Here is the Elective Database produced by students to give you tips on applying and organising your clinical elective. Many of the following guides are incomplete and are written and curated by students.
Click on each of the entries to read more, and click here to contribute to the database!
Name of elective host institution
Country of Elective
Name of Hospital/Clinic/Facility
Elective Start Date
Elective End Date
How did you arrange this elective?
URL to elective institution/application and contact details
Name of elective agency (e.g. Work the World) - if applicable
Tips on how to apply
How would you rate your elective experience overall?
Please give a summary of your overall elective experience
Languages spoken at elective placement
What aspects of your elective did you enjoy the most?
What aspects of the elective did you enjoy the least?
What should you bring for this elective?
Would you recommend this elective to future students?
If not, why not?
Tips for future students
Did your elective charge an application fee/donation?
If your elective charged fees/donation, how much did you pay?
What was the total cost of your elective including elective fees, flights, accommodation and insurance?
Please provide a breakdown of costs (optional)
Did you receive a scholarship or bursary for your elective?
If you received a scholarship/bursary, please select the relevant box
Did you receive an OS-HELP loan for your elective?
Did you receive a loan or grant from a bank or financial institution for your elective? (Optional)
If you received a loan or grant, please tick the relevant boxes
Did you travel to another destination prior to, or after, your elective
If yes, which destinations did you go to?
Please place any tips on vacations opportunities whilst on elective
Did you complete your elective at another placement?
|25/02/2018 16:56:15||Elaine||Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital||China||Hangzhou||N/A||Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://www.srrsh-english.com/International-Electives/elective-application.html||Can apply in English or Chinese - the admin workers speak both languages.||7||Was a good experience. Most patients do not speak English, so it's best if you know some Mandarin if you want to take a history/examine the patient. Limited procedural opportunities.|
Best to know some medical terms in Mandarin-- they do translate for you, but not in great detail.
|Mandarin, some English||Very nice staff, wide variety of patients, exposure to the culture||Limited English spoken at the hospital||Visa (very important for China)||Yes||- If you want to access Facebook, Gmail etc. make sure you download a VPN and set it up before going to China.|
- Baidu, Alipay, and Wechat are essential apps for China.
- Baidu maps is useful for figuring out how to transport around China
- Best to set up a bank account if you're there for more than a couple of weeks-- Bank of China is the one I used, they just need your passport and your Chinese phone number (you can get this at a China Mobile or any other mobile store)
- At Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, they will lend you a white doctor coat and swipe card. These need to be returned at the end of your placement. The swipe card is also a meal card - cafeteria food is very cheap, usually less than $2 AUD per tray.
Accommodation ~$1500 (for 4.5 weeks)
|No||No||No||No||Went travelling on the weekends of my elective.|
Shanghai is ~1hr away from Hangzhou by high speed rail, tickets are not too expensive (approx $16 AUD one way). Trains come very often too, once per hour.
Other cities are also very close to Hangzhou and can be reached by train, e.g. Suzhou.
|26/02/2018 17:37:49||Ryan||Cho Ray Hospital||Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City||N/A||Tropical Disease & Emergency||25/12/2017||19/01/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||URL: http://choray.vn/TTChiDaoTuyen/Default.aspx?tabid=135&ID=4085|
Email: [email protected]
|Send them an email - they take applications up to 3 months before (would recommend sending it about 4-5 months before to make sure all the paperwork gets completed)||9||2 weeks in Tropical Diseases (TD) followed by 2 weeks in Emergency Department (ED). The Tropical Diseases Department is a really friendly place, and they have a lot of younger doctors who can speak relatively good English which means that they can teach and explain a bit. You will see a lot of conditions which you will almost never see in Australia like malaria and dengue. Days start at 8am and you are only expected to be there in the morning, which finishes at 11am (most of the time you will be done by 10am). Most patients only speak Vietnamese, but more often than not there are other Australian elective students who can speak Vietnamese. |
ED is very different to Australia with a much higher flow of patients. ED doctors are more shy about speaking English, but there are one or two who are very enthusiastic about teaching and practising their English. Morning shifts are from 8am-2pm, but you can leave at any time you want. Cho Ray Hospital is the biggest trauma centre, so you will see a lot of motor vehicle and construction accidents. Good chance to practice sutures. There will be a few confronting issues like the minimal use of pain relief and sedation, but patients tough it out pretty well. Overall, a good experience with a lot of time to explore Vietnam and enjoy the culture.
|Vietnamese, English (limited)||Interesting cases and conditions, short days, really nice and approachable doctors (especially in Tropical Diseases Department), decent teaching. Good chance to practice suturing in ED and see lots of common cases as well. Different approaches to diagnosing diseases.||Wearing the white coat - not nice when it gets more humid, but air con helps. Sometimes doctors in ED are very busy, but in general, mornings are a good time to learn.||Stethoscope, lab coat (hospital does provide for loan), clinical dress, laptop, enthusiasm 🙂||Yes||Tropical Diseases Department asks everyone to do a case presentation (in English). They are pretty chill about it, but bring your laptop (internet is generally faster in Vietnam than Australia - personal experience).|
ED is a different but very good experience. Other medical students said that they enjoyed their surgical and anesthesiology terms as well (I think they got pretty hands on with it).
|Yes||AUD$450-500 (costs 2,000,000 VND / week)||Approx. AUD$4500||All approximate values: |
Application fee - AUD$500
Flight - AUD$1000
Accomodation - AUD$1500
Food, travel, spending - $1500
|Yes||WAMSS (Financial hardship) Scholarship, Bank of Queensland - FutureFocus||No||No||Yes||Central Vietnam - Da Lat, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hue, |
South Vietnam & Mekong Delta
|Would recommend Da Nang - nice beaches, temples, amusement parks. You can fly there from Ho Chi Minh City and explore the surrounding area as well (easily can go to Hue for a day trip). |
Da Lat is also nice, but can only get there by driving / bus. Nice mountainous area with a really beautiful climate, but there isn't a tonne of things to do.
