Information for Medical Elective Placements
Information for Medical Elective Placements

Criteria for prospective medical elective applicants:

  • Affinity and connection with Nepal.
  • Christian commitment.
  • Interest in developing country/ mission work in the future.
  • Sending Organisation* registration and support.

Summary of basic requirements and application procedure:

  1. Students must have at least completed the next to last year of medical school.
  2. Medical elective placements are a minimum of 6 weeks (excluding travel and holiday time) and a maximum of three months.
  3. Approval of the student’s medical school and a letter from the school stating that the student is in good standing.
  4. Students must get the recommendation of one of our recognised mission agencies* within their home country.
  5. A recommendation letter from the student’s church pastor/elder commenting on their Christian walk, church involvement and responsibilities.
  6. Students are required to meet all costs themselves. There is also a fee of USD 250 payable to UMN to cover administration.
  7. Comprehensive medical insurance with provision for evacuation in case of any emergency.
  8. Medical fitness certificate from a registered medical officer /general practitioner must be provided.
  9. All necessary immunisations before travel.

Further details
*Students need to be ‘sent’ by one of our recognised mission agencies. (A list of agencies can be supplied.) These agencies provide valuable back-up and support before, during and after your medical elective.

We accept a maximum of three students at any one time – two in Tansen and one in Okhaldhunga.

It is crucial that all students already have clinical experience (history-taking and physical examination) in order to fully benefit from the elective. Rural hospitals in developing countries see a wide variety of clinical cases, many of which will be new to international medical students.

We ask that you commit to this elective period 100% whilst you are here. We get three times as many applications as there are places. Our doctors are investing time into you as we want your elective to achieve something, to challenge you, to change you and allow you an opportunity to test what God may be saying for now and the future.

As a student you need to be willing to take initiative during your elective period. The more you put in the more you are likely to get out of it. There are lots of opportunities to observe as well as to do some more hands-on procedures. We try to give our students as many opportunities as we can, but it is important to remember that part of our mandate is to train Nepali staff, so they naturally take priority when training opportunities come up. Be prepared to take night call occasionally to experience after-hours medical work

You can do a placement in one of our two hospitals:

United Mission Hospital Tansen (UMHT) is a 169-bed acute care general hospital with some specialist services available – orthopaedics, maternity, paediatrics. This hospital is located in a hilly region 300 km west of Kathmandu and can be reached by road (10-12 hours) or by air plus road (30 minutes+ 2 hours + waiting time). There is a guest house on the hospital compound. The hospital takes trainees in the MDGP (Medical Doctorate in General Practice,) program for rural rotations. It also does other short training programs. There is a library with fairly well stocked books and some medical journals, and internet access with a subscription to ‘Up-to-Date’.

Okhaldhunga Community Hospital (OCH), a 50-bed acute care general hospital, is located in the hilly region east of Kathmandu. Its main areas of work include adult medicine and surgery, obstetrics, orthopaedics, and paediatrics The journey to reach Okhaldhunga from Kathmandu is 8 hours by road. OCH has a guesthouse situated near to the hospital for short-term visitors. It also acts as a site for MDGP residents’ rural placement.

Would you like to apply? Have further questions? Please contact us at