Clinical Rotations and Electives

Clinical electives now available in six countries

Globe-Icon.pngThe globalization of health is changing the way medical professionals approach, understand, and deliver healthcare. Today’s physicians have increasing opportunities to work internationally, become exposed to different healthcare systems, and develop core competencies in culturally-diverse environments.

To afford our students those same experiences, AUC now offers global health opportunities in the United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, Russia, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Students can explore dynamic patient care abroad and discover emerging global health challenges.

The UK Clinical Experience

AUC’s UK Clinical Experience was established more than 25 years ago. Since then, more than 1,500 students have fulfilled rotations at eight hospitals across the UK—with all but two sites offering full core tracks. Affiliated hospitals are located in urban and suburban areas of the UK and serve diverse sets of patients. Ealing Hospital in bustling London City, for example, sees over 100,000 patients in the emergency room annually while Epsom Hospital in the beautiful southwest countryside sees about 44,000.

Cameron LanCarte, a third-year student and Clinical Student Government Association representative, is completing a full core track at Stepping Hill Hospital in Manchester, England. He describes the program as diverse, didactic, flexible, and focused on teaching.

“The UK emphasizes retrospective learning, which has been personally beneficial” says LanCarte. “On a daily basis, I get a lot of time to study and research cases from the floor.”

The program has also been advantageous from a scheduling perspective. LanCarte is able to complete his core rotations in 10 months versus the 12 month standard in the United States. Other students credit the UK with providing a deeper understanding of socialized medicine, increased sense of autonomy and independence, one-on-one teaching, and unique stories that standout during residency interviews.

New Global Health Clinical Elective Opportunities

In addition to the UK, students can now fulfill six-week clinical electives in the Dominican Republic, Russia, Uganda, Vietnam, or Zimbabwe. AUC began offering the electives early in 2016 through a partnership with the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN).

Each global opportunity is highly academic and rigorous, and offered in a structured, established environment. Students are immersed in the culture and community and can learn invaluable lessons about the practice of medicine in other areas of the world.

Before starting a global health elective, students complete a virtual orientation to learn about the specific country, what to expect, and clinical responsibilities. The program includes flights from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, transportation from the airport to host sites, and visa expenses.

“Students who choose to train abroad have access to different disease states, pathologies, and physical examinations,” says Patricia Wetherill, MD, FACP, Director of Global Health for AUC at the WCHN. “We continually find that the experience changes them—makes students more prepared, insightful, and culturally-aware as physicians.”

During the elective, students keep a journal and are required to write weekly reflections about their experience and how it has changed or enhanced their personal understanding of health. Once the elective ends, students participate in a final session with WCHN to review their journal and discuss the trip as a whole.

Clinical electives are offered every six weeks on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in a global health elective, submit an online electives request form or contact Ashley Glenn, Clinical Education Advisor for AUC, at

2016-2017 Global Elective Schedule:

8/6/16 – 9/17/16
9/17/16 – 10/29/16
10/29/16 – 12/10/16
1/9/17 – 2/17/17
2/6/17 – 3/17/17
3/6/17 – 4/14/17
4/10/17 – 5/19/17
5/8/17 – 6/16/17
6/5/17 – 7/14/17 (Russia Only)
7/10/17 – 8/18/17 (Russia Only)
8/7/17 – 9/15/17
9/11/17 – 10/20/17
10/9/17 – 11/17/17
11/6/17 – 12/15/17
A Closer Look at Each Elective Opportunity

Dominican Republic

DR-Circle.jpgThe Hospital Programa de Asistencia a Paraiso (Hospital PAP) in the remote Barahona province of Dominican Republic is WCHN's newest elective site. Health services in the region are extremely limited despite the significant presence of communicable and tropical diseases. Students who participate in this program will have access to hands-on training and will gain valuable insights on the role of community and environment in health.

At this time, the program is only accepting students who are fluent in Spanish.


Russia-Circle.jpgWCHN has a 20-year relationship with Kazan State Medical University (KSMU), a top medical school in Russia and a member of the UN Academic Impact Global Initiative. With 65 departments, internationally-respected faculty members, an abundance of research opportunities, and advanced technology systems, KSMU provides students with an enriched academic experience. More than 50 onsite faculty members are fluent in English and many spent time training at Yale University.


Uganda-Circle.jpgWith multiple hospital sites around the country, Uganda has become one of WCHN’s most popular elective programs. Students have the rare opportunity to work in urban and rural communities affected by communicable and non-communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, and train alongside experts in the field. During the elective, students are placed in homestays with faculty members, which provides an incredible avenue to form deep and lasting relationships.

Two AUC students will participate in the Uganda elective this fall.


Vietnam-Circle.jpgThe Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam serves the city’s 8 million residents. With 1,800 beds and more than 3,100 employees, students will encounter all aspects of medicine. The first student to participate in this elective, Scott Lawler, describes his experience later in this issue.


Zimbabwe-Circle.jpgStudents rotate at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS), a well-developed medical school and the only institution in the country that trains healthcare professionals. The university is in Harare, the largest city in Zimbabwe, and has world-renouned faculty. This elective is focused on the health needs of people in Zimbabwe, with an emphasis on disease prevention. Students have the opportunity to work at nationally-recognized HIV sites and alongside residents and attendings.

Two AUC students will participate in the Zimbabwe elective this fall.