The Division of Community Engagement

Global Health Clinical Electives - Students

All years of students are encouraged to consider the opportunity to take a clinical global health elective. Early year students will do more public health oriented practices, while all other students past the end of second year will have the opportunity to undertake a clinical elective. All will travel to under-resourced countries and learn to practice medicine within a range of environments in urban and rural communities and high-disparity situations. This program is designed to enhance students’ knowledge in global health, cross-cultural training, tropical and all other medicine and public health.  All residents are also equally eligible.

A unique opportunity has been developed to encourage a full range of experiences in the Global Health Program’s Field Station Program, currently in about ten countries with new countries being added each year. Half of the 50+ students in 2012 participated. To complement this, a total of 18 hours of predeparture preparation have been established, comprising of the mandatory 3-hour GH Elective Predeparture Session also known as Risk Management and the 12-hour Global Health elective.  Both dates will be given when the time gets closer. 

Clinical examination in under-resourced areas fosters an expanded view of the world, critical thinking, which helps students develop professional insights and attitudes, and an understanding of human rights and obligations. Whatever their ultimate career goal, a global health elective will be a highly worthwhile and positive experience. It can also enhance a CaRMS application.

Clinical electives are only available for UAlberta medical students who have completed their second year. Any prior international clinical experiences are supported and will be noted on their CV, but they will not receive official elective credits.  Placements are usually a minimum of four weeks and the longer the better.

Clinical electives focus on under-resourced countries or areas of the world that are culturally different. As such, electives to the United States, England, New Zealand or Western Europe do not qualify for the first clinical location even if the elective is a non-clinical and/or research related.