|28/02/2018 16:02:04||Rachael||University of Glasgow||Scotland||Glasgow||Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre||Oncology (+ small amount of palliative care)||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/medicine/mus/visitingelectives/||Need to apply early (at least 8-10 months in advance) as it is very popular||10||I had an amazing time. Spent time with all of the different tumour teams in clinics/on wards/treatment areas. Also spent a day in a hospice with palliative care team. Everyone was very friendly and very keen to teach and involve you||English||Clinics (particularly lung cancer, lymphoma, and urological cancers). Being at hospice with palliative care team||None!||Usual clothes you’d wear to hospital (NHS has very strict bare below elbows policy), stethoscope||Yes||Nobody expects you to be an oncology expert, so don’t worry if you know nothing. They’re just happy if you’re interested. They’re happy to let you leave early/take Fridays off to go exploring||Yes||£100||~$4000||Return flights ~$2500|
Accomodation in Glasgow ~$900
Living costs/enjoying myself ~$1000
|No||No||No||Yes||Explored Scotland, Amsterdam, London||Really easy to explore rest of Scotland/UK and Europe||No|
|28/02/2018 21:00:58||Rebecca||Work the World||Tanzania||Dar Es Salaam||Amana||O&G||18/12/2018||29/12/2018||I arranged my elective through an elective agency (e.g. Work the World)||https://www.worktheworld.com.au/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhPvcj9HI2QIVXgoqCh2fuwEfEAAYASAAEgLYD_D_BwE||Work the World||Simple application, pay the deposit and they will have a timeline of when information is due and they will contact you plenty of times||8||I spent 2 weeks in O&G, it was amazing experience with everyone being very friendly and willing to get me involved. It really makes you appreciate how good how health care system is in Australia.||English and Swahili||Hands on experience and being able to deliver babies.||It could feel very isolating when everyone was speaking Swahili and all I could do was introduce myself. The standards at the hospital, in terms of patient privacy and consent and the general state of the hospital was confronting.||Scrubs, gloves, sanitising gel, disposable aprons, donations||Yes||It was an amazing experience, you just have to go in with an open mind and realise that it is not going to be what you are used to back home.||Yes||$3,790||~$6,500||The cost for work the world includes accomodation and meals on most days.||No||Yes||No||No||There was the opportunity to go on safari, but I missed out because there wasn't much popularity at the time because it was at christmas time. There is also the opportunity to go across to Zanzibar, with the project coordinator knowing a person over there, who will take good care of you||Yes|
|04/03/2018 15:16:33||Thisuri||Northern Provincial Hospital||Vanuatu||Luganville, Santo||N/A||ED, internal med, O&G||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||https://www.electives.net/hospital/3990/preview||Need to send multiple emails AND phone calls. Apply early and be patient, they are very slow to respond ("island time").||8||Exciting experience in an under-resourced community. NPH has plenty of opportunities for procedural skills and assessing patients by yourself in ED, good ward round teaching from clinicians and a range of patient cases including non-communicable and infectious diseases. Unfortunately, NPH no longer allows medical students to do deliveries so O&G was a bit disappointing. Most patients know at least a little English so communication was not a huge problem. All the staff speak fluent English and medical notes are in English.|
There were a lot of elective students at NPH while we were there, probably too many for such a small hospital. This meant ward rounds could get absurdly big so more difficult for learning (>5 students for ward round of 6 patients at times). Also meant students couldn't do the speciality they wanted for the whole time because we had to share around hospital wards between the students. On the other hand having heaps of students is awesome for organising group trips and hanging out!
Most days we spent 3-5 hours at the hospital and had afternoons to explore Santo. Easy to get around on foot/by taxi/ mini bus for resorts, beaches and snorkelling spots. Also good diving, hikes and weekend trips along the coast or to the smaller islands
|English, French, Bislama||Emergency- assessing patients, seeing a range of cases from resuscitations to minor ailments. Also enjoyed exploring Santo! |
Staying at Hibiscus Motel- this is the best place which was mostly full of medical students from all around while we were there. It has everything you need- wifi, hot water (temperamental), kitchenette (might want to bring spare chopping board, bowls, tea towels, storage containers), small fridge and freezer. The lady who runs it is wonderful, does your laundry once per week and will organise any sight seeing trips you want to do 🙂
|Insects! There is Malaria (though apparently rare) and dengue. We didn't see any cases while at the hospital but there was a dengue outbreak after we left. Bring lots of insect repellant. Also be prepared for spiders, cockroaches etc||Insect repellant|
Scrubs (you can borrow from the hospital accommodation), also ok to wear long skirts/shorts with light tops for girls and shorts with short-sleeved shirts for boys.
Good shoes for hospital- sneakers/ birkenstocks are fine. The walk to the hospital is uphill and it often rains.
Umbrella/ rain jacket
Hat, lots of sunscreen
Bathers and extra towels
|Yes||Contact NPH really really early- emails and phone. We paid ~$350 elective fee to the hospital before we went. |
Book accommodation early- Hibiscus motel booked out and some students couldn't get in this year.
|Yes||$350||$3000||Accommodation-$350 (Hibiscus was 2000 vatu per night per room, up to 3 people in a room)|
Flights-$1400 (including weekend stopver in Vila and ~3 days in Sydney)
Food not too expensive- fresh produce at the market and butcher is cheap, imported stuff at the supermarket is more pricey, eating out is similar to Perth prices.
|Yes||PF Sobotka||No||No||Yes||Port vila, Sydney||Port vila is worth going to do, but 1-2 days is more than enough. Activities are similar to what's available in Santo and perhaps not as good (snorkelling, diving, hiking). Over the weekend, markets/shops/ most foreign exchange places in Port vila are closed after lunchtime Saturday so factor that into your plans.|
In Santo itself, heaps of snorkelling, diving, beaches, cool nature-y things to do- very easy to organise once you are there. Not a lot of forward planning needed.
