International Electives

Why do an international elective?

International health electives offer an opportunity for medical students to develop clinical skills and cultural competencies in unique and diverse environments. It has been shown that these experiences may contribute to more well-rounded training for medical students and has resulted in students reporting being more culturally safe and more likely to choose a primary care specialty or a public service career.1

At the University of Alberta, early year students have the opportunity for public health oriented experiences, while senior students have the opportunity to undertake a clinical elective. All will travel to under-resourced countries and learn to practice medicine within a range of environments in urban and rural communities and high-disparity situations. This program is designed to enhance students’ knowledge in global health, cross-cultural training, tropical and all other medicine, and public health. These opportunities are available through the CFMS, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry’s field station programs or external non-governmental organizations. Students may also set up their own electives.

1Effects of international health electives on medical student learning and career choice: results of a systematic literature review.
Jeffrey J, Dumont RA, Kim GY, Kuo T