Seems like a long time since my last post and since I have been some what of a jetsetter this past month I thought I would share my thoughts on why you should consider finding a worthwhile international elective.
Its an opportunity to provide a service to the global community
You get to see medicine from a different cultural perspective
Learning from doctors from a different part of the world
Teaching other doctors from a different part of the world
You will see disease processes in a different context which will enrich your future practice
Does this sound interesting? This is our institutional process:
Pick a site
After browsing our International page and speaking with other residents and attendings about their experiences abroad I had my pick. You should plan to do this way in advance leave yourself six months to a year. A great time to start is when you pick your fourth year schedule during your third year.
Make your contact
Contact the international site coordinator for the elective. DO THIS EARLY!! If the elective site is anything like my experience internet is not an abundant resource. Look into country specific information about visa requirements and requirements to practice medicine.
Speak with the international department
Get our international department involved early they can be very helpful with country specific resources and necessities like visas, vaccinations, emergency department elective form and your GME required elective form.
The GME Office
The GME office requires that you submit a form detailing your elective choice. This needs to done months in advance before your elective.
Once our department, International division and the GME accepts everything and you receive confirmation from your site now you can think about purchasing your travel arrangements.
My only regret about my elective month was that it was only one month! I made great connections and hope to one day return to the site to volunteer for a longer period of time. More to come about my international experience during my senior lecture.
Do you have an international medicine story to tell? Know any good elective sites?
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