University of Cambridge Paediatric Society

"To explore Paediatrics,
where ever we go"

Elective Testimonials

Need some inspiration? Not sure where to go? No clue on how much everything costs?

Look through some of the experiences past students have had whilst on their electives. If you have any questions for any particular report, drop a message to our webmaster.

If you would like to add your elective experience onto our page, please contact the webmaster.

Paediatrics in New Zealand

I am Abi, a final year student, especially interested in
paediatrics/general practice.

I spent 7 weeks of the summer (2015) at the Wellington Hospital in New Zealand.

I emailed some family friends who lived in Wellington to
help sort things out, as they knew a few people at the hospital.

I spent the majority of my elective getting involved in the
clinical side of things: joining in with ward rounds,
helping out with jobs, and going to clinics. The most
interesting thing I saw was probably a kid with
tummy pain who turned out to have acute rheumatic
fever, with severe AV/MV involvement.

Why go?
New Zealand is incredible - it is my favourite place I have
ever visited! Travelling around NZ was the most amazing
experience - I got to go skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping,
whale watching and loads more. The hospitals aren't too
different to UK hospitals, so it wasn't too much of a
culture shock. And New Zealand people are really really
friendly and lovely.


Paediatrics and Research in Melbourne and Singapore

I'm Isabel, a stage 3 student, keen on Paediatrics, with an
interest in Paediatric brain protection and development.

I spent 5 weeks at Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne and
2.5 weeks at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore.

In Melbourne, I carried out a research project
investigating cerebral autoregulation in preterm infants.
The experience gave me real appreciation of neonatal
intensive care and translational medicine - I was able
to observe cell studies, animal studies and clinical
The project was an invaluable learning experience and
taught me many new skills. In Singapore, I did an
attachment with the Department of Child Development,
which was an interesting insight into different
healthcare structures. I was involved with various
clinics at the Department and observed multidisciplinary
assessments and interventions. I also had the opportunity
to get involved with patient recruitment and data
collection for an ongoing research study investigating
screen device use and sleep habits in children.

Why go?
Well-established units, friendly people, abundant
opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge,
explore your interests and widen perspectives.


Paediatric Surgery in Cambodia

I'm Rory, a final year student especially interested in paediatric surgery

I spent 7 weeks of the summer at the Children's Surgical
Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

To get in touch with the hospital we simply emailed the
hospital CEO; we received a prompt reply accepting us, simple!

Over the 7 weeks we got involved in all sorts of operations at
the hospital including orthopaedics, plastics, ENT. Although
lots of patients were children the hospital also provided free care to adult patients.
As well as clinical work, we were able to carry out research looking at
infection rates in orthopaedic surgical cases.

Why go?
A brilliant opportunity to explore your favourite speciality. I became
very involved in surgery, and saw some paediatric pathologies that
I would never see here in the UK!


Party in the USA

Who are you?
Parisut Kimkool

Where did you go?
USA (Pittsburgh and LA)

How did you organise it?
  • Pittsburgh - Through their elective website
  • 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!


Who are you?
Becky Ollerenshaw (Bullock)

Where did you go?
Tanzania -
Mbozi mission hospital - rural mission hospital near Mbeya
Mnazi Mmoja Hospital - Stone Town, Zanzibar

How did you organise it?
Scouted hospitals with good reviews and contact details
on the electives network and emailed the hospitals to
arrange a placement(they take a while to reply!)

Why you would recommend it?
  • Great experience, got to do lots at the first hospital
    and travel lots at the 2nd.

  • Never been to Africa before and Tanzania is a good introduction!!
Why you would not recommend it?
  • The bucket showers and squat toilets in the rural hospital


Who are you?
Wojciech Cymes, stage 3 Churchill student or

Where did you go?
MonzeMission Hospital in Zambia

How did you organise it?
Through contact on the electives network, but if you arrange it through one of the doctors you don't have to pay the admin fee (contact me for details)

Why you would recommend it?
  • General medicine as well as specialties experience.
  • Good amount of supervision.
  • Lots of paediatric cases in medicine, surgery and once a month orthopaedics.
  • You can deliver children.

Why you would not recommend it?
  • You don't get left alone (e.g. you can do pre-rounds and there will be a doc to review it) which might not be what some people want