Electives - where, what, who, when, why and how? Watch

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Daveo
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Help.
Have been told to start organising elective even though its at least 18 months away!
Experiences....ideas....anything ..
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Ataloss
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Really depends on where you want to go to go.

I wanted to go to Barbados - but I didn't know how popular it was. Apparently you have to apply 12-18 months to have a chance of getting a placement in the Barbados - it is particularly popular with the German medical students, who get in their first. (and I thought they were only bad with towels on deckchairs. )

Your medical faculty will almost certainly have a list of contacts for hospitals etc in all the most popular destinations to whom you can apply.

Then it's just a question of deciding where you want to go, who you want to go with,where you can afford (promising the bank manager sexual favours ) - applying and keeping your fingers crossed.

After you have been offered places it is then a question of sorting the logistics - flights, accomodation (the hospital you stay at will often help you with this), insurance (there are many special offers out there for electives), jabs etc..

Then have a fabulous time.

Hope that is of some help - I'm knackered so its probably a bit incoherent.
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Daveo
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Hmmmm,
I can't decide what I want to do
a) Canada - would be cool, but expensive and a pain in the arse to organise
b) Australia - Pretty expensive, long way away but again pretty cool
c) Solomon Islands - Completely random, amazing experience but not really sure what i'd be letting myself in for.

Basically, do I play it safe and do something normal, or be a little more adventurous for an amazing experience.
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Ataloss
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I know people that went to small islands (don't know anyone who went to Solomon islands) and they had a wide range of bizarre, unique experiences.

It's a tough decision (why are there so many places to chose from? )

A lot always depends on if you are going with someone or if friends/the better half are hoping to meet you out there afterwards.

Hope it all works out for and you have a fantastic time.
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Jamie
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(Original post by Daveo)
Hmmmm,
I can't decide what I want to do
a) Canada - would be cool, but expensive and a pain in the arse to organise
b) Australia - Pretty expensive, long way away but again pretty cool
c) Solomon Islands - Completely random, amazing experience but not really sure what i'd be letting myself in for.

Basically, do I play it safe and do something normal, or be a little more adventurous for an amazing experience.
Solomon islands is far from random. you've said that because you've heard others say it. like myself. Turns out its a VERY common destination for medical students. including german ones. i'll refer you to this website on further information. http://www.hermannoberli.ch/student_e.htm

My first tip would be to make a list of what you want. Are you one of these hippy buggers that is happy going to some 3rd world dump and making some meagre effort to help a few dozen people out fo millions, risk life and limb, and practice medicine you are not competent in on people who have little other choice? OR wopuld you rather a semblence of first world action.
Would you rather an easy going elective, or one where you get up every day at 6.30, and are on call every 3 days (i.e US)
do you want to do one elective, or split it into 2.
how much time will you have. do you want to go travelling before after or during?
how much money can you get hold of. are you prepared to go get a bank loan to cover the costs?
what specialty do you wat to do - some specialties have grants you can get hold of.


My second tip is when you figure all this out you'll have a list of places you would like to go/are prepared to go. next get a few mates together. if you're happy solo then go for it, but its often ncier and easier with a few mates. find some good ones who have similar travelling ideas to yourself. get onto it soon so that you both can get into a place. its not as foolishly early as you might think. some countries fill up v fast.

once you have done this, figure out the dates you are travelling. then look at the countries and figure out what the average weather is in each country then. if that isn't a factor for you don't sweat it. but going to a tropical islan in monsoon type weather wouldn't be my idea of fun.

OK, so example time my elective is in 7 weeks time. I took out a professional development loan from barclays of some £5k. this will pay for my elective and the period between uni and starting an F1.

I am going solo for most my elective because i didn't sort it quick nough. or rather id din't broach the topic with any friends quick enough. I have bought a round the world ticket. don't plan your trip based on these, plan your trip then call up sta travel to see how much it is. mine cost £1400.
I am flying to miami with some friends first. weather predicted - height of summer. 4 days there and they fly to trinidad for their first part of their elective. I fly to brisbane - via LA and Auckland. I do 4 weeks in the dermatology dept of brisbane. weather predicted - spring, circa 25 degrees. I then fly to the solomon islands - Honiara for a 4 week elective. THis ticket costs a whopping £600 return from brisbane. it isn't included in round world tickets. i might not go. i might forge evidence of this elective instead. weather predicted if i do - tropical.
after solo, i will return to brisbane and fly straight to sydney. there i will meet up with my miami friends who will have come from a 4 week placement in tonga. we will have a weeks holiday in the area. then we fly to bangkok. we have a weeks holiday there. then we fly home.

my ultimate tip...
Buy Skype. Buy credit for Skype. buy a microphone for your computer. Call places up if you can. its much quicker and reliable than using damned email. many addresses you will find are redundant. many people simply do not reply.
O, and look at http://www.the-mdu.com they have a 'electives network' (TEN) which lists places, gives reviews etc etc.


