How to Set Up a GH Elective for 4th Year

The following steps explain how to set up a fourth-year GH elective. Questions may be directed to Ana Gregory.

[ 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 January (“Developing a Fourth-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.

Any student may add a GH elective to his/her fourth-year schedule no later than 6 weeks before the start date of the elective. This is the minimum time required to complete all required responsibilities before departure.

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 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: Send Your ADD Form to Ana Gregory Electronically

Download and complete the ADD Form for GH Elective. Send the document electronically to Ana Gregory. The ADD form must be completed entirely or it 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. Paper add forms provided by the registrar for other BU electives are not accepted by the Global Health Program.

Once the ADD form is received and approved by Ana Gregory (and you have submitted the liability form – step #5), it is sent to the registrar who will add the elective to your fourth-year schedule. There are some exceptions for approval. See below:

  • Inside electives are automatically approved by Ana Gregory.
  • Outside electives are automatically approved by Ana Gregory if they are listed in the directory of Global Health Post-Experience Summaries. This directory contains elective summaries by students who have undertaken GH electives in the past. If you do not find your elective in the directory (which means it is new to us), then a meeting with Dr. Sarfaty is required for approval (e-mail Ana for an appt. time) and a an e-mail of acceptance from the institution (see step #6) is required.

Step 5: 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 anagreg@bu.edu.

Step 6: Request E-mail of Acceptance (for New Outside Electives)

If you plan to undertake an outside elective that has not been undertaken by a medical student in the past (see step #4), 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.