Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Medical electives for visiting students


Further information

How to apply

Expressions of interest expected to open in late January 2019 for the period from 1st December 2019 to end of January 2020.


Important information for applicants


Limited Paediatric electives are available and no Obstetric and Gynaecology electives are offered. Depending on availability placements are possible in the following areas:

  • Accident and emergency
  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiology
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics and Extended Care
  • Haematology
  • ICU
  • Immunology
  • Liver Transplant Unit
  • Medicine
  • Nephrology (Renal Medicine)
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology (ENT)
  • Paediatrics
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Pulmonary Physiology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiology
  • Rehab Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Rheumatology
  • Sexual Health
  • Surgery
  • Trauma
  • Urology

The University of Western Australia coordinates elective placements at the teaching hospitals associated with the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

We welcome applications from overseas, interstate Australia, and New Zealand medical students who have completed clinical rotations and are in their final or penultimate year.

Due to the program's increased popularity, placements in all disciplines are limited. An application does not guarantee a place. We will try our best to accommodate your first preference, then second or third. Please review our frequently asked questions (FAQs) before making an application.

Applicants are not permitted to make elective placement arrangements directly with hospitals.

Availability of elective placements for visiting medical students are under review

To this end, the guiding principle is that consideration will be given to a limited number of expressions of interest from visiting medical students during our main break periods – 1st December to end of January of each year.

At this stage, expressions of interest are expected to open in late January 2019 for the period from 1st December 2019 to end of January 2020.  Information on how to apply will be provided closer to the date.

Placements in Perth hospitals: Online application

When applications are open, please use this online application form to submit your expression of interest.

Elective durations can range from two weeks to a maximum of eight weeks. You may request to be placed in a single department, or split your placement between two departments.

Typical examples are:

  • A 3-week placement in Anaesthesia.
  • A 6-week placement split into 4 weeks in Paediatrics and 2 weeks in Endocrinology.
  • An 8-week placement in Haematology.
  • An 8-week placement split into 4 weeks in Cardiology and 4 weeks in Urology.
  • An 8-week placement split into 5 weeks in General Surgery and 3 weeks in General Medicine.

When we receive your application with the required attachments, we will send requests to seek placements for you with the appropriate heads of departments in the hospitals.

It can take several weeks or more to receive responses to our requests. If a department is unable to host you, we will try your next preferred department. It is important to list alternate preferences, and whether you wish to split your elective across departments.

Please understand that we cannot guarantee placements, or placements in specific hospitals.

Checklist of documents to be attached to your online application

  • a letter from your medical school confirming i) that you are an enrolled medical student in good standing; ii) the year of your course and your expected date of graduation; iii) confirmation that your medical degree course is taught in English; and iv) that you are approved to complete a medical elective.
  • a copy of the identification pages of your passport, and,
  • if your course is not taught in English either IELTS or TOEFL certified test scores or other proof confirming your level of English language.
  • written proof from your University or other appropriate body that you have insurance cover for public liability and medical indemnity while undertaking an elective in Australia.

When your placement is confirmed detailed elective instructions will be sent to your contact email. To secure the placement you will be asked to pay the placement fee online within 30 days.

Placement Fee

Students who are offered an elective are charged a placement fee:

  • International students are required to pay a fee of $1000 (Australian dollars, including GST);
  • Australian and New Zealand student fee is $220 (including GST).

When your elective has been arranged you can pay online by credit card. Instructions will be provided in the letter confirming the placement.

Cancellation policy

In exceptional circumstances, cancellations with six months or more notice may be eligible for a 50% refund.

Immunisation compliance

The following requirements are mandatory for all confirmed elective placements. Detailed Instructions are providedwhen a placement is confirmed.Evidence of vaccination dates andtest results (laboratory reports) must be submitted at least TWO months before the elective start date:

  • Hepatitis B
    Documented evidence of a completed, age appropriate course of hepatitis B and evidence of post vaccination Hepatitis B surface antibody >/= 10 iu/ml or presence of hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs).
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella
    Documented evidence of 2 doses of MMR vaccine at least 1 month apart; or laboratory confirmed evidence of positive IgG for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
  • Pertussis
    One documented dose of adult dTpa vaccine within the last 10 years.
  • Tuberculosis Screening
    Documented evidence of Tuberculosis screening with a Mantoux, Heaf or T-Spot (Quantiferon) test.
  • Varicella
    Documented evidence of positive Varicella IgG or documented evidence of 2 Varicella vaccinations at least four weeks apart or serological evidence of immunity.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
    screening is compulsory and must be done on arrival in Perth.


If you are not covered by your university proof of cover is required TWO months prior to commencing an elective:

Personal Medical Insurance that covers you in the event of sickness, accident or medical emergency.

Professional Medical Indemnity Insurance ($10 million AUD per occurrence) All overseas and interstate elective students are required to provide evidence of indemnity cover for the elective period either by your university or an alternative insurance organisation.In Australia there are several companies that provide medical indemnity insurance: Medical Indemnity Protection Society www.mips.com.au, MDA National: www.mdanational.com.au, MIGA www.miga.com.au.


Visas are issued at the discretion of Australian Immigration www.immi.gov.au. Clinical Elective Placements are classed as observation visits, not training/research. A visitor visa, subclass 600 is appropriate. For advice consultthe Australian Government representative in your country.

Rural clinical elective placements

Expressions of interest are considered for a maximum of 6 weeks during the following periods:

  1. Placement from July to August.
    • Applications open from February and should be directed to the below email address
  2. Placement from December to January
    1. Applications open to Western Australian Students from June
    2. Applications open to all other Students (interstate and international) from July

Email rural placement applications to electives@rcswa.edu.au.

Include: Your disciplinary and site preferences together with the specific dates you are seeking.

Please Note that the current application fees are as follows:

Interstate students
International Students

Please DO NOT send application for placements in city hospitals to the above email address.

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