The Fiji School of Medicine (FSMed) is a health care professionals training institution over a hundred years old and currently offers undergraduate degrees in Medicine, Public Health, Environmental Health, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Sciences, and Dentistry. It also offers three-year diploma Health Sciences courses in: Physiotherapy; Dietetics & Nutrition; and Diagnostic Radiography. It currently has a roll of just over 1000 students who come from 14 different Pacific Island nations and is located in Suva, Fiji’s capital city.
Elective Attachment in Fiji
The FSMed has been offering electives attachments to overseas students in some medical specialty, dentistry, and other Health Sciences for sometime. Medical and dental students from outside the Pacific Region have found it somewhat refreshing to do an elective of their choice in Fiji because they can undertake their elective attachments whilst enjoying the tropical climate and scenery the Fiji Islands are famous for.
Procedures in General
All medical and health sciences elective attachments in Fiji are organised through the Fiji School of Medicine (FSMed). Electives attachments for international students are normally offered for a period of 4 to 6 weeks, subject to availability of limited places. An offer of an elective attachment placement is made on the understanding that the total duration overall of electives performed in Fiji will not exceed six weeks. International students who wish to apply for a clinical clerkship of more than 8 weeks will be charged a weekly fee to FSMed (see details on application form) and immigration fees of $180 to the Fiji Immigration Department.
Given these elective placements are in Hospitals and various Health Centres, FSMed as a training institution has a duty of care to protect patients and not place them at unreasonable risk. Therefore, the institution will ensure that each prospective elective student meets the following criteria before a placement is offered:
- The applicant fills the Application form.
- The applicant must send, with the application form, a current authorised police record report (a "police check") on him/herself and forward ‘in confidence’ to FSMed.
- A reference on the student’s current bona fide status in the University in which he/she is a registered student must also be attached to their applications.
- The applicant should be in his/her final years of clinical studies at the time of the proposed elective attachment, and must have completed his/her undergraduate course in the expressed fields of interest.
- The applicant must also organise his/her own personal accident insurance, health insurance, professional indemnity insurance, and public liability insurance covers.
It should be noted that it is unlikely elective students will be able to do much, if any, basic medical procedures as the FSMed undergraduate medical students and other health sciences students will be given the first opportunities for these.
There is no fee charged when making enquiries on the availability of an elective attachment placement. When a placement is available the prospective student is notified and FSMed expects a formal reply from the student within 6 weeks of the date of the letter from the FSMed or the offer will lapse. Written acceptance of offered placements must be accompanied by a bank draft for $500 Fiji dollar, which is the elective fee, and should be made payable to the "Fiji School of Medicine".
Except in extenuating circumstances, this fee will NOT be refunded when prospective elective students cancel their placements one months before they are due to start, having previously accepted the offer.
International students who accept an elective attachment placement will be given a provisional student status of the FSMed to allow them access to the Hospitals and the FSM Resources Centre and Libraries.
It is important to note that because of the limited number of available elective attachment places prospective international students should carefully follow required procedures and fulfil criteria for a chance to secure a place.