Course Title: Clinical Internship

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Clinical Internship

Credit Points: 48.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Tony Zhang

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7758

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.078

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites)


Course Description

COTH2042 Clinical Internship is a one-semester course.  It comprises a capstone experience - a culmination and application of all the knowledge and skills in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine you have learnt within your Program.  You will consolidate, extend and holistically integrate your learning in an internship involving observation and treatment of patients with a variety of clinical conditions in a designated hospital in China.  You will be supervised closely by registered staff. Your learning will focus on applying your knowledge of Chinese and western medicine in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in a hospital setting. You will diagnose and differentiate diseases/disorders of internal medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics, traumatology/tuina and dermatology according to both Chinese and Western medicine. You will formulate appropriate acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine treatment plans. The internship will also consist of (33 hours) lectures and tutorials that focus on common clinical conditions.

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.

You need to complete this course during the second semester of your final year of study, commencing in July and completing in October of the relevant year at the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, China. Tuition fees for the internship are part of the HECS fees when you enrol in this course. You are responsible for travel, travellers’ insurance and living expenses during your stay in China.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the Program Learning Outcomes for BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine) in the following way:

  • PLO 1: Provide specialised health care within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework;
  • PLO 2: Gather clinical information to make accurate differential diagnoses, assessment and management plans and carry out effective treatment;
  • PLO 3: Practice as a competent health care professional in a safe, ethical and legally responsible manner;
  • PLO 4: Demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity in the provision of specialized health care;
  • PLO 5: Communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals);
  • PLO 6: Work independently and in teams, specifically to lead and contribute to inter-professional care partnerships
  • PLO 8: Understand the historical development of the profession, its ethos, organisation and philosophical foundations.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Elicit from patients their  reasons for seeking treatment, respond to their inquiries about Chinese medicine and advise them regarding their health condition and lifestyle
  2. Collect and record diagnostic information and treatment details  which include questioning the patient regarding their medical history, their current symptoms and signs and the results of your physical examination
  3. Explain and justify the formulation of your diagnosis and treatment plan and demonstrate the management of materials for acupuncture, moxibustion and related techniques; and apply and comply with legal and ethical responsibilities as a Chinese medicine practitioner
  4. Demonstrate procedures for the management of a herbal dispensary (including storage, labelling, inventory control and contamination control); and herbal identification, scrutiny  and processing (grinding, dry frying, char frying and honey frying);
  5. Demonstrate hygienic and regulatory compliant procedures involved in the preparation, dispensing and packaging of herbs for a prescription;  and communicate with patients regarding the preparation, administration, cautions and contraindications of herbal prescriptions;  according to legal and ethical responsibilities as a Chinese medicine practitioner and dispenser  
  6. Determine when referral to other health professions is warranted and use reflective practice to evaluate your own diagnoses, treatment approaches and communication skills.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course are designed to engage you actively in the learning process, to aid development of both theoretical knowledge and clinical practice skills. You will be required to complete this course at the Departments of Internal Medicine, Acupuncture, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Dermatology at the Teaching Clinics of the designated Hospital in China. Students will be divided into groups of three and supervised by an experienced clinician in relevant areas. Besides working under supervision at the outpatient clinic, you may also attend the in-patient department weekly for reviewing special cases organised by the Heads of Departments. Weekly specialist lectures will be run from Weeks 2 to 12 of the semester. As a quality assurance measure, you will be required to complete an attendance record (logbook to be provided by RMIT) and complete comprehensive and short case records as outlined in the Case Logbook. Final Clinical Competence assessments will be conducted at the conclusion of the internship. Assessments are designed to require students to demonstrate a critical analysis of the core principles presented in the course.

Teacher Guided Hours: 455 per semester

Learner Directed Hours: 65 per semester 

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. All material to be chosen will be digitally available to students. Lecture material will be delivered via online media. Practice learning activities will be provided in a variety of ways including simulations. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Chinese Medicine library subject guides are available via 

Overview of Assessment

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

A hurdle requirement is necessary in order to demonstrate to the accrediting body that students are competent and are being sufficiently assessed against practice-focussed professional standards throughout the course of their program. Visit for all relevant polices and guidelines set by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Clinical Practicum (HURDLE)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Progressive assessments/ePortfolio

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 3: Acupuncture competency test (HURDLE)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 4: Clinical competency tests (HURDLE)

Weighting 50% (for 4 clinical departments combined)

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6