The Division of Community Engagement

Application Process for GH Field Stations


The Global Health Field Station application and registration process follows the U of A’s MD Program
Electives Policy, Booking and Confirming Electives Procedure, Global Health Electives in Low and Middle Income Countries Policy, the process outlined by the Undergrad Medical Education Office students and the Postgraduate Medical Education Office for Residents.  The Global Health Office highly recommends that students and residents read through these policies to ensure they are familiar with the policies and procedures for registering their elective.

1. Decide where you want to go.  Go here to learn all the available field stations organized by the Global Health Program. Residents:  please click on the green button on this page for your registration information.

2.  Once you have determined where you want to go, submit an Expression of Interest form.  Students in first year complete the Shadow Elective Expression of Interest Form which can be found here and students who will be or have completed their second year complete the Clinical Elective Expression of Interest Form which can be found here

Note:  learners are encouraged to take an overseas elective that is a minimum of 4 weeks in length.  Learners choosing to take an elective less that 4 weeks will not be considered for the Global Health bursary.  There are new requirements and restrictions for clinical electives for medical students.  Please see the MD Program Elective Policies

3.  Meet with your Faculty Advisor.  Learners who have chosen a field station elective will be invited to a meeting with the faculty advisor familiar with the site to give further details about the site, expectations and preparations necessary for the elective.  Host institution applications and requirements may be provided at this time.

4.  Complete the following forms:

  • Global Health Field Station elective application.  Applications open on September 1 and close January 31. Applications for undergrad medical students can be found here. Please complete and submit to ghfomd@ualberta.ca by January 31.
  • Checklist Form here.  Assistance in completing the checklist can be found here.
  • Release of Liability Form here
  • Goals and Objectives Form here.  The goals and objectives serve as a catalyst for setting expectations with the student’s preceptor and a tool for individual evaluation. 

The Checklist, Release of Liability and Goals and Objectives Forms must be submitted to ghfomd@ualberta.ca one month prior to departure. Learners taking a field station at other times of year will complete these same forms but determine a deadline for submission based upon the dates of their elective. 

Note:  Applications are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Some electives, e.g. Fudan, need a minimum number of 14 learners therefore confirmation of an elective might not be out before mid-February 2020. For those electives without a minimum, there will be a rolling confirmation given which means that the earlier a student signs up, the earlier confirmation of the elective will happen. Students interested in electives in Kenya need to be aware that visa applications must be submitted at least 6 months prior to the start of the elective.

5.  Take the 12 Hour Global Health Elective.  All students attending an elective in a Low or Middle Income Country are required to take the 12 Hour Global Health Elective according to U of A policy.  This elective is organized by the Medical Students Association.  Information about the elective can be found here.

6.  Take the mandatory 3-hour Pre-departure Training Session also known as Risk Management.  If learners have attended the U of A pre-departure training within the last 3 years they are exempt from the in-person session but must still create a Risk Management Plan (RMP) via eClass. Contact markus.vuorensola@ualberta.ca to reset your RMP for the new program.  Students will also have to update their UGo registration for their new program.  For more information about completing this step, go here.

7.  Register your elective with the UME Office:

  • Pharmacy students: register in INTD 457 if undertaking the course at Fudan University in Shanghai
  • First Year Medical Students:   In order to be covered for malpractice and liability with the university and receive credit for the elective, students must officially register in MED 518.  This process is extremely important as it protects students.  Register for Spring and Summer Electives through Beartracks (MED 518A/B) by Apr 30. Students must register in the two sections (A and B). Registration for this course becomes available in February and closes in May and the fees will be announced at that time. 
  • Second Year Medical Students and Up:  Any students who will be at the end of their second academic year by the summer or those in years 3 or 4 must enroll in MED 528 Optional Summer Clinical Elective, MED 457 or MED 557 in order to be covered for malpractice and liability insurance, whether they use the elective as clinical elective time or not.  This process is extremely important as it protects the students and their preceptors. Students who do not wish to count their elective as clinical elective time must still register in MED 528 to be covered for malpractice and liability insurance.  For more information about registering the elective with the UME office go to the green button on the right side of this page titled UME 2nd Yr & Up.

International electives are not holiday trips. Students must be prepared to work during their time abroad. Students will develop goals and objectives to guide their elective and determine the expectations of their local preceptor(s) when they arrive. The overseas preceptor is required to complete an evaluation of the student after the elective has been completed.  A less than satisfactory rating results in a loss of credit for the elective. For medical students, clinical electives in Low or Middle Income Countries (LMIC) should be considered more as shadowing experiences than hands-on clinical rotations. Unless you speak the local language(s), the involvement in history-taking and physical examinations is limited. While medical education in many of the countries in which our Field Stations are located is in English, ward rounds are often in the local language as well. There are many benefits of a global health elective beyond hands-on clinical work-- go to the GH webpage Benefits of Field Station Electives for more information.