WAMSS Medical Elective Database

Submit Entry

Australia

Esperance
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Esperance District Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Early Dec-Jan (right after BOE)
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? ED
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? GP/Obstetrics
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Mike Mears - Clinical Director RCS
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). mike.mears@rcswa.edu.au
What was the application process? Dr Mears is very approachable, just send an email.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope Weather is very changeable - bring a selection of warm and cold weather clothes
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? N/A
How much did your elective cost? Fuel - $100, otherwise next to nothing
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? With my parents
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very.
Did you face any cultural challenges? You get to see a proportion of indigenous patients.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Basic plastering would have been useful, however they were more than happy to teach there so it wasn't a problem.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Dec/Jan is peak tourist season - you either need to book early if you want accommodation or know someone. I don't know about arranging to stay at the RCS house. The hospital is GP-run and the ED runs on a shift basis with different doctors on each day (so you won't be with your supervisor very often - unless you go sit in the GP rooms). As it is tourist season, they have two doctors on each day. You will see mostly GP presentations during the day. I recommend staying a couple of evenings/weekends if you want to see more acute ED presentations - they are more than happy to call you in if you would like (but not everyone remembers). The general expectation is for you to see the patients after their assessment by the nurse and clerk them, consider the diagnosis and then present to one of the doctors. If the patient requires a procedure, injections, casting etc then you get to complete it - if you are confident, it will mostly be unsupervised - if not, someone will come lend a hand/supervise.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 10524871@student.uwa.edu.au
Perth
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Royal Perth Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan-Feb 2014.
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Trauma.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Many.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Sudhakar Rao.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). sudhakar.rao@health.wa.gov.au
What was the application process? Email Mr Rao (Head State Major Trauma Unit) contact UWA School of Surgery - Liz doyle for security pass and admin.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Nothing. No stethescope required. If you want to do an Ambo shift,they have specific clothing options which you must provide.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None.
How much did your elective cost? Nothing.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Own home.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Mr Rao is difficult to get an email back from, however Liz Doyle is very helpful.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Suturing practice. Plastering practice. Cannulation practice.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Don't expect heaps of theatre time. Probably scrub about once per week. Be prepared to work from latenafternoon into the night and especially weekends, this is where the majority of trauma cases come from. Be prepared to stay late for an expect that is going to be interesting. If you are there you will be involved, if you are not, they will not chase you and the process happens too fast to be called in. There will be international students there too. Be prepared to organise yourself into shifts from 7am to midnight 7 days per week.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20709396@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? RPH
When did you undertake your elective? 09/12/14-13/12/14
How long was your elective? 1 week
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? ICU
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Oonagh Duff (consultant)
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). oonaghduff@yahoo.co.uk
What was the application process? Email Dr. Duff; she will direct you.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Typical stuff you would bring to gen med rotations (i.e. steth, paper, oxford etc)
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? N/A
How much did your elective cost? N/A
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? My house. Which is very nice.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Really depends on your consultant/team. My consultant (Dr. Litton) was really nice and taught heaps on ward rounds. Most of the ICU consultants are very pro-teaching and don't expect much of students since they know we don't get much ICU exposure. After ward rounds (which take up about half the day), you're free to do whatever you want. Which I usually took to be home-time :P. Unless there were interesting procedures going on, which was quite frequent.
Did you face any cultural challenges? N/A
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? 2 week ICU option; I did this for my 5th year option. Not necessary at all though. As I mentioned, no one expects students to know much at all.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? 1 week is totally fine for doing an elective there, but I would recommend longer if you want exposure to both surg and medical ICU (ideally spend a week in each). Given the consultants swap around weekly, 1 week is ok if you need something to fill up your 6 weeks (which is what I did). Hours are actually quite long; I was there about 8-3pm minimum but really took a lot out of the elective and wish I'd done a longer one. No nights expected for students though.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: jlsn2002@hotmail.com

Canada

Edmonton
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? University of Alberta
When did you undertake your elective? January 2013
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Aboriginal Health/ Chronic Disease.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Ellen Toth, Endocrinologist.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). ellen.toth@ualberta.ca
What was the application process? No formal application process - just need to email and see if available. Dr Toth is actually retiring, but she would forward you on to the right person.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Warm clothes!!!
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English and traditional Canadian Aboriginal languages.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None.
How much did your elective cost? Elective cost - $0, Cost of Accommodation: $500-800, Canadian immigration health check - $500
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Stayed with a family friend. However the university does have accommodation options - various academic staff host international students.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Amazing - very friendly.
Did you face any cultural challenges? None.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? This was not an intense elective in terms of the medicine experienced, however it was fascinating from a cultural point of view. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Aboriginal health, as the Canadian Aboriginal population is an interesting comparison.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20497776@student.uwa.edu.au
Vancouver
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? VGH/UBCH through UBC
When did you undertake your elective? January 2014.
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Anaesthetics.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? As per UBC website - surgery, medicine, family practive, ophthalmology, psychiatry etc.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? SEE ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS FIRST.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). jennifer.tisdall@ubc.ca
What was the application process? The application process is very straight forward and is completely online: http://mdprogram.med.ubc.ca/visiting-student-elective-program/ Applications for international students open 7 months prior to the desired date, I applied as soon as I could and was lucky enough to get my first preference. Be aware there is a term break over Christmas/New Year - I'm not sure if you can do part of a placement either side of that, or if you must start/end and entire 2-4week block before/after. There is an application fee, and a further fee for completion of the elective. You are sent email confirmation of receipt of your application, updates on the processing time expected and date of offer of placement if successful. You will also require a medical examination for application for a visa (this costs about $500). This process is not clear, I strongly advise contacting the Sydney Embassy (they only respond to enquiries by email, and may take up to 5 working days to do so) to make sure you do what is required.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope, clinical attire is NOT required for anaesthesia, learning resource (a text book will be very useful).
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? No immunisations, but part of the medical examination includes serology and Hep B immunisation status.
How much did your elective cost? $2500.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Once your application is successful, UBC sends you links to different housing websites. I found a couple of Registrars renting out their spare bedroom close to VGH for $275 per week. There are lots of options on the websites.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Staff were fantastic. Canadian teaching hospitals are very well set up for students (all staff seemed prepared to teach) and the expectations for student involvement were much higher.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Other than greater expectations of students, no.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? No.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? If you are considering Canada please note - they have high expectations. They will expect you to attend long hours and didn't seem amenable to much if any time off. This is particularly true in surgical specialties, where students are expected to do after hours and on call. The upside is you become part of the team, and are able to do much more hands on work. I was expected to do airway management for most cases, I got a lot of chanced to bag mask and intubate and even the occasional spinal and central line. Other colleagues doing surgery scrubbed for most procedures.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20507211@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Vancouver General Hospital/St Paul's
When did you undertake your elective? 2jan to 31jan
How long was your elective? 4 weeks (2x2)
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Radiology.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Almost everything.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? UBC electives website.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). oasportal@medd.med.ubc.ca
What was the application process? Go to www.ubc.ca everything is online. Very efficient.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Enthusiasm.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Nil.
How much did your elective cost? 4000.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Found somewhere on craigslist. Was 1200 for 4 weeks.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very nice and friendly.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Medical training system there expected final year medical students to have a lot more autonomy in their everyday workings. You did oncalls for other specialties (not rad of course).
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? More money. Vancouver wasn't cheap. More rad training.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Beware the extra costs involved: 370+ for applying to UBC, 500 for a medical exam to allow you to apply for a visa which allows you to work in a hospital there, 100+ for a bus card to get around Vancouver, everyday eating wasn't cheap, groceries were expensive unless you went to a nofrills grocery shop, find a place with a kitchen - eating out wasn't cheap.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: timdimdom@gmail.com
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Saint Paul's Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan 2015
How long was your elective? 4 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Coronary Care Unit.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Almost everything.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Jennifer Tisdall Elective and Exchange Administrator
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). Jennifer.Tisdall@ubc.ca
What was the application process? Elective applications for overseas elective students open up 7 months prior to the date of which the student would like to have their elective. That is, for a January elective, apply in June. You will be required to select from a broad number of choices and to rank up to 16 during your submission. Take care while choosing as only some are available to overseas students. As well as this, it will take some time before you hear back on your confirmation, selected on a first-come-first serve basis. You might not get your first preference, but you will likely have a placement approved at the end of the day, but it's a pain waiting while your other mates have their placements approved if that was the case. After this, you are required to pass a medical examination and depending on your residency status in Australia, a Visa application. This will cost a bit, and for more details, you should visit the UBC medical elective site.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location?
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None outside the Australian schedule
How much did your elective cost?
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like?
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful and approachable staff throughout the hospital. Good teaching/learning culture.
Did you face any cultural challenges?
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nothing additional would have been required from UWA/WAMSS to make the elective easier.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Bring lots of warm clothing. Our summer, their winter. However, the application process isn't the cheapest nor is the cost of living. But if you're able to spend it, it was well worth the experience. Be prepared to be worked by the teams. We basically committed the same hours as the residents there, minus the 24-hour on-call duties, which had a daily contact hours of 10-12 hours a day.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: jyhgoh92@gmail.com
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Vancouver General Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan 2015
How long was your elective? 4 Weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Vascular Surgery
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Many - Look at the UBC electives list
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? View online application process, likely Jennifer Tisdall
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). jennifer.tisdall@ubc.ca
What was the application process? You apply through the online application process through the University of British Columbia (UBC). The applications open for international students 7 months prior to the start date of the elective. Numerous application fees for this elective, from applying to the elective to criminal record checks and medical examination/visa fees. Straightforward application for the majority of the application except for the medical exam/visa part, which goes through the Canadian consulate in Sydney (forms are emailed to sydney.immigration@international.gc.ca)
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Vancouver is known to the locals as 'Rain-couver'. Bring good quality waterproof clothing and shoes (especially a warm jacket) as it is winter at that time of the year. In particular to Vascular surgery, a stethoscope is used sometimes and having a good stethoscope will be useful in your time on the team.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Standard immunisations that we've received in Australia
How much did your elective cost? ~$3500
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Multiple options as to accommodation. We went as a group and shared an apartment in the Yaletown area, very close to the train station which goes to VGH. Great place with good facilities (Yaletown is a rather upscale/high SES area in the inner city so things around are a tad more expensive/fancy). Make sure to find a place with a good kitchen as eating out can get expensive quick unless you go to fast food all the time.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very. Staff are supportive and prepared to teach. Very interactive environment with high expectations for students.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Not significantly. Students are expected to handle a great deal more responsibility compared to Perth and so it may take a while to get used to.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? More basic surgical techniques would have been nice. I was expected to have skills especially in hand-tying knots.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? The medical student experience is that they have very high expectations - the elective will be long and intense (I actually never got to see the sun during the weekdays and when I was on call), days start early and end reasonably late. Do not expect to have an easy time/holiday when doing an elective in Canada, especially at large hospitals at VGH. On the plus side you get to do a lot more and be more involved in the teams as they are really welcoming.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20520544@student.uwa.edu.au

Christmas Island

Christmas Island
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Indian Ocean Territories Health Service
When did you undertake your elective? January 2014
How long was your elective? 3 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? No.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? It's a GP run hospital and clinic
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Julie Graham - Director of public health and medicine
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). julie.graham@regional.gov.au
What was the application process? Just emailed her asking about elective opportunities
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? It's tropical - cool casual clothing, neat and conservative as there is a large Muslim population also. Bring fresh food and meat in a big Esky (you can if you're flying from Perth and bring receipts just in case). You can buy fresh food there but it is very expensive.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Just the usual. You could get hep A to be careful
How much did your elective cost? Accom was organised for me so that was free.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Accommodation was in a new apartment at Drumsite. It was great. Self contained, air con etc. Most of the other accommodation is great too. The hospital is very organized. Celine does a fabulous job of organising all of this
How helpful/approachable were the staff? It is the best workplace I have ever been part of Extremely well run, very helpful and supportive staff and you see your own patients - feel very much part if the team
Did you face any cultural challenges? Nil. The patients were so friendly and lovely and the diversity of cultures was fantastic :) Great diversity of food too.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? No- I was the first elective student from Uwa I think- mayb the first ever. They do get a lot of junior medical students from James Cook Uni tho, so are well set up for students.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? If you're interested send me an email. I have lots if tips. Also get over to Cocos Island AND YOU MUST GO DIVING!!!!!!
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: jess.sommer86@gmail.com

