sazzle101
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Have any muslim medical students gone on their elective/planning to go on their elective during Ramadan?
I'm going next year and my elective period is April and May with Ramadan falling in the middle, during which i'll be fasting.
Any advice on what to do?
Last edited by sazzle101; 6 months ago
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girl_in_black
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Are you a muslim or planning to go to a muslim country for your elective?
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sazzle101
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Good point haha! I've edited my question
(Original post by girl_in_black)
Are you a muslim or planning to go to a muslim country for your elective?
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girl_in_black
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I have no experience myself, but lots of colleagues fast at work during Ramadan. I suspect it would be easier to do it on elective than when working 12 hour shifts etc. How have you coped with fasting whilst at uni?
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nexttime
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I don't see why this will be different to fasting at any other time? Like, working as a doctor when Ramadan is in Winter will surely be worse than anything elective can offer?
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sazzle101
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I don't think I've phrased my question the right way. I'm hoping to do my elective abroad and do some travelling alongside it, I was thinking maybe Nepal or Sri Lanka, I'm not a native of these countries and I know they're not muslim majority countries. I'm worried about whether I'd be able to fast whilst also getting the chance to travel around the countries I'd be working in and deal with the hotter climates, high risk of getting some kind of gastroenteritis, along with staying with host families.


(Original post by nexttime)
I don't see why this will be different to fasting at any other time? Like, working as a doctor when Ramadan is in Winter will surely be worse than anything elective can offer?
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nexttime
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(Original post by sazzle101)
I don't think I've phrased my question the right way. I'm hoping to do my elective abroad and do some travelling alongside it, I was thinking maybe Nepal or Sri Lanka, I'm not a native of these countries and I know they're not muslim majority countries. I'm worried about whether I'd be able to fast whilst also getting the chance to travel around the countries I'd be working in and deal with the hotter climates, high risk of getting some kind of gastroenteritis, along with staying with host families.
I couldn't see any problem at all (why on Earth would there be?) until you said host family, which is not something I'd considered you'd ever be doing for elective. Even then though I'm sure you'd be able to find someone understanding - a reasonable minority in both are Muslim.

If you got sick surely you'd believe you were allowed to drink some water?
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notespad
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Lol the replies are thinking. OP, I think non-Muslims may misunderstand you because they’ve probably never thought about this,

Firstly, RE: gastroenteritis, same precautions as when you’re abroad. And halal and good quality food should not be an issue as there are Muslim communities everywhere.

Anyway, it really depends on what your priorities are/what you want to do during Ramadan. Is fasting etc. important to you? Is it a cultural thing? What are your aims? Also, a thing to think about: how do you usually function during Ramadan - some people are super productive, volunteer etc. as you know. But if you know you’re the type who can get quite sluggish, you may predict that going to a hot country and do an active elective may be difficult for you? Or maybe choosing A&E or something might take a toll on your energy levels. Also, USA/Canada electives are probably more work heavy (e.g. earlier starts and long days), then electives in many other countries - do you want to be working all the time or do you want a 'chill' elective? Do you want to jump into faith-based stuff and attend talks and read more Qur'an during the day etc.? A lot of things to consider, which will affect what route you go down.

For me, I’m quite practising and I knew I would make the most out of Ramadan at home (spiritually), so I chose to cut my elective short to come home for Ramadan, so I had the best of both. Also, I'm a HUGE foodie, so couldn't bare going to these countries and not eating everything all day (for me, i travel for food and food only it appears LOL). Others couldn't imagine cutting elective short, so did the following:

Others travelled during Ramadan to Muslim majority countries (e.g. had friends who ensured they were in Malaysia/UAE during Ramadan), as they kinda flip their days upside-down (and open up restaurants/shopping malls etc. really late into the night during Ramadan), so that could be an option.

Others travelled to family abroad/relatives (e.g. USA etc.) to get that new experience + home comforts.

Some researched countries where there were shorter fasting times - I remember during my year, I researched that it was shorter to fast in Aus/NZ (fast ended at about 4pm), so technically you could do your standard elective day, then open your fast and explore, which many did. Fasting in the Americas was much longer. If you go to salahtimes.com you can type in the city and calculate the prayers times, so you can figure out how long the fasts will be approx.

Others travelled as normal during Ramadan. I remember FB pics of friends in Hanoi Vietnam in a mosque, which I thought were quite awesome.

