The elective period for Bristol Medics runs in the latter part of Year 5, between April to May. It is a time set aside for medics to:
As you will have completed all the Year 5 assessments, you will be able to go on your elective with all the knowledge, skills and preparation you require to be an F1 doctor, and will therefore find it a more meaningful experience!
The Final Year Elective gives you the opportunity of undertaking a period of study, or clinical experience, in an area of medicine that is of particular interest to you.
Objectives of your Elective project are for you to demonstrate your ability to:
Please visit the Medical School Intranet under the Year 5 section to find the most up-to-date edition of the Elective Handbook.
NB: Elective periods can combine two different parts i.e. a developed country followed by a developing country.
NOTE: Research will increase your chance of getting funding (for more details, visit the Medical Research Council)
You must think very seriously about any possible risks to your health and safety (physical or mental) during your Elective and complete a risk assessment for your travels.
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is a careful examination of what, during your Elective, could cause you or others harm, so that you can weigh up what precautions you should take before and during your Elective to prevent or minimise any risk of harm.
On your Electives Registration Form there is a risk assessment section which you must complete.
To minimise risks and their effects you must:
You need to identify risks which are specific to your Elective. The following checklist of issues is adapted from ‘Health & Safety Guidance when Working Overseas’. You should work your way through this checklist to ensure that you have considered these potential hazards:
Consulates of the countries you are travelling to can give you visa information; their websites may also give you information on local laws and customs (see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for a list of consulates and their websites).
Whilst thinking about and planning your final year elective period, it is worth considering all of the following as it may affect the ease of planning the trip and overall cost. Services available under the NHS are clearly defined and there will be charges payable for anything else.
Some institutions abroad may require you to have additional immunisations or possibly a blood test to prove that you have had certain immunisations e.g. MMR. There will be a charge for this blood test. In some institutions in North America they may require an immunisation which is not available in the UK and then you may need to pay for a medical certificate declaring this. You should be aware that these requirements may not be the same as those in the UK and decisions regarding immunisations will be made on clinical grounds only.
Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, and Cholera (for a certain subset of travellers) vaccinations are available free on the NHS. Any other travel vaccines that may be required you will have to pay for. Please check the SHS website for further information.
2. MRSA Swabs
Several countries, e.g. Australia or New Zealand, require a certificate stating that you have had recent MRSA swabs that are negative. There is a charge for these and requirements may vary even within the same country. You should check documentation carefully and bring it with you to any appointment at Student Health with one of the Health Care Assistants.
Malaria is a potentially lethal disease which is prevalent throughout Africa, Asia and S. America. You may require anti-malarial medication for the whole time you are abroad. Some are only available on a private prescription, for which there is a charge for the prescription and then you will also have to pay for the anti-malarial tablets. (See Appendix C for further information)
Many institutions will require a statement of health and in some instances will even demand you have a chest x-ray. There will be a fee for both of these.
5. HIV Prophylaxis
If you are travelling and working in a country where there is a high incidence of HIV e.g. Africa, then you may require HIV prophylaxis for which there is a charge. (See Appendix C for further information). This is obtained from Occupational Health.
6. Other Possible Costs
These may arise if you decide to travel independently before or after your elective period e.g. a private prescription for antibiotics if you become unwell, or medication for altitude sickness if you are climbing. These are all available and cheaper to buy at one of the private travel clinics e.g. NOMAD
Please consider all the above factors before you make your choice and finalise your plans. The staff at the Students’ Health Service have many years experience of helping elective students and would be happy to answer any queries you may have –Please book into a travel clinic appointment at SHS as soon as you start planning your medical elective. SHS has a huge demand for travel clinic appointments for medical electives in February/March each year and availability of appointments cannot always fulfil demand during this time.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is not exhaustive and further information can also be found on the websites referred to in the Student Health Handbook.
What resources are available for me to check what immunisations I need?
Are there charges for malaria prescriptions?
Where can I get a prescription of antibiotics to take with me to treat travellers’ diarrhoea?
Where can I obtain Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude sickness?
Where can I check how long my immunisations last for? When boosters are due?