What should I do now?
As a medical student you can start to do a number of things to improve your chances of entering a surgical career and gain a number of transferable skills in the mean time.
The key to success is a well developed portfolio which will demonstrate your commitment to surgery and make the application process significantly more straight forward.
We recommend that you get involved with your surgical society who will be running a number of events and skills session which will be of benefit to you. If your medical school does not have a society or is not listed you may wish to consider setting up a society.
This depends a lot on what you want to gain from your elective and from your career in general. If you wish to pursue surgery as a career; you will need to build a portfolio comprising as much surgical experience as possible; your elective is a good opportunity to add to this so you should try to gain experience in a surgical setting. This could either be in a centre of excellence for surgery where you can see unique world class surgery or in a developing world where your experience could be much more hands on.
You may find it helpful to consider the experiences of other students.
Ideas of where to go on elective are available from the medics travel website.