The Global Health Program within the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry administers Field Station, IFMSA, European and PGME international electives as well as independently organized electives (non-field station, non-UAlberta European, non-CACMS, non-LCME student-arranged electives). A description of each follows below.

Prerequisite:  12 Hour Global Health Education & Advocacy Elective

It is the International Electives Policy of the Global Health Program that students wishing to take an international elective through IFMSA or an international elective partially funded by the FoMD bursary, must complete the Global Health Education & Advocacy (GHEA) 12 hour elective during the academic year. Those who have taken the GHEA elective are not required to take it again during their undergraduate medical education. PGME residents and those taking the European electives and are exempt from this prerequisite.  To view the syllabus, go here.

The overarching goal of this elective is to create a basis for future global health experiences. Students will develop an understanding of the concepts of global health and ethical engagement. With this knowledge, students will practice health promotion in a way that empowers communities.  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 GHEA elective also gives students a chance to engage with health care professionals who have experience with Global Health work. 

If you wish to sign-up for this elective contact ghfomd@ualberta.ca and we will put you in touch with the MSA Local Office of Global Health for the current academic year who organizes the elective.
Note that the amount of FoMD bursary varies from year to year. For more information about the bursary go to the Get Funding tab here. 

 

Field Stations

The Global Health Program offers rich overseas clinical experiences in field stations in Low & Middle Income Countries (LMIC) which can be used to fulfill elective requirements. Field Station placements for undergrad medical students and residents can be found in the GH Field Stations Shadow and Clinical Electives document. To learn more about field stations go to the Field Station tab and watch a presentation by our Director, Dr. Dominic Allain.

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 ghfomd@ualberta.ca. The Global Health Program will then be in touch to discuss the details of the elective.

Applications for field stations open on September 1 and close January 31. To locate the application and the steps for preparing to take this elective go to the Going Abroad landing page.   All forms must be returned to the Global Health program 1 month prior to departure.  

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. 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.

Learners who have chosen a 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. Students should understand that international electives in LMICs will be more shadowing experiences with limited hands-on experience. Students must also be aware of the limitations of their clinical abilities in relation to the risk of being asked to undertake more independence in patient care while abroad than would normally be the case at home. 

European Electives

All students participating in electives through the University of Alberta must work with the Global Health Program to ensure they are adequately prepared for their elective in accordance with the U of A's electives and travel policies and the policies of the FoMD. Students attending European electives are exempt from attending the 12 Hour Global Health elective.

There are 3 European clinical electives listed in the U of A's Electives Catalogue under "International Electives" which are available to students who have completed their 2nd academic year:  Graz, Munich and Zhejiang. Contact ghfomd@ualberta.ca to find the faculty contact for these electives.  Go to the Steps to Going Abroad page on this website to complete all required forms and steps. 

IFMSA, Non-Field Station, non-UAlberta European Electives, non-CACMS, non-LCME, student-arranged electives

All students participating in non-field station electives, IFMSA electives, non - European electives (i.e. not from the University of Alberta Electives Catalogues), any electives taken through a non-CACMS or non-LCME accredited institution, or electives students are arranging on their own must work with the Global Health Program to ensure they are adequately prepared for their elective in accordance with the U of A's electives and travel policies and the policies of the FoMD.  Go to the Steps to Going Abroad page to find the forms and complete all steps.

Note: we have learned that due to the ongoing pandemic, there is strong likelihood that IFMSA will not be providing overseas electives during the summer of 2022. Check with IFMSA directly for current information.

Resident Electives (PGME)

There are opportunities for international electives for residents. These electives are designed to enhance residents' knowledge in global health, cross-cultural training, tropical and all other medicine and public health. 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.

To peruse the Global Health field station clinical placement options go here. Residents may choose a destination of their own using personal or professional considerations. This decision will be influenced by what each resident would like to experience and learn. Their family and cultural roots, special interests, professional contacts, or faculty connections may be factors they wish to consider.

As with undergrad medical students, residents are encouraged to book electives that are a minimum of 4 weeks in duration.

Applications from residents that have already obtained permission from their program director and from the Office of Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) will be considered at any time of the year. 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 residents explore basic information about the people, places and things they may visit on their international elective.

Once residents have determined when they would like to undertake their elective and where, they must seek the approval of their program director and the PGME office as the first step in organizing the elective. This must be done at least 6 months prior to the elective dates. Download the PGME Application Form and the GH checklist here and the Release of Liability Form here. Additional information for completing the Checklist can be found here. Complete and return the Application and Checklist as instructed on the forms. Return the Release of Liability form to ghfomd@ualberta.ca one month prior to departure.

Residents will need to be in touch with the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) for advice on malpractice insurance for the duration of their electives.

Note: due to limited funds, the Global Health bursary is only available to undergrad medical students.