Colombia

Medellin
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Hospital General de Medellin, through Universidad CES
When did you undertake your elective? 20 Jan 14 - 7 Feb 14
How long was your elective? 3 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Obstetrics
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes, most specialties would have been available
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Juan Jaime Arroyave Restrepo, Coordinator of International Exchanges
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). jarroyaver@ces.edu.co
What was the application process? The Centre for International Relations at the Universidad CES (which is one of the major medical schools in Medellin) are super helpful in organising an elective of your choosing anywhere in the Medellin area. Just request your time period and speciality of interest and they can discuss with you the options. There was some paperwork to fill out (basic details etc.) but otherwise was quite straightforward. They keep in touch with you throughout the planning process and while you are on your elective.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Nothing specifically. You need to wear a white coat in the hospital, and have to buy one from the university if you don't have one.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Spanish (some English)
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow Fever (and all other basic vaccinations). No malaria prophylaxis required for that area.
How much did your elective cost? $1000
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? The university can recommend some accommodation options, but you have to source accommodation yourself.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Everyone was very approachable and helpful. They do expect you however to be there all day every day as part of the team.
Did you face any cultural challenges? You need a good level of Spanish before working in Colombia. The language barrier was probably the most challenging aspect of the placement.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Have a decent handle of Spanish before going (at least intermediate level).
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★
Contact for this entry: mdorkham@gmail.com

Cook Islands

Rarotonga
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Rarotonga Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January/February 2015
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Outpatients, O&G, general medicine
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? surgery
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Voi Solomone - elective co-ordinator
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). v.solomone@health.gov.ck
What was the application process? Email Dr Voi with the dates you would like to do your placement, and he will send you a confirmation email
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location?
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Typhoid, Hepatitis A
How much did your elective cost? around $3000
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Rarotonga Backpackers - they give good rates for medical students staying with them long term. Has everything you need. We stayed in a studio unit which had a kitchen and a bathroom, but there are single dorm rooms with communal kitchen and bathroom.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Staff at the hospital were very kind and welcoming, willing to answer any questions and include you as part of their team
Did you face any cultural challenges? No
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nothing
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location?
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20378646@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Rarotonga Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan 12 - 20 feb 2015
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Ob+Gynae and Emergency
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? gen med, surgery
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Voi Solomone - paediatrician, electives coordinator
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). v.solomone@health.gov.ck
What was the application process? Email a CV and wait to hear a reply They can accept a lot of students
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Scrubs to wear to the hospital Hand Gel Mosquito repellant A really good book ;)
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English and Cook Islands Maori
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? typhoid and hep A
How much did your elective cost? hospital fee $50, cost of living was very expensive, accomodation approx $1000
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Rarotonga Backpackers Awesome beach front location!! Lots of friendly travellers Very good to elective student (discount) Slightly disorganised (on ""Island time"")
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Doctors were always helpful, they were very used to having elective students However, students are required to be proactive
Did you face any cultural challenges? There were differences in health education and patients often lacked an understanding of there medical conditions However, this wasn't a barrier in providing care but more of a thought provoking experience
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? None - it was a great level of medicine for at the end of 5th year and a well needed relaxing beach adventure
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Travel to aitutaki! It's an island close by and the most beautiful place in the world- you can also do one week of your elective here! Be prepared to relax!! The hospital works on half days for students- the rest of the time is at the beach. :) Consider spending less than 6 weeks here (possibly some time in New Zealand??)
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: milesc02@student.uwa.edu.au

East Timor

Dili
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Bairo Pite Clinic
When did you undertake your elective? February 2014.
How long was your elective? 3 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? None.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Jake Fabian/volunteer coordinator (but this changes quite often) .
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). bpc.volunteering@gmail.com
What was the application process? I emailed bpc.volunteering@gmail.com first to express my interest and roughly what dates I wanted. Then download the form from their website (http://www.bairopitehospital.org/#!volunteer-information-pack/cion) and fill it in and email it back to them. They will email you some info, a form for a doctor to sign off that you are fit or not, some emergency contact form (not everyone gets this) and just email it back to them. Make sure you get some confirmation. They occasionally take quite some time to reply you, so its best to apply early.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? For the clinic: 1. Medicines - they usually need a lot of aspirin, antibiotics, anti-fungals. 2. Surgical masks and medium or large gloves. 3. ECG stickers . For yourself: 1. Meds - malaria prophylaxis, anti-diarrhea, antibiotics, COCP/POP 2. Hand sanitizer, stethoscopes and pen torch 3. Nail clipper! 4. International Converter (a lot of the plugs are australian weirdly enough) 5. Good shoes if you are travelling far 6. Good load of USD (but fortunately AUD can be used to change to USD) 7. a ring if you are a single female traveller 8. Make sure you have insurance!
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Tetum, Indonesian, a bit of Portuguese and English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Typhoid (optional), Hep B.
How much did your elective cost? Accomodation for 3 weeks = 400USD, Food = around 2 - 15USD depending where, Water = 0.50 - 0.75 centavos per 1L bottle, Flights from Malaysia to Bali, then Dili = 500USD, altogether I spent around 1.5k AUD.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? I stayed at the East Timor Backpackers and moved to the Sands Motel. East Timor Backpackers was relatively clean but noisy and showers did not have doors, just curtains. Feels safe if you are with friends but not by myself. Sands motel was great, I had a single room. The landlady is nice. They offer free laundry 3x a week and free water. Even has security. But wifii was really bad. Out of 3 weeks, i only had wifi for 2 weeks.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? The staff are very helpful and nice but varies greatly with volunteers. I believe it helped that I spoke quite a bit of Indonesian. The clinical manager really looks out for you and cares about your safety and generally, many of the staff will be happy to answer your questions. However, I do notice they do not respond well to being commanded and it usually helps if you try to befriend them throughout your elective.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Definitely. When you get to the clinic, you will see many issues that will frustrate you. Nurses who are really different from the nurses that you see in Australia. Many political and legal issues too. The locals sometimes are more closed up to foreigners, especially Caucasians as they have had bad experiences of foreigners trying to change things and make them do things a certain way. I believe East Timor is not as conservative as I thought it would be but this only applies in the city. However, sexual history or anything remotely close to that must be done privately. Many of the female patients feel uncomfortable with certain examinations by male doctors (i.e. breast exams and Bimanuals).
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Contacts with other students who have been there before. Accomodation choices, maps. I guess checking in with the student who are overseas.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? It is best to always ask whether there are medical students or doctors volunteering at the same time as you. They get loads of volunteers are certain seasons and then sometimes none. To get the best of your elective at Bairo Pite Clinic, its best to go when there are less medical students. I honestly feel it is easier to travel with a companion as a girl but should be quite safe as a guy. Road traffic accidents is the number 1 cause of death there and you will see why. I dont recommend walking around at night and if you are taking a taxi, make sure you barter and fix the price and that they know where you stay before you plant yourself on the seat. Honestly, I thought it was a good experience though there were many volunteers at that time. At times, there wasn't much jobs to go around. But it has good exposure to ID cases and you get to practice presenting all the time. Basically, you function as an intern here and that was what made me like this elective.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: melody.zhiwan@gmail.com

Ghana

Accra
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Korle Bu Teaching Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? November 2013
How long was your elective? 3.5 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Paediatric surgery.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? General Surgery, ObGyn, General Medicine, Paediatrics.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? National Exchange Officer, IFMSA, Ghana
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). nana_abban2000@yahoo.com
What was the application process? Apply through IFMSA via WAMSS (Interhealth) Local Exchange Officer
leo@wamss.org.au
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope, lab coat (compulsory), bed sheets, MOSQUITO NET!!!
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, local dialects.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow Fever.
How much did your elective cost? $500 for elective (food and accom included). Extra for travel around the country.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Medical Student Village (with local students) within the hospital complex.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Extremely.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Not really, some aspects of the medical culture are confronting (less patient-directed care) and pathology is much more pronounced as patients present later to the doctor.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? If you want to see African wildlife etc, Ghana is not the best for it. A great place for a medical elective though and filled with lots of expats all doing similiar things.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: dorevitch.daniel@gmail.com

Guernsey

St Martins
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Princess Elizabeth Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? 5/1/15 - 16/2/15
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Gen med (cardio, gastro, renal, resp, onco)
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Surgery, paediatrics, emergency
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Yogesh Manikyam
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). YManikyam@hssd.gov.gg
What was the application process? Emailed the hospital. Requested an application form. Filled in paperwork hey sent and returned it. Confirmation via email. It was very straight forward
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope, raincoat, walking shoes, bathers
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, a little French
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None required that you wouldn't have in Australia
How much did your elective cost? $3,000
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? I stayed with family, but there is accomodation available on the island. Previous students have arranged accomodation through the hospital I believe.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very approachable, very knowledgable, very lovely. Everyone on the hospital was friendly and helpful; it was a very welcoming place to be.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nothing really. Except for packing my stethoscope for me do I couldn't forget it :P
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? It's a brilliant hospital; it's staffed by consultants only (there are no students or juniors). I had family to go and see while I was there, if you don't have family there (which is likely) then go with someone else. It's s fun place, but it could seem a bit small for a solo traveller. It's a good place to go if you want lots of first world 1 on 1 time with a consultant.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: rachel@sarniapark.com.au

Israel

Nazareth
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? The Nazareth Hospital.
When did you undertake your elective? January - February 2014.
How long was your elective? 6 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Emergency Medicine.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes, everything basically! Gen Med, O&G, Surg, Paeds, Psych, etc.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Christine Farah.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). christine@emms-nazareth.com
What was the application process? Very easy to complete 4 page document. Christine responded very quickly to my emails and answered all the questions that I needed answered. She was very accommodating, and allowed me to change my dates later too. I don't believe there was an application fee either.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Very warm clothes over Jan/Feb because the houses don't have carpet and have high ceilings which make them freezing in winter. Also an Arabic (not Hebrew) language phrase book is essential! Doctors wear white coats in the hospital to distinguish themselves from the patients, so bring a lab coat if you still have one (or you can rent one from laundry). The doctors wear very casual clothing. Please don't pack a suitcase of clinical clothing and dresses (like I did) or you will look out of place! Jeans and shirts are the way to go! General modesty is also important as it is an Arabic city, and having cleavage, straps or bare legs for women (especially in winter) is inappropriate. Don't get me wrong though, you won't be required to wear a head covering!
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Arabic, English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Nil extra req.
How much did your elective cost? $2200 return flights + $700 accommodation/food + $0 hospital fee + eating out/transport/adventures
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? On the hospital campus in a flat with balcony views of the city (beautiful at night as the hospital and the city are on a hill). The flats are a 30 second stroll down to the ED. Accommodation also includes food supplies from the hospital kitchen (eggs, bread, milk, jam, butter, cheese, fruit & veg which you can cook in your own flat), and great hot meals at lunchtime. The cost is 350 NIS/week, which is roughly $110/week AUD. There is also WIFI, and laundry facilities included. Married couples may be given their own flat, while singles are usually given a room within a flat with other med students/volunteers depending on how busy the season is. It is a gated campus with security guards, which is very safe. There are many volunteers (usually students in their 20s or retirees) from the USA, Canada, UK and Europe that also stay on campus.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful. Christine who coordinates the volunteers and medical students on electives is lovely. She is originally from the UK, and is very approachable. The doctors and nurses all speak at least basic conversational English, and many of them are keen to practice their English. Most of the doctors studied medicine in Europe, and speak Arabic, Hebrew, English AND an European language (i.e. Russian, Italian, Romanian). Dr Najib who runs the ED enjoys teaching the junior doctors/nursing students in English, which provides great opportunities to get involved and learn. The orthopaedic team speak very good English and enjoy teaching as well. In ED there is a separate waiting room for MSK presentations.
Did you face any cultural challenges? The language was challenging, but you have to be willing to learn from day 1. Even a few small phrases make all the difference when you are speaking to patients and those that can't speak English. The patients speak ARABIC (occasionally there will be a pt speaking Hebrew or Russian), the doctors speak ARABIC, the paperwork/documentation is in HEBREW, the pathology/radiology requests are in ENGLISH and the teaching is usually in ENGLISH. ALSO if you are female, patients will constantly ask you if you have children and/or are you pregnant. It's just how it is!
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? If I had learnt a bit of Arabic before I went!
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? The Nazareth Hospital has a very interesting history and was established as a missionary hospital over 150 years ago. If you are Christian and looking for an opportunity to combine your elective with volunteer work, this is a great elective for you! There is a volunteer program called ""Serve Nazareth"" that brings Christians from around the world to Nazareth. There are opportunities to give time in hospital chaplaincy, occupational/art therapy, neonates, maintenance, and dressing up in 1st century dress at the Nazareth Village for the tour groups! There are church services 3 times per week at the chapel on the hospital campus (Wed & Thurs mornings and Sunday evenings). I got more from my volunteering with art therapy in the psychiatry ward than I did from my medical elective! Talk to Christine about ""Serve Nazareth"". There is another application form and they require references, but it's a great program. They give you so much additional support as a volunteer and you get to be part of an amazing group of people. Christine also organises day trips for the volunteers to visit historical sites around Israel too! It was such a great experience! http://www.nazarethtrust.org/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nazareth_Hospital
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20524737@student.uwa.edu.au

