Medical Electives

The Medical Elective Network is the leading provider of medical electives in South America.  Each month since 2011 we have received final year medical students looking to gain clinical experience in Peru.  Medicine residents, looking to improve communication with Spanish speaking patients, also choose us, especially in the 3rd or 4th year of residency.

As well as medical electives, we fund our own NGO, feeding elderly in poverty.   Together with local partners we run community health campaigns and, with visiting surgical teams, carry out free surgeries.

Taking your elective in Peru is more than just another clinical rotation.  Whilst here you will have the opportunity to learn medical Spanish, participate on community health fairs and discover Peru!

Ashley (Year 4 medical student from US) speaks about her medical elective experience

Clinical Rotations

We are based in the city of Trujillo, where we work with hospitals of all sizes.  Most medical elective program participants are final year students and residents.  Whilst our programs are not available to pre-med students, we do accept medical students in earlier years of study.

Some are clear about the specific rotation they want and others are happy to look at a number of alternatives.  Regardless of your preference, we will develop the best program possible for you.

We always try to meet your clinical rotation preference, whether that is Emergency medicine, primary care or anything else.

Elective rotations take place at both government hospitals and NGO facilities. Conditions at the hospitals vary according to the resources available.  You will experience health care in a developing country, and see conditions you may not see in your home country.

Some, though not all local doctors speak English.  However, younger Peruvian professionals have taken English as part of their medical degree.

Most clinical rotations take place in the mornings Monday to Friday from 8am to 12 noon.  Each morning our drivers will take you to the hospital and later return you home.

Some rotations, such as emergency medicine, include the opportunity to participate on the occasional night shift.  If you do have any free mornings, you may take extra language classes in the mornings.

Popular hospital rotations

Emergency Medicine

Pediatrics

Obstetrics & gynecology

Internal medicine

primary care

Ophthalmology

Infectious diseases

Medical Spanish Program

One of the great benefits of taking your medical elective in South America is the opportunity to develop your general and medical Spanish skills.  Our medical Spanish program is the best around.  In Trujillo we have a team of teachers and health care professionals providing a CME accredited medical Spanish program.

Regardless of your existing level of Spanish, you will quickly improve whilst taking 4 hours of Spanish classes each afternoon.  Classes are taught at all levels. Teachers rotate each hour to always keep classes fun and stimulating.

Spanish beginners and intermediate speakers have the option of taking the intensive medical Spanish program with an additional 3 hours each morning for the first week or 2 before beginning the clinical rotation.  This is a popular way to build up your language skills before beginning clinic.

Daily Schedule (Mon - Fri)
Elective Rotation8 am – 12 noon
Medical Spanish Program2.30 pm – 6.30 pm

Community Health Fairs

One of the most popular elements of our programs for student and residents taking a medical elective with us are the community health fairs that take place each Friday morning.  You may be spending most of a day on a public square or even a prison.  Patients receive free consultations and medicine.   For these health fairs our partners include local municipalities, schools, the national police and prison service.

Each health fair is different.  Conditions are never ideal, and are often accompanied by a lot of noise.  You can expect to see 60 to 100 patients with a variety of complaints.   Local health care professionals and language teachers will be there, providing support.

Participating on a health fair is very intensive but satisfying experience.  They are also a fantastic opportunity to see lots of patients and apply the Spanish language schools you learn each day here.

Surgical Missions

Each year we partner with visiting surgical teams such as ISHI Global and Go-Med to provide free surgeries for patients with very limited resources.  These missions normally last just a week, but require lots of preparation, with a visiting surgical team of 20 to 25 people.  If you are interested in surgery and would like to participate, do please contact us, for advice about getting involved.

Abuela’s Kitchen

Every day, through our foundation, Abuela’s Kitchen,  we provide lunch and a place to socialize for elderly living in poverty in La Esperanza district of Trujillo. Since September 2016, we have provided thousands of meals and facilitated many new friendships.  Elective students are welcome to see the work carried out at our small center there.

Quality Accommodation

The quality of your accommodation should be an important consideration when looking at a medical elective abroad.  Program participants in Trujillo all stay with families within 10 minutes walk of our elective center.  All are professional households who understand the importance of students being comfortable.  The homes have wifi and all students have private rooms, most with private bathrooms.  The language immersion our families provide provides reinforces the language  learnt and practiced each day in the classroom and at the hospital.

About 50% of students taking medical electives with us come alone and 50% with a friend or two.  Our families normally have between two and four program participants.  We are happy to accommodate small groups together.  our families also have no problem meeting any dietary preference or need

Learn more about our families.

Activities

As you can imagine, your days here are pretty full after clinical rotations and medical Spanish programs.  Nevertheless, we do also include gym membership, salsa classes or yoga classes as part of your elective program.

The gym option is particularly popular as it includes yoga classes and many dance classes, as well as everything you would expect from a large modern gym.  Students often go together at the end of their afternoon medical Spanish classes.

As part of the language classes we also include activities such as making pisco sours, preparing a meal or bringing in a dance teacher to the electives center.

Community Health Fairs

A satisfying experience

Trujillo & beyond

Peru is one of the most exciting countries on earth to visit.  With the Andes mountains, the Amazon Rain forest and hundreds of miles of pacific beaches. Beyond its amazing geography it also has a rich history dating back thousands of years.   Long before the Spanish were the Incas and long before them were the Moche and other cultures.

Trujillo is a Spanish colonial city know as the City of Eternal Spring for its great weather.  Full of history with colonial mansions it is a modern bustling city and the education center of Northern Peru with several large universities.  If offers an active nightlife offering clubs and live music, as well as cinema and theatres.

Close by

Just 20 minutes from Trujillo you will find the impressive archaeological sites of Chan Chan, and La Huacas Del Sol y De la Luna,.  Also nearby is the seaside town of Huanchaco: a surfing resort full of seafish restaurants.  A great place to try Ceviche.

Within 2 hours of Trujillo you will arrive at the wine growing region of Cascas, the Andes town of Otuzco, or the longest right hand wave in the world at Chicama.

Weekend Trips

Every month students take weekend trips together.  Perhaps the most popular weekend trip from Trujillo is to Huaraz, with the highest mountains in Peru and the best trekking.  Another popular destination is Cajamarca, a lovely Andes town full of history.  Mancora is a great option for beach lovers, where they can also swim with giant tea turtles.

Of course, Peru is best know for Cusco and Machu Picchu.  Many choose to visit at the end of their elective.  Direct flights are available from Trujillo to Cusco

For Peruvians, the most exciting destination of 2018 is Chachapoyas & Kuelap.  Kuelap was nominated as one of the top world destinations for 2018 by both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.   It is considered to be the new Machu Picchu, but with just 1% of the tourists.

Any Questions?

Please do get in touch if you have any questions about how we can make your medical elective a worthwhile and memorable experience

Pre-med student electives

Please note that unfortunately we do not accept Pre-med students onto the medical elective program or other programs.  Programs are open to medical students and professionals.

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