Elective planning: what you need to know before you go

An elective is for many students one of the most enjoyable and memorable parts of their medical studies.

For many students, an elective placement is one of the most enjoyable and memorable parts of their studies, opening them up to new challenges and allowing them to expand their clinical experience in a new setting.

The MDU is here to help find the right placement for you, and ensure you get the most out of the experience.

Elective indemnity

If you're a student member of the MDU, you will be provided with free professional indemnity for your clinical practice during your elective. You will also receive:

  • Access to our 24-hour medico-legal advisory helpline
  • Professional indemnity for Good Samaritan acts worldwide.

Your elective host may ask you for written confirmation of your indemnity. When you've chosen your destination, go to My Membership and fill out the elective indemnity form. You can also contact our membership team on 0800 716 376 to confirm your elective details and what MDU benefits you are entitled to while you’re away.

Due to legislation, we are unable to offer indemnity to students undertaking their elective in Australia. However, we do provide access to our 24-hour medico-legal advisory helpline and indemnity for Good Samaritan acts in this region.

Top tips

The MDU has partnered with online resource The Electives Network (TEN) to provide our members with all the information they need to plan their elective – including a database of international hospitals, ideas for where to go, and feedback reports and case studies from other students.    

Popular elective hospitals can book out up to two years in advance – so the right planning and preparation is key.

Choosing your elective

Eddie Crawford Himalayas Nepal

Think about what you want to get out of your placement. Do you have a particular specialty in mind? Would you prefer a rural or urban setting? Do you want to stay local, or travel abroad– and how far can your budget stretch?

Speak to your lecturers and fellow students when considering your options. Find out if your medical school has elective links with other organisations.

Research potential locations and organisations with the help of the resources on the TEN website.

Planning your elective

If you need financial support during your elective, find out if you're eligible for sponsorship from one of the organisations or associations listed on our website.

Ensure your passport is valid and you meet any visa requirements for your destination. As well as medical indemnity, it's important to have a travel insurance policy in place before you depart.

Before you go

  • Reconfirm your arrangements with your elective organisation or hospital
  • Acquaint yourself with the necessary travel information relating to your elective location
  • Ensure you have the adequate visas, relevant travel documents and travel insurance
  • Confirm your indemnity arrangements via the My Membership section of the MDU website
  • Read our advice on how to stay healthy while on elective and what to do if you come across any problems.

For more information on planning your elective, download our full guide and visit The Electives Network.

This guidance was correct at publication 17/07/2016. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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