Ireland

Dublin
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? St Edmundsbury Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January 2014
How long was your elective? 1 week.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Psychiatry - Mood Disorders.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Other psychiatric areas.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Noel Kennedy - Consultant.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). nkennedy@stpatsmail.com
What was the application process? I emailed Dr Kennedy (after finding his email on google) as I had read about St Edmundsbury Hospital online and saw he was a consultant there. He responded very promptly and got me in touch with Denise Kilmartin at HR. I needed to fill in a few documents and obtain a National Police Clearance and that was it. It was very easy and free.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Psych text book, notebook etc.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Nil.
How much did your elective cost? $1000 - for accommodation/cost of living for the week.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? I stayed at an apartment in Dublin for the 4 weeks of my elective (I spent 3 weeks at St Patrick's Hospital and my last week at St Eds). It was expensive (probably too expensive) and I wouldn't stay there again because of this, but it was nice enough. find cheaper accommodation! The cost of living in Dublin is cheap and the elective itself cost nothing except a tram card and a few bus tickets.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? SO HELPFUL. Dr Kennedy is literally the nicest consultant I've ever met. He taught me SO much in one week, I was seeing lots of patients and presenting to him at least once a day. He gave me lots of tutorials and sent me off on day trips to see the things i hadn't seen in Dublin yet. I wish I had spent my 4 weeks only at St Eds, he was that good.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? No.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? If you are interested in Psych, especially mood disorders - this is an awesome place to go. Dr kennedy is an amazing teacher and you will get really good at presenting cases and taking thorough histories. The location is lovely - a 30min bus trip from the centre of dublin, surrounded by gorgeous farm land. Everyone is friendly and DUblin is an AMAZING city for an elective. Everyone is friendly and the accents are so cool ;)
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20350953@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? St Patrick's University Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January 2014
How long was your elective? 3 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Psychiatry.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? No.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Paddy Power.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). ppower@stpatsmail.com
What was the application process? I simply emailed Dr Power (after hunting down his email through google) after reading about St Pat's. He got me in touch with Denise Kilmartin at St Pat's HR department. I had to provide her with some information and obtain a National Police Clearance and that was really it. No cost.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Notebook etc, psych text book if you have a small one.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Nil.
How much did your elective cost? $2000 for accommodation and living for 3 weeks.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? I stayed in an apartment in Dublin which I found on trip advisor. It was nice.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nothing.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? St Pats is a great hospital and if you are interested in seeing a private hospital's treatment of psychiatry, focusing on 18-25year olds, this would be an awesome place to go. Its very self directed.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20350953@student.uwa.edu.au

Malawi

Mulanje Mission
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Mulanje Mission Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January 1st 2014
How long was your elective? 8 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Tropical medicine (mixed)
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Public health, Medicine, Paediatrics, O&G, ID/micro.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Ruth Shakespeare, Medical Director.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). director@mmh.mw
What was the application process? See here: http://www.mmh.mw/visit/
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Personal protective equipment: Eyeware, gloves (1-2 boxes should be enough), N95 masks (1 box), sterile gloves if interested in surgery. Alcohol gel, pocket container, sunscreen. Oxford handbook of tropical medicine. Insect repellent, malaria prophylaxis, HIV PEP, oral rehydration salts. Headlamp, batteries. Cash: US dollars ideal. British power adaptors. Hiking shoes, wet weather gear.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, Chichewa (most patients do not speak English)
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Typical travel immunisations excluding yellow fever. Rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis highly recommended.
How much did your elective cost? Hospital fees described on website, cost of living is very low. Approx $2,000 USD excluding equipment and airfare
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? MMH6, a house on site for medical students, excellent.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Extremely helpful and supportive.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Language barrier. Some patient attitudes.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Reading the material provided by MMH more clearly, learning more Chichewa before I came.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Ideal tropical medicine placement, very well organised, will be looked after. Very high prevalence of malaria & HIV, very few resources, lots of hands on experience in adult medicine, paeds, O&G.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20256858@student.uwa.edu.au

Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Queen Elizabeth Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? 30/12/13-19/01/14
How long was your elective? 3 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? A&E
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Sister Flora Gabing
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). flora_gabing@yahoo.com
What was the application process? Email Sister Gabing who will send you a form and a list of required documents. Minimum attachment of 3 weeks.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? MOSQUITO REPELLANT. Deodorant (you will sweat. Loads.) White coat is compulsory and you will need to bring your own. General stuff for a clinical rotation (e.g. steth, oxford, notebook). Consider bringing anti-diarrhoeals.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Malay, Chinese, some English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Had Hep A and typhoid but not required
How much did your elective cost? $500AUD total on cost of living excluding flights and accommodation. Did quite a bit of shopping though :P
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Friend's house (fellow meddie). Very nice and comfortable!
How helpful/approachable were the staff? In summary, no one really cared about us. I think if you are Caucasian, people would pay more attention to you (such is the way in Asia). There were so many junior doctors that whenever there was any teaching, we would literally get shoved out of the way. There's a clear hierarchy and given we med students aren't even in the hierarchy, only a couple of nice interns bothered about us. On our first day, we got told by a medical officer to either make ourselves useful or get out of the way (she did have a bit of an attitude problem though). In our last week, one of the consultants asked who we were. Despite us introducing ourselves a few times.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Huge language barrier. Didn't help that I look local and thus people assumed I speak Malay (when I don't. Except for food names which isn't helpful). I guess it might be better if you are Caucasian, where they will put more effort into speaking English. Fortunately my fellow meddie speaks Malay and could translate. All consultants were Malay and chose to speak Malay most of the time.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Since nobody cared about us, it was more of a holiday which was good. Sabah is a beautiful place with loads of awesome food (cheap) and outdoor activities. I went to the islands for snorkeling and highly recommend that. Mt Kinabalu is another popular tourist destination, but is about 4 hours drive away and thus a bit problematic to get to (I didn't go there). I would go to Queen Elizabeth Hospital if you want to explore Sabah, but not for the hospital/learning. Hours at the hospital were about 8-3pm but very variable and we self-declared holidays quite a lot without anyone noticing. The hospital has a really cheap canteen with nice food! Cost of living is definitely cheaper than in Perth, but not as cheap as I expected. Public transport is not great/very safe and it's expensive to rent a car, although driving isn't too bad. Try not to get cheated if you look touristy... Bargaining is common unless at official shops. In general at the markets, you should only be paying about half the asking price. Beware pick pockets. Bring clothes that you would wear in 30+deg heat with max humidity. Be prepared to sweat. Still need to tolerate wearing reasonably conservative clothing (try to wear long pants/skirts) + a lab coat. Wear closed-in shoes. Accept losing a few gametes from being exposed to radiation since there's not much room to hide from the portable x ray machines and they don't really bother warning you.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: jlsn2002@hotmail.com

Nepal

Pokhara
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Manipal Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Dec 2013 - Jan 2014
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Anaesthetics.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes. Many other tertiary hospital specialties.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Asis De.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). dr_asisde@manipalgroup.com.np
What was the application process? Emailed Dr Asis De, received application form. Needed to send in reference and a few other documents as outlined in the form. Received confirmation. Slow response to emails or other queries, but encountered no problems in the process.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? White coat is essential. Scrubs are essential to bring if in theatre. I wouldn't rely on the hospital to supply enough clean scrubs. Alcohol hand gel is essential. There are very few (if any) hand-washing facilities other than the scrub sinks in theatre. Eye protection is not commonly used in theatre, so take glasses. There were usually gloves and masks available if you looked for them, but it was much more convenient to have my own supply so I could keep a couple in my pocket so they were available when needed. They make you change into sandals (open-toed or like crocs) in theatre and ICU. I bought some in Nepal. There may be spares available to borrow. Take your stethoscope.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English (all teaching in English, doctors are fluent, pts may not be), Nepali.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Several, can't remember which.
How much did your elective cost? $5500.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Stayed at Silver Oaks Inn, Pokhara. The accommodation was basic, but good value for money. Booked via agoda.com. We met other students paying much more for similar accommodation. Hot water was available, but sometimes had to call down to reception to ask them to switch over to a full hot water tank. Hospital staff were fairly friendly and helpful. There is wifi everywhere, but speed is highly variable. Power is available only at certain times of the day in Nepalese cities, which change according to a rotating roster. Virtually all hotels have a backup generator, but these may not run all the time.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? The style of teaching in Nepal is very different, so students (local and foreign) were mostly expected to observe as the doctors worked, with occasional spontaneous quizzes on knowledge of pharmacology or physiology. There were staff members that were more willing to let me get involved and most registrars were happy to run though concepts with me, but there is a completely different attitude toward teaching and learning that was hard to get used to at first.
Did you face any cultural challenges? There were many cultural differences, but none that couldn't be overcome by being sensitive and using common sense. Most doctors have no bedside manner. There is pretty much no concept of patient privacy or what would be considered basic patient rights to informed consent etc. Personal space is not sacred in Nepal. People get very close, hold your hand, link arms, put their arm around you etc. Things that would get very confused looks in Australia are completely fine there. This took getting used to. Efficiency is not a consideration. Things happen when they happen. Don't plan itineraries too rigidly. Only exchange money and accept/give things with your right hand. Left hand is insulting/""dirty"". Not so much of a big deal in tourist areas, but still something to keep in mind if you're trying to integrate well. White people get charged more for everything. Get used to this and get good at bargaining in shops where the price isn't labelled. Don't point the soles of your feet at people when sitting. Don't touch/pat people on the head. (Offensive)
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Only tips that would be found on a site like this, from people that had done the elective before.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? The working day in Nepal is short. They start late and finish earlier than in Australia. This gives plenty of time to get out and explore the country. Definitely go paragliding in Pokhara, head out to Busy Bee's and get some time off to explore the country. There are plenty of tours available to book when you're there. Booking treks and tours before leaving is guaranteed to be far more expensive, and will usually just use the same guides and routes anyway. If you have time, look around for a good deal when you get there rather than booking ahead (especially in low season Dec-Jan).
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: rowanellis01@gmail.com

