Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

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Paramillitaryblobby
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Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Paramillitaryblobby » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:46 am

Hi all,

I'm a medical student currently planning my elective for next summer. This basically consists of me going to a hospital for 6-8 weeks for some sort of project. I can go anywhere in the world if I can justify it/find a hospital that'll take me.
I was hoping to do a bit of paddling while I was there if possible, so was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of places that might be good to go?
The vague criteria are:
1. Must have a hospital
2. Plenty of grade 3-4 water that'll have decent (but not ridiculous!) levels in May/June.
3. Ideally a good community of boaters I could get involved and paddle with
4. My language skills consist of very basic German so somewhere with English as at least an official language is probably essential

Any suggestions? It'd be great to hear from any boaters who've done a similar elective before, but any ideas are much appreciated.

Cheers,
Aidan

Murray carp
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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Murray carp » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:20 pm

Gday Aidan

What are you interested in medically?

I'm an Aussie anaesthetist, and just finished working at UC Davis in sacramento. There is some whitewater paddling round sacramento, and May/ June is getting to be quite hot there. The American River is mainly class 2/3, but further afield is the salmon river, and cherry creak.

Australia is a great place to do an elective, but it's better for sea kayaking than whitewater, there is some decent white water, but mainly away from capital cities.

Other places I'd love to go paddling in would be
1. Vancouver Island. There is some great sea kayaking, kayak surfing, and I think the whitewater would be good that time of year. The Town of Tofino has some great surfing and is a sensational place to visit. I'm not sure if there is a hospital there, but there would be a GP.
2.new Zealand. Amazing paddling, and good hospitals, unfortunately will be a bit cold in May however.

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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Wadhamite » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:23 pm

Vancouver Island is beautiful, but more surfing and sea kayaking than white water, surely? Plus Tofino = a bit boring and *&^%ing expensive. $6 for a pack of four bagels. Absolutely eye-watering on a student budget.
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ion
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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by ion » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:54 pm

This might be a little more exotic than you had in mind:
http://softpowerhealth.org/about.php
Other kayakers on the medical career track have gone out and worked there before, drop Jesse a line.

Paramillitaryblobby
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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Paramillitaryblobby » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:37 pm

Thanks for the replies so far folks.
Canada and NZ were thr main ones that sprung to mind, but the cost is a little off-putting I'll agree.
Ion-definitely not too exotic-I was involved with doing some malaria research during my undergrad so that could be right up my street.

Murray-medically I'm most interested in emergency/pre-hospital stuff, or perhaps infectious diseases/tropical medicine.

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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Dave Manby » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:42 am

India Nepal Uganda?

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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Dan Yates. » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:47 am

My wife did her elective in a missionary hospital in Uganda , had a great time did lots of procedures you wouldn't be able to do in a first world country and spent a chunk of time on the Nile.

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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Poke » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:16 am

My wee bro did his in Borneo... which fed nicely into this: http://www.kayakborneo.co.uk/
I'm sure he'd be able to tell you how accessible some of the day runs are where he was based if that was of interest.
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Patrick Clissold
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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Patrick Clissold » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:01 pm

My wife did hers in Pokhara General Hospital. Although electives tend to be in Monsoon if you do it in the summer. Still plenty to do however.

Tim, I think your brother did his elective in Sarawak, where there is no 'day runs' so to speak, just multi day jungle epics. Although I may be wrong.

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Niall Milner
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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Niall Milner » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:01 pm

A bit closer to home - The Belford at Fort William

....seriously, some of my medic friends had a great time there and it does match your criteria. Not as 'exotic' as the foreign suggestions but it is some of the best boating in the UK. Pre-work run on the Nevis?

Niall

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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Diamond Dave » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:38 pm

Poke wrote:My wee bro did his in Borneo... which fed nicely into this: http://www.kayakborneo.co.uk/
I'm sure he'd be able to tell you how accessible some of the day runs are where he was based if that was of interest.
Patrick Clissold wrote:My wife did hers in Pokhara General Hospital. Although electives tend to be in Monsoon if you do it in the summer. Still plenty to do however.

