James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry

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James Cook University
College of Medicine and Dentistry
TypePublic university
Location, ,

The College of Medicine and Dentistry is a constituent body of the James Cook University.


Originally opened as the School of Medicine in February 2000, this was Australia's first new medical school in 25 years and the only medical school in northern Australia.[1] It was the first of a wave of new medical schools that were accredited under the Howard Government that include the University of Western Sydney, Notre Dame, and Griffith University. The original intake was 60 medical students.[2] In 2007, the School announced a significant expansion involving a doubling of physical size under a $30 million building expansion plan. This is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Government, the expansion will enable the University to provide facilities for an extra 50 Commonwealth supported medical students each year - an increase of about 50%.[3] In 2014, the restructure of James Cook University saw the School renamed 'College of Medicine and Dentistry'. The discipline of Pharmacy, formerly associated with the School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, was added to the College.


The Medical School was accredited by the Australian Medical Council in 1999.[4] The medical program aims to produce graduates who can progress to medical practice and to further studies in medical specialties. The course places special emphasis on rural and Indigenous health and tropical medicine.

The course is based at the Townsville Campus for the first three years. Year 4 is split between Townsville and Cairns. In the final two years of the course, most students relocate to other teaching sites such as Cairns, Mackay, and Darwin. During these two years students spend most of their learning time in hospitals and health services.


The dental program is based in Cairns. It is a broad-based program which includes all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

Students receive early exposure to clinical practice, with an increasing proportion of the course dedicated to clinical skills in the later years. The curriculum integrates the basic sciences with dental clinical sciences and preventative oral health strategies. Students will study the first three to four years on the Cairns Campus, and will spend the final year developing their clinical skills on placements in public and private dental clinics across northern Queensland, Northern Territory, and Tasmania, including Mackay, Proserpine, Atherton, and Thursday Island.

The Dental Program is accredited by the Australian Dental Council and the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.


The pharmacy program is a four-year undergraduate degree based in Townsville. Students receive over 600 hours of clinical placement in hospital, community and clinical pharmacy settings. The program took its first intake of students in 1999 [5] after the course was developed in response to workforce shortages in northern Australia. Research facilities for both pharmacy practice and clinical pharmacy, and the pharmaceutical sciences, are available in the facilities in Townsville. The discipline offers a Master of Pharmaceutical Public Health.


  1. ^ "James Cook University School of Medicine" Archived 10 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Parliament of New South Wales, 9 November 2005, accessed 12 January 2009.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Medical training boost for rural North Queensland" Archived 18 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Tony Abbott, Minister for Health and Ageing, 15 December 2005.[dead link]
  3. ^ "$15m boost for medical school" Archived 21 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, James Cook University, 22 March 2007.
  4. ^ "James Cook University School of Medicine" Archived 16 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Australian Medical Council, accessed 12 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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Coordinates: 19°19′39.6″S 146°45′30.9″E / 19.327667°S 146.758583°E / -19.327667; 146.758583