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    My elective will be at the end of 3rd year meaning I have 1 year to go. Where did other people go and does anyone have any advice or tips for an elective?
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    I went to Borneo (Sarawak). It was amazing! If rural medicine is your cup of tea, then it's perfect. We went with a charity to remote villages and ran clinics. The boring part was the hospital as everyone was reluctant to let us do anything (despite having the paperwork in place). There was time to do some holidaying too, if you like outdoors and watersports!
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    I went to Swaziland back in 2008. It wasn't what I'd planned at all but I ended up having an amazing time.

    I did a post about it on TSR here and also wrote a blog whilst out there, which you can read here.

    I think you need to decide a few basics to help narrow down your search:
    • Developed country or developing world?
    • With a buddy (or more) or alone?
    • Does it have to be English-speaking?
    • Any particular specialty?
    • Are you happy to do hardcore US-style hours (in hospital from 6am or earlier, doing residential on-calls) or do you want somewhere more chilled?
    • Any travelling plans afterwards?


    Avoid anywhere that's particularly politically unstable, and probably in the case of Africa avoid the areas where there's been Ebola recently (one of my friends went out last year to Uganda and was basically turned back at the border because the hospital she was going to had Ebola, so had to organise something else from the airport!) Your university will probably have some kind of record of people's previous electives and may contain contact details, there's also a book which has information on lots of hospitals, plus I think the MDU/MPS has an electives website.

    Happy planning!
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    (Original post by m197)
    I went to Borneo (Sarawak). It was amazing! If rural medicine is your cup of tea, then it's perfect. We went with a charity to remote villages and ran clinics. The boring part was the hospital as everyone was reluctant to let us do anything (despite having the paperwork in place). There was time to do some holidaying too, if you like outdoors and watersports!
    Borneo sounds amazing. Was it quite expensive?

    Although being the palest person I have ever met I am not sure I'd survive the heat!


    (Original post by Helenia)
    I went to Swaziland back in 2008. It wasn't what I'd planned at all but I ended up having an amazing time.

    I did a post about it on TSR here and also wrote a blog whilst out there, which you can read here.

    I think you need to decide a few basics to help narrow down your search:
    • Developed country or developing world?
    • With a buddy (or more) or alone?
    • Does it have to be English-speaking?
    • Any particular specialty?
    • Are you happy to do hardcore US-style hours (in hospital from 6am or earlier, doing residential on-calls) or do you want somewhere more chilled?
    • Any travelling plans afterwards?


    Avoid anywhere that's particularly politically unstable, and probably in the case of Africa avoid the areas where there's been Ebola recently (one of my friends went out last year to Uganda and was basically turned back at the border because the hospital she was going to had Ebola, so had to organise something else from the airport!) Your university will probably have some kind of record of people's previous electives and may contain contact details, there's also a book which has information on lots of hospitals, plus I think the MDU/MPS has an electives website.

    Happy planning!
    Thank you thank you thank you! Reading through that whole thread actually and got your blog in the next tab ready to go. We've not been given much guidance (yet) which I guess will come in September, but I have got 6 weeks before term starts and thought it was a good time to get started until I realised I had no idea where to even start - I am not terribly well travelled (driving to Germany last year more than doubled the number of countries I'd been to haha!).

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    I did a third in the caribbean (St Kitts and Nevis). It was quiet and relaxed, but interesting too and the ideallic island didn't do any harm either! The doctors there were actually keen for more students so I can give you an e-mail address if you want.

    The other two thirds were in rural Tanzania. It was a lot more intense, on both a medicine and personal level: being left alone to manage wards, admitting critically ill patients, working with the British FY2 to manage 6, 7, 8+ kids who were sick enough for ITU in the UK, using the ABC approach lots, seeing lots of death (paeds and adult), working long hours, dealing with severely under-motivated support staff and 'doctors', having very limited food... It was exactly what I was after and exactly what I had expected and gives you an idea of what's out there. It was not something I would say I enjoyed though.

    Most people go to New Zealand/Australia, don't do much medicine and have a great time.
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    Depends what you want out of your elective or what the medical school requires - we had to do a research project and the uni contacted supervisors to check that we'd actually been in the hospital. I stayed in the UK, went to Birmingham, and my project got me a poster at a national conference, so I don't really mind that I missed out on beaches and jetlag - I'd far rather have that as a holiday than part of med school!
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    I've been quite dull in that i have stayed within the UK. Whilst it may be attractive to go abroad i believe the elective period is an ideal time to do some portfolio building (especially if you want to work in a competitive specialty).

    I am actually currently on my elective and chose to do orthopaedics in a UK MTC. It has been a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the job in the system i will be working in whilst also giving me the opportunity to write various papers that should hopefully lead to two publications (in injury) and maybe a presentation.

    I definitely don't regret it though i understand opinions will differ.
 
 
 
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