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You can bag Electives... Story of how I bagged mine!

by Viraat Harsh

If you don’t know much about electives and don’t know where to start from, Chillax…!!!. Trust me, I have been there and know what it feels like. Barely 3 months prior to applying for electives I knew almost nothing about electives/clerkship/observerships. Yes, I used to read posts but was not a frequent visitor, nor did I read through all the posts in a systematic way. Once I had passed the Final year (Final MBBS in India), I realized that its time I should apply for electives. Now the questions were HOW, WHERE, WHEN and WHERE DO I BEGIN FROM.. I started by reading this site and all its posts/comments regarding electives and visa. Luckily those days Mr. Akshay Sharma had ‘bagged’ an elective and had related his experience which helped me a lot, it boosted me up. I too have no relations in the U.S. of A. But also I had no seniors from my medical school that had gone for electives, nor did I have any friends there. On the top, I hadn’t taken Step-1 exam, and then I wanted to go for electives in Surgery and Neurosurgery. And for the info, I had taken a transfer for my internship (last year of grad in India) so Dean’s signature on a paper meant I would have to go all the way to my college (an overnight journey). All this indicated that I had to plan well, otherwise I would screw it up real bad.

26th Dec. To begin with, I took Akshay’s advice- Made myself a diary and noted down all the names of one medical centers/universities (one name on the head of one page) from the site

Next in those pages I noted down all the relavant details as in… whether international students are accepted, if there is an application/tuition fee and how much, how many students are accepted there, which months students are accepted, what visa is required and the email address of the coordinator. All the universities which accepted international students I marked in a different color, so I cud get it in the first glance. Next I started visiting the sites of those universities individually and noted down if anything specific was required in them, like some required me to have TOEFL, and some required me to have Step-1 scores. I saw many universities required TOEFL scores, so I bought Barron’s guide to iBT TOEFL on 2nd Jan and took TOEFL on 31st Jan.

14th Feb: All my research work was ready by now. The research had taken quite a lot of time, weeks at a stretch, during which I could not study for anything else. I received my TOEFL score- 114, (27 in speaking and 29 each in the other 3 sections). That very day I sent in emails to all the universities which I found myself eligible to apply for electives in. The next week I spent whole nights at my laptop, sending and replying to emails, thanking them for replying, even if they said I could not apply there. I attached a copy of my CV in all the mails. Please follow all etiquettes while mailing them. Many universities replied that they did not accept international students anymore, some replied they did not have vacancy for one full year. I politely thanked them all for taking out the time to give me a reply. Similar was the case with Kansas University Medical Center. I don’t know what struck the coordinator there and she replied saying ‘Ok let me see what I can do for you’ and she said ok, she might not be able to accommodate me for 2 months in Neurosurgery alone but may be one month in Surgery and one in Neurosurgery would be more like it and that’s exactly what I wanted.

Next I emailed all the universities which said they required Step-1 scores, and I requested them to waive off the score requirement for me considering that I had passed exam for Basic Medical Sciences which tested the same subjects as USMLE Step-1. Of course most universities replied they can’t waive off the Step-1 requirement but some did agree to waive it off if my Dean gave a certificate saying I had passed exam for Basic Medical Sciences.

1st March : By now I had made sure where all I had to apply. I had made a list of 8 places where all to apply, taken print outs of their terms/conditions/requirements (if you are planning of applying for electives consider buying a print-scan-copy, it will turn out very handy, probably the most useful instrument in applying for electives). So finally I took a 3 days leave and went to my college to get the transcripts (bribed the clerk and got 10 copies of it signed) and also the signatures on the application forms. From KUMC I had got a deadline to apply by 20th March. My applications reached on 18th of March and on 24th March they confirmed I would be rotating at KUMC. That was real fast. They were just not sure which department they would be posting me in, so I was asked to wait till 20th April to know my Departments.

20th April: I received the I-20 (SEVIS) to apply for visa, as KUMC required me to come on F1 visa.

28th April: I received confirmation on the Departments, July-General surgery. August- Neurosurgery

29th April: I paid the SEVIS fee and applied for F1 Visa

13th May: Visa Interview: Visa approved. Yippee…!!!

