MD Program

Year 3 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 eight weeks in any single CaRMS entry-level discipline.

Electives cannot be scheduled until students are aware of their rotation schedules.  Students must receive an evaluation in order to receive credit for an elective.

  • In Year 3, each student must complete a minimum of four weeks of clinical elective time. This may include approved summer electives between second and third year, and student externships in Psychiatry.  Any electives completed in Year 3 that extend beyond the required six weeks may be applied toward Year 4 requirements.
  • In Year 4, each student must complete the remainder of weeks of clinical elective time in order to have a minimum total of 14 weeks for Year 3 and 4 combined.

  • 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.  
  • Research
    • Basic science or clinical research done during medical school that results in a peer-reviewed presentation or publication, or a presentation at a faculty-wide forum, may be considered to appear on your MSPR when you apply for the CaRMS match 
    • Clinical research done as part of Med 528 will appear on your MSPR.  All such research electives must be approved by the Electives Coordinator.  Up to 2 weeks can be used towards the 14-week minimum electives requirement for year 3 and 4 combined


    • "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

  • Students must ensure that each elective is listed in MedSIS before the elective begins.
  • MedSIS will send the evaluation request to the designated preceptor(s) on the Monday of the final week of the elective. If the preceptor prefers completing a hard copy, the student can request a PDF copy that can be printed for the preceptor. 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, you are required to review MedSIS to ensure electives are listed before the elective begins.  As well, ensure that you receive an evaluation for each 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 elective administration staff to have spelling errors corrected.