Papua New Guinea

Kompiam
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Kompiam District Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Feb 2014
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? No.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr David Mills, medical superintendent
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). kompiamhospital@gmail.com
What was the application process? Email Dave (see above) to ask
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? See website - there are excellent comprehensive student guides with packlists, dos and don'ts. www.kompiamhospital.org
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Engan, Tok Pisin
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Hep A, typhoid
How much did your elective cost? $2000 AUD
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Student house, fully furnished $25AUD/night, electricity limited from 6-10pm, running water, gas (maybe new solar) fridge, solar lights. Friendly supportive environment. Markets 5 mins away for fresh veg. Going out on patrol to surrounding bush villages - 3 days walking, bring sleeping bags / mats.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Excellent!
Did you face any cultural challenges? Language barriers requiring 2x translators (Engan to pidgin, pidgin to english), domestic violence, tribal fighting, polygamy are common in the Highlands. Diet mostly local produce (fruit and veg) - carnivores may struggle but possible to bring meat in bulk and freeze. Work ethic in PNG drastically different - nothing really happens on time Always something not working needing to be fixed eg: XRay machine, generator etc. - just accept and adapt.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? This was an experience of a lifetime and I highly recommend it! Cases seen include lots of infectious diseases (HIV, TB, malaria, meningitis, typhoid). Recommend for someone interested in all specialities as you see all cases, including emergencies, paeds, O&G, medicine, surgery. Also students act as pathologist / radiologist, in addition to having to work independently without supervision sometimes. Good clinical skills are a plus as minimal diagnostic facilities.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 10991049@student.uwa.edu.au
Alotau
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Alotau Provincial Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan-Feb 2015
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Paediatrics
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dr Noel Yaubihi, Director of Clinical Services
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). ntyaubihi@gmail.com
What was the application process? Just send an email to the hospital introducing yourself with your proposed dates and area of interest- they're really keen to have international students but have no formal application process or fee.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Your own usual items like steth, pen torch. Bring your own N95 masks for TB- they had some masks but not protective against TB. You could bring any old text books (including E-books) to help them build their medical library. They're supported by Rotary Australia but are always happy to receive donations.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Almost everyone speaks English (the only province in PNG where English is the primary language). Tok Pisin is also spoken by many people, and there are lots of local languages.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? The usuals- Hep A, Typhoid, ADT, plus Japanese Encephalitis if you want
How much did your elective cost? ~$5000 including flights from Perth and an extra week of holidays at the end in Queensland
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Gretta's (owner of Napatana Lodge) bungalows in Goilanai... she has two twin share bungalows with cooking facilities for 200K (~$100AUD) per night which were perfectly adequate for our stay in PNG. It was a 5 min bus tip and short walk to hospital. There are some other options if you ask around once there, and probably some cheaper options- accommodation was the bulk of our cost.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? The staff at the hospital were delightful, very welcoming of elective students and happy to get us involved.
Did you face any cultural challenges? "The only significant challenge we faced was getting used to being identified as ""dimdim"" by everyone, meaning ""white person"". However they used this in an endearing way and we got used to it quickly. Alotau is very safe compared to many regions in PNG, we didn't feel unsafe at any time. "
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Not that I can think of.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? "Milne Bay is great if you like swimming, snorkelling, boat rides, and don't mind simple island living! PNG also has some of the best diving in the world. The benefit of Alotau is that it's the town that services all of the little islands of Milne Bay Province. If you're able to organise it there's the opportunity to spend some time at a health centre on one of the islands- an excellent experience we hear! Get onto organising your visa early- PNG runs on it's own 'island time' and things often happen slowly. You need an occupational trainee visa which is lodged by the hospital on your behalf. "
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20750543@student.uwa.edu.au

Peru

Trujillo
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? medical-electives.org
When did you undertake your elective? 6 weeks
How long was your elective? Jan 3 - Feb 14 2015
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Gen Med
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Emergency, Paediatrics, Surgery
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Kevin Hurley, founder and manager
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). kevin@medical-electives.net
What was the application process? Email Kevin, Fill out the application form online, pay $2500(US)
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? general travel packing, scrubs, stethoscope, you stay with a family so you don't need too much extra.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Spanish
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow fever, Hep A
How much did your elective cost? total $4,500ish
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Medical electives can put you with a homestay family, which I highly recommend. All of the students I talked to had lovely families and it's a much better way to immerse and learn more Spanish.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very. Kevin especially is great at answering emails
Did you face any cultural challenges? Peru is pretty good, the language barrier is something you need to overcome to really connect with patients. Once you can banter though, it's all fun and games.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? nah all good hey.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Learn as much Spanish as you can before you go. You can elect for different hospitals in Trujillo, Victor Lazarte has a more structured program. The hospital I was at - Florencia Mora - was more chilled, but also friendlier. You can travel around on weekends - this was the best part of my trip there. Overall great experience.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20496321@student.uwa.edu.au

Phillipines

Iloilo City
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Western Visayas Medical Centre
When did you undertake your elective? December 2014 to January 2015
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Anaesthetics and Obstetrics
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Many more available - surgery, orthopedics, paediatrics, medicine, psych, family medicine, emergency....probably more
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Contact through Work the World in the UK - can't directly contact location staff
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). info@worktheworld.co.uk
What was the application process? Browsed the Work the World website to get an idea about the destinations available and then once i decided on the Philippines I submitted an inquiry about the dates I wanted to go. This can just be submitted through there website. I received an email saying that there were places available during the time I wanted to go and from there I just booked my elective through the website. Following this I received multiple different calls from a few different people throughout the year confirming everything that needed to be done before I went on elective. Very easy process; Work the World organises most things for you.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Scrubs - probably one pair for each day as it's very humid White lab coat to walk around the wards in Lots of hand sanitiser Gloves Maybe malaria prophylaxis only if you want to travel to endemic areas However the Work the World house is filled with all of these things left over from previous students so you could most likely get away with bringing none of the above
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Ilongo, English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Recommended Hep A and typhoid, may need others depending on travel intentions
How much did your elective cost? Flights are anywhere from $700 to $1500 depending on who you book with, a 6 week placement costs about $2500 (this includes accomodation, food, and some money goes to the hospital), cost of living is very cheap in the Philippines (I lived of centrelink while I was there and didnt come clost to spending it even when including weekend trips), food and drinks are usually a couple of dollars and transport ranges from 20 cents to a few dollars each trip
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? In the Work the World house in Iloilo city. Very nice accommodation that is in quite an affluent area of the city. Can house up to 35-40 students but while I was there the average was about 10 students. Usually 4-6 students in a room with a shared bathroom in each room. Houses medical students, dental students, nursing students, pharmacists etc. There are 24 hour security guards, the program manager is often around in her office in the house during the day, there is also a chef that cooks breakfast and dinner (food is amazing), and there is also a housekeeper. Very social house, the program manager organises lots of activities for the students in the evenings and you get to meet lots of students from all over the world.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Staff are incredibly helpful and friendly. They will pick you up from the airport, give you a tour of the house, hospital and the main areas of the city. They will also help with pretty much anything during your stay (sorting out a Filipino phone, fixing any issues with your placement, giving travel advice, suggest good restaurants, getting your washing done etc)
Did you face any cultural challenges? Sometimes difficult to learn in the hospital as staff and patients usually communicate in Ilongo, though every doctor can speak english so it's very easy to ask whats going on. They also have a different work ethic, regularly working 36 hour shifts and night shifts and they will offer for you to join them, they appreciate it if you do it a few times. They have different attitudes towards pain medications, and many Western medical items are too expensive so many things are old practices. But staff are very friendly and love seeing you around so it's quite easy to settle in
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Being involved in 3rd world medicine was a bit confronting at times but I think that would be fairly difficult to prepare for seeing as it comes from personal experience. Otherwise it was very well run so I didnt feel that I needed much more preparation.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Highly recommend Work the World just because of how they look after their students while they're there. Always good to learn a few Filipino words (they will teach them to you) and just be friendly and ask questions because most staff respond really well to it and you will learn a lot more.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20763071@student.uwa.edu.au

Saint Lucia

Castries
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Victoria Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan 13 - Feb 8 2014
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? A&E, O&G, paediatrics, Gen Med
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Surgery.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Suzette Joseph, Medical Secretary
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). suzette.joseph@govt.lc
What was the application process? We emailed suzette with a request to do our elective at the hospital in St Lucia with the dates we were planning on doing it. She replied with a few attachments that told us what we had to do to complete the application - email them with proof that we were medical students - and with information on different accommodation options. We then contacted one of the suggested places to stay and confirmed we were students. Emailed about a week before we were planning on arrive to confirm our arrival, but never got a reply from that. It is a pretty relaxed application process where you often receive one word answers as replies to questions. It did not cost any money to apply or be accepted, which was a plus!
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope, oxford handbook, pen, identification, clinical clothes
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, patois
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Nil.
How much did your elective cost? $1000
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? The head of the emergency department, Dr. Ogunlusi, had done up the bottom two floors of his home as self-service apartments for medical students on elective at Victoria Hospital. They are completely separate from the rest of the house, so you don't feel like you're imposing on his family. The floor we stayed on was a two bedroom apartment that could have slept 6 at a stretch - each room had a queen and a single, with one shared bathroom for the whole apartment. Open kitchen and living room area with a wifi base attached to the wall. The main, big TV was getting fixed while we were there, but there was a smaller one that we used instead. Wifi was intermittent, but we were given the password to the family's wifi upstairs and that often worked when the other one wasn't. Basic kitchen area that was generally sufficient for all of our needs. And Dr. Ogunlusi gave us a ride with him to the hospital every morning so we didn't have to stress about catching a bus! The major downside was its location. It was on a catholic reserve that was on a hill outside of castries. Required a bus ride into castries and then another bus to the beach/touristy area where all the main pubs/clubs/restaurants were. Generally ok during the day - bus rides are only around AUD$1 but more expensive when coming back late at night, taxi rides up the hill were more expensive (~$8). I probably would have preferred to stay in the touristy area, closer to the other elective students and activities outside of the hospital.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Staff were approachable and were often happy to teach, but everything is on Caribbean time! Nothing is done with any speed and you'll often have to wait around for doctors to finish one job or another. X-ray tutes (around 1pm on tuesdays if you can be bothered to hang around!) are really good and very helpful!
Did you face any cultural challenges? The main heritage in St Lucia is african, so most St Lucians are black. Generally, the only white people on the island stay in the expensive resorts or are visiting on cruise ships. So walking through Castries, you often stand out like a sore thumb. Vendors and taxi drivers will peg you as a tourist and try and give you tourist prices or offer you different things. They would often lower the price if you said you were volunteering at the hospital. Local men make kissy noises and inappropriate comments as you walk down the street. However, generally people were very friendly and more than happy to help you out with any questions! I felt more than comfortable asking people on the street for help.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Not really sure, maybe more information about where students from UWA had gone previously and how/when was the best time to organise things. Once it was organised and settled, the process was fairly simple and I felt sufficiently prepared.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? The emergency department is where you'll get the most practical experience and where you're given the most freedom/responsibility with the patients.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20510372@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Victoria Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January 2014
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Emergency.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Obstetrics, Surgery.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Lisa Charles, Medical Director
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). vhmddirector@gmail.com
What was the application process? I emailed Lisa Charles and then a week later followed up with a phone call (this part might not have been necessary but I was still organising in September and the faculty wanted to know where we were going by the end of Sept). I emailed the letter of support from the dean and my CV. I got very brief emails back but a big attachment saying I'd been accepted for an elective at Victoria Hospital. You choose what specialty you are doing when you get there and have the option to move departments if you wish.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? White coat isn't necessary and there's no malaria in the caribbean. Just a stethoscope and normal clinical dress.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None.
How much did your elective cost? $5000.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Stayed with one of the drs from the hospital at Short Stay apartments. He was very nice and accommodating and tried to make us feel at home
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Doctors and nurses at the the hospital were great and welcoming.
Did you face any cultural challenges? N/A.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Not really.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? It is a developing country, but the shops cater to tourists so you can get most of the stuff you are used to at home. The hospital is basic but the drs are great and try and teach you on the ward round. Not really good for gunner med students, everyone let us go early because they assumed we wanted to head to the beach.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: brendankirwin12@gmail.com

Samoa

Apia
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? February 2015
How long was your elective? 4 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? ED, surgery, medicine, O&G, paediatrics, anaesthetics
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what?
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Veronika Wong - Elective coordinator
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). v.wong@nus.edu.ws
What was the application process? Email veronika wong - she is very difficult to contact and will not reply for several months so APPLY EARLY. Then call her numerous times and pressure her to basically send you an email. Then you need to apply for a temporary student visa which costs 150 bucks and the elective fee is 300 bucks. SO there is a bit of money to pay for your elective but it is worth it.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? SCRUBS(must bring), tourniquets, hand sanitiser. They generally have everything else so don't worry too much about the items above, they are just handy to have on you so you don't have to go searching. Otherwise - insect repellant, bathers, snorkel gear, surfboard, sunscreen. Basically anything you would want on a tropical island.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English (most patients can speak a bit, ALL doctors can) and Samoan
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Typhoid + Hep A
How much did your elective cost? Flights included roughly = $4500-5500
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? We stayed in the main town Apia - at the Samoan Outrigger Hotel. It was a 5min walk to the hospital and roughly 15min from town. The owner was great and this hotel is very popular with other students so we met many students from across the globe here. The accommodation itself was reasonably priced (compared to the other two main options for student accommodation - Tatiana Motel & Lynns Getaway Hotel), and medical students get a 25% discount. There are air-conditioned and fan rooms available with or without ensuites. There is a great pool, breakfast is provided and hire cars are also available. Staff were friendly and facilities were very clean.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? They were awesome. Samoans tend to do things in their own time and things CAN take a while however overall they were very nice, approachable and helpful.
Did you face any cultural challenges?
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? We were very unsure of what to expect but there were no major difficulties and don't think we could have been more/better prepared.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? It was an AMAZING elective. Perfect mix of tropical island holidaying and medicine. You can put as much into it as you like. It is safe, relatively cheap, everyone is super nice and there are so many opportunities to practice procedural skills on the wards and in ED. In addition, it is English speaking (for the most part). Get in touch with me for more details!
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20761702@student.uwa.edu.au