I am flying on the 1st of July for electives. Thanks to, esp. Umar Bhai, also others like Akshay and my best friend Arnav who helped me a lot.

P.S. I got acceptance from NWU also, but for Visa status change problems unfortunately I had to turn it down. I have been accepted for UTHSCSA too but its for oct, nov, dec and if I extend my electives for so long it might disrupt my other plans. Applications are under review at University of Rochester SOMD

Follow me on twitter-

 hi sir, first of all thanks

 hi sir,

first of all thanks umar sir and viraat sir for your info.

sir, already gave toefl got 110 with 27 on speaking and just entered final mbbs...about kumc i want a elective for march 2013.and for internal medicine...shall i fill their application request form now

also wat is the best time for to apply for NIh for february slot


electives in surgery,about to complete internship withinfew days

Hi viraat sir,
Your article is impressive,but my problem is that I am about to complete my internship within few days,my toefl score is bad just 79-13,19,23,24,should I retake toefl,should I extend my internship for few months,won't this time period would effect my residency application,I sent emails to many universities and made phonecalls but no positive reply,what should I do?should I search for universities without toefl?complicated,help me please or send me email ,I am preparing for step 1.

need email address of elective coordinators


many thanks for information on this site...

Can any one know email address of various elecctive coordinators or any of faculty members , i mailed many of them from their sites, many did not give reply.. so can u post here the email id of those who responded...

thank u in advance..

 Hey..m half done with my

 Hey..m half done with my toefl score is 111.. N m stuck now..if I start applying by end of this month will I get selected for February - march slot?



viraatharsh's picture

 I would say keep working towards it. Something will work out for sure.


All the best


Average Fee for residency in US Universities


Could you please let me know the average fee for doing residency in US universities. I'm asking on behalf of a final year student doing MBBS in India.

 What is the normal time period for doing residency?

 Can we apply for the Univs just after writing Step 1?

Will the person doing residency be getting stipend? what will be the average stipend? Please reply.



Dear Subu I will advise you

viraatharsh's picture

Dear Subu

I will advise you to go through other posts in this website. I am sure you will get answers to all your queries.

All the best


Mount SInai elective query


This website has helped me alot in organizing myself and getting to know about each & everything regarding elective, steps & residency

I am currently in fourth yr. but at time of elective will be in fifth year

I have applied for elective in Mount Sinai for November & December 2012. I applied on 22nd Feb. 2012

My peers & seniors have already got the acceptance letter almost two weeks ago. While i haven'.

I am not quite sure what to do. Should i wait or should i call Jeanneth Persaud? I don't know if this might annoy her and lead ultimately to a rejection, if its not certain now.?

Also, i was reviewing my application that i sent & i found a stupid typing error that in Hep B surface AB: i wrote Non reactive(thinking at that time that they were asking about surface antigen:@ stupid me) while my lab reports attached says antibodies Reactive.. Can this have led to my rejection or should i email or call her mentioning the error. 

Kindly guide me what should i do

i am freaking out here :(

Dear Viraat,  thanks a lot

Dear Viraat, 

thanks a lot for the very helpful experience. I needed your advice regarding my situation, I am trying to apply to cleveland clinic for elective in october, and the only thing left is getting the malpractice ins. which would cost $280, I have taken step I with a score of 266, so regarding how competitive it is; do you think it is probable that I will be able to find a spot there while applying only 5 months in advance? would the score be an advantage or it is all about a first come first served basis? I would really appreciate your input or the input from anyone else who were able to get a spot there.

I extend my greetings and

I extend my greetings and gratitude to Umar sir and all the other contributors on this website! Indeed your contributon, to all USMLE aspirants,are invaluable!! My heart felt Thanks to each and every one of you.

  I have a question. Is it true that Internship in India should be completed within 2 years after passing the final year examination?? Anybody who can throw more light on this issue? If due to Electives one cannot complete it within 2 years - what would be the consequences?

