Year 4 Electives


The elective program has been designed to allow medical students of varying educational backgrounds and experience to pursue their own interests, and to design programs in keeping with their individual goals.

Electives are available in the following areas:

  1. Basic Science - It is expected that you will make full use of the basic science departments in order to reinforce knowledge, and to study in depth those areas which are most pertinent to your career goals.
  2. Research - This may be either basic or clinical. You are encouraged to participate in research activity, to enable you to appreciate how new knowledge is established in medicine and to experience the trials, tribulations and triumphs that are a part of research. It will also enable you to read the current literature on experimental work with greater perception. Summer research projects are arranged through the Office of Research, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, 2-13 HMRC.
  3. Clinical Specialties - During the "core student internship" you will have little exposure to the subspecialties of medicine. The elective program provides you with an opportunity to look into these areas in more depth.
  4. Other Medically Related Areas - These are subjects such as biostatistics, the arts and humanities, and other areas which are included in the catalogue.



It is the responsibility of each medical student to select and arrange his or her own elective program. Each student must complete a minimum of 14 weeks of clinical electives during the clinical portion of the MD program.

Students may complete a maximum of 8 weeks in any single CaRMS entry-level discipline.

Electives cannot be scheduled until students are aware of their rotation schedules.

  • In Year 4, each student must complete a minimum of 10 weeks of clinical elective time.
  • Optional Summer Electives
    • Optional summer electives taken between Years 2 and 3, up to a maximum of six weeks, may be applied to Year 3 requirements.  Any electives for Year 3 that extend beyond the required four weeks may be applied toward Year 4 requirements.
  • Research
    • Any basic research that is completed as an elective can be eligible to be used as a component on the "Medical Performance Record," but cannot be used toward the 14-week minimum.
    • Any clinical research that is completed as part of MED 528 can be used towards the 14-week minimum, to a maximum of two weeks.
  • Call
    • "Call" may be expected when doing some electives. This is something that needs to be arranged with the preceptor prior to the start of the elective. As with rotations, the maximum number of nights student interns should be on call is one night out of four.


Electives Opportunities


Arranging Electives

Following the process described under each link is extremely important as it protects students by providing malpractice insurance coverage. If students do not follow the steps, they run the risk of having no malpractice coverage and receiving no credit for the elective.



All clinical elective evaluation forms are now sent by email directly to the preceptor(s) and follow the general timeline below.

Overview of Elective Evaluation Process

At LEAST three weeks prior to the start of your elective:

  • The signed elective application must be submitted to the UME Office to ensure that the evaluation form is forwarded to the preceptor before the elective is completed.
  • UME will send the evaluation form to the designated preceptor(s) or department via MedSIS the Monday of the final week of the elective. If the preceptor prefers completing a hard copy, the student must email the UME Office the Monday of the final week of the elective and ask for a PDF copy of the evaluation form. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the form is completed. The student should email the preceptor if the form has not been completed within two weeks of the end of the elective.
  • To be sure that your academic record is up to date and that your evaluations and/or applications are in, check MedSIS to ensure you have received credit for your elective.

Completing an elective does not automatically mean credit is granted for that elective. A University of Alberta evaluation must be filled out by the student's preceptor, and it must state that the preceptor had no concerns with professional attitude, clinical abilities or application of knowledge. If the evaluator marks "yes" to having concerns in any of these areas, the student will fail the elective and no credit will be given. In addition, "Fail" will be recorded on the student's record.

Spelling Errors

Students should contact the UME clinical administration staff to have spelling errors corrected.



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