I know a couple of colleagues who regarded themselves as ‘travellers’ during elective (yknow as if you're regarded as a traveller, you don't have to fast) so didn’t fast and caught up on the fasts when they were back. I guess this is an option depends on your religious opinion - for me, elective wasn’t a necessity personally, so I couldn’t justify spiritually. But many can.

Otherwise, some loved being at home in England during Ramadan for family/traditions (e.g. taraweeh prayer at local mosque), so they stayed here.

In conclusion: DO YOU, you know yourself best.

NB. There are quite a lot of Muslims in Sri Lanka (unsure about the exact numbers in Nepal tbh), so that can be an option if you wanted a Muslim community +/- local mosques, many halal food options etc.
Last edited by notespad; 6 months ago
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sazzle101
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Thank you! This was the kind of advice I was seeking.
Fasting is something that is important to me and I feel abit guilty for wanting to travel during Ramadan when its the first Ramadan in a few years I'd be able to spend at home with my family if I wanted to and did my elective at home....but at the same time, I don't know when else in my life I'd get the time and opportunities that I would have during my elective to travel and work abroad.

Its good to know some of your friends travelled as normal to Vietnam, and makes me feel more confident with fasting abroad (I'm normally fine with the 18 hour fasts we have here).

I think another one of my worries was that because I'm the only muslim in my group, I don't want to be missing out when everyone is off exploring and I'm too tired/hungry or feeling bad because I'm holding them back...but that's something I'll have to discuss with them myself beforehand.
(Original post by notespad)
Lol the replies are thinking. OP, I think non-Muslims may misunderstand you because they’ve probably never thought about this,

Firstly, RE: gastroenteritis, same precautions as when you’re abroad. And halal and good quality food should not be an issue as there are Muslim communities everywhere.

Anyway, it really depends on what your priorities are/what you want to do during Ramadan. Is fasting etc. important to you? Is it a cultural thing? What are your aims? Also, a thing to think about: how do you usually function during Ramadan - some people are super productive, volunteer etc. as you know. But if you know you’re the type who can get quite sluggish, you may predict that going to a hot country and do an active elective may be difficult for you? Or maybe choosing A&E or something might take a toll on your energy levels. Also, USA/Canada electives are probably more work heavy (e.g. earlier starts and long days), then electives in many other countries - do you want to be working all the time or do you want a 'chill' elective? Do you want to jump into faith-based stuff and attend talks and read more Qur'an during the day etc.? A lot of things to consider, which will affect what route you go down.

For me, I’m quite practising and I knew I would make the most out of Ramadan at home (spiritually), so I chose to cut my elective short to come home for Ramadan, so I had the best of both. Also, I'm a HUGE foodie, so couldn't bare going to these countries and not eating everything all day (for me, i travel for food and food only it appears LOL). Others couldn't imagine cutting elective short, so did the following:

Others travelled during Ramadan to Muslim majority countries (e.g. had friends who ensured they were in Malaysia/UAE during Ramadan), as they kinda flip their days upside-down (and open up restaurants/shopping malls etc. really late into the night during Ramadan), so that could be an option.

Others travelled to family abroad/relatives (e.g. USA etc.) to get that new experience + home comforts.

Some researched countries where there were shorter fasting times - I remember during my year, I researched that it was shorter to fast in Aus/NZ (fast ended at about 4pm), so technically you could do your standard elective day, then open your fast and explore, which many did. Fasting in the Americas was much longer. If you go to salahtimes.com you can type in the city and calculate the prayers times, so you can figure out how long the fasts will be approx.

Others travelled as normal during Ramadan. I remember FB pics of friends in Hanoi Vietnam in a mosque, which I thought were quite awesome.

I know a couple of colleagues who regarded themselves as ‘travellers’ during elective (yknow as if you're regarded as a traveller, you don't have to fast) so didn’t fast and caught up on the fasts when they were back. I guess this is an option depends on your religious opinion - for me, elective wasn’t a necessity personally, so I couldn’t justify spiritually. But many can.

Otherwise, some loved being at home in England during Ramadan for family/traditions (e.g. taraweeh prayer at local mosque), so they stayed here.

In conclusion: DO YOU, you know yourself best.

NB. There are quite a lot of Muslims in Sri Lanka (unsure about the exact numbers in Nepal tbh), so that can be an option if you wanted a Muslim community +/- local mosques, many halal food options etc.
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