Hi Viraat ......just entering

Hi Viraat ......just entering my
internship...and i have just started my application process for
electives...and ur post on how u got ur elective neurosurg at kansas was just thought of asking ..n i dont have step 1
score....but i have few research experience in gastro dept in my
college..i have 3 poster presentations and a publication as a co
author..apart from the univ that doesnt require step 1 score....which
all univ should i apply...i want to do my elective in gastro....but ppl
say gastro is highly that so???  so should i apply for other depts or can i apply for gastro i m planning to
apply the way u did by asking for a step 1 waiver as the way u did..and

my doubts are

1.should i mail the elective co ordinator or the gastro dept head??
  kindly help me with this

kindly help me with this

Hey Visitor I think you

viraatharsh's picture

Hey Visitor

I think you should contact the elective coordinator. Unless some university wants you to contact the departments directly, the elective programs office will manage everything for you.. There are many universities which wont require you to have step-1 scores when applying for electives so you can apply for rotations in those universities. I hope that answers your question.

All the best


Hi virat ! youre doing a

Hi virat ! youre doing a great job

Iam a final year mbbs student and i recently got my b1/b2 visa rejected when i applied on the basis of observership that i got at the hospital of central connecticut.i was rejected on basis of insufficient ties to my home country.

Now iam planning to reapply after about 6 months. but  this time i want to apply on basis of acceptance letter from weill cornell. is it a good idea to change the university??? remeber this time i will be applying on basis of elective not observership

Please give your thoughts Thanks.

Hey guys THIS IS


                  Any one gone for an elective rotation at Bronx VA that comes under Mt. Sinai Schl of Med. How are there internal medicine departments, cardio etc?  Is it worth the price they make you pay for it.

hi viraat,I have written my

hi viraat,I have written my final year exams and waiting for my results..i found that without toefl scores it would be really difficult to apply for the electives,,so i registered for the exam and am havin it on 24th,,am spending more time searching for the universities and

their requirements for the electives,,should i do this now,,or keep this aside and prepare for toefl completely,,because i ve got only 8 more days,,pls tell me what to do,,

Hey Visitor It all depends on

viraatharsh's picture

Hey Visitor

It all depends on your preparation for TOEFL. If you are prepared well you may start working towards your electives otherwise make sure you have a good score on TOEFL. For a change keep browsing through universities' websites looking for electives.

All the best


university of connecticut

Is the university of connecticut accepting international visiting students without step 1 ?

 I mailed the elective coordinator but didnt get any response...

Hey Anjali Why dont you check

viraatharsh's picture

Hey Anjali

Why dont you check it out on the website or better still call them.

To call to a US number for free try and use this link-

I hope that helps

All the best




   I want to apply to northwestern for months jan- feb, 2013..So should i apply now its very competitive? however the website mentions that the applications should not be sent more then six months in advance...

Please guide me..!

Hey Anjali I would advise you

viraatharsh's picture

Hey Anjali

I would advise you to stick to the deadlines  and time frames. However if you think you should apply now, go ahead and email the prog. coordinator and ask NWU people.

I hope that helps

All the best


waiting list at kumc

hello viraat,

thts a very impressive article by you..helped me a lot.

i am a final yr student from india.. filled the application request form of kumc for electives in 2013 feb -march bt they replied saying that i am on waiting list.

i am interested in medicine /pediatrics/neurology.

could i get ur email to get more information regarding the details of some application requirements?

Thank you..n keep up the good work:)

Hey Charmi I am glad my

viraatharsh's picture

Hey Charmi

I am glad my article was of help. 2013 Feb March waiting list means they will contact you if they have a vacancy in the international house (where the students going for elective are given accommodation). By this I mean that KU provides elective rotations depending on whether they can accommodate students in the int. house where only 5 students can be accommodated at a time. So the 6th person and onwards are put in the waiting list and are contacted if anyone cancels. The waiting list is NOT according to the capacity in the departments. You can try applying for a different month, asking them straightaway which months they have accommodation for. Also, if you have a relative/friend in Kansas City and you can live with them, then you can request the international affairs office that you will not be needing accommodation and they might consider your application and give you an application.

I hope that helps.