Best of luck.
'o yes, i AM the elective king'
randdom
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I am in the process of organising mine at the moment, I have applied to Alice Springs hospital for a 6 week elective but I won't hear until some time between August and October so fingers crossed.

If you are a member of the MDU then http://www.the-mdu.com/studentm/index.asp this might be useful. It has contact details to loads of hospitals all over the world.
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Helenia
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Mine's ages away, but my cousin went to some island called Vanuatu which I'd never heard of, and had a wicked time. She travelled there via HK, Thailand etc and went back via Aus and NZ.
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Fluffy
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I quite like the sound of NZ or Oz - but I'm scared of creepy crawlies and snakes, so many be not
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Renal
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I'm dreaming of a monster style tour - turn up to hospital for a morning, get signed off - **** off on a bender around the world!
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Daveo
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hmmm, i've kinda semi-decided on solomon islands, have emailed, hopefully will get a reply sometime in the not too distant future.
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Jamie
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(Original post by Helenia)
Mine's ages away, but my cousin went to some island called Vanuatu which I'd never heard of, and had a wicked time. She travelled there via HK, Thailand etc and went back via Aus and NZ.
your cous was lucky. Vanuatu has beena no go this year due to an imminent volcanic eruption.

Solomon islands sounds really cool, everyone always loves it. just don't be thinking its a unique destination or at all original cos its not. go to any elective night and i garauntee you that as many peeps will have gone to solomon islands as went to the entire east coast of america.
originallity is over rated though.

randomm - yeh thats the elective network is was talking about. quite useful, but often is out of date. search for medical electives online and you'll find a 'medical electives around the world' which has contact numbers for all hospitals. the switchboard can usually put you through from there.

and its wise to check how far places are off the beaten track.
alice springs - back end of nowhere for instance.

lastly some places make you pay a fortune for an elective. Sydney for instance. be aware of that.
randdom
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(Original post by Robot Chicken)
randomm - yeh thats the elective network is was talking about. quite useful, but often is out of date. search for medical electives online and you'll find a 'medical electives around the world' which has contact numbers for all hospitals. the switchboard can usually put you through from there.

and its wise to check how far places are off the beaten track.
alice springs - back end of nowhere for instance.

lastly some places make you pay a fortune for an elective. Sydney for instance. be aware of that.
I know that alice springs is in the middle of nowhere that is what appealed to me in the first place I really wanted to be somewhere which was completely different to anywhere I had been before. I have read some good reviews of the electives offered there. It is slightly daunting that it is so far away from everywhere but kind of exciting too. I really really want to go there! I just hope I get in!
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blissy
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I'll be following wherever he goes
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Daveo
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(Original post by Robot Chicken)
lastly some places make you pay a fortune for an elective. Sydney for instance. be aware of that.
Thats why I decided against canada, its hugely expensive before you've even got there, and when you're there its equally as expensive.
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Jamie
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(Original post by blissy)
I'll be following wherever he goes
Doing what exactly..?
randdom
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(Original post by Daveo)
Thats why I decided against canada, its hugely expensive before you've even got there, and when you're there its equally as expensive.
One of my friends is trying to go to the US it looks like it is going to be rediculously expensive.
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blissy
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(Original post by Robot Chicken)
Doing what exactly..?
Whatever the heck I want Jamie
Volunteering, holidaying, whatever. I'll be at a point where I have money to spend and not bound to a job in the UK.
edit: I want to help support and experience similar things
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Daveo
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(Original post by randdom)
One of my friends is trying to go to the US it looks like it is going to be rediculously expensive.
Exactly, i'd rather spend money on a flight to a far away place than pay hundreds in tuition fees to goto some hosptial in america/canada/aus.
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Frapps
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Reading this thread, I wondered. Can you take up electives within Europe, e.g. in France, for example, provided you speak some French? And will this be cheaper? Was just thinking about this...
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medic_rules
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I've already got mine fixed up for next Aug-Sept, you need to be applying early cos some of them take ages to get back to you, don't send any money to anywhere until they confirm that they've accepted you, some have the cheek to charge approx £75 the administration fees and then offer you completely different dates to which you stated, or so I've heard. Use google and Glasgow Uni has a good section on elective reviews by past students, it turned up on google and I found it very helpful. Don't forget you're up against the rest of the world for electives, get in there early.
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