The Division of Community Engagement

Shadow Electives


12 Hour Global Health Elective

It is the policy of the Global Health Office that students wishing to take the optional summer shadow elective at a field station in a Low & Middle Income Countries (LMIC) must complete the Global Health 12 Hour elective during the academic year. Those who have taken the GH 12 hour elective are not required to take it again during their undergraduate medical education.

This elective will help frame expectations about international and global health experiences and the ethics, joys and risks of a learning experience abroad. The sessions will encourage participants to think about many issues and how to prepare, mentally and physically. Participants will also learn to cultivate humility and learn about risk management, two of the most important skills they will need during their international elective. The 12-hour elective also gives students a chance to engage with health care professionals who have experience with Global Health work.  Students who attend Global Health Rounds can claim their attendance for credit toward the 12 Hour Global Health Elective.

The link to the Global Health 12 Hour elective is here. Learners wishing to qualify for the Global Health travel bursary for travel to LMICs must take this elective.  Learners who have completed the GH 12 Hour elective and who attend the optional summer elective field station will automatically receive the bursary at the conclusion of the elective.  Amounts vary from year to year. For more information about the bursary go to the Bursaries tab hereIf you wish to sign-up for this elective please follow these steps: 
  1. Students sign in on attendance sheet at each session
  2. Local Officers of Global Health (LOGH) from the Medical Students’ Association (MSA) will track students' hours
  3. At the completion of the 12 hours, MSA reps will send the forms to the elective’s faculty advisors for confirmation.
  4. Once confirmed, the LOGHs will send their confirmed list of students to the Global Health office which will then send the list of students to the UME office. 
  5. At the completion of their GH 12 hour elective, students go on and start the assessment form, choosing Norma Maloney as the preceptor.They then click “Save for Later” so that Norma can complete her portion of the form. Note:The deadline for electives and evaluations is March 31 for first year (MED 517) and April 30 for second year (MED 527).

MED 518 Optional Summer Shadow Elective

Students who have completed Year 1 have the option of registering in the Optional Summer Electives program MED 518 which is a shadow experience (not clinical).    Pharmacy students undertaking the Global Health Course at Fudan University in Shanghai register in INTD 457.

Summer Field Station placements for Year 1 students can be found on pages 3-5 in the GH Field Stations Shadow and Clinical Electives document.

A handy guide to assist learners  in determining an elective that best suits their interests is the Researching Your Elective Destination Worksheet which can be found here.  This worksheet can help students explore basic information about the people, places and things they may visit on their international elective. 

Once learners have an idea of what Field Station they are interested in attending, they are to complete the Expression of Interest Field Station Form which can be found here and return it to  The Global Health Office will then be in touch to discuss the details of the elective. 

Optional Summer Clinical Elective Applications for Global Health Field Stations open on September 1 and close January 31.  The Application Form can be found here, the checklist here and the Release of Liability Form here.  The checklist and Release of Liability Form must be submitted to one month prior to departure. 

Please note:  the Global Health electives follow 5.0 Electives Cancellation Policy of the MD Program Electives Policy.

Applications are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Some electives, e.g. Fudan, need a minimum number of learners in order to be delivered in any given year. Consequently, confirmation of 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.

In order to be covered for malpractice and liability with the university and receive credit for the elective, students must official register in MED 518.  This process is extremely important as it protects the students.  The student 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. 

Learners who have chosen a Global Health Field Station elective will meet with a faculty advisor familiar with the site to give further details about the site, expectations and preparations necessary for the elective.

At the conclusion of their elective and prior to departing from their Field Station, students are to complete their portion of Assess.Med, hand their device to their preceptor to complete the evaluation portion.  Or the students can click “save for later” so the preceptor will be sent an email with a link to complete their portion. **The “submit” button should never be clicked before your preceptor has completed their portion.  Either the student or preceptor can click “submit” but only after the preceptor has completed their portion of the form.


There may be circumstances in which electronic completion of evaluation forms is not possible. Please ensure that you have at least 2 paper copies of the evaluation form to take with you on your elective. These will be available from the Global Health office.

To learn of further steps to be taken to prepare for your elective go to the section:  ADDITIONAL STEPS FOR GLOBAL HEALTH AND INTERNATIONAL SHADOWING & CLINICAL ELECTIVES (UNDERGRAD AND RESIDENTS)