Internationalisation and Electives Program
Internationalisation of Medicine forms a critical component of the 2016-20 University of Tasmania Internationalisation Strategy and is important in both the local and the global contexts within which the University operates. This is in response to globalisation and the need for all Univeristy students to be responsive to, and form and integral part of, the global community.
The mission statement of Medicine is consistent with internationalisation:
"to produce graduates who will provide a significant contribution and positive impact on communities in Tasmania, mainland Australia and internationally ... committed to fostering collaboration on a domestic and global scale"
The School of Medicine Internationalisation and Elective (SMILE) Program was established in 2011. This program, for medical and paramedical students, integrates and expands the electives program with various activities associated with internationalisation. Through 'at home' and abroad experiences, students and staff are encouraged to develop a sense of global citizenship. The priority graduate attributes of the SMILE Program are: inter-cultural competence, social accountability and having a global perspective. Refer to the SMILE curriculum maps (PDF 515.8 KB) for more information.
School of Medicine Internationalisation and Electives (SMILE) Program
Medicine Internationalisation Committee Wiki (log-in required)
Visiting Students Program
Tasmania is the southern most state of Australia. It has a population of just over 500,000 and a temperate climate. Tasmania has 3 main regions, South, North and North West and each region has a major hospital where electives may be undertaken.
- Royal Hobart Hospital
Located in the state capital, Hobart in southern Tasmania. This is the main tertiary teaching hospital in the state
- Launceston General Hospital
Location in Northern Tasmania, Launceston is the state's second largest city
- North West Regional Hospital
Located in Burnie, in north-western Tasmania and services a mainly rural community
Placements are only available from the end of October to January inclusive, and applications close on the 31st of May in the year you wish to do an elective. They are offered in most departments of the hospitals, subject to availability, for a minimum of 4 weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks. A 12-week elective can consist of 4 week rotations over three departments in the hospital.
To be eligible students must be in their penultimate or final year at the time of the elective. Students are encouraged to take part in any teaching components, in addition to full clinical participation on the ward to which they are attached. In accepting an elective in Tasmania, students will be required to be familiar with, and abide at all times with the University's Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct.
All applications are processed through the University, any enquires should be directed to Electives Co-ordinator and not to the individual hospital or clinicians.
The elective period is from first week of November until the last week of January. It is crucial that calendar dates cannot be entered outside this period.
Elective students are accorded the same rights and responsibilities as final year students, are subject to the same screening and immunisation standards and required to provide supporting documentation of this. Under this please remove all forms currently from website within the application process
Students must complete and supply the following:
- Application Form (WORD 22.4KB)
- A passport photo in jpg format
- A copy of drivers licence/passport
- Safety in Practice Agreement (PDF 471.5KB)
- Safety in Practice Medical Disclosure (PDF 406.8KB) (only if relevant)
- Infectious Disease - Healthcare Provider Form (PDF 434.5KB)
- Infectious Disease - Screening for Tuberculosis form (PDF 292.3KB)
- How to Apply for Working with Children Registration Form (PDF 426.0KB)
- Police check from your home state or country (refer to Faculty of Health Police Check Guidelines and Procedures (PDF 346 KB))
- Academic record current as at lodgement of your application
- details of medical indemnity coverage either extended by your home University and verified by Dean's (or nominee's) signature; or providing written evidence of coverage from the relevant insurer
- ICT Services and Facilities Use Agreement (PDF 52 KB)
- Request for access to UTAS services for persons who are not associates of UTAS (PDF 386 KB)
Completed application forms should be forwarded to:Electives Co-ordinator
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 34
Hobart TAS 7001
Fax: +61 3 6226 4788
Applications for 2017 CLOSE on Wednesday 31st May!
Ward Dress Code
Consultant hospital doctors vary in their expectation of what students should wear on the wards. We expect students to be well groomed and conservatively dressed while on the hospital wards.
We recommend males to wear shirts with long or short sleeves with a collar, dress trousers and closed-toe shoes. Females can wear trousers or skirts (no minis, exposed midriffs, low-cut tops). Jeans and sandals are unacceptable. Long hair should be tied back and nails kept short (for bedside work or procedures; hair is an OH&S issue in the labs). Theatre Scrubs will be provided to students participating in Surgical electives. You are required to bring your own Stethoscope.
As a medical student coming to Australia on an elective usually you will come on a tourist visa rather than a student visa and hence it is not compulsory to have health insurance.
However we still recommend you take out health insurance which is also called "Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)" , unless you come from Belgium, Sweden or Norway. (as our governments have agreed to provide free health care if you come from these countries). More details are found here:
The other alternative is to take out your own private travel insurance which includes cover for a variety of medical, dental and health issues such as helping you get over the flu to treatment for injuries resulting from an accident.