Singapore

Singapore
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Singapore General Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January and February
How long was your elective? 7 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Renal and Plastics.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Cardiothoracic surgery, ED, colorectal surgery, radiology, derm
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Ms Keok Lan, associate deans office SGH
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). adminado@sgh.com.sg
What was the application process? Apply through SGH main website -> Education -> Undergraduate medical education and email your application. It will be only a one-off payment. Applying through National University Hospital Singapore will cost you 400-800 Sgd per week of your electives (crazy!).
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? White coat. Generally you don't need it for most specialties. Each patient's bed has their own Stethoscope.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Hep B.
How much did your elective cost? 1200 Aud
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Pillows & Toast Heritage in Chinatown Singapore, one station away from. Outram Park station where the hospital is situated. Google map to see the distance.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very organised staff. Its a pretty busy hospital (minimum 300 patients admitted to ED per day) so people might not be as friendly as compared to Australia.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Not really. It is a very internationalised hospital, there are a number of caucasians working as doctors, allied health workers. I met other medical students from Thailand, New Zealand, German, UK and mainly Australia.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Cardiothoracic surgery has very good elective framework for students (strict attendance). Other specialties are more relaxed and you have to be proactive if you really want to learn.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20632554@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Singapore General Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? 25 Nov 13 - 4 Jan 14
How long was your elective? 6 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Medical and radiation oncology.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dean's office.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). 10990991@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the application process? Requires emailing the dean's office informing them of expression of interest. Should be done at least 12 months in advance for a good chance of getting the elective. Will require some documents to be sent over via email.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Nothing apart from the usual travelling stuff. Singapore is an urban city.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Malay.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Hep B and proof of immunity status.
How much did your elective cost? $500.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? N/A.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? N/A.
Did you face any cultural challenges? N/A.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nothing much, I think WAMSS/UWA did an excellent job.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? N/A.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 10990991@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Singapore General Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? 03/02/14-14/02/14
How long was your elective? 2 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Internal Med
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Check the SGH website.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Ms. Keok Lan
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). adminado@sgh.com.sg
What was the application process? http://www.sgh.com.sg/Education/Undergraduate-Medical-Education/Pages/application.aspx
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Typical stuff for a clinical rotation (i.e. steth, notebook, oxford) Pack your luggage- then take half the stuff out because you will want to go shopping in Singapore!!! White coat is supposedly compulsory, although you can email Keok to ask if you can borrow one for free. Sizes are mainly for petite asians (sorry). I didn't have to use mine during the rotation anyway.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English (amongst staff), Chinese, Malay, traditional Chinese dialects (patients).
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? HIV, Hep B and Hep C status. No specific immunisations
How much did your elective cost? $21.40 app fee (Singapore citizen; about $100 for foreigners), food/shopping... Actual elective was uber cheap given free food (see below) and lack of time to do anything outside of hospital time. But holidaying in Singapore is pretty expensive otherwise.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Grandmother's house. Was very well-fed!
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Consultant barely talked to us students, but the rest of the team was very pro-teaching. Except they thought we were idiots knowledge-wise (read up before you go!). Nurses were really nice even to students! They even help you to prepare and clear up your bloods trolley!!
Did you face any cultural challenges? Language barrier; I thankfully speak a bit of Hokkien (traditional dialect) which was very helpful when talking to patients. However, many of the doctors don't speak all the languages anyway so don't worry. Medical staff converse in English. Despite the language barrier, I don't think the hospital has translation services so usually the nurses/family members translate.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Read up before going! Tbh, I think I was just (un)lucky and got a really intense team knowledge-wise. Other students had teams that didn't really care much. Teaching was great as long as you can tolerate a bad ego-bashing! The hospital has really awesome cheap food!!! There's about 5 cafes, a mini-mart and random food stalls. You get a 20% discount at the main cafe too! Meals are usually <$5 (e.g. bowl of noodles + canned drink). You can also go to the junior doctor teaching sessions, where you get really nice free food (similar to bento boxes with rice, 1 veg, 1 meat/fish and something else like tofu. Vegetarian option available. + a packet drink). I think I spent <$20 on food during my entire elective there because there was free food nearly every day. If you want a holiday, don't do internal med. My hours were 7.30-6pm nearly every day (earliest I left was 4pm). Again, I think it was just my team. But Singaporeans are crazily hardworking. Heaps of other Aus elective students were there, esp from UNSW. If you apply with a friend, it's unlikely you will get allocated to the same team :(.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★

Solomon Islands

Honiara
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? National Referral Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? 21/1/14-4/3/14
How long was your elective? 6 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Surgery.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Gen med, gen surg, ortho, obs/gynae, paeds, ED
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Yvonne; elective co-ordinator.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). yvonnetoliliu@gmail.com
What was the application process? 1. Look up the email address on the net (Yvonne is leaving soon, but hopefully someone will take her place). You could try nrh@solomon.com.sb 2. Send email as early as possible, stating you are final year med, including a CV and what dates you would like. 3. Wait approximately 3 months for a return email. If no-one has replied in that time, send it again. (Internet is incredibly dodgy and nothing is ever done in a hurry). 4. Correspond by email. Easy :)
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? -Stethoscope -Casual clothes. Girls, you need to wear something that covers your thighs to be culturally appropriate. No-one cares much about fashion, but conservative, neat and cool is the way to go. Also, everyone wears thongs in the hospital, but i found more supportive shoes to be more comfy. -Medical supplies! LINCS can help you out with this. Torniquets and sphygnomanometers are forever in short supply, but honestly just take whatever you can get. I flew Virgin Australia, who were very helpful with giving me some extra baggage space for free. -Umbrella. It's the rainy season! Also sunscreen, mozzie repellant and after-sun lotion. -bathers and boardshorts. There are some lovely beaches, but make sure you cover your thighs. -hand cleanser/alcohol gel. It's not always available -Ample funds on a debit card (there are ATMs where you can get cash out, but most places will not take a card). Things are actually quite expensive in Honiara.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Pijin. It's sort of broken English. You'll pick it up.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Hep A, typhoid, cholera.
How much did your elective cost? N/A.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? At Jubilee House, which is a house on campus. No aircon, but it has just been renovated and is quite nice. Cost me about AUD 400 for 6 weeks.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? It's very difficult to organise things before you get there, but once you are there everyone is very helpful and supportive.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Language and accent. Took me a couple of weeks to be able to communicate with my patients.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Learning a bit of Pijin before I left.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? There are 2 cafes frequented by expats if you are homesick, with air-con and western-style food: Lime Lounge and Breakwater Buy a local sim card. Think about taking a simple handset with you, or getting one there. The pineapple is amazing! Get involved! You have to ask/offer, though, or it will be assumed that you don't want to do anything You don't need to stick to one department. Wander around and do a bit of everything. There's always heaps to do in ED or labour ward.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20494024@student.uwa.edu.au

South Africa

Johannesburg
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January 2014
How long was your elective? 5 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Trauma
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Many - see http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/health/students/9121/elective.html
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Dawn Francis, Electives Officer, University of Witwatersrand
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). Dawn.Francis@wits.ac.za
What was the application process? Get in early as positions fill up months to years in advance as this is a very popular elective and world renowned. Students wishing to undertake an elective clerkship in Johannesburg must apply and register through the Elective Office, Faculty of Health Sciences , University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg as per application procedures listed on the website (www.wits.ac.za/academic/health/students/elective/9122/application_procedures.html). NO monies are required to accompany your elective application forms. On confirmation of acceptance, you will be instructed by email as to when monies are required. You may email copies of your application forms to Dawn.Francis@wits.ac.za and then courier the completed original forms to the address listed on the above website.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? 1) Do not forget to bring your stethoscope and goggles to protect your eyes. Students working in Trauma / Surgery will be given one complimentary scrub suit. Please bring at least two (navy blue) scrub suits with you as you have to launder your own scrubs.
2) You are allowed to wear trainers e.g. Nike and/or Crocs (imitation version okay) in theatre/hospital. Open sandals/slops are NOT allowed whilst on duty. Other essential items (they seem trivial until you are there, and realise you need ALL of these things)
- bring a few tourniquets
- scrub suits are useful in Trauma, but try to get navy blue ones as the unit likes you to be uniform
- other useful items: small stapler, paramedic type scissors, SMALL headtorch (suturing)
- small pouch to carry your gadgets whilst on duty
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Typhoid, Hep A
How much did your elective cost? Elective fee - $700, Accom - $500
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Students are not provided with accommodation at the teaching hospitals University on-campus student accommodation is available at Wits Junction Residence (www.wits.ac.za/witsjunction) A better option is to find private accommodation close to the hospital, as Wits Junction is 40mins from the hospital, and shuttle buses only run in morning and evenings, and not on weekends.
**GOOD LOCATION FOR BARA - would highly recommend!! Christine Loukakis 293 Fairlawn Avenue 2091 MONDEOR++ Tel: +27 11 680 9276 Fax: +27 11 6809276 Cell: 082 330 1893 email: loukakis@iafrica.com ZAR150.00 per room per day. ZAR800.00 refundable deposit is required to secure the accommodation. 3 rooms in house ++ 10 minutes drive to Baragwanath 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, lounge, diningroom, DSTV, ADSL(3 gigs to share) house serviced twice per week, fully furnished, good security, prepaid phone card landline telephone, 1 x garage, 1 x carport secure, 10 minutes from Baragwanath, You will need a car to commute to hospitals. no pets
**GOOD LOCATION FOR BARA Dr John Ledger (Environmentalist) 211 Columbine Avenue 2091 MONDEOR++ Tel: +27 11 680 8920/ 1553 Cell: 083 650 1768 email: john.ledger@wol.co.za Email: amyledger@wbs.co.za Visit : www.bara-house.com ZAR150 per night per person or R125 per night two people sharing room ++ 10 minutes drive from Bara. You will need a car to commute to hospitals. Single/double rooms in house in Mondeor. Furnished, large lounge, kitchen, garden with swimming pool. Water and electricity included in rental. Secure parking.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Dawn Francis is lovely but very slow to respond to emails, and rarely answers her phone. So don't leave any emailing to the last minute. For my accommodation I stayed with Christine Loukakis in a 3 bedroom house next door to her own family home. She frequently rents rooms to medical students and junior doctors working at Chris Hani Baragwanath. She is very friendly and extremely accommodating and I would highly recommend staying here!
Did you face any cultural challenges? N/A
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Not really - I felt well prepared
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? To sum up my elective - AMAZING!! Would HIGHLY recommend for all those adrenaline junkies out there. However you must be prepared to work VERY hard during your time there. If a holiday is what you're after - look elsewhere. You will be expected to work 2 to 3 26-hour overnight shifts per week. Exhausting but worth every minute!!
My time on the Trauma unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH or Bara) was by far the most rewarding medical experience I have had during my time in Medical school. From the first day, we were given responsibility and treated as part of the team. It was made clear by the head of department that we were there to get involved, and work hard. This was fine with me! I thrive in situations where I am given responsibility and am able to get my hands dirty rather than simply being a bystander. I gained experience in many procedures including inserting many large bore cannulas, collecting arterial blood samples, urinary catheters, nasogastric tubes and intercostal drain insertion. I attended the Advanced Trauma Life Support course and afterwards was expected to run traumas by myself, as many times there were more patients coming in in a critical condition than there were doctors. So by the end of my placement I was very competent in the initial assessment and management of the trauma patient.
According to the doctors who work at Bara, it is the most well-resourced public hospital in the region; a fact that was hard to believe. The reality was, that anyone who could afford private health insurance would avoid public hospitals as they knew the standard of care was not the same as that in the private sector. The lack of resources ranged from not running out of sterile suture packs almost daily, to being in a permanent state of being short staffed. This was apparent when we arrived, and were told that the Trauma unit depended on international elective students to provide workforce, as they simply did not have enough staff to handle the large workload. My entire time at Bara I felt extremely useful, and felt I was a valuable member of the team. It was good to have to learn to improvise with limited resources; a skill I believe will become very useful throughout my career. This large tertiary hospital had almost every specialty you could think of. However to get a patient admitted was always a battle, as there were usually no beds available on the wards. It was a common occurrence for the emergency department to close its doors, simply because there was no room to admit any new patients.
On the Trauma unit, I was dealing with young, otherwise healthy patients, who had been involved in pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes, violence and unexpected accidents. The rate of penetrating trauma is significantly higher in South Africa than in Australia, where the majority of trauma is due to blunt force such as motor vehicle crashes. On any given day we would see multiple stabbings and gun shot wounds. These were usually inflicted by someone the patient knew, and often over something trivial like an argument over small amounts of money. Another common occurrence was extensive burns, often from paraffin or another flammable liquid as these were used to fuel stoves for cooking, and lamps for light. Some burns were accidental, but equally some were non-accidental. It was a relatively common occurrence that someone would purposefully douse another in one of these flammable substances and set them on fire in attempt to murder them. In many cases this was successful, as burns to >60% of the body surface area had a very poor prognosis. One thing I noticed during my time at Bara was the apparent lower value placed on life. The fact that these injuries occurred so frequently was unsettling, and I believe it stems from a history of poverty and repression.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20352947@student.uwa.edu.au

