Getting ready to begin an elective rotation at a hospital is an exciting process for any future physician. A clinical elective rotation is an optional away rotation that a medical student will have the option of doing during his final year of med school.
It is done at a hospital outside of the student’s parent institute and it is a soon-to-be-graduating med student’s best shot at getting some quality clinical experience under his belt. A clinical elective usually lasts for about 4 weeks and is considered to be one of the best choices for gaining U.S. clinical experience because of the opportunity for hands-on patient interaction at an alternate facility.
The process of getting everything in perfect order so that the process goes as smoothly as possible can be a complicated process, so how you handle choosing and securing your clinical elective is important and should be done with great care.
Deciding Where to Do Your Rotation
The first order of business is to decide on the best hospital at which to complete your elective rotation. Take into consideration which facilities are the best respected in your area, as well as in regards to your ultimate long-term goals as a physician. You may even want to consider asking faculty or your career counselor at your school for advice as to which places would offer you the most benefit.
Next, consider visiting your school’s website and giving yourself a refresher course on what the rotation pre-requisites are. Some institutes will need you to have already completed your core clerkships before being qualified to do an elective, but others won’t.
From there, look into your school’s application process, as each institution is going to be different in this regard as well. Some schools will expect you to make contact with the elective program yourself, sending your application straight to the program manager or attending who will take care of it from there. Other places have a process in place that requires the use of a centralized service, usually at the registrar’s office.
Getting Your Papers in Order
What required documents you will need to set up your hospital elective and get started gaining your USCE will again vary according to the policies set in place by your school. It pays to not only do your own homework, but to double check with staff in regards to what the requirements are. Then do everything that they tell you to do in order to make sure you’re fully prepared.
You will, of course, need your application. Double check to make sure you’re filling out the right version, as some schools may have multiple versions for different types of students. You may also be required to submit a relevant health form stating that you are up to date on all your necessary vaccinations, that you’ve tested negative on recent PPD’s, and so forth. Getting your health papers in order may or may not require setting up a new doctor’s visit, so check with your school as to the requirements.