Changes to fees come into effect from July 1, 2017 for new applicants
Fees for overseas students are $300 per week. Domestic (Australian and New Zealand) students are charged a fee of AU$150 per week. There is no application fee.
Payment is required 2 months before the commencement of the elective and fees are not refundable if you withdraw your application after payment has been made.
Students are responsible for their own accommodation and travel expense.
We have provided a list of some of the Accommodation Options in Hobart.
Email Launceston General Hospital House Services, who can provide low cost accommodation, subject to availability.
List of Clinical Placement Options
(Please note that some clinical placements may not be available at the time of application due to being fully allocated already)
Royal Hobart Hospital
- Emergency Medicine
- General Medicine
- ICU Critical Care
- Infectious Diseases
- Medical Imaging (Radiology)
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Paediatrics and Child Health
- Palliative Care
- Renal (Nephrology)
Launceston General Hospital
- Emergency Medicine
- General Medicine
- Women and Children
North West Regional Hospital
- Emergency Medicine
- General Medicine
Fourth Year Elective Program
The 4th-year Elective Program allows you the opportunity to explore new health care, cultural and training environments or delve deeper into existing medical interests.
It provides a chance to reflect on wider issues such as the ethics, politics and globalisation of health care and the role of doctors in health delivery.
You may discover much about yourself and your hosts during your stay. Most elective experiences yield many gifts including a two way exchange of knowledge and culture.
Often students also make a make a significant contribution to the health care of the community they visit.
The 4th Year Elective Program occurs in the summer break between 4th and 5th year.
You are able to choose, within some limits, the place and supervisor anywhere within the world. You also determine what your focus of learning will be and how to get the best out of your attachment.
Learning objectives can include:
- further develop knowledge in medicine and/or surgery
- expand on training experience from a field delivered in Medicine's undergraduate programme
- obtain experience that may influence subsequent career orientation
- experience a different type of health care delivery from that practiced in Australia
- experience a different culture and society and how that impacts on concepts of health and disease
- obtain a short introduction to research methods
A variety of bursaries, scholarships and other sources financial assistance are available for students preparing for electives.
Refer to Prizes, Bursaries and Scholarships for information about internal financial support.
|Medical Insurance Group Australia (MIGA)||5 grants up to AUD 3500||All Australian medical students|
|Australian Medical Student's Association (AMSA)||AUD 1000||Rural elective in Australia|
|Junior Association for the Study of Medical Education (JASME)||GBP 500||Member of JASME (nominal fee)|
|AMSA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Elective Bursary||AUD 1000||Interest in Aboriginal health|
|IMPACT-MIPS Global Health Elective Bursary Information|
|AUD 800||Elective in low resource country|
|AMSA-American Express Global Health Elective Bursary||5 grants of AUD 3000||Elective or volunteer activity in developing community|
|MJA, MDA National, Nossal Global Health Prize||AUD 1000||Experience in a low resource country|
|Study Overseas Foundation||AUD 1000||Type of overseas study activity|
|ACEN Student Scholarship||AUD 1500||Elective in a regional or remote area|
|Global Society Scholarships||AUD 1000||Any OS placement|
TUMSS Elective Photo Competition
OS-HELP is a Commonwealth loan that assists students with study overseas. It only applies before you commence your final year. Refer to the OS-HELP Guidelines and Application Form page for more information. The 2016 application form may be found here.
Deciding where to go for your elective can be a daunting task. Let's face it, when you have the whole world to choose from, the choices may seem endless. There will be a few factors which will narrow down your choice:
- How much money do you have?
- What is the main purpose of the elective?
- Do you have any contacts or family that could host you during an elective?
- Do you want to go alone or in a group?
Preferred destinations for UTAS students
In each clinical school there are locations that have been developed by academic staff specifically for 4th year electives. UTAS students return to these locations each year, so the UTAS name is well known and respected. There may be additional benefits in going to these locations including scholarships, waiving of fees and possibility of undertaking longitudinal community development programs or research.
Rural Clinical School
Contact Dr Nick Cooling
Contact Dr Nick Cooling
Contact Dr Nick Cooling
- University of Queensland Medical Society Electives Database (an excellent database for student reports on electives)
- Electives Net
- The Student Doctor Network (SDN): Choosing an International Elective
- Australian Electives Database (PDF 71.8 KB)
- Elective reports from Barts and The London
- Beyond Borders: McGraw-Hill's Guide to Health Placements. By Hamish Graham
- The Medics Guide to Work & Electives around the world Book by Mark Wilson 2005
Private companies dedicated to elective programs
If you want someone else to organise your elective (for a fee), here are some options. The advantage is that they will plug you into an established program, organise accommodation and make all the logistic arrangements. The disadvantage is that you don't have the challenge of developing the elective yourself, which is a useful skill to learn.
