In conjunction with our Electives Info NightTIME UQ has officially launched the TIME Electives Handbook - a collection of experiences from the Class of 2018. The handbook gives rare insight into the range of locations and learning opportunities available to students undertaking medical school electives. 

A big thanks to all of our speakers, as well as our generous contributors for recounting their experiences - without your efforts the Handbook would not have been possible. And of course thank you to our kind sponsors, Work the World, for providing so many of these learning opportunities to students.

Electives Info Night

TIME’s elective expo for first-years is held annually. In the past we have had student speakers who have spent their electives in places ranging from South America to Africa to Rural Australia! They share their stories about planning electives, the logistical issues, costs as well as clinical experience and the other exciting things they did whilst on elective. 

Additionally, Work The World,  the leading provider of tailored medical electives in Africa, Asia and South America, have shared some tips in the past about planning your elective. MIPS (Medical Indemnity Protection Society) have also been in attendance to answer any insurance coverage questions, and the MDA National in partnership with The Electives Network further provides Australian medical students with the ultimate resource for planning your medical elective.

Whether you are looking at planning your own elective or going with an elective provider that takes away all the hassle,  there are always a few good things to remember…

  • Plan early – Think about where you want to go, what area of clinical interests you have and do some initial research (this might include a Google search, speaking to other students that have been on elective or speaking with an elective provider)

  • Have a budget – Know how much you really have to spend and can afford (overseas elective placements, just like holidays, will often cost you more than you expect)

  • Important document & travel requirements – An elective provider like Work the World will assist you with these requirements but remember to be across your university paperwork, a current passport, medical indemnity insurance, travel insurance, an appropriate visa, any vaccinations or immunisations needed etc.

  • Language & cultural differences – Read up on the country/countries to which you are travelling so you have an idea of what to expect and some common phrases (especially in a non-English speaking nation) for your arrival

  • Register your travel – Ensure that wherever you are going, if it is overseas that you register your details with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Smart Traveller Website) before you leave

Last of all, your elective is supposed to be an exciting opportunity to further develop your clinical skills and experience medicine in a different setting from the local hospitals and clinics you are used to…. So have a wonderful time!

Additional resources:

The Electives Network

Work the World vs independently organised electives

Medical Elective Case Studies

AMSA Electives Resources

DFAT: Smart traveller advice website