All the best


Hi...i did my electives from

Hi...i did my electives from be in the waiting list means, the spot is already filled and you wont get in unless some one cancels..and each moths has abt 6 t0 7 in the waiting the chances are weak.but luck might favor you...the REQ: get TOEFEL is simple... Meanwhile try other places..KUMC is very competitive in terms of  of the no of app they receive as they dont ask fr step 1 , no malpractice, and provide excellent it al depends on your luck...Best wishes

elective documents

I am presently doing my internship in a medical school in India.Can somebody plz email me the scanned copies of their elective documents as my medical school is not willing to sign them.I can use them to persuade my school officials.I would b very grateful.

elective at northwestern

hi sir,

i am student from india . my toefl score is 94 and speaking 23. i have applied to northwestern but got mail that my application is incomplete due to low speaking they require 24. can i request them to exempt me ? because for just single 1 mark i dont think @165 is good deal...waiting for reply..

Hi Visitor Sure you can ask

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Visitor

Sure you can ask for exemption but I doubt they will give you that. All the best though.. :-)

All the best


need your advice

hi ,

firstly, i would like to say u r doing a great job by helping all in need through this website. i really appreciate that.
also, i need your advice. i graduated this year in january. i have now decided to give the mle and work in the US. i want to be a cardiologist and ready to give my best. to be one, u have to first do ur residency in internal medicine for 3 years and then fellowship in cardiology, right ? how do u reckon i should go about it? should i be going for elective in cardiology and when and where should i apply for it? i was an average student at med school.. u reckon i should give my steps first and apply for the electives in the meanwhile ? and what lor's would i need from my med school and from which dept majorly ? also, i have not given my TOEFL and when should i give it ? should i enrol for kaplan and is that enough for taking the steps ? i am highly confused and only a beginner..can u please advice me as to what my plan of action should be and what are the prerequisites? i dont know anyone that can help. i would be really grateful. thanks a lot.

Hi Visitor Please go through

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Visitor

Please go through other posts on this website. All your queries will be answered.

All the best


NWU Elective

Hi Viraat,

Great post! Would you mind sharing which elective(s) you were accepted for at NWU?

Hi Smeer I got an acceptance

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Smeer

I got an acceptance for Surgery in NWU.

All the best


documents required for applying to electives

Hi Viraat,

Thanks a lot for your prompt reply to my last query. Your forum is very helpful to ppl like me.

There are a lot of requirements for applications which i don't fully understand. i was hoping you could throw some light on it as you have gone through the process.

One thing was a CIE 700 form. I have absolutely no idea is or ho to go about attaining it.

Another thing is that several hospitals are asking for background checks (criminal). I don't know how to get this certification.

One more thing is an essential functions form. Again, I have no idea what this is. Or even what it implies.

I was hoping you could help me with these things. I look forward to your reply.


Hello Sunny I do not know

viraatharsh's picture

Hello Sunny

I do not know about these forms. Lets see if someone else here sees this and comments. The best I can do is google it but then I think you would have done that yourself by now.. The other good thing is to call up the specific universities which require it and ask them what those are and how to get them. I am sorry I cant be much help here..

All the best


thanks anyways viraat

thanks a lot for your reply. it's just that there is so much paperwork, i don't understand half of it. thanks all the same. cheers!

applying for electives - what is the best time?

Hi Virat, 

I wanted to know how many months prior it is advisable to apply for electives, so as to have the best chance to be accepted. I wanted to take electives in december, jan and feb of 2012, and i applied about a month ago, which is 5-6 months in advance, but i got replies from several program coordinators saying the slots are already filled. so i wanted to ask someone who has experience.

suppose i applied for a second time this month, asking for later dates, what would be the earliest that i could probably bag an elective? 

I know that this is not a generalized or predictable thing, but i think you might be able to make a more accurate guess at it than me, having already gone through the process. I am graduating in march, and have to take an extension of my internship for joining electives, and would like to join as soon as possible so that i can finish my MBBS also at the earliest.

As i'm applying now as a second round, i want to be sure that i reach the target this time and have my electives ready and scheduled. Please advise me regarding this.




