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My Elective - Rhys Smith

By Rhys Smith

My Elective - Rhys Smith

Entry Blog

My New Zealand and Pacific South Islands elective

Hi there, my name is Rhys and currently I'm a final year medical student at Imperial College London. Although I am currently head down revising for finals, my shining light at the end of the tunnel is that in a little over two months, I embark on my 10-week elective to New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific Islands including Fiji and Vanuatu.

The bulk of my elective will be spent in New Zealand where I'm splitting my elective in two. To begin with I'm spending 4 weeks in general surgery just outside of Auckland, and for the second part I'm heading south to 4 weeks doing general medicine near New Zealand's capital, Wellington.

I have always wanted to go somewhere for elective where I can do a lot of exploring. As my consultants have told me throughout my training, "Elective is your last big holiday before starting work, so make the most of it", and that is exactly what I intend to do!

One of the big plusses for me about doing general placements is that I will I be able to experience a wide variety of medical specialities, which should help me decide on my career path, as beyond hospital work, I don't really know what I want to do. With exam burden over and done with I can throw myself into learning how to do the job, keep up with the day to day tasks, and see if I like working in that speciality.

Let's face it, one of the major selling points of elective is you get to have a holiday with it! And what better part of the world to let my inner explorer/Lord of the Rings geek come out than New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands. From the white-water rafting, the wineries of the north, glaciers of the south, and sunning it up on the beach this part of the world really does have it all.

Now it hasn't been as straight forward as some of my friends' electives to organise, but by thinking ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to plan (I started about 10 months before) it really is incredibly easy to do and surprisingly cheap. So, what better way to end Medical School than with friends, an exotic adventure and some medicine thrown in on the side.

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