Discover how electives open up a world of opportunity and can help you reach your academic and professional goals. Explore the multiple pathways available to you.

Dr. Margaret Wilson, Director of Electives

Looking to:
• improve your clinical skills?
• explore postgraduate programs in preparation for residency?
• expand your professional network?
• broaden your knowledge by exploring a different area of medicine?
Whatever your goal, the University of Ottawa likely has an elective tailored to your needs. The staff of the Electives Office would be pleased to assist you in organizing it.

Planning an elective

Explore your medical future through electives

In this section, you will find instructions on how to plan your electives.

Ethics and etiquette for electives

Here are some key tips to ensure a productive and rewarding elective experience:

  • Planning the elective: You must follow guidelines in place for the type of elective you request. 
  • Confirmation of details: Verify the dates and times of your elective when you receive the confirmation call. Ask all your questions to avoid having to call back.
  • Clarify your expectations: Communicate your goals and expectations clearly to your preceptor on the first day. It is useful to document them in writing.
  • Punctuality: Show up on time. Notify well in advance if you will be late or can’t make it.
  • Respect: Always introduce yourself to patients as a medical student and ask for their permission to observe or participate in the examination. Don’t forget to thank them for their cooperation.
  • Privacy: Never enter an examining room once the consultation is underway unless specifically asked to do so. Knock before entering any closed room.
  • Dress code: Dress according to the norms of the clinic or service in which you are working. Always wear your name tag.
  • Cordial relations: Show kindness and respect to office staff. They played a key role in coordinating your placement.
  • Show your appreciation: At the end of your elective, write a short note to your supervisor and their staff thanking them for their time and cooperation.
  • Evaluation: Ensure that your evaluation has been completed by both you and your supervisor, and review the comments together. Always keep a copy of your evaluations before handing them to the UGME Office.
  • Report issues: Please voice any problems or concerns pertaining to your elective to the Elective Subcommittee via [email protected].

Following these tips will help make your elective experience a success.