South Korea

Seoul
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Chung Ang University Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? November 2013
How long was your elective? 4 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Gen surg, plastics, cardiothoracic surg
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Heaps!
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Through IFMSA, local exchange officer
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). leejoongang@gmail.com
What was the application process? Application form, CV, motivation letters
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? White coat (they may provide), steth, standard stuff.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Korean, some English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None.
How much did your elective cost? 1500
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Uni hostel/guest house.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Language barriers, though most doctors speak some english.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? N/A
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20568555@student.uwa.edu.au

Switzerland

Geneva
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? WHO
When did you undertake your elective? Dec-Feb
How long was your elective? 3 months
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Maternal & Perinatal Health
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Many public health specialities - see WHO website
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Head of department; personal contacts
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). N/A
What was the application process? Identify an area of interest, and prepare a CV and cover letter that reflects that. Apply early, and make sure that you arrange a verbal meeting with your supervisor to really flesh out the details of your roles and responsibilities during your time with the WHO. Many report poor experiences, where they spent their time doing administrative work. This could not be further from my experience, however my projects were very clearly defined from the outset.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Laptop - the IT systems are suboptimal. Your best skiing gear, and a taste for cheese and wine.Otherwise, nothing special required.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, French
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None.
How much did your elective cost? $4000 including flights
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? A small but lovely apartment in Plainpalais - located through a personal contact from the IFMSA who sorted it out for me. There are also a number of expat community websites that provide a forum for finding accommodation in Geneva, but it can be tough. If you are early enough, there are a number of hostels that are apparently worth staying in.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? You need to be highly committed to your project, and willing to commit time and energy. If you do that, you will have an extremely rewarding time. There are also plenty of opportunities to take weekends off to explore if that's what tickles your fancy. The nightlife is tough to crack, because you need a local to show you around. Make sure you go to Jame's Pub (sic) for Thursday night Karaoke, and L'Usine/Le Zoo (the best nightclub in the city).
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20243711@student.uwa.edu.au

Taiwan

Tainan
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? National Cheng Kung University Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Dec 2013
How long was your elective? 4 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? General Surgery
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes - it's a full tertiary hospital. So everything
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Ms. Jui Chen, Office of International Affairs
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). jjc81@mail.ncku.edu.tw
What was the application process? Full information here: http://ia.med.ncku.edu.tw/modules/xoopsfaq/index.php?cat_id=1
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? White (short) jacket - all medical students, interns and residents(i.e. registrar) wear them. Consultants wear lab-coat length white jackets.
And everything else you'd typically bring to the hospital - stethoscope, pen torch, stationery etc.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Mandarin, English (Yes, med school is bilingual for them), Taiwanese
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Not if elective is less than 1 month
How much did your elective cost? Accom $250, Hosp (School Fee) $80, Cost of living - cheap ($2-$5 per meal, many hosp breakfasts catered)
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Off-campus student hostel: http://nckh.ezdn.cc/. Single bed, study table, small fridge, television and ensuite.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? THE SURGEONS WERE ALL VERY VERY APPROACHABLE. Didnt matter if it were a department head or a resident - they were all very willing to teach (on-the-spot tutes - win!) and they were all very nice. Which felt weird, cos you'd think that at least -some- surgeons would be mean...but not really...
Did you face any cultural challenges? Challenges?? Well, Taiwanese people are very very hospitable and friendly - would make you feel like you've been a terrible person your entire life. A main challenge is typically staying at the hospital till late (e.g. 7pm) - it's quite the culture to work late, and no one ever seems to complain about not being able to go home/lack of family life/not being paid for overtime etc.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Not really. Bring an anatomy textbook.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Bulk buy stationery - great range of variety and cheap prices. On a more serious note - if you're interested in surgery, do request for the liver transplantation team and upper GI team. They do live donor liver transplants - something WA doesnt do yet - and is fascinatingly different from dead donor transplants (I know cos I was on Unit 5 at SCGH for Gen Surg). Also, they are very proud of their PPPD achievement (variant of Whipple's) - observe one case and you'll know what I mean.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20619221@student.uwa.edu.au

Tanzania

Arusha
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Mout Meru
When did you undertake your elective? January- February
How long was your elective? 6 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? O+G
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Paeds, Gen Med
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Work the World
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). leah@worktheworld.co.uk
What was the application process? Submit an application to Work the world through their website
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Scrubs, Repellant, Gloves, TB masks, Hand sanitiser
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Swahili .
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow fever, Hep A, Typhoid, Rabbies, Tetanus, cholera
How much did your elective cost? about 4000 for flights and program which included accommodation and food. extra 1000-1500 for spending money and weekend activities during 6 weeks
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? In the work the world house 15-20 minutes by dala dala to the hospital. It was very safe, full time security and safe boxes in your room. There was a full time cook and cleaner who made a range of local and western foods. Rooms were share 2-4 people per room with bathrooms in each room.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful and quick to respond to emails. Hospital staff were also very friendly and approachable.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Language barrier was main challenge although they provided lessons at the house.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Climb Mt Kilimanjaro it takes 6-8 days so leave time at the end or start of your placement it is well worth it. Rainy season late Feb early March so doing your elective earlier is better for sight seeing and walking around Arusha.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20502837@student.uwa.edu.au
Dar Es Salaam
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Amadna District Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? February.
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Gen Med & paeds.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? surge, obstetrics, ED
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Done through Work The World.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). info@worktheworld.com
What was the application process? Apply online.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Mosquito repellant, Anti-Malarials, Swim gear, Sun-Screen.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Swahili, English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow Fever and Typhoid.
How much did your elective cost? $3500
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Organisation accommodation with a pool and rooms of 4 people. Very pleasant accommodation
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful at the house, not so much at the hospital
Did you face any cultural challenges? I faced some but had been a similar situation previously. others found it quite difficult.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? UWA's assistance was helpful. would've have been useful to know about the UWA travel insurance. for 2014 5th year students, important to sign up for AVANT due to free travel insurance (not available for my elective unfortunately.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Make sure you ask how many students will be in your department at the hospital. There are 2 hospitals that are visited by the organisation. I initially intended to do 2 weeks of paeds and 1 week of gen med but because so many people were doing paeds at my hospital (7 other students) I had to do 2 weeks of gen med and 1 week of paeds, while the other hospital had no students doing paediatrics. Ensure you check this. Also, dont do more than 1 week of gen med, or you will get bored.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20506897@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Amana District Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? February 2014
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? General medicine/paediatrics
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Obstetrics, surgery, outpatients(ED)
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Work The World (website to apply)
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). team@worktheworld.co.uk
What was the application process? Apply online at worktheworld.com.au
They have a step by step application process which is very easy to understand.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Hand gel, gloves, stethoscope, pen torch, antimalarials.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Swahili, English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow fever, typhoid (consider cholera and rabies but not necessity). All the regular vaccines as well (DTP, MMR).
How much did your elective cost? $3500
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Cost included accommodation and hospital fees, food etc. We stayed in a compound with a group of houses. There were 20 other medical and nursing students there. The compound had a pool and shops nearby.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very approachable both in the application process and on the elective. Everything is run on Tanzanian time which is "pole pole" which means slowly-slowly, thus if you want something done on time, do it yourself, or be persistent in your questions.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Yes, very different culture to Perth. definite issues with crime, especially at night ( I had my bum bag stolen in a drive-by robbery) and thus people doing this elective need to be cautious and never walk around at night. People always very friendly but as a half muslim half christian country in Africa, customs are very different.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Taking Swahili lessons would have been useful, but are not a necessity.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? My advice would be to ask to do 1 week stints of specialties. I was bored of Gen med ward rounds (histories given in English but discussed in Swahili) after a week, although HIV & TB clinics were interesting. I would advise doing outpatients rather than Gen Med if you want a hands on elective as this involves stitching people up plaster casting etc. Although I didn't do obstetrics, the other students who did found it very full on and if you choose to do O&G be prepared for this as it is very different to Perth.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20506897@student.uwa.edu.au
Mwanza
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Bugando Medical Centre.
When did you undertake your elective? 14/01/2014 - 23/02/2014
How long was your elective? 6 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Internal medicine and paediatrics.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes - surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Josephine Mkono
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). bugandohospital@gmail.com
What was the application process? I sent an email to the international relations and development officer, who was Katie Magambo at the time asking about elective opportunities etc. she then sent an email with the elective application form and a file containing information on accommodation options and costs, information about the different departments that I could do my elective on and orientation. I then completed the form and scanned it to her with the letter from the dean and all the other stuff she wanted and about a week later she sent me my letter of confirmation.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? They will send you all the information. Contact travel doctors. "
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English between the doctors and students and Kiswahili to the patients.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow fever is compulsory. Travel doctor reccomends others I got hep B also.
How much did your elective cost? Hospital institution fees - $200, accommodation - 15dollars a night, flights - 2600
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? I stayed at the guesthouse they recommended by the hospital for only a week. It was good because you get to meet visiting residents and other students. The cost there has now increased from 25dollars to 40dollars, which I was only told a few days before I got there. In some cases they may ask you to share a room, which you do not get told until you get to the guesthouse. I then moved to a hostel called St Dominic's which is near a district hospital and about 30min walk from Bugando hospital and was much cheaper and nicer.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? They were very helpful and approachable at the hospital.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Nope because I am from Africa.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? A handbook with how to do procedures such as LP, pleural tap etc. I saw an elective student with one and I was envious.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Learn some Swahili. It will help with your learning and interaction especially with the patients.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: swaoa02@student.uwa.edu.au

Thailand

Koh Samui
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Koh Samui Government Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? February 2014.
How long was your elective? 3 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Emergency/General Surgery/OBGYN/Orthopaedics
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Everything!
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Hathairat Leuangrittivutti
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). foreignercenter@gmail.com
What was the application process? Send in CV, letter of good standing and copy of passport. No fees!
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Bathers! Camera! Be ready to have LOTS of fun on a beautiful tropical island!
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, Thai.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? All the immunisations you already had at the beginning of medical school but also hepatitis A and typhoid.
How much did your elective cost? No hospital fees, you only need to pay for your own accomodation and all living expenses but everything is SO cheap in Thailand! My accomodation was $1200 for the whole month of February but there are more expensive or less expensive options to suit anyone's budget. Meals at locals places are about $7 on average, cheaper if you go to market!
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? I stayed at a hotel, really nice, breakfast was included in the cost of the room. Pretty much every single hotel is directly on the beach which is amazing!
How helpful/approachable were the staff? EVERYONE at the hospital is SO friendly! The doctors all speak a fair bit of English so you can communicate with them about patients. Everyone is so happy to help and all the doctors were really happy for me to be actively involved in whatever I was comfortable being involved in. They are happy for you to do as much or as little as you like and are very understanding if you want to take time off or only do half days so that you can sight see!
Did you face any cultural challenges? No, but it is important to keep in mind that it is a 3rd world country.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nothing. I think it would be nice if we had more contact with UWA whilst over there (ie maybe an email to see how we are going and to make sure everything is okay and we are getting what we need to out of our elective - I know this is our responsibility but it's nice to have someone we know we can talk to and that the uni supports us and cares about us).
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? This elective is perfect for anyone who wants a fun, relaxing elective on a beautiful tropical island!
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20539876@student.uwa.edu.au