|05/03/2018 21:36:17||Gemma||University of Dundee||Scotland||Dundee||Ninewells Hospital||Infectious Disease||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||Dundee.ac.uk||Pretty straightforward instructions, just follow them. Staff are pretty helpful with email enquiries but sometimes take a while to reply.||7||Ninewells is a tertiary teaching hospital in a rich country (UK) and I was on a ward-based placement so the experience was very similar to being on the wards in Australia. The hospital is run almost identically to the hospitals at home in Aus. I was attached to the Infectious Disease team and got a good mix of teaching/consultant ward rounds, normal ward rounds, ward jobs, clinic and free time. I was basically allowed to go and do whatever interested me (going to theatre with ID patients, seeing TTEs etc). Also saw a fecal transplant which was fairly revolting but medically extremely interesting. The hospital generally is used to having students around so most departments are very accommodating if you want to observe stuff.||English||Freedom to go and do things I thought were interesting (theatre with ID patients etc). Fecal transplant was awesome.||Got stuck doing ward jobs a lot of the time which is good practice for intern year but not very medically interesting. There were a LOT of other students on the team at the time I was there (from Uni of Dundee med school - 4 4th years and 3 5th years) which made ward rounds pretty crowded and competition for patients fierce.||Normal clinical clothes and equipment (ie. steth). The hospital will organise accommodation for you at the nurses quarters which is attached to the hospital, very convenient. They are very strict on bare below the elbows so pack short sleeved tops. Cold weather gear normal for the UK. You can buy anything you forget or don’t bring so don’t worry too much. The accommodation was very basic so we all went to Tesco the first day to buy pillows and blankets to make our stay a bit more comfortable. Bring a towel or buy one when you arrive. Ladies, try to get clothes with pockets - no women here carry bags round the wards and I don’t know how. I just carried my tiny handbag anyway but got some funny looks.||Yes||Take good note of the differences in antibiotic prescribing practices between Aus and UK - this was one of the things I found most interesting! Know about sepsis. All of the consultants give good teaching so don’t miss consultant ward rounds. There will be lots of other students there from Uni of Dundee but I was kind of treated as special because I was on elective? Like got to go to morning briefing and stuff which the other students didn’t. Because it’s a teaching hospital with millions of students, there is often teaching on - ask the 5th year students and the FY1 (intern) doctors when their teaching is.||Yes||£200||Around $3500||Flights $1750, accommodation £250 for 5 weeks, insurance around $150, food and other stuff maybe $1000? I have a British passport so didn’t need a visa, apparently this was v expensive, others can tell you more about this.||No||Yes||No||Yes||London and visiting family in other parts of Scotland||Dundee is kind of in the middle of Scotland so not a bad base for sightseeing around the highlands.||No|
|05/03/2018 22:03:05||Natasha||Albany Regional Hospital||Australia||Albany||N/A||Surgery||18/12/2017||28/01/2018||I applied to the Rural Clinical School (Rural WA electives only)||10||Was treated like an intern. Got to see any patient in the whole hospital that I wanted, got to go spend a lot of time in ED, clerk patients, learnt periop considerations (fluid balance, common intern calls from nurses, constipation, pain management). Scrubbed on almost every surgery - surgeons were great teachers , sat in on a few clinics as well (although you can avoid this if you want). Got in on orthopaedics and O&G cases as well. Got taught a lot by the general medical teams (basically anyone who was around would grab you and teach - and show you all the interesting patients). Also, the junior doctors, nurses and allied health had multiple social events to get involved in. |
Ward rounds at 7.30, 8 on Thursdays, weekends you could come in or not - your choice, no elective surgeries but you can ask the reg to call you if emergencies come in. I was pretty keen to hang around so I would sometimes do night shifts, ward cover until 10pm, and most days I would stay until the intern left at 5.30. I could've left earlier most days if i'd wanted to. Also, I got all public holidays off.
|English||So much practical experience. Great teachers.||Nothing. Just a note that I had my own accommodation in Albany and I don't know what costs would be for other people.||Enthusiasm||Yes||- get someone add you to the whatsapp group |
- albany is beautiful, if you haven't been before there is heaps to do and see around town (eg. natural bridge, the gap, chainsaw drive, denmark - elephant rock and greenspool + wineries)
- BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT LEARNING
|No||i have family in albany so $0||No||No||No||No||No|
|06/03/2018 04:11:51||Sharmini||Seoul National University Hospital||South Korea||Seoul||N/A||Vascular/Transplant Surgery||08/01/2018||26/01/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://medicine.snu.ac.kr/oia/product/index2.htm||9||It was an amazing opportunity to learn more about the korean culture and their medical system||Korean and English||Being able to assist with the surgeries||Nil||Warm clothes! It gets super cold during winter||Yes||Just a word of caution, it definitely helps if you're able to speak a little bit of Korean as most of them are quite shy to speak in english. Nonetheless they do try their best to explain the procedures being done in english; whenever possible 🙂||No||$1500||No||No||No||No||Definitely recommend visiting Namsan tower and the palaces||No|
|06/03/2018 07:50:36||Madison||University of Stellenbosch||South Africa||Cape Town||Tygerberg Academic Hospital||Emergency||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||https://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/healthsciences/Pages/International-undergraduate-elective-students0416-5756.aspx||Just email the international office||5||Good exposure to infectious disease. Not much guidance but if you don't mind waiting around, you can practice clerking and doing procedural skills. Can leave pretty early so there is lots of time to explore Cape Town||English, Afrikaans||Interesting rounds, simulation training||Poor guidance and support||Stethoscope, tourniquet, notebook, scrubs||No||Would recommend a place that is closer to the city if going to Cape Town. It's about a 25 min drive from the hospital to the city||Get as involved as you can!||Yes||$1000 for four weeks||$4000||$2000 flights, $1000 elective, $1000 accommodation||Yes||Study Abroad Scholarship||Yes||No||Yes||Tanzania, Zanzibar, Johannesburg||If going to africa, GO ON SAFARI||No|
|06/03/2018 17:23:49||Brittney||Northern Provincial Hospital, Vanuatu||Vanuatu||Luganville||N/A||ED/Gen Med/Paeds/O&G||08/01/2018||05/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||Dr Basil Leodoro [email protected] / Lester [email protected]||Get in early, and if you haven't had a response within a couple of weeks be as persistent as you can||8||It was great - only half days at the hospital, very willing to teach, lots of things to see and do on the island||Bislama, English||The patients, the under-resourced nature of the hospital,||Not being able to catch babies||Scrubs, comfy sandals, adventure gear, LINCS stuff (basic medical supplies)||Yes||See my blog - http://www.vanuatumedicalelective.wordpress.com||Yes||around AUD$400||Approx $3k||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|06/03/2018 19:35:27||Yang||National Taiwan University Hospital||Taiwan||Taipei||N/A||Neurosurgery/Emergency||18/12/2017||14/01/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||https://www.med.ntu.edu.tw/main.php?Page=N8O2|
For questions, please contact:
Ms Iwen Chang
Email: [email protected]
Tel:+886-2-23123456 ext 88753
|N/A||Email I-Wen (or whoever is in her position), she will send you the NTU Application Form which you will have to sign, she will also send you a "Letter of Agreement and Recommendation" which you will need to get your elective coordinator the sign. When completed, send everything back to her (including UWA letters, insurance, CV etc. etc.).|
She will then reply in a month's time (depending on how fast the faculty you are interested in responds) to give you the all clear. If she doesn't, you can kindly remind her at around the 1 month mark.
