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Sanctaphrax

Summer Elective - Canada or Abroad?

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Hello folks:

I'll be starting M-1 this Fall at the UofA (Hooray). The faculty offers the option of doing a series of Summer electives in addition to the required elective courses. In this regard I would like to do some electives in Canada during the summer, but I have also been toying with the idea of doing a summer elective abroad, likely in the US or Europe. The process for signing up for Electives in-house, at least in the University of Alberta, seems fairly straight-forward but I'm kind of unsure how to try and snag electives in other locations in Canada or foreign electives in general. Are there additional fees incurred with Canadian/foreign electives apart from travel and lodging (I would assume so)? What is the application process? Is there any specific locations in the States or Europe that are friendlier to Canadians? How is the immigration paperwork for Canadian Citizens (I'm assuming at least in the US and UK, the process should be fairly straight forward)? 

I'm sort of at a loss on where to start looking or what to do first. Thanks in advance for the advice :D

<Apologies for any typos.>

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Hmmm I noticed this on their website so I assumed so. It seems like a great opportunity to rack up some extra experience during Summer on how things are being done elsewhere in the world. Also I did both my Undergrad and also will be doing Medical school in the UofA, so I need a break from Edmonton :P.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 10.39.21 AM.png

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UofA offers several international electives through partnerships with a myriad of institutions, in addition to the IFMSA-led international electives available to all students in Canada. If you do one through either channel, most of the paperwork is taken care of for you.

After you finish M1 your options might be limited for other Canadian institutions or schools in the USA, who less likely take preclerkship students; you might have to find your own contacts for these.

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Some more information about going abroad:

https://www.ualberta.ca/medicine/communities/globalhealth/electives

I'll definitely be signing up for the Global health 12 hour predeparture elective and hopefully be doing a project outside Canada as well. What are you guys' thoughts on doing more than one Summer elective abroad? I'm thinking of going into a competitive specialty (emerg) and wouldn't want to have my elective experience send any kind of mixed messages, but I want to help in South America (home) really badly as well. Are these normally mutually exclusive? 

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Many schools have opportunities to gain some experience abroad during your pre-clerkship summers, so always check with your institution. If you've yet to start M1, that information will likely be coming during or after your orientation. Whether these are called "electives" or not is mostly a matter of semantics - at most schools, they wouldn't be considered on the same level as clerkship electives due to the earlier stage of training.

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On 7/21/2017 at 12:35 PM, Sanctaphrax said:

Hello folks:

I'll be starting M-1 this Fall at the UofA (Hooray). The faculty offers the option of doing a series of Summer electives in addition to the required elective courses. In this regard I would like to do some electives in Canada during the summer, but I have also been toying with the idea of doing a summer elective abroad, likely in the US or Europe. The process for signing up for Electives in-house, at least in the University of Alberta, seems fairly straight-forward but I'm kind of unsure how to try and snag electives in other locations in Canada or foreign electives in general. Are there additional fees incurred with Canadian/foreign electives apart from travel and lodging (I would assume so)? What is the application process? Is there any specific locations in the States or Europe that are friendlier to Canadians? How is the immigration paperwork for Canadian Citizens (I'm assuming at least in the US and UK, the process should be fairly straight forward)? 

I'm sort of at a loss on where to start looking or what to do first. Thanks in advance for the advice :D

<Apologies for any typos.>

There is the IFMSA, which allows for some clinical electives, however, in my year there were very few options available across Canada, however students were able to take advantage of that. UofA probably will have a society dedicated to the IFMSA which you can speak to.

Check with your school, many schools have pre-arranged electives for students and exchange agreements with other schools. McMaster for example has agreements with schools in Ireland, Kenya, India etc.

Another option is to visit the websites of the schools themselves. Google is your friend here. Many schools take on elective students, in the UK, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and a number of other schools have applications you can start (you have to do them pretty early sometimes a year in advance). Oxford's link I attached below. In the states, many schools offer electives, however these are only for clerks who have written the USMLE Step 1, a few don't have the Step 1 requirement but most will require you be in clerkship. All in all, many schools ask that you be in your penultimate or final year to apply, but if you look hard enough you can find opportunities on your own. If you have your heart set on a specific location, do not underestimate the power of networking, people are surprisingly willing to help on this issue.

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/medicine/electives

These electives are truly great fun and a great way to travel, learn from other countries and boost your resume all at the same time. A lot of times these experiences can give you the extra oomph to take your app in CaRMS to the next level and if nothing, they will at least give you something to talk about during your interviews or in your personal statements. Just a warning, don't expect to do much "hands on" if you go to Europe for electives, since medical students don't do much hands on even in their final year, most have to wait until their internship to start having much responsibility.

 

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