As the saying goes, every journey begins with one step. This step for surgeons may be that of undertaking a surgery elective. According to the world health organisation the number of surgical specialists is inadequate in large parts of the world. Especially in low income and middle-income countries as low as 0.7 providers per 100,000 population.
Students aspiring to be future surgeons are usually advised to have real life experience on how their work-life is going to be when they decide to become surgeons. A step that is indeed a good one, with over eleven specialties in surgery how does one decide this is the most suitable one? How do you know you will achieve your goals and whether or not your personality fits in with the demanding schedules? Future surgeons can get this real-life experience through a medical surgical internship.
A surgical elective are programs that introduce students who may want to pursue a career in medicine to work usually experienced by actual doctors and medical students. This involves shadowing a surgeon in operating and surgical recovery rooms. Students will get an opportunity to take patient history, perform physical examinations of a few patients, discuss different diagnoses and management plans with the surgeon in charge.
The duration of the surgery elective ranges from 2 weeks to 16 weeks depending on the facility or the company that is organizing your program.
Requirements for undertaking a Surgery Elective
In the majority of the countries, aspiring surgeons must undertake an undergraduate degree which may not specifically be focused on medicine but focus instead in the physical sciences such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, math and physiology. Therefore, a surgery elective program will require proof that one is a bona fide student studying any of the physical sciences mentioned above.
You will also need to have your current Curriculum Vitae to show why you are qualified to undertake the surgery elective program.
Aspects of a Surgical Elective
Surgery Electives Program can be custom made to include rotations in various surgical divisions that interest the students among them are acute surgery, general surgery, pediatric surgery, gynecologic surgery ,orthopedic and trauma surgery in a manner that most benefits the aspiring surgeon. These rotations help students in attaining extensive hands on experience by integrating theory with practical knowledge under supervision.
Whether you are in a 4-year medical curriculum where you would then be looking for a 3rd and 4th Year surgery elective opportunity or you are a senior medical student in a 6-year medical school Curriculum there are opportunities out there that is well tailored for you. The key highlights to look for in a program include the following:
Proficient supervision and mentoring
Ensure your program involves working closely with qualified doctors and surgeons in facilities that have experience in training and assisting students get the experience they require.
It’s good to be able to customize your program to match your objectives and goals for the elective. In case you would like to rotate in different divisions and have a taste what each feels like and the one that suits you best.
Differentiated healthcare system
Look for a program that will expose you to a healthcare facility that is different from what you experience back home, giving you a unique opportunity to interact with different cultures and global issues at the same time.
Health & Safety
Safety first. Ensure the program you seek to attend gives student safe and secure placements. The placement destinations should be well selected in zones where the locals are friendly to foreigners and welcoming to all people.
They should keep abreast of all security developments and provide necessary information in a timely manner. Program providers should be keen to advise students on the measures to take to ensure their safety and that of their belongings.
Daily Shadowing Journal
A good surgery elective program requires participants to keep a daily log of their hospital activities. Keeping a journal of your shadowing experience will help you maximize on what you learnt by putting your thoughts to words and serve as a reference during your admissions process. This also helps the students document their daily experiences as well as the key skills learnt while on placement. The journal acts as a monitoring aid to the coordinators on the experiences of the students and assists to correct any deficiencies in the desired experiences.
Skills to be developed
The main goal in undertaking a surgery elective is to gain exposure and experience that will be useful when one applies to medical school and give you more information as to whether to continue with the road of becoming a surgeon. A student should therefore have clear objectives when undertaking a surgery elective. Objectives can be grouped into 4 major categories as outlined below. The objectives an aspiring surgeon could have include but are not limited to the following:
Practice-based Learning and Improvement
-Improve knowledge, skills, and attitudes as needed.
-Develop evidence-based decision-making in handling of patients.
-Improve understanding of the social, economic, and other influences on patients’ health care and behavior.
-Learn and follow the clinical practice guidelines in the facility you will be working at.
-Advocate for quality patient care
-Practice managing resources especially in facilities where there are less resources as required.
-Develop appropriate professional behaviors such as respect, honesty, and dealing with deficiencies in knowledge or skills.
-Develop sensitivity to patient’s culture, age, gender and disabilities.
-Develop a commitment to patient care by following a daily plan.
Interpersonal and Communication Skills
-Develop ability to relate well to a team, faculty, patients and staff.
-Develop ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written communication in interactions with patients and other healthcare professionals.
Elective Africa Surgery Electives
Clinical experience is not only critical to practicing, but even more critical to becoming a doctor. Over 19 years, our platform has provided hundreds of medical trainees with clinical rotations they need various specialties.
Undertaking a surgery elective rotation in Africa will provide you an early and unequalled exposure to carrying out both the basic and complex surgical procedures.
Whether you are in a 4 year medical curriculum where you would then be looking for a 3rd and 4th Year surgery elective opportunity or you are a senior medical student in a 6 year medical school Curriculum we have the opportunity that is well tailored for you.
You will not only have the opportunity to travel and get immersed in a new culture, safaris cum excursions in East Africa but also meet and interact with other students from across the globe.
For more info, inquires, clarifications or reservations, visit our Website or contact our placement advisors via:
Call: +1 (609) 375 8912
WhatsApp: +254 (732) 475 278