Electives are the time in medical school to explore specialties that you have an interest in but were not exposed to during clinical rotations. You can also use this as an opportunity to explore a whole new healthcare system as you can apply to do electives anywhere in the world that accepts students, with the added bonus of being able to travel and explore a new country during your free time!
Most medical schools require a certain amount of weeks of electives to be done during your summer holidays as a clinical student. For example, in TCD, it is required that you complete 8 weeks of elective over the span of 2 years (third and forth year), a tip would be do split it evenly or do more in third year as you’d have a longer summer holiday then compared to forth year. UCC offers the opportunity for you to do an elective anywhere in the world as part of your fourth year education, in addition to summer electives.
Things to take note of
- Many schools offer subsidies and grants for electives in partner universities, so do check out what your school has to offer
- Different countries/hospitals have different deadlines for applications, so keep yourself up to date with the various deadlines, do your research early depending on your area/country of interest.
- Certain hospitals/departments have specific requirements e.g. fourth year students and above or final year students, but fret not, just apply when you meet the criteria.
- Most hospitals will require payment and administrative fee, so be sure to work out a budget prior to applying.