If you have applied to stay at Alumni Hall on the Application Form, a hotel-like accommodation for international students, then she will send you another document to sign. Then just sign it and email it back.
|9||2 wks at neurosurgery 11/10 |
2 wks at emergency 4/10
Neurosurgery was fantastic, my supervisor (Mr Tsuang Fon-Yih, I might have butchered it) was very friendly and fun. Recognises international students probably just wants to travel and sight see. Gave plenty of opportunities to leave early. But he also gave me his full 2 week schedule and pointed out the 'fun activities' at night which usually involved drinking or travelling to a branch hospital 2 hours away from Taipei and spending the night there (I got my own double room at a 4 star hotel paid by the hospital). So put your hand up if you feel like going, but I wasn't pressured into participating at anytime. Also made friends with some of the interns and residents (registrars) who took me around Taipei during their time off, which I thought was very generous of them.
ED have structured classes with the 5th/6th years, then ED shifts which you are expected to attend. While you can leave early, the ED coordinator shifts in and out to check on the attendance of students. ED felt like work, 9 am - 4/5 pm, gym, food, sleep, repeat. My supervisor for ED unfortunately was only around Taipei for 2 days/week. The ED doctors also rotated through their ED sub-departments everyday, so you will never see the same group of doctors 2 days in a row. They also give you an optional ambulance shift. Mine was 6-10 pm on the last Friday of my elective. #Notworth
Fortunately I had made some friends during my time there through my accommodation and the hospital, and extra curricular activities became group activities. Me and another UWA student was sharing a room at Alumni Hall, there were a few other students from Sydney, Japan and living on the same floor so a few door knock later, we were chilling and chugging beers together. Some of the junior doctors took me hiking, we had some dinners together and they showed me around the night markets of Taipei, which were all very enjoyable. If you wish to travel further, you may go via train, which is fairly convenient to access. On the last weekend I traveled to Hualian, a town on the east coast of Taiwan, from there I went to a tourist attraction called Taroko National Park. The view was great, and I spent half a day by myself and a full day with a tour group.
|Mandarin, English, Hokkien||Neurosurgery, |
Sight seeing/travelling around Taiwan,
Drinking with the neurosurgeon and friends,
|Emergency, long-ish hours for an elective, coordinator checks on your attendance, very little attention given to you by the ED doctors.||White coat is compulsory (if you have a short version, bring the short version) |
New Taiwan Dollars/MasterCard/Travel card
|Yes||Would not recommend ED, esp to non-Mandarin speakers.||Get an EasyCard and top it up. It pays for metros, 7/11s, and most of the restaurants in the food court under the hospital.|
If you are staying < 1 month, grab the 1000 taiwan dollars sim card from the airport (~40 AUD) which gives you unlimited data for 30 days.
Might be good to know a bit of Mandarin. Medicine is taught in English in Taiwan, but everyone speaks in Mandarin, with English technical terms inserted randomly throughout the conversation. That being said, most doctors can still communicate in English and hold a conversation.
Cheap gym ~5 min walk from the hospital, think it's about $2 per entry, good facilities, mostly students.
Buy the train tickets early. There are fast and regular trains, the fast trains' tickets sell out fast but it can half your travel time.
Learn a bit about your specialty before your arrive.
|Yes||USD $75, paid upon arrival||AUD 2800 not including food/shopping||Accomodation: NT 800 per day for the first 10 days, NT 600 per day afterwards ~AUD 900|
Flight return: ~AUD 1400 (Air Asia)
Elective fee: NT 2500 per week (4 weeks ~AUD 450)
|07/03/2018 19:31:27||Jillien||Keio University||Japan||Tokyo||Keio University Hospital||Neurology and Paediatrics||08/01/2018||05/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://www.med.keio.ac.jp/en/admissions/clinical-elective/||Check if able to apply as UWA isn’t a partner University (if you are, you’ll have to pay an elective fee of ¥2100/day). Applications/documents only accepted about 3 months before your elective date.||8||Paediatrics was great - doctors went out of their way to hold ward rounds in English, and you rotate across several paed specialties! Neuro didn’t use English as much but you are paired with one doctor who you follow everywhere and translates for you; you can also join neuro clinics.||English; Japanese||Very organised - both paeds and neuro made timetables for the exchange students. All doctors very helpful with translation and explanations! Admin officer in charge of international placements also very helpful with all your queries. Also loved the freedom to travel around Tokyo at the end of the day (most days finish at 4pm, sometimes 6-8pm if meetings) and to travel outside of Tokyo on weekends!||Long days sometimes - paeds has weekly meetings 6-8pm and biweekly 4-hour Ward rounds; neuro has evening handover meetings 1-2 times a week.||White coat to wear on the wards |
Notebook (lots to learn and write); laptop optional (neuro might give you homework)
|Yes||Get organised early! |
Consider what you want to learn and let Keio know so the doctors will focus on that.