Uganda

Kisizii
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Kisizii Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan-Feb 2014
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Gen Med, Paeds, Surg, ObsGyn, Psychiatry
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Community outreach antenatal and psych clinics
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Hannah and Ian Spillman
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). khmedsup@gmail.com
What was the application process? Can be seen here : http://www.kisiizihospital.org.ug/?page_id=92 Don't be afraid to resend emails or wait > 2 weeks for a reply as the internet there can be very sporadic at times.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Good pair of boots, chino style trousers, shirts ( the med officer in charge is british, so is a fan of sleeves above the elbows) - Stethoscope - Malaria prophylaxis - Cards/board games/books/sporting equipment/laptop with movies ( not too much to do after hours) As it is a mission hospital, any medical supplies would be much appreciated. Even things like scrubs, tourniquets, dressings, spacers are much needed. Many of the doctors would also like a Littman stethoscope! Members of the community are often after old mobile phones and laptops due to Uganda being a land-locked country and cheap electronics being hard to come by. Many will offer to buy your second hand electronics off you
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, local dialect (Chiga)
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Yellow Fever is a must to get out of the country
How much did your elective cost? $250 pounds per week for board/hospital fees
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Stayed in the hospital Guesthouse with all meals and laundry provided for. It is down the road from the hospital and opposite the local school. Accommodation was basic but comfortable, with a single bed and small desk in your own room. There is a housekeeper/cook who provides all meals, which usually consisted of continental breakfast and a mix of local/western food for lunch and dinner ( mostly vegetarian) There are many visitors that also stay at the Guesthouse so have lots of opportunities to meet people and make friends.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? All the staff were very approachable and friendly. They are used to having visiting doctors around and are keen to learn more about other countries. During your time there, you will receive many invites to attend weddings, funerals and join in local sporting activities.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Many cultural differences between Africa and Australia, but nothing that would cause significant distress. All Ugandans learn English in high school so communication is not too much an issue with staff.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nil.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Very good medical and cultural experience. Lots of pathology and signs in general medicine, lots of varied surgical procedures ( the same surgeon will do plastics, GIT, urology etc) and a very very busy maternity ward
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: anthony.hew1@gmail.com

United Kingdom

Birmingham
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Birmingham Childrens Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? January (2014)
How long was your elective? 2 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Paediatrics (Neurology)
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? ENT, General Paeds,
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Paula Cassidy undergraduate coordinator
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). Paula.Cassidy@bch.nhs.uk
What was the application process? We emailed Paula, she then asked us our preferences for placement and what dates. After this we had to send in our CV's and vaccination confirmation documents and fill out several forms. We were finally accepted in July/August.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope, clinical clothing, cold weather gear (as inevitably it will be cold)
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Same immunisations as in Perth
How much did your elective cost? 150 pounds per week hospital fees. we found 2 weeks accommodation for around $1000 (for two people)
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? We stayed just outside the CBD. The accommodation was comfortable and reasonably priced. If you apply early you may be able to use hospital accommodation, which would be closer and cheaper I would imagine.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Paula was very helpful but often slow replying. Important to be persistent in your application
Did you face any cultural challenges? Occasionally difficult not to laugh at some of the accents :P
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Unfortunately the subspeciality you are allocated to at BCH is very variable. I enjoyed my elective largely because I spent most of my time in clinics. Unfortunately Neurology ward rounds are very complex and there is little to be gained from them as a medical student. But the hospital was good and all the staff were very welcoming
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20506897@student.uwa.edu.au
Cambridge
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Addenbrooke's Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? September/October 2014
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Emergency (A&E)
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes, lots of others
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Electives office, apply through website: http://www.medschl.cam.ac.uk/education/elective/
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). cambridge.electives@medschl.cam.ac.uk
What was the application process? The website for electives at Cambridge is very clear and well organised. The applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis, provided that you are in your final 18 months of med school during the elective. The website provides a list of the departments at Addenbrooke's that still have positions available. Simply submit your application and specialty preferences through the website and provide the necessary supporting documents (academic transcript, hepatitis B vaccination record, etc.). Entries for electives for the following year close in July, but it's best to get in as early as possible.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope and some formal clothes to attend a formal dinner at one of the colleges. No clinical clothes are needed for the emergency placement (scrubs provided).
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Hepatitis B
How much did your elective cost? ~ £1250 for accomodation and administration costs.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? On-campus hospital accommodation. I shared a flat with three other elective students in an apartment block used by nurses and doctors. This was organised by the university. There were also three other elective students staying on another floor in the same building. It was nice being so close to the hospital but town is about 3 km away, so you will need to hire a bike or rely on buses to get anywhere. Luckily, the roads are bike friendly and the public transport is decent.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? The administration staff were very helpful and dedicated to making sure we had an enjoyable elective. The admin side of things was very well organised. The doctors in the emergency department were all very friendly and approachable, which was lucky as it's basically up to you as the student to find doctors during the shift who are willing to teach/supervise. The doctor who is theoretically the supervisor is extremely busy so has very little time to do any teaching.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Perhaps some visa information would be helpful, as applying for the UK visa is quite complicated.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Apply early. Due to the quality of the university and the ease of applying, spots fill up quickly. Electives at Cambridge are six weeks long, there is no possibility of doing a longer or shorter elective there. Cambridge is a good place to stay, as you have easy access to London for weekend or day trips, but you get to stay in a much calmer environment than London. The A&E elective itself is fine - they will give you a timetable of 50 hours per week at the start, but don't let that put you off as you can pretty much do as much or as little as you want (although most of the doctors are super nice and keen to teach, so take advantage). I heard that electives in the other departments are quite relaxed too.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20354378@student.uwa.edu.au
Edinburgh
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? St. John's hospital Livingston.
When did you undertake your elective? January.
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Plastic surgery.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes, many.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Email on Edinburgh university website.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). electives@ed.ac.uk
What was the application process? Email the application form (found on the Edinburgh university medical elective website) in with any required documentation and they will then let you know if you have a place. They will email you CAS numbers for the visa a few months after you have a confirmed place. Places are available on a first come first served basis.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Nothing needed just your clinical clothes.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None.
How much did your elective cost? 300 pounds (accommodation and administration cost).
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? On site hospital accommodation which was cheap and clean. I had my own room in a 3 bedroom apartment shared with 2 other elective students.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Help with UK visas! It was a confusing process and if you wanted to ask the UK visa office a question you needed to pay $20 for the call.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Apply as early as you can. Preferably more than 1yr in advance.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? University of Edinburgh
When did you undertake your elective? January - February.
How long was your elective? 4 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Radiology.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Yes, many.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Maureen Miller, electives offiicer.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). electives@ed.ac.uk
What was the application process? An application form, copy of blood test results, statement from the faculty.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? None required.. Accommodation was provided and was a furnished flat. Just pack warmly! Wellington boots would be useful for the rainy winter.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None.
How much did your elective cost? Approx $1000 (AUD) for admin fee, accommodation and visa, excluding flights and food.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? The university organised a shared flat accommodation, with other elective medical students. There were a total of 4 students in the flat. Each student had their own room which was furnished with a bed, table, bedside table, basin and inbuilt closet space. Shared toilet, shower and kitchen facilities. Each friday, a cleaner would come in to vacuum the shared areas and clear bed linen.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful and approachable.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Visa application process to go to the UK.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
London
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Guy and St Thomas Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? July 2013
How long was your elective? 2 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Paediatric ENT.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Many.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Nico Jonas.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). nicojonasent@gmail.com
What was the application process? I simply emailed asking if I could do an elective there, and he was kind enough to say yes and just direct me to the hospital admin people. I had to fill in some forms and pay a fee but other than that it was very easy (I'm not sure if you need a special visa, but I certainly didn't have one and the hospital didn't seem fussed)
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Nothing unusual other than clinical clothes. Prepare for cold wet weather in winter though.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Hepatitis, MMR, all the usual ones.
How much did your elective cost? Elective cost 200 pounds but I was lucky to have free accom and food - London can be quite expensive otherwise
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Stayed with friends in North London. Guy&St Thomas has no onsite accommodation to my knowledge.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Lovely.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Nil.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nothing particularly.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Organise it early - also try and find somewhere free to stay, or couchsurf!
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? UCL Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square
When did you undertake your elective? Jan-Mar 2014
How long was your elective? Six weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroopthalmology
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Jean Reynolds
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). jean.reynolds@ucl.ac.uk
What was the application process? You must apply directly to Jean Reynolds at the UCL Institute of Neurology. As places are highly competitive, you should apply at least 18 months in advance of your planned elective.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? A warm coat and lots of money!! Otherwise same standard of dress as hospital placements within Australian hospitals.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Must have completed UWA's infection control.
How much did your elective cost? Course fees around $2100 for six weeks, accommodation in central London is ~$400 a week in homestay.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Stayed in a homestay/bed and breakfast which I found through DoctorInTheHouseUK (doctorhouse.co.uk). The family were great, food was included and was in a nice central London borough, two tube stops from my hospital. It cost me 220 pounds per week (around $400 a week) which is pricey but for short stay accommodation it is difficult to do better than this.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? It was variable. Generally the staff were quite nice, however there were issues due to the nature of the relationship between the Institute of Neurology (part of UCL) and the hospital. For example, after arriving we were told that students were strictly forbidden from scrubbing in for operations. When we inquired about this, we were hand balled between departments with no answer or explanation as to why. So whilst at times it was quite frustrating as you had no one to report or who was willing to take you on board, most staff were happy to teach and take you to see interesting cases
Did you face any cultural challenges? Nothing too confronting. There is still a degree of the old British class system within the NHS and Londoners can be interpreted as rude (always rushing everywhere), but generally they are quite open minded, multicultural and friendly people
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Not really. Most of the issues I encountered upon arriving were due to the Institute and the hospital.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? The Institute of Neurology at Queen Square is world famous for neurology and it is well worth the placement. You are required to pay course fees, which are expensive however it gives you access to the UCL libraries, the MSc/Masters Neurology lectures (which are fantastic), teaching grand rounds and exclusive bedside sessions only for elective students. You will see everything within neurology here, from stroke/TIAs, Parkinsons, movement disorders, neuroinflammatory conditions, neuro-ophthalmology etc. There is also a world-leading neurosurgical department who have an extensive scope of practice from spinal cases, emergency neurosurgery, neuro-oncology to experimental deep brain stimulation for Tourette's. THE only drawback for spending time on the neurosurgical team is that medical students are FORBIDDEN from scrubbing in due to the hospital's policy. However you will learn a huge amount on this team which will be handy as an intern (e.g. interpreting head CTs, MRIs etc) . It is highly recommended if you spend time on this team to purchase 'The Neurosurgeon's Handbook' by Mr Samandouras - who happens to be the Department's Clinical Director! It is an entirely self-directed elective and not formally structured (depending on team) and there are opportunities to see cases/teaching at other hospitals/institutes) near by (e.g. UCL Hospital, Royal College of Surgeons). Due to the abundance of clinics and teaching sessions, if there is nothing on your team that day, there should be something to do. Also, being close to London's famous West End, you are never far from the other amazing sites in Europe's largest city. Overall, you will come away from this placement with more confidence in your knowledge and skills in Neurology and Neurosurgery.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: rengea01@student.uwa.edu.au
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Charing Cross
When did you undertake your elective? Jan-Feb 2014
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Neurology
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Teresa Collins, Imperial College Admin
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). teresa.collins@imperial.ac.uk
What was the application process? Contacting the admin person (as above) for overseas electives. They send you an elective pack, with a bunch of forms you have to fill out and send back, along with requests for police clearance, immunisation history etc. I think you have to have a consultant who has agreed to take you on as your supervisor. I found one through my mentor in Perth, but I know other students just emailed doctors at the hospital in departments they were interested in, and were able to find someone to accept to have them without too much trouble. You need a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK as an elective student. The process is a bit arduous, but you can get through it.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Normal medical equipment.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? MMR, Hep B, Diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio
How much did your elective cost? 2000-3000
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Rented an apartment with 4 other UWA med students.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very helpful, lovely people.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Organise the elective EARLY. The main reason I say this is that there is a lot of paperwork to do, and it takes a while for the Imperial College people to get back to you. Also, you need them to accept you with enough time to organise your visa.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: natalie.smith@ii.net
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Great Ormond Street Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan-Feb 2015
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Paediatric Surgery
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? All of paediatrics + NICU
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Lindsey Levy, PGME Manager (first point of contact for applying medical students)
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). Lindsey.Levy@gosh.nhs.uk
What was the application process? GOSH require you to submit an application 9-18 months in advance (depending on the speciality). The application form is quite extensive and they essentially won't accept anything that mixes surgical and medical preferences. They also require a full CV and 2 written references ""on headed notepaper"" from academic/clinical supervisors. I was also required to provide a third reference from my work at short notice.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? It is worth noting that whilst Australians can get a student visa for under 6 months automatically in the UK, medical students do not qualify as students. Rather, what we do in the clinical setting meets their legal requirements for work - be aware that you will need to apply for a work visa. You will require a CAS number from GOSH/UCL to do this. You'll need clinical clothing similar to what you wear in Australia.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English by all staff. Many staff speak other languages, as do patients. Incredibly good translation service present.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None
How much did your elective cost? 400 pounds administration fee to GOSH (which they've yet to charge me 9 weeks later). Groceries are fairly cost equivalent. Accommodation in central London is insanely expensive. A cheap studio is around 4,000 pounds for 6 weeks. Accommodation is cheaper further out, but public transport is not subsidised, so be prepared to pay $5+ per one way trip.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? We stayed in Bloomsbury in order to be in walking distance of GOSH. The area is lovely, with a large student population. Local restaurants are all very expensive however. It is cheaper to walk 15-20 minutes to SoHo/the West End if you want to eat out. I can't speak for dorm room accommodation/just renting a room as we didn't look into this style of accommodation. All advice below is for a studio size apartment or larger. We used University of London accommodation to cut down significantly on the cost of accommodation. The flats aren't exactly glamorous, but they did the job. If you do use UoL accommodation, try to arrive on a weekday with at least a day or two before the weekend. Otherwise the maintenance required to make your place livable won't get done until Monday. UoL accommodation (and some other college-type accommodation in the area) is sold in three parts. First round is exclusive to students of the universities and is difficult to find advertised online. Second part is the unsold stuff being offered for long term (usually >3 months) lease, then finally it goes on sale for short to medium term leases. You have to be quick, we watched about half of the third round stuff disappear within a few days of it appearing online.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? By and large most staff were very friendly. I had no issues beyond occasionally having to manage a grumpy consultant.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Everyone thought I was a local Englishman :(
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Proper explanation of visa requirements/just informing us that we don't fall under the classic definition of a student in most developed parts of the world.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location?
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: 20742605@student.uwa.edu.au

