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Old 08-08-2016
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Info How to get an elective – explained (International Medical Students)

How to get an elective – explained (International Medical Students)

I know many students struggle when faced with the task of bagging an elective in the US. I did too. Just a foreword – No One will spoon feed you all the info. You will have to do a lot of the work to know which universities to apply to and how. In this post, I want to share all the information I can about how I got an elective in the US, so that not everyone will face the same difficulties I did starting from scratch to look for an elective. Most of the info here will be tailored to the requirements for Indian Students, but IMS from other countries will hopefully find this helpful too.

About me – Indian Intern (Regarded as the last year of medical school in India) currently in my 5th month of Internship

Electives Bagged – Yale School of Medicine (Radiation Oncology) –elective of choice
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (Radiology)


Still waiting replies from – Weill Cornell University
University of Massachusetts

Steps given – None

TOEFL Score – 117/120 (R:29 L:29 S:30 W:29)

How to go about applying for an elective:

1. Get your definitions right - http://umartariq.com/node/128
Just know that once you are a graduate, you cannot do an elective. You can do observerships and such.

2. Best time to apply – Towards the end of fourth prof of medical school in India (or second last year in Schools elsewhere) : Some universities want you to apply ahead of 8 months, so you should start researching universities by this time. Even if you are in your internship, it’s not too late. I applied in the first 2 months of my internship.

3. Best time to go – In the middle or towards the end of your internship/last year of medical school

4. List of Universities - http://electives.us/unilistims.html
Complete List of Clinical Electives for International Medical Students
You should know that not all universities accept international students. You need to go to each University’s website and search the requirements. Type in “(University name) international student elective” and look through it. Some universities will only accept international students from certain international universities. Go through their list of universities.
Some universities might require step 1 scores. Most of them require TOEFL.
Also check out – Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (Florida International University) – This college is not given on any list, but I found it by chance, and it offers a lot of electives to International students. However, there are no residency positions here so it might not be a choice for many people
Ideally you should choose an elective in which you aim to do residency, but something is always better than nothing. You can do a one or two month elective, depending on your convenience. The longer the elective, the better.

5. TOEFL – I’d suggest you to give TOEFL asap before applying to any university. It’s not a very difficult exam for those who have studied in English medium schools and will not take long for you to prepare. Get Barron’s TOEFL iBT Book and look at some youtube videos. I did my preparation in 5 days, mainly because I had my pre-university exams, but you can take 2-3 weeks to prepare as well. Book the exam online first. It costs about 120$.

6. Make a list of all the universities you are going to be eligible for along with their application fee and tuition fee. The only couple of places which do not require application fee are places like NIH and Yale. However tuition fees are exceptionally high at such places. Exception – NIH – They don’t have an application or a tuition fee, but it is really hard to get through. You need to have amazing TOEFL scores and at least some research experience. I did not have the latter, so maybe that’s the reason I was rejected.

7. Prepare a resume – look up some templates online and make one

8. Ask your Dean to write you an LOR, explain to him the situation and make a generalized one stating “To Whomever it may concern” or make specific ones addressed to the administrative assistants of each University.

9. Ask for a transcript of your records from your medical school. Make sure they include results from each of your college year in the form of pass/fail along with the marks. Usually colleges have their own templates for these transcripts but you may ask for an addition. Some places like NIH and Yale may require you to specify the hours of clinical postings you have attended in each subject so include that as well.

10. Health forms – Usually they give these to be filled on the University’s website and you have to get a registered medical practitioner to fill and sign these, along with some titers like Hepatitis B titer and Tuberculin Skin test results

11. Immunization Certificate – You need to get one made stating all the vaccines you have received along with recent ones specified on the university’s page.

12. Personal Statement/Letter of Intent/Cover letter – You need to write a little ‘essay’ about yourself and why you would like to perform an elective in the institute. Research a little bit about the institute and make a cover letter tailored to it. Universities really appreciate a good cover letter, so make sure you make an impressive one.

13. Malpractice insurance/Health Insurance – You can get this after you have been accepted for an elective as well.

14. Get a US Visa – Well, this is an obvious requirement

15. How to apply – For most universities, you can send all the material via e-mail. Make sure you send all the application material together. For Weill Cornell, make sure you are applying to correct hospitals since on their website, they state that only a select few hospitals accept international students. Some universities might require you to send them the material via post. In this case, use speed post. Try to convert all documents into a pdf before sending.

This is the stuff that will be the basic requirement for applying to ANY university. However some universities might require other stuff as well like HIPAA Certificate which is an online course which is really easy and cheap, so you should go for it. Some may require a BLS and ACLS training certificate as well.

I hope you found this post helpful. You can ask questions and I’ll answer to the best of my ability. I will post my Yale experience once I’ve done it.

This site helped me immensely : http://umartariq.com/
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Old 08-08-2016
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Default thank you

Thank you so much.
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Old 09-22-2016
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Can you tell how to get elective at yale?
They require university rank also. My college didn't give any rank. Even if they do, I don't think it's good in my case.
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Old 09-22-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clerkship View Post
Can you tell how to get elective at yale?
They require university rank also. My college didn't give any rank. Even if they do, I don't think it's good in my case.
You will have to send a transcript of your grades. It's a requirement, even if your grades are bad. They don't ask for ranks. Only pass/fail and marks. And the grades aren't the only thing that matters. Your cover letter and resume also help make a good impression.
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Old 09-22-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniraiqbal93 View Post
You will have to send a transcript of your grades. It's a requirement, even if your grades are bad. They don't ask for ranks. Only pass/fail and marks. And the grades aren't the only thing that matters. Your cover letter and resume also help make a good impression.

What does applicant's current class rank mean in their application form? Can you send me proper link of feasible? Thank you
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Old 09-23-2016
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Oh that. I just asked my dean to incorporate my current rank in his LOR. It wasn't much big of a deal I guess. I was also amongst the top students in my class, so..
What would your rank be?
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Old 09-24-2016
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could you guide on how to go about getting malpractice insurance.
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Old 09-25-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarti1993 View Post
could you guide on how to go about getting malpractice insurance.
Yale doesn't require one. So, I didn't get it.
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