Electives in undergraduate medical education: AMEE Guide No. 88

Med Teach. 2014 Jul;36(7):557-72. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.907887. Epub 2014 May 2.


This Guide outlines the scope and potential roles an elective can contribute to undergraduate medical training and identifies ways to maximize learning opportunities, including within global health. The types of educational activity available for electives range from meeting individual educational need through to exploration of potential career pathways, with many factors influencing choice. Key areas of organization underpinning a successful elective before, during and after the placement include developing clarity of the intended educational outcomes as well as addressing practicalities such as travel and accommodation. Risk management including the implications for the participating schools as well as the student and their elective supervisors is crucial. This Guide would not be complete without some discussion around ethics and professional conduct during an elective, with consideration of the impact of elective placements, particularly in low-middle income countries.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cultural Competency
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / organization & administration
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / trends
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Endemic Diseases / prevention & control
  • Global Health*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • International Educational Exchange* / economics
  • Safety*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • United Kingdom