratory medicine, with an emphasis on genomics and personalised medicine. Using an organ system approach, students will learn the principles and pathogenesis of common diseases, focusing on histopathology and hematology. Students will also learn case management and diagnostic approach for both these disciplines and study laboratory methods used in hospitals.
Students will examine the pathophysiological basis of diseases and associated biochemical changes and learn to investigate and interpret laboratory results in both Chemical Pathology and Clinical Immunology. By analysing how disease presentations and laboratory results correlate with pathophysiology, students will understand the crucial role played by clinical laboratory investigations in the diagnosis and management of diseases. Students will also explore recent developments in laboratory genomic medicine.
Students will investigate the causes of human infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. They will also learn how to diagnose and manage infectious diseases, and acquire how to limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Students will also be trained to prevent infections by employing proper infection control measures.
Junior Surgical Dressership
Students will work in surgical wards across various hospitals to learn how to take a surgical history and perform surgical examinations on patients. They will also train to manage patients suffering from various surgical problems and participate in operative procedures held in actual operating theatres. Using their knowledge of the anatomical, physiological and pathological causes of common diseases and disorders in surgical patients, students will be asked to make reasonable differential diagnoses based on clinical presentations and the results of common diagnostic tests (laboratory and radiological) relevant to these diseases. Students will also propose the outline of management plans for the care of patients with common surgical conditions.
Junior Medical Clerkship
Learning in medical wards in Prince of Wales Hospital and other peripheral hospitals, students will be taught to take histories and examine patients, as well as interpretation of investigations. By critically assessing evidence to make a diagnosis or formulate a list of differential diagnoses, students will learn how to manage patients suffering from different medical problems. Often acting under pressure, they will need to make ethical decisions rationally while communicating effectively - and with compassion – to their patients, medical professionals and other caregivers.
Doctor and Patient III
A continuation of the Doctor and Patient I & II, students will gain additional insights into the biological, social, psychological and medical aspects of child health as the child is now in their second year of life. Learning to appraise the context of child’s health and development within the reality of his family’s conditions, students will gain a better understanding of their role as health professional while developing the skills and attitude needed to deliver care within the community.
Skills Module for Medicine Year 4
This course is a continuation of the teaching of clinical skills in junior years and includes: history taking, assessment of competence in community-based Basic Life Support plus introduction to hospital-based Basic Life Support, insertion of the nasogastric tube, examination of the peripheral vascular system, ophthalmological examination, as well as recognition and documentation of red flags and neurological status in patients.
Selected Study Modules
This module allows students to select a medical research topic of their choice. They will acquire the skills required to conduct scientific research, such as topical analysis, critical analysis and systematic review of scientific literature. This module will span throughout the academic year, thus allowing students to appreciate the importance of life-long, self-directed learning.
Law, Society and Medicine
This course builds upon students’ knowledge in bioethics to explore how law, regulations and ethics impact the practice of medicine. After gaining an understanding of the intricacies of our legal system from the differences between branches of the law to how the court system operates and how laws are developed, students will investigate topics (like the doctor-patient relationship, beginning and end of life care, patient capacity, medical error and negligence and forensic pathology) to learn about the complex set of legal obligations and ethical norms doctors face in the course of their activities. Doctors also play an important role in society that can help prevent crime and tortious infringements as they are sometimes expected to identify victims such as in domestic violence or drug abuse and are often called upon to provide medical opinions. They should be equipped to make informed and balanced decisions and exercise leadership in upholding justice not just within their profession but in the society at large.
Integrated Clinical Communication Skills I
Whether consulting with patients to diagnose diseases or working with colleagues to effectively administer treatments, communication skills are essential for healthcare workers. By using a longitudinal developmental approach spanning preclinical and clinical years, which includes formal teaching, e-learning as well as interactive training such as self-reflective video reviews, skills workshops interwoven within their general medical and specialist rotations to help students develop the skills needed to communicate effectively with different stakeholders.
Community and Family Medicine Module
The integrated approach of this module will help students develop a holistic, patient-centred philosophy of Community and Family Medicine. Implementing the principles and practices of public health, students will learn to use epidemiological methods to prevent and control communicable, non-communicable and occupational diseases. In addition to attending training activities in various family medicine clinics, both private and public across Hong Kong, students will work alongside family medicine doctors and learn to diagnose and manage common medical conditions using a holistic and patient-centred approach to primary care delivery.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) Module
Students will learn to manage and counsel patients suffering from common obstetric and gynaecological problems by completing four clinical rotations in primary care settings. After gaining a better understanding of the course of a normal pregnancy and learning to perform obstetrics examinations, students will participate in the care and delivery of normal pregnancies while learning the common problems and emergencies associated with childbirth and postpartum. In gynaecology, students will learn common gynaecological conditions and neoplasm of the female reproductive tract while training to perform gynaecological examinations and communicate effectively about sexuality and reproduction. An attachment to the O&G unit of a major hospital and to the Family Planning Association completes the module.
