12 NUI Galway Medical Students to be Given Opportunity to Train in Developing Countries

(left to right seated) Pictured at the announcement were Paul Jackson, CEO and Sharon Phelan of the Hospital Saturday Fund, Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, NUI Galway and (left to right standing) medical students Esraa Hegazy, Susan Morrison and Suzanne Smyth.
Dec 10 2013 Posted: 11:11 GMT

The Hospital Saturday Fund gives opportunity to students to spend two months in a developing country

Students of medicine will have new opportunities to spend two months in a developing country with funding made available by The Hospital Saturday Fund. The School of Medicine working with the Galway University Foundation will invite fourth year students of medicine to apply for funding for the medical electives, which will be offered in the summer of 2014.

A medical elective is a period of supervised learning, chosen by the student.  In this case the work will be in a resource poor setting which has many recognised benefits for students: to experience clinical practice and health care in different cultural and organisational settings and to learn about diseases and conditions that are not often seen at home.

Senior Lecturer in Social and Preventative Medicine Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan welcomed the support of The Hospital Saturday Fund and said “these electives help to improve the ability of students to manage patients from diverse backgrounds and to better understand global health. Many electives are based in low-resource tropical settings where the organisation and provision of healthcare, and the social, cultural, economic and political environments are very different from what students have experienced in their home institutions.”

Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF) Chief Executive Paul Jackson visited NUI Galway to meet some of the staff and students of the medical school and said The Hospital Saturday Fund is delighted to be supporting Galway University with the establishment of their Medical Electives Programme which will give students the opportunity to extend their knowledge and skills in diverse overseas locations. The Hospital Saturday Fund is pleased to have the opportunity to establish a partnership with Galway University and look forward to working closely with them in future and seeing the development of the students as they benefit from first-hand clinical experience and development of their skills’.

The Hospital Saturday Fund is a charity that provides grants to medical charities, hospitals and hospices and this includes making awards to medical schools to fund medical student electives. The support has been welcomed by the School of Medicine. Research and clinical elective opportunities are highly prized among medical students.  This support will facilitate twelve students who will work in various clinical disciplines in developing countries.  These elective opportunities will be awarded based on an essay competition that will be open to all students in the fourth medical year.

NUI Galway’s School of Medicine is also exploring the possibility of student exchanges with medical schools in developing countries. NUI Galway is committed to providing a high standard of training to ensure that students receive adequate and appropriate preparation before going abroad.  Students planning to travel are offered training by the School of Medicine, in conjunction with the International Office and the Community Knowledge Initiative programme. This training covers broad areas such as personal health advice, travel safety and security, cultural awareness and stress management.


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