How to Set Up a GH Elective for 4th Year

The following steps explain how to set up a 4th-year GH elective.

[ Related links: Travel Grants for BUSM IV Students….$ | Required Responsibilities for Students Undertaking GH Electives ]

Step 1: Complete "Course 1: The Big Picture"

Each medical student is required to complete "Course 1: The Big Picture," the first of three courses of the Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health series. The series prepares students and trainees to safely and effectively participate in global health learning experiences. In Course 1, you will learn how to determine what type of global health learning experience is right for you and how to logistically set one up. All courses are free-of-charge and generate a PDF certificate upon successful completion.

Step 2: Identify Country and Elective Site

You may choose:

Timeline: You may start the process after the annual third-year class meeting in February (“Developing a 4th-Year Schedule"). Following the publication of your fourth-year schedule of required rotations, the exact dates for your GH elective can be arranged. Allow at least 6 weeks of planning to set up the elective.

Restrictions: BUSM Global Health Program will not give academic credit for, pay for, supervise, direct, or otherwise support a medical student in a country where a U.S. State Department Travel Warning is in effect. See Travel Warning Policy.

Step 3: Contact the Elective Site and Confirm

Contact the elective site or BUSM mentor (for inside BU elective) about your elective. Discuss the following:

  • Dates of your elective
  • Your responsibilities as a member of the team
  • Language requirements (students must be conversant with the language of the host country unless there is a provision for translators)
  • Goals and learning objectives of the elective

Step 4: Request Letter of Acceptance (for Outside Electives)

If you undertake an outside elective, an e-mail of acceptance from the host institution/mentor is required. This e-mail must be sent to Ana Gregory ( and include:

  • Title of elective
  • Exact dates of elective
  • Complete address/contact information of sponsoring institution and mentor*
  • Whether or not the site regularly hosts students

* be sure to obtain full contact information for the physician who will be supervising and evaluating you.

Step 5: Send Your ADD Form to Ana Gregory Electronically

Download and complete the ADD Form for GH Elective. Send the document electronically to Ana Gregory. This step will place the elective on your 4th-year schedule as long as you have submitted your liability form (step #5).

The ADD Form must be completed entirely or the form will not be accepted by the registrar. DO NOT SUBMIT a blank ADD Form with "Global Health Elective" indicated (and no evaluator information). If you do not have all the information for the ADD Form, you may indicate "Global Health Elective" on the schedule that your advisor will sign. We do not accept the paper ADD Form that is provided by the registrar for other electives.

  • If you will undertake an inside elective, Ana will approve the elective and send the ADD form to the Registrar provided a liability form has been submitted (see step #5).
  • If you will undertake an outside elective, you are required to meet with Dr. Sarfaty to get approval for the elective (see step #6). Once Dr. Sarfaty approves the elective, she will give the go-ahead to Ana to send the ADD form to the registrar provided a liability form has been submitted (see step #5).

Once the ADD form is received by the registrar, you will see the elective on your schedule within a few days.

Step 6: Print, Sign, and Deliver the Liability Form

In order for your elective to receive final approval, a complete liability form must be submitted to Ana Gregory in A-302 on paper (you may slide under door if Ana is out). Students may also sign, scan, and send the liability form to Ana at

Step 7: If You Will Undertake an Outside Elective, You Are Required to Meet with Dr. Sarfaty to Obtain Her Approval

If you will undertake an outside elective, you are required to obtain Dr. Sarfaty’s approval. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Sarfaty by contacting Ana Gregory:; 617-638-4167. There are some exceptions to this; inquire to Ana.

4th-Year Required Rotations: If you plan to undertake a 4th-year BUSM required rotation (Geriatrics, Radiology, Neurology) at an international site, you must submit a Required Rotation Substitution Approval Form to the registrar signed by the course manger of that rotation. For more details on 4th-year schedule guidelines, see the Office of the Registrar web site. Questions regarding the above process may be directed to Ana Gregory (; 617-638-4167).