Definitely recommend paeds! 2 weeks of paeds may be too short.
|Yes||¥39900 (¥2100/day)||Approximately $3000||Elective fee ¥39900; flights AUD$1500 (return); accommodation (if have dorm vacancies = free, otherwise self-organised) ¥63000 with ¥30000 deposit (of which ¥20000 is returned) at a share house; insurance free with Avant||Yes||PF Sobotka||No||No||Yes||Osaka and Kyoto (Japan)||Weekends are free to travel; lots of easy day trips from Tokyo (but can get pricy!). |
If travelling for a good chunk of time before/after the elective, get a Japan Rail Pass.
|08/03/2018 11:34:13||Elyse||Victoria Hospital||St Lucia||Castries||N/A||Emergency Department||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||[email protected]||Email as early as possible||9||Poorly equipped ED with a huge focus on clinical medicine||English||Short days, heaps of free time to explore/island hop||N/A||Normal clinical clothes/stethoscope||Yes||Stay at Ruby's Haven, amazing accommodation with great hosts and conveniently close to the city/buses||Yes||200 euro||Didn't add it up with all the extra travel||Yes||Study Abroad Scholarship||No||No||Yes||USA, Barbados, Martinique||Spend a few days in Martinique||No|
|11/03/2018 18:35:23||Jack||Kompiam District Hospital||Papua New Guinea||Kompiam||N/A||Whole hospital||01/01/2018||30/01/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://kompiamhospital.org/||Just email Dr David Mills at [email protected] and ask him about completing your elective at Kompiam. It was a ridiculously easy process for us!||8||Its a reasonably hard working elective at an under-resourced rural hospital in the developing world. |
We basically worked as junior doctors, helping out on ward rounds, scrubbing in in theatre, doing ward jobs and reviewing all new admissions.
It was brilliant for gaining skills of history taking, examination, formulation, and, in particular, clinical reasoning. Also great to get a chance to do some scrubbing and anaesthetics in theatre.
Lots of infectious disease and trauma medicine.
|Pigeon and Engan||Admitting/clerking patients on our own.|
Being on call for emergencies overnight.
Getting to go "on patrol" to a nearby village.
|You have very limited access to communicating with home. We bought sim cards to access data, but this was very slow and really just allowed for messenger.||A sense of adventure.|
Lots of movies/tv shows downloaded on your computer or hard drive.
Probably check with LINCS about taking donated medical equipment over.
|Yes||Get involved, talk to everyone, expect to be in minimal contact with the outside world.|
Don't worry about all the people holding machetes and axes. We never felt unsafe.
|No||It was like $25 a night each for accommodation. That was it.||I think about $3000, including a week in Cairns.||No||No||Yes||Bank of Queensland Specialist (BOQS)||Yes||Cairns||Australia or the Pacific really are about it.||No|
|11/03/2018 19:27:43||Cathy||Cho Ray Hospital||Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City||N/A||Emergency & Tropical Medicine||01/01/2018||26/01/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://choray.vn/TTChiDaoTuyen/Default.aspx?tabid=135&ID=4085|
Dr. NGUYEN NGOC BICH
CHIEF OF TRAINING DEPARTMENT – CHO RAY HOSPITAL
Tel: 84 8 38 554137 – ext: 2392 Fax: 84 8 38 557267
E-Mail: [email protected]
|8||Great for students wishing to experience medicine in a different culture / developing country + have a holiday. Doctors at Cho Ray are lovely and so are the patients. Yummy, cheap food everywhere and lots of shopping to be done!||Vietnamese, English||- Seeing differences between Vietnam's and Australia's healthcare system|
- Seeing different presentations than here in Australia e.g. many snake bites, motorbike injuries
- Meeting new friends from America, Interstate, Switzerland, Austria etc. (there are many international students and doctors at this hospital)
|- Not being able to take part in clinical work (high rates of Hep B + no hospital protocol for needlestick injuries)||- Application documents as per link above |
- White lab coat (doctors and students wear coats like in the US, if you don't have one you can borrow one from the hospital), stethoscope
- Mosquito repellent
- PEP prophylaxis if you intend to undertake clinical work
- Hep B, Yellow Fever, Typhoid vaccination, maybe Rabies vaccination as well
|Yes||- It helps if you can speak Vietnamese. Most doctors can speak English, but the majority of patients DO NOT speak English (besides the occasional international patient). Recommend going with someone who can speak Vietnamese if you don't, otherwise this could be frustrating/disappointing for you.|
- I was advised to not do any clinical work (e.g. suturing, cannulation, assisting in surgery), as Cho Ray do not have protocol/guidelines for needlestick injuries. You can do this stuff if you wish, but it's at your own risk.
- The training department is closed on New Year's Day so recommend that you apply to start after New Year's.