United States of America

Honolulu, Hawaii
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Lau Ola Clinic
When did you undertake your elective? Early Jan to mid Feb 2014
How long was your elective? 6 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Internal Medicine (outpatient setting similar to GP-equivalent in Australia)/Native Hawaiian Health
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? CAMDH
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). camdh@uwa.edu.au
What was the application process? You need to be doing the Aboriginal Health specialisation as this was organised through CAMDH's contacts. It is a medical as well as a cultural placement. CAMDH does a variety of research and has contacts in Hawaii and Canada who also work in indigenous health. It's a case-by-case basis depending on whether their contacts are able to take students during your requested period. The two of us did not need to undertake a formal application process. Unfortunately our contact person is no longer at UWA but if you contact someone at CAMDH they can point you in the right direction.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Stethoscope, name tag/student ID, white (lab) coat. Make sure you look into visas. We were fine to use the ESTA program which was a simple online form. Fee was AUD$15 or so.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? As for Australia.
How much did your elective cost? $6500 including flights, accommodation (our location was more expensive), food and spending money.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Waikiki as their public transport (TheBus) was great if a little slow. The clinic is very close to JABSOM, the medical school. Took us about 20 minutes to bus to the clinic from Waikiki.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very friendly and approachable as it is a small clinic. Our supervisor was very reasonable and gave us half days for reading, cultural activities/experiences and exploring/being tourists.
Did you face any cultural challenges? We had some fantastic cultural experiences and took the opportunity to learn about Native Hawaiians. Needed to get used to tipping and tax!
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Be open to new experiences and embrace the culture.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: atimtam@gmail.com
Townsend, Tennessee
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Wilderness Medical Society
When did you undertake your elective? February 1-26 2015
How long was your elective? 4 weeks
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Various incl Emergency, Ortho, Sports Med, Expedition Medicine
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what?
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Stephanie Lareau, Elective Director
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). stephlareau@gmail.com
What was the application process? Go to the WMS website at wms.org/education/elective.asp Fill out the application forms and send in. If you don't get in early enough you will be waitlisted but the American students often have to pull out so they have never not accepted someone off the waitlist
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Very warm clothes! Even in the classroom it can be in the single digits so make sure you have lots of layers and know how to dress for the snow. Camping gear is also useful but you can also borrow/share with other students. A lot of time is spent outside doing scenarios so good gear is important then too, especially rain coats and good hiking shoes/boots.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? None
How much did your elective cost? USD$1200 + money for weekends/evenings (food included weekdays)
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? The elective is held on at a summer camp. We stayed in bunk beds in a dorm-style, in a large lodge with all the other students. Boys and girls had separate dorms & bathrooms but everyone shared the big living area & kitchen. It had central heating but often would turn off at night so good sleeping bags were a must! No wifi/very limited cell phone service in the lodge. Plenty of books, board games and an awesome fire though!
How helpful/approachable were the staff? All the staff were amazing. Very friendly and very open about contacting them with questions or asking about research or other networking opportunities.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Not really, however it is in the South so if you haven't been there before be aware it is pretty different from other parts of the States. But people are really friendly and the food/beer is awesome!
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? I had to work out my own VISA situation which took a lot of research and my elective co-ordinators were unable to help me so advice on that aspect would have been useful!
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? If you haven't hiked in a while get out for a few before you head over or just make sure you are in reasonable physical shape. You don't need to be an athlete but it will just make life a bit easier.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: issywhitaker@gmail.com

Vanuatu

Port Vila
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Port Vila central hospital.
When did you undertake your elective? 6th jan- 24th jan.
How long was your elective? 3 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Paediatrics.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Obstetrics, surgery, general med.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Rosemary taun- paediatrician.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). rtaun@vanuatu.gov.vu
What was the application process? Email with letter from UWA.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? Casual dress: shorts, t-shirts., sunscreen, hat, bathers, stethoscope, insect repellent...lots of it!!!
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Bislama, English and French.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Nil. But did have malaria prophylaxis.
How much did your elective cost? $1800-2500.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Coconut palms hotel- I stayed in the dominate style room that has shared bathroom facilities, would highly recommend upgrading to the air conditioned room as it is a tropical country and it gets VERY hot at night and you won't be able to get any sleep. There was a pool, facilities for medical students to cook, a bar and restaurant at the hotel but the town centre was a short 15 minute walk away.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Most of the staff were absolutely amazing, helpful and very enthusiastic to teach. The hospital was quite short staffed so they let me run out patient clinic on my own.
Did you face any cultural challenges? No, everyone was very lovely but do dress conservatively.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Not particularly....perhaps more training on malnutrition.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Be conservative with dress and bring lots of insect repellent!!!!! If interested in diving- big blue offers discounts for medical students.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: weiferz@hotmail.com

Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Cho Ray Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Feb 16-28
How long was your elective? 2 weeks.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Emergency.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? Tropical medicine..
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Admin.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). training.crtd@gmail.com
What was the application process? Email the admin dude. He'll respond to ask what area you want to do your elective in with the appropriate forms to fill out. They have many other specialties 'on offer' but really only have 2: ED and tropical med.
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? A sense of purpose, and a holiday spirit.
What languages are spoken at your elective location? English, Vietnamese.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Hep A.
How much did your elective cost? 1000.
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Stayed at hue my hotel. 15$ per day, breakfast and room service included. (shared a twin bed room with a mate). I'd say try to stay in district 1 vs district 5 (where cho ray hospital and my hotel was) because no-one in district 5 speaks english, but district 1 is the tourist district. cabs are about 4 dollars from district 1 to cho ray, and if you split it between 5 people.... well, it gets silly cheap.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Not very approachable in ED. It's too busy and only 1 or 2 docs speak english at any shift - usually the heads of dept. So that means very little teaching time, and lots of standing around awkwardly hoping for a good case that the english speaking docs are willing to discuss. I've heard from other students the tropical med placement was very different - a lot more english speaking doctors who are much more keen on practising their English and therefore keen on teaching.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Language was by far the biggest challenge. Everyday medical practice was also markedly different from ours - much less money in the hospital and therefore much lower standards of care. The language barrier meant we only spent 2-3 hours at each shift.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? N/A
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Do tropical medicine. Same amount of hours but much more teaching in those hours. Take time to have a holiday while you're there. It's a good chance to enjoy yourself while exposing oneself to a third world medical system. If you can, find an interpreter or bring someone who speaks vietnamese. ;) Great place to holiday for a student. Affordable and fun.
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★★
Contact for this entry: timdimdom@gmail.com
Siagon
What was the name of the hospital/facility/practice at which your elective was done? Cho Ray Hospital
When did you undertake your elective? Jan/Feb 2014.
How long was your elective? 6/52.
Did your elective have a speciality? If so, what was it? Tropical med, ED, burns.
Were there any other specialities available? If so, what? N/A.
Who is the best contact person at your elective location? Nguyen Ngoc Bich, training director.
Please provide their contact details (email, phone etc). training.crtd@gmail.com
What was the application process? Email completed application form, CV, recommendation letter, passport and passport photo to the above email (not the one on the form). Form can be found http://www.choray.vn/TinTuc.aspx?NEWS_ID=409
What items would you recommend bringing for an elective at this location? White coat (but can borrow one).
What languages are spoken at your elective location? Vietnamese.
Which, if any, immunisations did you require? Optional: hep A, typhoid, flu.
How much did your elective cost? $100/fortnight + hotel $140/week
Where did you stay and what was your accommodation like? Pha le hotel, 2 star hotel in city (15min by cab/bus). $20/night for a double room including breakfast and taxes. bus to cho ray is the #11, bus stop is 50m east. Near the backpacker street (just south of central park in the east of district 1) DO not stay in district 5, the hotels are bad.
How helpful/approachable were the staff? Very. One member would present their room of complex/rare pathology patients to the students each morning (~2hours). English was average, some trouble with medical terminology, but doable.
Did you face any cultural challenges? Llanguage barrier. Hospital closed for Vietnamese new year, but they involve you with celebrations/games the week before.
What, if anything, would have better prepared you for your elective? Nil.
What other comments/tips do you have for anybody interested in undertaking their elective at this location? Most of the time is self-directed/unsupervised. Some doctors were shy with english so keep pushing. When crossing the road just walk. Don't stop or walk backwards. Similar to thailand and other crowded roads. District 1 has lots of pubs, hidden cafes and street food. Don't get ripped off by the touristy markets (Ben thanh -bargain hard, walk away there's 20 shops of everything) Enjoy the street food and iced drinks (esp. smoothies -sinh to), the only time we got sick was from fast food burgers (Lotteria) Spend time exploring the city outside of district 1. Recommend: district 2 and 7. Maybe avoid district 4 and 9. Also visit mekong delta, dalat and other places on weekends. Can also fly to hue (emperor tombs) or nha trang (beach resort) for a weekend. Also monkey island (can gio) is worth visiting either private tour or public transport (#20 bus from ben thanh, to end of line, take ferry, then take #90 to monkey place (learn the viet word for monkey and the locals will show you where to get off).
How would you rate your overall experience? ★★★★
Contact for this entry: dazlegatic@gmail.com