- Antipodeans Abroad (UniGap program)
- Work the World
- International Volunteer HQ
- Floating Doctors
- Medics Away
- Gap Medics
- Foundation of Sustainable Development
- Projects Abroad
- Plan My Gap year
- DocTours Voluntary International Programs
- NGO Abroad
- World Unite
Specific elective destinations
Books – mostly available from Clinical Library
CDC Health Information for International Travel 2008
Edited by Paul M Arguin, Phyllis E Kozarsky, Christie Reed Philadelphia PA Elsevier Mosby 2008
International Travel and Health: Situation as on 1 January 2008
By World Health Organisation Geneva: World Health Organisation 2008
Beyond Borders: McGraw-Hill's Guide to Health Placements
By Hamish Graham
The Medics Guide to Work & Electives around the world Book
By Mark Wilson 2005
Planning your elective – Websites
- UCL Centre for International Health and Development (CIHD) – A guide to global health electives.
- MIGA – Planning your elective
- AMA – Guide to Working Abroad for Australian Medical Students
- BMA – Working abroad
- AMSA – Guidelines for supplying overseas aid by medical students (PDF 2.4 MB)
- AFMC Student Portal – electives in Canada
- Planning Guides BMA tv Medical Electives – a guide to planning it right!
- An e-documentary called "First, do no harm: A qualitative research documentary" which focuses on the ethics of international medical placements and volunteer stints
- Overseas volunteering. A Podcast on Triple J Hack Program, January 2012, discusses the benefits, potential negative impacts (including 'reverse culture shock') and ethical implications
- Crossing the Line (PDF 1.64 MB) is a 56-minute video about two 4th-year UTAS students who journey to Mornington Island, North Queensland, to spend 8 weeks on elective with a remote indigenous community. Video available from the Clinical School Library . It has been favourably reviewed (PDF 672 KB).
- So you want to be an aid worker ...
- HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP): Guidelines for students on electives (PDF 83.9 KB)
- Guidelines for Taking Equipment to Low Resource Countries (PDF 99.2 KB)
- The most useful resource for planning and undertaking your elective is the Elective Booklet (PDF 1.2 MB)
- Example letter of enquiry for placement (PDF 58.7 KB)
- MSJA Volume 3 Issue 2: Medical electives in developing countries: making a real difference? by Mitchell Blake, Medical Student, The Australian National University
Taking donated equipment overseas
- MJA InSight: Simon Hendel: Unwanted gifts
- World Health Organization: Medical device donations: considerations for solicitation and provision
- The Lancet: Technologies for global health
- Royal Melbourne Hospital – Exposure to blood-borne pathogens: Prevention and management (PDF 83.5 KB)
- American Family Physician – Postexposure Prophylaxis Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – Public health service guidelines for the management of health-care worker exposures to HIV and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis (PDF 374.8 KB) (diagrams pp. 14-15)
- Emerging Infections – Health care workers and researchers travelling to developing-world clinical settings: Disease transmission risk and mitigation (PDF 271.5 KB)
- Médecins Sans Frontières – Clinical guidelines: Diagnosis and treatment manual (PDF 1.7 MB)
- Médecins Sans Frontières – Essential drugs: Practical guidelines (PDF 2.5 MB)
- Recommendations for travel and health insurance for your overseas travel (PDF 98.4 KB)
- Insurance for work experience/study program (PDF 139.9 KB)
Medicine offers a pre-departure course for all students going on elective.
An alternative, external preparation course for electives is available from Murdoch University, Western Australia. The unit, SSH208 Global Engagement, is available in semester and full-year mode, both internally and externally. It will be offered in an intensive pre-departure mode, will continue in-country through a reflective blog or wiki, and then conclude with additional intensive sessions post-return. More details are available in the Murdoch University Handbook.
Bringing the Learning Home: A resource for studying abroad (PDF 408 KB) is a recommended online study guide for in-depth preparation for an elective or other study experience abroad.
- BMA – Ethics and medical electives in resource-poor countries: A tool kit (PDF 191 KB)
- Student BMJ – Elective ethics (article by medical student Neil Graham)
- Listen to Neil Graham discussing elective ethics with Julian Sheather, ethics manager at the BMA; Lorraine Noble, senior lecturer in clinical skills at University College London; and Anthony Costello, director of the University College London Centre for International Health and Development at the Institute of Child Health
- AMSA Overseas Medical Placements policy (PDF 113.6 KB)
- University of British Columbia – Ethics of International Engagement and Service-Learning Project Web-Based Guidebook
Putting your international (elective) experience to work
This website is designed to help students explore the value of their overseas experience, particularly in the context of career planning and employment. The resource is divided into three topics, which align with the three phases of international study, or any other international professional experience, such as internships