Students will gain valuable exposure to paediatrics by participating in a range of activities in the hospital and the community. Learning activities will take place in wards and out-patient clinics of various hospitals, as well as community-based centres and private paediatric clinics, so that students gain a robust foundation in both hospital-based and primary care paediatrics. Activities include history-taking, diagnosing conditions and recommending treatments. As part of the mentorship programme, students will attend interactive teaching covering bioethics and communication.
Investigating the relationship between the psychological, biological and social determinants of psychiatric disorders through a series of attachments with various hospitals, community centres and private clinics, students will acquire the basic practical knowledge to diagnose and manage psychiatric disorders while also studying the organisation of psychiatric services in Hong Kong. After learning how to take a psychiatric history and perform mental status examinations as well as cognitive and neuropsychiatric assessments, students will examine the therapeutic use of psychotropic drugs and how basic principles of psychological interventions intersect with ethical and regulatory constraints linked to mental capacity and consent.
Skills Module for Medicine Year 5
Rotating between Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry and Community & Family Medicine, students will consolidate their skills in history taking and physical examination by meeting patients to gather relevant clinical information and to reach a working diagnosis across these four disciplines.
Bioethics in relation to the practice of paediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology and psychiatry
Healthcare professionals often confront ethical dilemmas that go beyond medical issues. This course introduces clinical ethics and decision at the bedside arising from some special circumstances in the clinical practice of paediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology and psychiatry. Common bioethical challenges include child abuse, patient confidentiality, reproductive right and autonomy, and consent for treatment in psychiatric illness. Students will acquire analytic and critical thinking skills to resolve ethical dilemmas in clinical settings.
Integrated Clinical Communication Skills II
Communication skills are core clinical skills essential for effective diagnosis, management planning and teamwork coordination. This course enhances basic communication skills and extending into managing consultations, breaking bad news and communication skills necessary for the specialties of family medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and psychiatry. Similarly, this will involve self-reflective video reviews, role-play scenarios and skills workshops, in parallel with specialty training in year 5, this course extends and advances consultation skills necessary for clinical practice in hospital and in the community and in dealing with a diverse range of real and simulated clinical scenarios.
Working with the Coordinator of Clinical Electives, each student will arrange an attachment of their choice, preferably abroad, with the objective of broadening their horizons. Although most students will take a clinical elective, this elective can also be a laboratory-based attachment.
Senior Medical Clerkship
Building experience in the diverse reality of practising medicine, students rotate between the medical wards of five hospitals before being assigned to small groups attached towards specialised in Medicine and Therapeutics, Clinical Oncology, and Accident and Emergency Medicine at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Involved in daily clinical activities, students will clerk patients and participate in subspecialty rounds, following both in-patients and outpatients. In addition to shadowing resident mentors as they meet patients, students will learn communication skills ranging from writing patients' scripts and referrals and explaining medical matters to ordinary people to handling complaints and presenting in conferences.
Senior Surgical Dressership
Assigned to small groups, students gain exposure to surgical disciplines by rotating in the outpatient clinics and operating rooms of various hospitals in specialties like Surgery, Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Imaging and Interventional Radiology, and Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Immersed in the daily activities of the mentoring doctors, students attend bedside teaching sessions and experience first-hand the complexity involved in the clinical management of patients.
Skills Modules V
Professionalism is an essential attribute of doctors. Integrated within our medical and surgical modules, Skills Modules V helps students develop the behavioural traits necessary to succeed as a medical professional. Building-up on materials covered in previous years as well as informal "role modelling" embedded throughout the Year 6 curriculum, this module lets students explore first-hand the delicate interplay between various medical values and behaviours. Adopting an integrated teaching approach, the module features short lectures and a diverse range of problems-solving sessions, simulations, group exercises, as well as ethics workshops.
Ethics and Society for Final Year Students
Good doctors are defined not only by their knowledge of medical diseases but by how well they care for people. As globalisation and technology democratise knowledge, patients and society alike increasingly expect their doctors to be guided by strong ethical values and sound moral principles. Featuring discussions with practising doctors and tutors from the Faculty, this course will equip students with a strong sense of the ethical values and the analytical ability needed to think through complex ethical dilemmas clearly, morally and humanely.
Integrated Clinical Communication Skills III
Communication skills are essential to accurately diagnose medical conditions, plan treatment and work with other healthcare workers. Integrated within the rotations in medical and surgical specialties, this course features a wide range of pedagogical methods to replicate the reality experienced by doctors. From delivering news about serious illnesses to their families to communicating effectively as a member or more commonly a leader of a healthcare team, students will be exposed to situations that will help them acquire the communication skills needed to succeed as a medical professional.
3-week Pre-Internship Block
During the Enhanced Pre-Internship Block, students are scheduled to work with interns and clinical teams in their day-to-day duties under the supervision of senior doctors. The Pre-internship training ensures that our students will experience a smooth transition to become a competent intern.