|Yes||$2 million VND per week (about $110 per week) - pay in full at the beginning||$1700||Flights: $1000 (Singapore Airlines)|
Accommodation: Stayed with family
Travel insurance: $300
Elective fee: $400
|Yes||WAMSS (Financial hardship) Scholarship||No||No||No||No|
|11/03/2018 19:54:44||Melinda||Association for Health and Welfare in the Nilgiris (ASHWINI)||India||Gudalur||Gudalur Adivasi Hospital||Gen med, gen surg, obs/gynae, paeds||01/01/2018||26/01/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://medicalstudentelectives.in/||Usually quite quick to respond, will actually read your application to find out what you're interested in||9||You are very well taken care of by the staff running their elective program, really inspirational work and lovely people in the organisation. Really good experience in terms of community health for marginalised peoples, and the doctors are very good teachers. Hands on in theatre however due to language barriers your participation on the ward is mostly limited to observation. Field visits to the villages are a pretty special experience, and you have the oppurtunity to do some teaching for the nursing students there which was also really quite special.||All doctors and most nurses speak english, patients speak predominantly tamil with some malayalam||Field visits to remote villages||Not being able to talk to patients without having a nurse translate||Your stethoscope, student ID, consider contacting LINCS as the hospital will appreciate donations of medical supplies. Clothing covering shoulders and pants for any gender are suitable on placement - women may benefit from buying salwar in India. A jumper is necessary as it can get quite cold there.||Yes||Most information is on the website and they're quick to respond if you want to email them any questions, when you're there you might get offered to do some teaching to the nursing students and the affiliated school students - make these short with lots of pictures.||Yes||1,600 AUD - covers food, accomodation, most transport||about $3000||elective fee of 1600 covered most things apart from flights and extra travelling||No||Yes||No||Yes||Bangalore, mysore then Kochi||we flew into bangalore, travelled down to mysore, got a cab from the hospital to gudalur then left via kochi afterwards. This worked out pretty well. The area around the hospital is gorgeous and weekend trips can be arranged during placement, the staff will help with this and will subsidise some trips.||No|
|18/03/2018 12:09:15||Hannah||University of Malta Medical School||Malta||Msida||Mater Dei Hospital||Paediatric Surgery||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||https://www.um.edu.mt/ms/medical_electives_programme||It was a really straightforward process, send in the application form and the application fee is not paid until you are actually accepted||9||I went to Malta with another medical student and we both had a fantastic time. We knew nothing about Malta before this elective and it has such a rich history and beautiful sights. The paediatric surgery team was really friendly and we were able to see patients and scrub in on surgeries as much as we wanted. We had most of the afternoons off to explore and since Malta is so small, you can see the whole island via the public bus. We had great weather despite being winter, the mornings would start out cloudy but would clear up and there was very little rain. The fact that it was winter also meant that all of the tourist sights were easy to get in to. Everybody spoke English really well.||English, Maltese||Exploring Malta, welcoming team||Ward rounds did tend to be conducted in Maltese||Stethoscope||Yes||- Definitely visit the other islands (Gozo and Comino) and if you're brave enough, bring bathers to go swimming (although it's winter it was worth it!)|
- The bus system can get you almost everywhere, if you're organised get a Tallinja card (the Maltese smartrider) sent to you in Australia before you go
- You can use Malta as a base to visit other European countries (we went to Sicily one weekend which was fantastic)
|Yes||375 Euro (~$588)||$4073||Flights: $2200|
Airbnb: $1135 (for 5 weeks)
|18/03/2018 15:07:04||Rama||University of British Columbia||Canada||Vancouver||Vancouver General Hospital||ICU||08/01/2018||04/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||https://www.afmcstudentportal.ca/institution/UBC#/||Start early, there's lots of paperwork. Save up, it's very expensive.||10||Lots of medicine- many hours at hospital. In Canada, there are no interns and final years fulfil the roles of interns so there's many opportunities to do procedures and consults.||English.||Increased responsibility and opportunity to do procedures.||It never stops raining in Vancouver in winter. Never.||A raincoat. Realistic expectations. Lots of motivation. Lots of money.||Yes||If you have lots of money saved up and you want to work your arse off, then this might be your elective!||Yes||$8000||AFMC Portal $500, UBC $700, Visa medical $400, Other miscellaneous application costs $150, Flights $2200, Accommodation $1500, Weekly expenditure 4*$250. Total of $7000-8000 for the 4 weeks. Travel insurance was still free with Avant at the time I applied for it.||Yes||Study Abroad Scholarship||No||No||Yes||Whistler, British Columbia.||No|
|18/03/2018 15:17:16||Clark||Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital||China||Hangzhou||N/A||Gastroenterology and Emergency Medicine||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://www.srrsh-english.com/International-Electives/elective-application.html||N/A||Simple form to fill in, may need to email [email protected]||6||Everyone is nice to you, but your mileage will vary if you don't speak Chinese. It can vary department to department as to who can speak English. Most of the time you can knock off early and go exploring.||Mandarin, English||Nice doctors, freedom to leave when you want.||Language difficulties.||Nothing specific for this elective. Usual travel stuff. A VPN + some google alternatives (such as baidu maps).||Yes||Email the host institution often to make sure everything is organised.||No||Flights: $800 Accom: $750||Yes||PF Sobotka||Yes||No||Yes||Xianju, Shanghai, Tiantai||Use ctrip to book trains and hotels. You can't book buses online but as long as you are outside of Chunyun (spring festival travel period) you can generally turn up on the day and buy the ticket.||No|
|22/03/2018 22:59:02||Brian||University of British Columbia||Canada||Vancouver||Vancouver General Hospital||Intensive Care||08/01/2018||04/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||https://www.afmcstudentportal.ca/||- You need to apply via the AFMC Student Portal - it's a national centralised portal for Canadian electives|
- You get up to 5 preferences
- It's expensive to apply! Just arranging the elective was $1325, and then ~$750 dollars worth of additional compulsory paperwork
- Applications open 6 months prior to your start date, if you apply within a month, you should get first preference!
|9||If you want a cruisy elective, please don't apply for any Canadian electives, you've been warned! With that said, you will gain an immense amount over a 4 week elective in Canada, and you will definitely feel a lot more prepared to be an intern! You will be treated like a junior doctor and be expected to work the same hours as the residents (~50-70 hours per week). For ICU, it's a 7am start and days finish between 4:30 and 7pm, depending on workload. Over the 4 weeks, you will also have to do 4-6 on call shifts, which mean you work the full 24 hours and go home 7am next morning (and have the rest of the day off of course!). You will be expected to manage patients, but you'll also get the chance to do advanced procedures such as arterial lines, central lines, chest tubes, lumbar punctures, bronchoscopy, intubation etc. Weekends are usually yours but some people get rostered for on-calls over the weekend, it's luck of the draw! Staff are in my opinion, much more friendly than those back home in Australia and also much more willing to teach!||English||- Procedures! Arterial lines and CVC are almost guaranteed, and are skills that even some RMOs don't get the chance to do over here. If you're lucky you'll get to do even more advanced stuff|
- Quality of teaching, there are so many opportunities for teaching during the day, so get around it!
- Staff were super friendly and supportive
- It's a challenging elective
- You get to wear scrubs (10/10 comfort)!
- Vancouver is a beautiful city to explore, and you can even make a trip to Whistler if you have time!
- It's really easy to get around Vancouver, public transport is 10/10
|- Long hours|
- Sometimes you will lose your weekend to an on-call shift
- It takes a while to get used to the North American names for drugs
- Vancouver rains a lot
- Travelling and exploring will have to be either on your weekends, or before/after the elective. It is rare to leave early during the week and no-showing to a shift will almost certainly get you a SPAN
- It's expensive, flights to/from Vancouver, accommodation are not cheap
|- Rain jacket and down jacket |
- A comfy pair of sneakers
- The form you need to get signed off
|Yes||- $7,000 should cover all the elective, accommodation and flight costs comfortably. This will get you flights on a decent airline and a good quality AirBnB within 5-10 min walking distance from the hospital. Budget anything for food/travel/activities on top of this. |
- Get a place close to the hospital, the only thing you want after a 24h shift is Maccas and bed
- Watch some videos on how to do an arterial line/CVC/other procedures before you go there, it's good to have an idea of how to do a procedure before you attempt it
- Be vocal and ask for opportunities to do things, if you ask you'll get!
