Overseas Electives

FAQs

Hospital

Am I expected to do night shifts or on-call duties?

You will not be expected to undertake night shifts or on-calls, but you can certainly sign up for some once you are in the elective country if you are keen.

Are HIV post-exposure prophylaxis packs provided with the Medics Away elective?

Medics Away cannot currently supply you with HIV PEP packs for your elective as these are very toxic drugs and need to be prescribed. Your university or local GP can help you with this. We recommend you do take your own PEP pack. Of course, in the event of an incident we can assist in many ways with respect to any needle stick injuries you may incur, and we have action protocols of our own that we follow in this situation, but on an official basis we do not supply you with these pharmaceuticals and so you must protect yourself as best you can. The 3 methods of protection are: Avoid unnecessary risky procedures in the hospital; Buy adequate Specialist Travel Insurance (BMA Elective Insurance); Purchase a HIV PEP pack (or at least one or two in a group).

Can I change my chosen specialty?

You can change your preferred specialty very easily by going to the Edit Profile page and simply changing the details there. The Medics Away database will automatically updated and the appropriate Representatives informed. Medics Away cannot always guarantee specialty choice, but we do our best to accommodate you as best we can. It is well known for students to hop between specialties also, so be sure to keep a keen eye out for any opportunities like this when you are on your elective, and don’t be afraid to ask either the UK team, your Medics Away Rep or your hospital supervisor for anything.

Can I do a research project?

There are plenty of good opportunities to do a research project. Previous students have done a few projects over the years and all have been very productive. You will have to consider whether ethical approval might be needed (i.e. are you going to have patients directly involved with the study or not?). To avoid having problems with this, you are well advised conducting a study that looks into patients records rather than speaking to them personally. You are best keeping the study as simple as possible. Quite often we recommend doing a case study on one particular disease and comparing between the host hospital and perhaps your own university hospital. How it presented, the investigations performed, what the management and follow up was and finally the outcome. Often we like students performing projects to come up with recommendations so that future Medics Away students can re-assess in years to come (similar to closing the Audit Loop). Please speak to a Medics Away member of staff for more details.

Can I have a personalised letter from the Hospital Director?

On making a reservation with Medics Away, you will receive 3 Confirmation Letter’s (a Personal, a University & a Hospital version) via email. These are written to such that they address each of the three customers of Medics Away and as such make up the contracts of agreement between the four parties involved with the elective (i.e. Medics Away, Yourself, Your University and the Host Hospital). These documents detail the relevant personnel in the elective country and should be sufficient for your university to verify your elective placement. Your elective is through Medics Away, and the hospital and other aspects of the elective are associated through the company, therefore it is appropriate that we approve the elective for you. I hope this is satisfactory for you, and I am sure your university will agree and accept these documents as proof.

Can I have details of the hospital?

Medics Away is unable to release information regarding the details of the host institutions. Students who make a reservation are given more details sufficient for their own and university’s requirements. Once a booking is registered, you will be supplied with a Portfolio, Confirmation Letters, a Risk Assessment and General Itinerary for the elective destination. All information provided is covered by the policies of the company detailed in the following links Privacy Policy, Accessibility & Terms & Conditions. Any individual found to be using information provided illegitimately will be immediately removed from the membership database and, if appropriate, have their reservation with the Medics Away program suspended.

Can we do the weeks of clinical rotations our university require of us?

You are able to attend the hospital for the entire duration of the elective and you can therefore fulfill all of your university requirements. Hospital Director’s are well accustomed to signing off documentation for elective students. It has been known for some students (especially from the U.S.A.) to gain credit for their medical course through Medics Away electives. For more information please Contact us for more details.

Can we take some time off?

Medics Away and the hospitals associated with the company, understands that students want to have some time to explore the surrounding country and not just in the weekends. We are happy for students to do this as long as they state clearly to the hospital and their clinical supervisor, exactly what time they would like off. The hospitals are well briefed as to what students want and will not be surprised about the suggestion of some free time, so do not be embarrassed to ask.

Can you fill in my University form for me?

The Medics Away UK team will be happy to complete your forms for you. Medics Away is even able to provide your university with Risk Assessments of all elective destinations, C.V.‘s of the Directors of all the hospitals we deal with abroad, C.V.‘s of UK based staff and we are happy to email and correspond with your faculty to ensure their satisfaction with the program. Please use the Contact page to inform us of any forms you need filling in, or email us your form to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Can you guarantee my place with the host institution once I book?

Yes, we can guarantee a place as soon as you have made a reservation and we can give you details of the host institution immediately. All information provided by us must be used with discretion, and only once we have a solid booking will we give you this information. For a solid booking we would prefer it if you purchased your flights in the near future, as this tends to commit students more.

Do the host institutions use Universal Precautions?

I can confirm that universal precautions are utilized as much as possible in all host Institutions. This would be a good audit topic for any student wanting to look into, and one that could be easily repeated (to close the audit loop) in years to come by future students.

How long am I expected to stay in the hospital?

Each student wants to spend a varying amount of time in the hospital, doing Discovery Trips and having free recreational time. Medics Away electives are very flexible and will accommodate for every students differing needs. A fairly average week on a Medics Away elective may include half a day (perhaps 8am to 12pm), five days a week in the hospital doing hospital rotations, with free time in the afternoon to do extra activities (i.e. Spanish classes, shopping, sight seeing, etc.) Students can voluntarily do more hospital rotations in the afternoon also. The weekends are normally kept for recreational activities and socialising.

Is the work ‘hands-on’?

The work you will do in the hospital will be much like what you will have probably experienced in clinical rotations at your university hospital. There will be a variety of activities including ward rounds, some theatre time, clinics, community visits and you will even have the opportunity to undertake a small retrospective study or audit. We encourage students to show some self-governance and be keen to present cases to the doctors in the hospital. You will also be able to perform basic clinical skills like taking bloods, performing examinations, thinking up management plans, etc. The details of the hospital’s expectations of you will be explained on arrival.

Is there any official teaching on the elective?

We are currently arranging for all electives between one and two hours formal teaching for all students a week, by an English speaking doctor in all of our electives. We did this in our Ethiopian elective last year as a test run, and it worked very successfully. Students got to learn a great deal about diseases that specifically affected that population and were able to get a better understanding for the work that was being done in each of our host institutions. This idea is still only an idea. It may take longer to instigate than one may hope, so we have not included this as part of the elective officially, so please do not be disappointed.

What clothes do we need for the Hospital?

The hospital will expect you to wear smart-ish clothes. They don’t expect you to be dressed to impress as it were, but sufficiently smart not to look like you have just walked in off the street. You are advised to take a white coat (just a light one) which you may be expected to wear during ward rounds, etc. If you have requested a surgical rotation then you may consider taking a pair of scrubs. Do not pack too many smart clothes as a lot of your time will be spent exploring and you will regret it if you have a bag full of your nicest gear. It’s only going to get crushed in the bottom of your bag, and won’t look very smart once you get home. Anything you forget to take with you, you can simply buy in the markets and shops of the town you are in.