Dear Visitor Its always

viraatharsh's picture

Dear Visitor

Its always advisable to start applying as early as possible, like 8-9 months prior to when you want the electives but that is not always possible because of many reasons so most people apply about 6 months or so in advance, however there are some universities which have a required frame that you should apply ## months in advance, so you have to follow the rules there. If you are lucky you can get the electives even if you apply one month prior to when you want. The electives depend mostly on the vacancy and they give it out on a first-cum-first-serve basis so apply early. I would advise you to apply for the last 3 months of your final year of grad, whenever it is from, but I know people who have delayed there graduation by months at a stretch only to do electives so if you can extend your grad date without much trouble it is advisable to do so as not having an elective rotation or any other USCE can very seriously adversely affect your residency application. I hope that answers your question.

All the best


thanks so much for your

thanks so much for your prompt reply viraat.... thanks a lot

for applying electives- help needed asap

hi viraat bro,

this is my case,dude, please reply me asap...

I'm an intern this year at JNMC, Aligarh,India. I'm looking for joining an
elective in US this December’11 itself, i start the internet search since
March’11 and I'm familiar with the process of electives joining but still
couldn't figure out how to break the ice. 

1.     I'll take my step 1
in Sept- Nov'11 as I've made the payment and taken this eligibility period.

2. i've given the TOEFL
in hurry (on 3rd from registration) with purely unknown to the format and got
very bad score.
Reading 21

Listening 20

Speaking 18

Writing 21


  1. Aggregate is 80. So I don't
    know what to do with this score.
  2. Given and cleared BLS-ACLS.
  3. Got very good LORs from 6-7
  4. Written my good letter of
  5. Attended an international
    conference at ROMANIA for my 2 abstract presentation.
  6. Prepared my CV latest one.
  • Sent almost 500 mails to all the colleges
    mentioned in website. Got reply from very few (nearly 10-12) as
    many of them are not accepting International students now. i had made the diary in march and april itself as u did but not getting from where to apply as my TOEFL score is also very bad.


I've paid Rs 25,000 and joined a professional Agent in New Delhi
"The Chopras" here which is said to pioneer in helping for electives
but i found it to be nearly useless.

I got your website info from my friend and i have a lot of hope for help
from your side so please help me urgently regarding:

1. Which colleges i can get now for dec'11 till April ‘12 as I'm
planning to leave my internship for the electives?

2. Colleges with tuition fees up to $1000-1500 are acceptable to me. So
please suggest me accordingly.

3. Presently I’m thinking to apply for Internal medicine electives in:

  • Weill Cornell Medical
  • Louisiana state University
    and Health Centre, Shreveport
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Penn (for
    radiology elective)

I don't know how much I’m doing these things correctly in applying
above... they also very costly..!

Dear, can u send me your CV of your UG days using which you applied to various university as i have nothing to write in my CV. please mail me on: 

So please help urgently.

If possible send me any college links u have for my application, keeping
in mind about my scenario in total.

Waiting with anticipation, for your reply.

Thanks for wonderful website and helping so many aspirants, reading the blogs of yours .

So thanks once again.


Dear Mr. Khan Apologies for a

viraatharsh's picture

Dear Mr. Khan

Apologies for a delayed reply. I know it seems a bit overwhelming in the beginning but trust me, take it slow and the things will fall into places.
The questions that you have asked are very specific and fees, regulations, requirements for colleges keep changing so as I have suggested before, I would say that you should visit the individual colleges' websites and see for yourself which suit you best.

All the best


hi viraat, i hv a doubt


i am currently in my third yr mbbs in india,i will be in my internship in 2013. i wanted 2 ask u what time shld be ideal 4 me 2 start applying 4 electives? shld i strt now only since many times the vacancies r not availible .kindly help me out.would be very thankful 2 u


Hello Saumya.. Sure, why not?

viraatharsh's picture

Hello Saumya..

Sure, why not? Of course you can start emailing the institutes where you want to go for electives and you can ask them if they can accommodate you for electives in XYZ months in ABC year (when you want to go). If they ask you to get back to them later, make a note of it and do it according to their time frames..

