Incoming clinical electives

The ANU Medical School offers the opportunity for final year non-ANU medical students both nationally and internationally to complete a clinical elective term with us.

Due to the unforeseen coronarvirus (COVID-19) situation, the ANU Medical School will not be accepting applications for incoming clinical elective placements until further notice. Students who have already submitted an application will be contacted directly by the Medical School.


How does the application process work?

Non-ANU medical students must read the Clinical Elective Placements Handbook in full and understand the information and conditions relating to an elective placement. Once read, students complete the Clinical Elective Placement Application Booklet for Non-ANU Medical Students. This includes an Application Form (Appendix A), payment of the AUD$100 application fee and proof of payment (Appendix B), read and sign the Prohibited Employment Declaration (Appendix C) and the Screening and Vaccination Declaration Form (Appendix D).

All of the above documents, along with a CV, Letter of Good Standing from your Faculty Dean and Proof of English Proficiency (if applicable) are then emailed to Once we have received your application, it can take between 2-8 weeks to receive an outcome.

When will I receive an outcome of my application?

It can take anywhere between 2-8 weeks for your application to receive an outcome. The timeframe depends on the response time of the departments we are contacting and whether we need to contact multiple departments for your application.

What kind of visa will I need?

The Australian Government issues all visas for international visitors. For further information on visas and to find the right visa for your trip, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website. The type of visa required will be dependent on the issuing country of your passport. We recommend applying for a visa as soon as possible as the approval process can be quite lengthy, and you will not be permitted to enter Australia without one. Applying for and obtaining the correct type of visa is solely the responsibility of the applicant. ANU does not provide any information about the type of visa required for your needs.

Can the ANU Medical School sponsor me for my trip to Australia?

The ANU Medical School is unable to act as a sponsor on your behalf and will not complete sponsorship forms for a Study Visa.

I am a medical student at an Australian University but the handbook says that my university does not have a Deed in place with ACT Health. Can I still apply for an elective placement?

A Deed must be in place between your home University and ACT Health for you to undertake your elective placement in the ACT. If your institution is not currently on the list, it is not likely that a Deed will be signed before you commence your placement.

If I already have my elective placement confirmed, can I change the dates or departments?

We will do our best to accommodate your needs while in Canberra for your elective placement. However, the dates and departments that are originally organised for you may be difficult to change with little notice. Last-minute changes will only be made in exceptional circumstances. Please contact the Electives Coordinator in the first instance if you need to change any details of your elective placement.

I am an international student studying at an Australian university. What type of student am I classified as?

You will be classified as a domestic student and will not be charged the international student elective placement fee. We advise that you still include Proof of English Language Proficiency in your application if you are originally from a non-English speaking country.

Why do I need a Criminal Record Check?

A Criminal Record Check (CRC) is a mandatory requirement for all students on placement within ACT Health. ACT Health require a CRC from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and any country where you have been a resident for more than 12 months from the age of 18. If you have never been to Australia, you are still required to submit an AFP CRC.

Can I apply if English is not my first language?

Of course! We accept both domestic and international students into our clinical elective program. If English is not your first language, it is expected that you have a high level of English proficiency, which will need to be shown in your initial application. International students from non-English speaking countries are required to show proof of their English language proficiency through results from an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test. The Letter of Good Standing from your Faculty Dean should also indicate your level and ability of English.

The application periods do not include January. Can I still apply for a placement in January?

Due to the Christmas and New Year shut down period, there are limited placements available between December and January. Some departments may allow elective students to commence a placement in December and resume after the Christmas period, but that will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. January is the summer holiday period in Australia so many administrative and hospital staff will be on leave, outpatient clinics will be closed or minimised, and there will be limited surgical sessions.

Can I get credit towards my degree from completing an elective placement?

An elective is an opportunity to broaden a student’s clinical experience and no formal credit or assessment will be given for the elective term.

Am I responsible for my own travel and health insurance?

Yes. The ANU Medical School is not responsible for any health or travel insurance. Organising insurance is the responsibility of the student.

How can I find accommodation in Canberra?

The ANU Medical School is not responsible for arranging accommodation for an elective placement. It is the student’s responsibility to make their own accommodation arrangements for the duration of their placement.

What if I am sick during my elective placement or need to take time off?

If you fall sick and are unable to make your whole placement or just need a couple of days off, you will need to contact your supervisor as soon as possible. They may organise for you to make up the days you missed, or you may need to cancel your whole placement depending on the severity of your illness. If you do not have their contact details, please contact the Electives Coordinator.

Can I get a refund or postpone my elective placement?

The AU$100 application fee is non-refundable. If you cancel your placement, you will not get this fee back and if you postpone your placement, you will not be required to pay this fee again.

If you have paid the elective placement fee and cancel your placement within a timely manner, you can apply for a refund. The only instance where a refund will not be given is if you forfeit your placement by not cancelling and by not showing up.

Where should I report to on my first day?

The Electives Coordinator will take you through a short orientation on your first morning and will then direct you to your department for you to meet with your supervisor. More information about your first day will be provided once you have received a placement offer.

What should I wear during my elective placement?

As a medical student, you should appear well groomed and professional. Trainers and jeans are not acceptable while on the ward and for safety reasons open-toed shoes or sandals should not be worn. You are not required to wear white coats at the Canberra Hospital.

What limitations do I have as an elective student?

As a medical elective student, you must always identify yourself as a student to patients and doctors, and your student status should always be recorded on patient record entries. Medical students are expected to abide by the Medical Board of Australia’s Codes and Guidelines, as well as the ACT Health’s Code of Conduct.

Can I attend lectures during my elective?

Elective students are more than welcome to attend general hospital lectures or meetings, like Grand Rounds, and student group activities, like lectures. A timetable of lectures and presentations can be obtained from the Electives Coordinator or from bulletin boards around the Hospital.

Will I work weekends? What hours will I be working?

Your work hours will depend entirely upon which department you are working in. Your supervisor will confirm what hours you will be working on your first day, but in most cases you will have the weekends off.