Tim, I think your brother did his elective in Sarawak, where there is no 'day runs' so to speak, just multi day jungle epics. Although I may be wrong.
Yeah - Patrick is right.
Though it was a really good place to go, super easy to arrange, and easy to get signed off.
Loads of people to easily meet and go off for weekends with.
Very easy to get a bus/plane to Kota Kinabaloo and rent a Burn/Everest/Raptor from Marcelo of Riverbugs.
There is a big hospital just outside Kota Kinabaloo in Sabah, Borneo which would offer a decent amount of 3-4 (5) day runs. Though some of these runs you'd want a few other boaters around for. Riverbugs (raft company) would welcome you into their set up for sure and you could get some stuff done with them.
Dan Yates. wrote:My wife did her elective in a missionary hospital in Uganda , had a great time did lots of procedures you wouldn't be able to do in a first world country and spent a chunk of time on the Nile.
Not in Kitovu near Masaka by any chance?? I spent 7 weeks at the hospital there (run by an elderly nun Sister Myra who did absolutely every operation going. It was ~6 hours to get to Jinja (the Nile) from what I remember (very cheap and easy to do). I managed to get my fill of the Nile as well as see more of the country. There are commonly used elective places closer to Jinja that may be better for kayaking (ie, Kampala (big hospital, perhaps not as easy to get your face known and get involved with procedures etc), Softpower as Ion mentioned).

As others have mentioned, Nepal would be a good choice - loads of elective students head there. Is there a hospital in Pokora? Just get a bit of info about monsoon Nepalese boating beforehand.

Loads of elective students go to Sri Lanka(including lots of my friends - contacts available) - theres some good rivers out that way as long as it rains - you'd probably need another couple of boaters out there with you to make it affoardable though. Borderlands maybe able to help you out with that. (Do you raft guide? Could earn a few pennies on a weekend too!)
Short Edit (4 mins) -
Long Edit (20 mins)-

Check out some of the rivers below:
http://www.kayaksrilanka.co.uk/expedition-blog
http://www.kayaksrilanka.co.uk/river-notes.html
Murray carp wrote: I'm an Aussie anaesthetist, and just finished working at UC Davis in sacramento. There is some whitewater paddling round sacramento, and May/ June is getting to be quite hot there. The American River is mainly class 2/3, but further afield is the salmon river, and cherry creak.
Murray, how easy is it for non US students to get a placement in a US hospital? A lot of people struggled, but the people who managed it often knew someone on the ground who could play the system. From what I remember Sacremento would be a great place to be based for some weekend missions...

As you've already discovered - NZ is an expensive place to elective. I'm saving that one for post F2.

Zambia could be another option - not as easy logistically as Uganda perhaps (it's a while since I was on the Zam) but another option where a decent number of elective students go.

Good luck!
Dave Burne
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ion
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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by ion » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:03 pm

Diamond Dave wrote:
Murray carp wrote: I'm an Aussie anaesthetist, and just finished working at UC Davis in sacramento. There is some whitewater paddling round sacramento, and May/ June is getting to be quite hot there. The American River is mainly class 2/3, but further afield is the salmon river, and cherry creak.
Murray, how easy is it for non US students to get a placement in a US hospital? A lot of people struggled, but the people who managed it often knew someone on the ground who could play the system. From what I remember Sacremento would be a great place to be based for some weekend missions...
Dave, In general the US visa system requires a lot of leg work from you, and whilst I'm an expert at traversing it in the tech world, in the medical elective world...less so...I took a quick look, this may help. http://electives.us/visatype.html. I suspect needing malpractice insurance etc and the generally litigious nature of US medicine may not make this a cheap option for those on a budget.

-Ian

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Simon
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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Simon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:16 pm

Niall Milner wrote:A bit closer to home - The Belford at Fort William

....seriously, some of my medic friends had a great time there and it does match your criteria. Not as 'exotic' as the foreign suggestions but it is some of the best boating in the UK. Pre-work run on the Nevis?

Niall
But the OP posted
"somewhere with English as at least an official language is probably essential"
so Fort Bill is out of the running.

Simon

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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Cam » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:19 am

Australia actually has some good kayaking, especially in FNQ which has a mixture of free flowing rivers and dam release rivers (good for the dry season and the rafters) . James Cook University I think specialises in tropical medicine and is based in Townsville and Cairns.
http://www.cairnskayaking.com.au/

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Re: Ideas for medical electives with kayaking

Post by Murray carp » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:06 pm

In terms of US visa's, I was under an E3 visa which is available to Australians, on a 3 month elective I think you would be able to get by on a tourist visa, but I'm not 100% sure of this. In terms of malpractice, as I was employed by the university I didn't have to have any, as I wasn't privately billing patients. As a medical student I'd be quite confident that you would not require medical malpractice insurance.

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