- Freedom Mobile do prepaid SIM cards with data and calls, you should definitely get one before you start, since the teams all use WhatsApp to communicate
- There is a gym at Vancouver General Hospital you can sign up for, so you can keep that summer bod going for when you get back to Perth
- Please get a good rain jacket, down jacket and waterproof boots. It rains. A lot.
|Yes||$2,000 for all the relevant fees to secure elective||$7,000||AFMC Portal Access - $500|
Elective - $525
Compulsory malpractice insurance - $300
Travel visa (just a regular travel one you don't need a working/medical visa) - $100
Compulsory medical check - $600 (this ones the most bullshit thing you have to pay for)
BC medical licence - $50
Flights (Cathay Pacific) - $2200
AirBnB (Split an apartment between 2 people) - $1,500 pp
STA Travel Insurance (only get this if you think you are at risk of supps, otherwise there are cheaper alternatives) - $450
Food/Activities - $2,000
|No||Yes||No||Yes||New Zealand, Sydney, Hong Kong||If you want to go to Whistler, book everything early, it fills up quick! It's also expensive, so budget generously!||No|
|25/03/2018 21:27:52||Jon||Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU)||Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City||N/A||Tropical Diseases||08/01/2018||02/02/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||http://www.oucru.org/elective-placements/||Apply before the deadline. You will receive the outcome of the application in early September. Best to check when Chinese New Year (Tet) occurs as it is not possible to have a placement a few days before and after.||8||Most of the elective placement was ward rounds and observation. The ward rounds can be really, really short so its great if you want to leave early and explore. The staff are friendly, and its a fairly relaxed environment. Most of the elective requires you to be proactive; you will be given a timetable and contacts whom you can contact to arrange ward rounds and clinical tutorials. I was lucky enough to also get a lab tutorial where we were taught about the various lab equipment the unit uses to analyse microbes.||English and Vietnamese||The relatively unstructured timetable allows you to go to whatever ward round you like. So long as you email/talk to the lead clinician its usually all good. If you make friends with the Vietnamese doctors, who all speak good English, you can also do lumbar punctures under guidance- pretty awesome! |
If you go near Tet, the unit also has a nice celebration which you can attend. A lot of delicious food and fun times.
|Sometimes the Drs can be slow to get back to you when you want to arrange stuff. I found out there was a few other things going on but wasn't told (but found out via twitter after I got back home).||Stethoscope, lab coat is provided||Yes||Take the time to ask what sort of research is being conducted they are leaders in ID research in Vietnam and SE Asia. Also follow OUCRU on twitter so that you are up to date with whatever events are going on throughout the Unit.|
Also don't forget to download the Grab app- its like an Asian version of Uber which you can use to get cheap motorbike rides to hospital (~$1-2 per ride)
Spending money $800
|Yes||PF Sobotka||No||No||Yes||Singapore||Ho Chi Minh is a great base to explore the south of Vietnam. The city itself takes only a few days to explore and can get a bit boring if you are staying there for a month. Try and plan trips outside- I think OUCRU wouldn't mind you exploring and taking days off (esp. Fridays). Places to go: Vung Tau, Da Lat, Da Nang and Hoi An.||No|
|15/05/2018 21:30:50||Tess||New Somerset Hospital||South Africa||Cape Town||N/A||Emergency Medicine||18/12/2017||12/01/2018||I applied directly through the host institution/university||[email protected]|
Susan Rodriques - Foreign Elective Officer for New Somerset Hospital
|N/A||Get in quick for South Africa, it's SUPER popular|
Apply directly through New Somerset Hospital, not through University of Cape Town (there were restrictions on international elective students when we applied, but New Somerset took us with no issues)
You do NOT need a visa if you're an Australian citizen and you're staying less than 90 days (ignore the High Commission in Canberra)
|9||Fantastic hands-on experience, given a lot of scope to do things yourself, clerk patients, order investigations and do some management|
Great team environment with supportive and friendly staff/seniors
Exposure to unique and 'third-world' medicine i.e. stabbings/gun trauma, TB, HIV
Accommodation in the nursing quarters is right next to the hospital - pretty basic but very secure, very clean and a good place to meet other students
|English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu||Hands-on experience, team work in a really busy ED||Could be really chaotic at times (psychiatry patients sleeping in chairs for days, drunk patients wandering around, blood from chest drains on the floor), sometimes struggled to find a senior for support/to answer questions when it was busy, but once they knew you needed help they would come and help||Your own scrubs! I had to pinch some off the German students who were leaving||Yes||Cape Town is an amazing city to stay in, very affordable, relatively safe (just be sensible, don't walk by yourself, basic safety stuff) and beautiful surrounds i.e. Table Mountain, Cape Point National Park, beaches, great food/shopping options right near Somerset Hospital etc. etc.|
Easy to take a day or two off to go explore the Cape (hire a car, visit the Stellenbosch wine region)
|Yes||$450(ish)||$3,500(ish)||Flights were approx $2000 return (always expensive that time of year Perth-SA)|
Fee for Somerset was $450
Accommodation was $15/day for 4 weeks = $420
Insurance was free through MIPS
Plus food, various touristy things/entertainment/shopping in Cape Town
(I also tacked on a 2-week holiday through the rest of the Cape after my elective with a fancy safari package and car hire, which took it way over $3500,)
|No||Yes||No||Yes||More holidaying throughout the Western Cape region||GO ON SAFARI (check the best time of year for Krueger if you can afford to fly up that way)|
Visit Stellenbosch (the wine region) it is gorgeous
|24/05/2018 01:36:07||Rey||Work the world||Nepal||Pokhara||Manipal hospital and Gandaki Medical College||Ophthalmology and Emergency med||07/01/2018||03/02/2018||I arranged my elective through an elective agency (e.g. Work the World)||https://www.worktheworld.com.au||Work the World||What I did first was express my interest initially on a destination but not pay it immediately. The work the world staff will contact you regarding your interest and you can help you narrow down several destinations based on your budget or what you would like to do||7||Pokhara is a beautiful place to do your elective. Destination wise it has the best views of the Himalayan mountains with Anapurna mountain ranges visible as soon as you walk out the house! There is plenty of outdoor activities to do from mountain treks, paragliding, white water rafting etc. Or for the more reserved beautiful temples to visit.The Phewa lake is also a nice backdrop if you wanna go canoeing. The Lakeside is a common tourist destination so many foreigners are there which is pretty safe and night life is good with cheap drinks. |
Accommodation is provided by work the world in a large share house. With other people from across the world. Mainly from AU when I was there since it was our break. I found the friendship and companionship in the house the best part of the experience. Breakfast and dinner is provided by excellent chefs who you can request certain meals especially if your vegan or vegetarian (most people in Nepal are). There is also added 24 hour security. You do have to do your own hand washing since no wash machines but doing it on the roof top with the Himalayan view is just sweet simple stuff. Alternatively you can hire people to do your washing in the town for a cheap fee can't quote a price cause I never used.
