Medical student electives

The Arthritis Research UK medical student elective scheme gives you the opportunity to develop musculoskeletal skills you have learnt in your medical school in an overseas healthcare setting. You're likely to get the chance to see and treat unfamiliar conditions and you'll gain an insight into differences in healthcare delivery in other parts of the world.

Previous students have described their electives as ‘a unique and memorable experience’, ‘hugely enjoyable’ and ‘invaluable in terms of experience’. The scheme covers flight and accommodation costs up to a total of £1,500. This is a competitive scheme but outline details and information on eligibility are shown below.

  • You must be a medical student in a UK university
  • Arthritis Research UK will fund flight and accommodation costs up to a total of £1,500
  • You must apply at least two months before the start date of your elective
  • You must have already confirmed your placement with an institution at the time of application (evidence of this will be required)
  • The placement must be musculoskeletal-related, e.g. in the department of rheumatology/orthopaedics, and this will form one of the criteria for assessment of applications.

To apply for the elective scheme please complete the application form and send to along with confirmation of your elective placement and your academic transcript.  This scheme has a rolling deadline and applications will be processed on the 15th of each month.  All applications must be submitted a minimum of 2 months prior to your visit but will not be accepted more than 6 months in advance.

‘I am very thankful for this opportunity which has allowed me to gain experience with rare conditions, the Indian health care system and some of India itself. This elective has solidified my aspiration to follow a career in rheumatology.’

‘Having the opportunity to spend an extensive amount of time with a team of highly dedicated and knowledgeable field experts certainly was an excellent experience. By dedicating four weeks to this specialist field, I have developed a much deeper and comprehensive understanding of both Rheumatology and Immunology. This of course, will hopefully be of much benefit to me in my future career. In addition to the specialist information ascertained during my elective, the opportunity to experience medicine in a completely different culture to my own, was also excellent.’  


Resources and opportunities for medical students (video)

Find out how Arthritis Research UK helps medical students develop their interest in musculoskeletal medicine

Student handbook

Download 'Clinical assessment of the musculoskeletal system: a guide for medical students and healthcare professionals'

University fundraising

group of young people cheeringThere are loads of ways that your student RAG can fundraise for Arthritis Research UK and we'll be there to help you every step of the way.


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