All the best


wondering what the basic medical sciences test is

hi Viraat

I'm hoping to be accepted for a clerkship, but i've heard that very few hospitals don't list step 1 scores as a requirement, and as  i haven't taken the exam yet, this concerns me. at several places in the above forum, you mentioned something called a basic medical sciences exam which could be a substitute (for the time being) for mle step 1. could you throw some light on what exactly this exam is, or what it contains, or if it is known by some other name. I would really appreciate it.


Hi Sunny Basic medical

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Sunny

Basic medical sciences exam consists mostly of the papers that we are tested on in the 1st and 2nd year of medical college in India. It consists of almost the same subjects tested in USMLE Step-1. So you can email the program coordinator and say that you have passed the Basic medical sciences exam and can produce a certificate from your medical school saying the same, and 'may please' be considered as you have not yet taken Step-1. If they agree great for you..!!!

All the best


Dear Sunny, The basic medical

ayaz's picture

Dear Sunny,

The basic medical sciences exam is the examination that you have given in your medical school. You will need to email the electives coordinator and ask them if they can waive you the requirement for USMLE Step 1 if you present them a letter stating that the basic sciences examination you have given in your school match the USMLE Step 1 curriculum. Usually they have clearly mentioned that they would not waive off the Step 1 requirement, but for those that haven't, you should definitely email the coordinator and ask directly.


thank you

thank you so much for replying so promptly to my question. i really appreciate it.



hi viraat,

    i havent taken any of the hep vaccines.

i wanted to know , how long do i need to wait before getting my titres.. i think thats the only thing that would keep me from applying early.. can u think of any solution to this..

Hi wenskyrose Have you taken

viraatharsh's picture

Hi wenskyrose

Have you taken the vaccines? If not, take them today..!!! As for the titres are concerned, you can start emailing everyone to send you the application package (if its not available on the internet itself) and wait till the titre reports are back. Also you can email/call them and ask that you have taken the Hep Vaccines and that by the time you will go for the electives the you will be protected so you can show them the titres at that time before doing the electives, and for now your application 'may please be accepted.'

All the best


Amazing Work !

Dear Viraat,

I have been going through your answers to different questions in the posts over quite a long period of time now. 

I genuinely feel that you try to help others with whole of your heart. Also that, its your skill of understanding the questions, scenarios and replying with the best of your knowledge accordingly is commendable and far above the edge. I should not miss complementing your biggest asset which is your writing skill which stands you as a "potential A-one material as an Author or Writer "

Thank you so much for all of your help to all the people around the world. Keep up your good work. God bless you.

Thank you so much for

viraatharsh's picture

Dear Rj

Thank you so much for the appreciation..!! I am highly elated by the profound complements you have bestowed upon me :P :P ;) ;)

Its a vicious cycle, Umar started helping some, some of them helped others (I am one big bug answer seeker myself and have been helped by others) and now when I am in a position to help I think I should.

One of my teachers used to say, if you can help others and you dont, you
dont deserve to be in that position, and you will probably be standing
again only on the receiving end if you do not exploit well your position
on the giving end. So I try to help with the very little I can. I wish
those who read too help others when help is seeked from them. (Ok I am
turning senti and spiritual now. :P :P )

All the best


Hi Viraat, Urgent help

I gave TOEFL on jan 8th. Got 97. Reading 22, listening 20, speaking 27 and writing 28. I will be completing internship end of this month but I am extending it. I mailed Mount Sinai. The co ordinator said I am not eligible because the requirement is 22 min. in each section. If I give TOEFL again, by end of this month, I will be losing time. Moreover, I have to apply to Mt. Sinai 8 to 9 months in advance, i.e., in novembe/ Dec i.e., if I take the test again. I have already sent my scores to 2 universities. Waiting for their reply.

I am from India. My doubt is, should I retake TOEFL? If at all I do that, What about the score I have already submitted? I will again be delaying the application by a month or more. Is it wise to do that? Kindly suggest me some universities where I can apply. and also please post your mail id.


Well if you retake TOEFL

viraatharsh's picture

Well if you retake TOEFL which score will be shown, thats a very
technical question, the answer to which i do not know. But if you talk
to TOEFL people they will help you on this for sure.

