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How to prepare for a medical elective abroad

Just like planning to travel abroad, planning for a medical elective abroad may be a daunting process. Prior planning is therefore very paramount to having a nice term abroad and to enjoy every bit of the placement what then should you do 

Identify the location/destination that you would like to rotate in

Deciding on which part of ‘abroad’ you want to go to is the very first step to set off in planning and becomes a pillar to the progress of the other steps in planning. Choosing a destination may be informed by the school’s provisions on where one can go. The choice of the destination may also be informed by one’s prior desire such as travelling to a developing or a developed country.

Identify your desired areas of rotation

Upon the decision of where one wants to go for their elective, the next step is to decide on which areas they would want to rotate in. The desired areas of rotation may be informed by school provisions on the elective term or personal drive and interest to pursue a particular area of study. One may decide to undertake a rotation in internal medicine, obstetrics or even surgery and these all present opportunities for skills development and hands on experience.

Decide on travel dates and durations

Whether taking the elective for school credit or undertaking it to build on one’s experiences and exposure to medical field, the dates of travel and durations are a key factor in planning. While it may appear like a complicated step to undertake, it is a simple one in the aspect of it being school guided e.g. when there is a holiday of following the school calendar for the elective term. Dates are important as they guide one in urgency of undertaking the other activities and also give them an insight of how the placement budget may be.

Reach out to hospital site and or organizer of the elective.

When you have the location, the areas and the durations, it’s now crucial to move away from book planning to reach out to the destination and the hospitals identified.  If you are set to go to a university hospital, then this step allows for one to refine details of how they will have their placements and the logistical aspects. The other alternative is to reach out to an elective provider to guide you into the opportunities available in clinical sites and also advise you further on any other action you may need to take.  All sites for electives have processes for approval and application and thus reaching out to finalize on those details is important.

Prepare for Travel  

Once you have finally finalized the details of your trip abroad and possibly secured your trip, the next step is to prepare to travel. This step involves the preparation of all the essential travel documents such as valid passports, essential immunizations and insurances that you need to have. As a key part of this step, one should also book their flights in line with their rotation dates and the desired arrival and departure dates.

As evidenced in these steps, the process of planning an elective abroad is one that needs advice and requires a great level of accurate information provision. With Elective Africa the steps are simplified with relevant advice and guidance in planning. As you plan an elective abroad www.electiveafrica.com is your true partner. 

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