My elective in Australia

After months of chasing up various people for documents, the long process of applying through the University of Queensland and being insistent on being placed in the obstetrics and gynaecology department, I am finally finished with my 4 weeks of placement. It has been a rollercoaster of mixed emotions but I have tried to enjoy every second of it.

Even though I talked about some of my experiences in previous blog posts, I wanted to give you guys a brief overview of the whole process mixed in with a couple of tips for those who have their electives coming up.

Let’s start from the beginning…

Planning is essential. Get organised early on and you will not be stressing out. Most universities require their students to go on an elective after their final exams; so it feels like you have a lot on your plate when you are trying to organise your placement abroad. So I cannot stress enough how important it is to be organised so that you are able to make the most out of your elective. So here’s a couple of things you should think about when deciding on where to go:

  1. Developing or developed country? I picked a developed country mainly due to the fact that i would save a lot of money on accommodation, food and travel. It is important to think about where you feel you would get the most out of your placement and the country itself. If you have never left the bubble of your tiny village in the middle of nowhere; you may not yet be streetwise enough to travel to Sierra Leone on your elective…
  2. Company or through hospital/university? There are various organisations that practically plan your elective out for you so that you do not have to go through the torment yourself. However, these tend to be rather expensive and may not cover a lot of things such as flights, food etc… If you are thinking of applying to Australia, have a look at which state you would like to go to. Then you will have to apply through the university that offers electives in order to be placed in a hospital that is willing to accommodate you. Top tip: Have a look before you even think about applying on the university’s website to see what documents they will require. It will then give you a chance to start collecting them and chasing up people for signatures etc…
  3. Specialities? Electives are meant to be enjoyable. So I would think twice before asking for a specialty that you find boring. For me, it was easy. But if you have not got a clue, then ask for a mix of everything.
  4. Unfortunately, when it comes to the rest I may be quite useless. Because as I mentioned earlier, I did not have to worry about accommodation or plan activities as that was all done for me!
  5. Lastly, get stuck in! I absolutely loved my placement at the RBWH. The fact that they were a tertiary centre meant that I was able to see a lot of amazing things. The staff were really friendly and were keen for me to get to grips with the equipment and see patients.

Brisbane has been fabulous! I have met some incredibly friendly people and I was amazed by how much patients wanted to be a part of the teaching process of the next generation of doctors. The city has definitely stolen a piece of my heart…

 

 

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