Medical Elective

Medical Elective

Recommendations for Undergraduate Medical Electives


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A medical elective is an amazing opportunity for all medical students, adequate time should be given for preparation to ensure your elective is enjoyable, educational and safe. The Medical Education Journal published a useful article titled ‘Recommendations for undergraduate medical electives: a UK consensus statement’. It details important considerations for all medical students embarking on a medical elective. We have listed the recommendations consolidated by the 30 participating UK medical schools. We strongly advise reading the full article and we encourage medical students to contact responsible individuals within their medical school to receive clarification on these recommendations.

Click to read more: Recommendations for undergraduate medical electives

Medical Elective

Staying Safe – Vaccinations & Antimalarials


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Most medical schools or hospitals have clear guidelines on the vaccinations they expect their students or employees to have received. Therefore I would advise you to look at the guidelines of the medical school/hospital/other medical environment you belong to and those of your desired elective location.

I’d advise the following vaccinations: Cholera, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal Meningitis, Poliomyelitis, Rabies, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever (Yellow Fever certificate is required at the airport and will need to be shown at passport control)

There are a variety of anti-malarials available, some more specific for Nigeria, its important you receive advice from a doctor or pharmacist before making a purchase. Make sure you are fully aware of the course for the specific antimalarial you have chosen, side effects and drug interactions if you are taking other medication.

Once you know what antimalarial you would like to buy consider buying the generic medication rather than the brand name – this will save you money! You can also calculate the exact number of tablets you need (included before and after travel needs) so you won’t have left over medication.

It may also be helpful for you to purchase some anti-emetics, anti-diarrhoeal, simple analgesia (such as paracetamol) and antihistamines. Getting diarrhoea within the first few days of arriving in Nigeria because your GI system is getting used to the pepper, leaf soups and heat is not the best welcome gift!!

Other resources (mostly relevant to the UK, so please look for the equivalent for your country):

If you have any medical or mental health conditions, seek medical advice from your local doctor before making any definitive plans or payments towards your Nigerian elective.

All medications should be purchased after a medical consultation and with a prescription. All medications should be used as prescribed by your medical practitioner.

Medical Elective

How to Raise Money For A Medical Placement?


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As a student doctor (and potential student doctor) you have developed skills and acquired knowledge that can benefit many people around you, you do not have to travel to the other side of the globe to have a positive impact! It is amazing the opportunities you have as student doctors to support the health of our local community and other communities around the world. A medical elective placement is part of almost all medical degrees around the world, and once you have found what you would like to spend your time doing, the next step is to source some funding!

How are you going to raise the money for this!?

Here are a few suggestions:

1.       Search for grants, bursaries (and low-interest loans) offered by your medical school, college, university, local authority, charities, businesses, etc.

2.       Go Fund Me – although, to really get people (and strangers) to part with their hard earned money, you really need to:

a.       Clearly layout the purpose of your fundraising and show a breakdown of your costs

b.      Justify why you are deserving of their donation.

c.       Explain how this experience will truly benefit not just yourself but the community you are going to help.

d.      Demonstrate your own personal efforts to raising money i.e. part-time work, etc.

e.      Consider, the evidence will you be able to share with your supporters, i.e. a written report, weekly blog post, pictures and videos, etc. See this as a ‘thank you’ for their support.

3.       Part-time work for several weeks/months.

4.       Create an eBay account an sell unwanted items and new products.

5.       Auction or sell you gifts/talents/skills with in your community (i.e. family, university, church, etc); i.e. put on a small talent show; offer to baby sit, do household chores; cake sales, car boot sales, etc. for an hourly wage.

 

These are just a few of our suggestions; please help others out by commenting in the comment box below if you have any other ideas too! If you have instructions or a secret formula, even better! Lol

Photo Credit: PhotoPin

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