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Dr Omar Hussain, Class of 2016


Experience an environment that is very different from a regular medical course and medical issues that stretch your understanding, and allow you to reflect on your professional and personal development.


A health experience in a specialist area of your choice

One of the most exciting parts of your medical training with us is your elective.

You will have the opportunity to gain invaluable clinical, research or health experiences in locations where you can stretch your understanding, make a difference, and reflect on your professional and personal development.

You will carry out the six-week elective before you start your final year clinical placements. The elective offers you the chance to travel abroad or stay in the UK and explore medicine beyond the MB BS course, which could include further time in an aspect of medical practice that interests you, doing research or exploring some of the different specialist disciplines in medicine.

Students find their elective a hugely educational, enjoyable and rewarding experience. You will gain invaluable health related experiences in locations where you can help make a difference, both to healthcare services and to those who receive them.

Please be aware that your elective plans can be affected by global and national events.

Laura Foggett on her elective in the Philippines
Students on their elective in Vietnam
Tom Armstrong on his elective at NASA

Student perspectives

Tajri Salek - 2023 elective

Final year Medicine student Tajri Salek embarked on a diverse and enriching elective experience split between Dublin and Glasgow, where she explored her interests in both radiology and forensic pathology.

In Dublin, she shadowed radiologists at St Vincent’s University Hospital, enhancing her skills in interpreting radiological imaging and gaining exposure to interventional radiology technologies.

Then in Glasgow, Tajri delved into the intricacies of forensic pathology, splitting her time between the University of Glasgow's Forensics Department and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital's mortuary.

Tajri's elective experience
Tajri Salek

Ritu Bhattacharyya - 2023 elective

Ritu chose to do her elective in her local area - Hull - to gain valuable insights and solidify her career path.

With aspirations to serve her community during her foundation years and beyond, Ritu opted for an elective that would offer a comprehensive understanding of paediatrics and psychiatry.

Read on for an interview with Ritu, where she shares the learnings and inspirations in her elective that shaped her career aspirations and reinforced her passion for psychiatry.

Ritu's elective experience
Ritu Bhattacharyya

Olivia Jobson - 2023 elective

Oliva chose to do her elective in Ghana, to explore a healthcare system vastly different from the NHS.

Olivia immersed herself in various surgical specialties, attended community health clinics, and gained firsthand insight into the innovative and resourceful practices necessary for patient care in an economically deprived region.

Beyond the medical experience, Olivia cherished the warmth of the Ghanaian people, explored the country's beauty, and learned unique stress-relief practices employed by healthcare professionals.

Read on to find out about how Olivia's elective not only shaped her understanding of surgery but also broadened her perspective on empathy, cultural sensitivity, and celebrating life in the face of medical challenges.

Olivia's elective experience
Olivia Jobson

Eleanor Gettinby - 2023 elective

Eleanor embarked on a split elective, dividing her time between King’s College Hospital in London in obstetrics and gynaecology, and Mater Dei Hospital in Malta in dermatology.

The bustling environment of King's provided Eleanor with exposure to complex cases and a taste of city life, shaping her perspective on potential future training in London. In Malta, Eleanor sought to understand healthcare in a different cultural context, delving into dermatology and exploring the unique challenges faced by medical professionals.

Discover how Eleanor's elective not only fueled her enthusiasm for a career in women's health but also opened her eyes to varied training pathways and specific interests within the field.

Olivia's elective experience
Eleanor Gettinby
Louise Gardner, Year 5


I spent my elective in the Oncology, Paediatrics and Emergency Departments at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. I had a fantastic experience and was able to see many conditions that I had never witnessed before in the UK, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and severe acute malnutrition. I particularly enjoyed my time in the emergency department as it gave me further experience in assessing and managing really sick patients.
2020 graduate

Dr Louise Gardner


Where will you go?

The choice is yours!

Our students have undertaken electives within our region, across the UK, or ventured overseas.

There are many local opportunities in NHS trusts with clinical subspecialties as diverse as infectious diseases and neurosurgery and at universities with local academics who lead in their field.

Further afield in the UK, students have been to organisations such as the Institute of Neurology in London, in rural settings like Fort William and Shetland, and within elite sporting environments.

Our students have also undertaken electives in hospitals and research institutes in locations as far-reaching as Vanuatu, Nepal, Belize, Malaysia, South Africa and with NASA in the USA to name but a few.

How is an elective funded?

The elective is funded by the medical student and associated costs will vary depending on the elective you choose, and whether this is overseas or in the UK.

“We recognise the importance the elective has in terms of your undergraduate studies. It is a time for you to design, plan and then enjoy your placement. The scope is wide and will allow for your personal and professional development.

“I still remember my elective, as I know most doctors do, and found it to be an exciting and rewarding time.  It gives you the opportunity to plan for what suits you and can be done very much with future career progression in mind.

“Some smaller specialties, such as my own in cardiothoracic surgery, may not be frequently experienced during routine placements and it affords this opportunity. We are very mindful of how important this time is and are here to fully support you.”

- Dr Michael Gooseman, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon, Academic Lead for Electives

Michael Gooseman