Hospital wise Manipal is a huge private teaching hospital and can get cold in the morning since it is out in the mountains and not much internal heating. The ophthalmology department is well equipped with slit lamps, however there is not much hands on opportunities apart from Schimmers test, mainly observation and opportunities to join in with teaching as well as watch cataract surgeries. It can get a bit quiet but ED is next door so they are happy for you to visit other departments.
Gandaki medical college is a smaller private teaching hospital which is undergoing renovation. The emergency department is much larger than Manipal despite being a smaller hospital. There is plenty of opportunity for hands on in terms of getting signs by doing examinations, more helpful if you can give brief instructions which you get taught in language lessons. Plenty of late presentations of chronic diseases, trauma and infectious diseases such as typhoid, but much less during the winter. It can get a bit quiet and so you can visit Obstetrics department next door and watch babies get delivered which I am told is quite different.
During my time they have a few festivals on so there is opportunities to join in festivals the clinics are closed on public holidays but ED is always open then.
All hospitals are accessible by bus. Manipal takes about 1 hour by bus but like 15min by taxi which is more expensive. The public transport has no set time so they come sporadically. They can go on strikes which means no public transport which is apparently uncommon (it happened while I was there) if you ever get stranded the wtw house staff can be contacted by mobile and they can pick you up.
|The staff at the work the world house speak English. The hospital staff and students speak english and all of the notes are written in English. Most patients however wont be able to speak english if they are older but most young people can. You are also given an opportunity to learn to speak Nepalese before and during the elective as work the world provide language lessons and youtube videos. They even have a print out page with common medical terms in nepalese and they provide you with a work book during language classes so there is plenty of opportunity to learn if you like. If you can learn a few phrases it makes it easier to make friends with the interns and junior doctors who appreciate your effort.||The companionship and friends that you make at the work the world house. There is a real sense of comradery as you go to the hospitals and is good have opportunities to debrief. Also the day trips, bar hopping and treks you do with the housemates are great and memorable!|
The picaresque mountain views which can't be understated. If you want to go to Nepal go to Pokhara. Kathmandu is surrounded by hills so you can't see any mountains!
The wtw staff are all nice and approachable they really make it go so smoothly. The food is fantastic Nepalese cuisine but they also can cater to other cuisine if you ask. Props to Karuna who basically knows the best places to eat, shop for discounted souvenirs etc.
|I hate to say it but ophthalmology was quit disappointing since it was mainly observation which can be pretty boring after a few days. Cataract surgeries which are great occur infrequently though. |
The smog which isn't bad in Pokhara but in Kathmandu which you have to go through first is really bad.
People who are afraid of dogs might not like it so much as there are a lot of stray dogs some overly friendly, but hardly saw any aggressive dogs. Rabies vaccine would be a plus. However, there is a hospital for tourists which has HIV medications among other things. I didn't get any HIV meds since I enquired about this with the wtw staff prior to going.
|The work the world staff will send you a list of items that they recommend you bring. You have to bring your own disposable face mask and gloves one box of each is enough though. |
Pack warm clothes; things you can layer on as it can get chilly in the morning but can be pretty hot at night. Trekking boots if you are an avid trekkers.
Lab coat is worn by doctors and students. Clinical clothing underneath. Recommend to bring two pair of scrubs so you can alternate them and wash the other.
Vaccinations wise I had rabies, which is super expensive but it's for life. I brought azithromycin antibiotics. No need for Malaria meds since it is too high up.
|Yes||Don't wear Kathmandu brand gear it's how they can distinguish who is a tourist and who is a local. |
Be prepared to haggle for goods cause locals will bring the price up if they think your a tourist.
Consider what you want out of your placement if you want hands on experience perhaps choose surgery or obstetrics as these are more catered towards that.
When you take a taxi in Kathmandu get a prepaid taxi. You do not need to tip them even if they ask you to. This never happened in Pokhara but found it happens a lot in Kathmandu.
To prevent yourself from getting food poisoning stick to vegetarian food options.
Go for 5 weeks if you want the added village experience since you need a minimum of 2 weeks per department and the village placement only lasts 1 week. Those who did it enjoyed it for the local experience more so than the medicine.
|Yes||The full price which was about 3.8K without airflights. You can fundraise it or just put it on HECs||$5000 I spent a week in Kathmandu prior to starting (do not recommend doing that)||No||No||Yes||Japan||You can do a mountain trek on Poon hill which at shortest is 3-4 days or longer.|
There are a few good tourist sites and activities. The peace pagoda is good to visit on a clear day you can have a beautiful view of Pokhara, Phewa lake and Anapurna mountain range.
Australian base camp has good mountain views. Sarangkot has nice mountain views during sunset and sunrise, it also has paragliding.
WtW staff has can organize and recommend some local tourist activities such as whitewater rafting and safaris.
Lakeside is the tourist hub of Pokhara has some pretty decent bars and cafes, OR2K is pretty good. There is also a nice outdoor cinema which screens every night which is was really nice!