Electives in North America & Canada

Oncology in the USA (2017)


St Jude Children’s Hospital

How I organised it: 

Contact through Professor Richard Gilbertson


Flights around £700, accommodation $37 per night (provided), no application fees or visa

What was a typical day like?

Shuttlebus takes you from the accommodation to the hospital. We would do rounds with the NPs, followed by board round and then ward round. Afternoon I often spent in the laboratory (projects can be self organised, Prof Gilbertson is very helpful in putting you in contact with lab leaders). Also weekly team meetings.

What was the best part of your elective? 

Getting to know the patients, and seeing the amazing work of the hospital. Also met some wonderful clinicians!

What was the worst part of your elective? 

Not long enough

Travelling and exploring

I didn’t do much in terms of  travelling around Memphis, but we met up with friends we’d made there.




Where did you go?

USA (Pittsburgh and LA)

How did you organise it? 

Pittsburgh – Through their elective website (http://www.medstudentaffairs.pitt.edu/visiting-students/)

LA – Emailed the consultants personally and asked whether I could observe them for 3 weeks

Why you would recommend it?

The doctors are very happy to teach! They are also very liberal on investigations, so you get to interpret different sorts of data which you might not have had the chance to in the UK.

Amazing shopping, and might get to see celebrities in LA!

Why you would not recommend it?

Long hours, 6am – 6pm is very normal.

Quite hard to travel around without a car as each city is so large and widespread. We used buses and that was fine, but it could take up a lot of time!