If I were in your position I would retake TOEFL and keep applying to
various universities and also make them phone calls to get faster
response. I would also try to atleast get  observerships till i get
electives. Also I would try to email Mount Sinai and say that I had
performed well on the exam and dont know what could have caused the
problem and ask the secretary/prog coordinator to give me a telephonic
interview to see if there was a problem in my english and tell him/her
that I am retaking TOEFL so keep the elective rotation seat for me for
now till the next TOEFL scores are reported. Say something dude, think
of anything that might get you the elective. I would say this for now
and will tell you more if anything strikes me. I would prefer conversing here rather than on the email. And yeah, do keep us updated.

For now keep emailing/calling all the universities that provide
electives to international students and let all that go fast.. u must
make a number of phone calls, to everyone..

All the best


regarding KUMC elective

I plan to go on electives in march 2012.

I mailed the elective coordinator of KUMC to ask for the application packet with my CV, was redirected to an online page, where i submitted my request two days back. So, my request was 1 year in advance.

I got a mail back saying their spots are committed already (and they had asked only the dates, not even the department of choice-so it cant be because it is a competitive speciality, that has already been filled.)

Is anybody else facing the same problem? I would be glad if umar bhai, medisid or viraat could help me out?

Thank you so much.

hey !  here is some thing i

hey !

 here is some thing i tried and it worked

i registered online on their site in july 2010 for april wasnt available.. they replied No spot. then just for the sake of it i wrote back on the Email from which i had got the negative reply asking which months were free.they rep july aug sept 2011. u can try in the same manner.good luck

Yeah try what abr did.

viraatharsh's picture

Yeah try what abr did. Whatever might help.. Invent your own ways.. lol.. All you need is to get an elective!!

All the best


Hello Alamish Unfortunately

viraatharsh's picture

Hello Alamish

Unfortunately KUMC accepts only 5 students every month. All the students who go to KUMC have to live in the on-campus accommodation provided by them, thats called the international house. Now since the international house can accommodate only 5 students they cant take more than 5 students every month. Moreover many students apply for 2-4 months so KUMC elective rotation spots get filled too soon too fast. But if you have a relative in Kansas City then you could request the elective coordinator that you would be living with your relative and will thus not need accommodation provided by KUMC, in that case something might be worked out for you. Keep trying. I hope this addresses to your concern.

All the best


Hi please help!

Hi Viraat,
I am Anisha Navkudkar ,Seth G.S Medical College ,Mumbai.
I read your article on .Let me first Thank you for sharing your experience with others.It is really very much inspiring!

I have completed with my Final year(jan 2011) and will be starting with my internship in Feb 2011.

I am very much interested in giving USMLE. I also want to apply for electives.Some of my batchmates had already applied last year and they got electives for march-april 2011.Few of them told me that if you apply for electives during your internship then you'll get rejected(because they will not consider you as a medical student as you have completed with your final year and usually they accept medical students....but i am not sure), so better apply for Observership.Is this true?? 
But i am interested in Electives.

I have still not given TOEFL, and i am planning to give it by this month end (feb2011).But then Toefl scores require about 3 weeks to declare and only after that can i apply. Now the Question is 
1)Can i apply in march end/april 1st week as soon as i get my scores?? 
2)What are my chances of getting electives???(my personal interest is in paediatrics,medicine).
3)How many colleges can one apply??
4)and while applying for particular colleges,do i have to mention the months during which i want electives/or do they themselves allot ??
please help me on this matter!
Eagerly waiting for your reply!!

Thank you

Dear Ms. Navkudkar Thanks for

viraatharsh's picture

Dear Ms. Navkudkar

Thanks for ur appreciating words.. I think u
shud work out ur plan well and u will definitely 'bag' an elective. Even
if you are an intern here you will be considered as a final year
medical student in the US and those who said u wont be given electives
are totally mis-informed. The requirement for elective says 'the student
should be in the last year of graduation'. In India we graduate only
upon finishing with internship duties so internship for us is the last
year of graduation, and hence you will be eligible.

As far as your questions are concerned-
1- I think ur english is fine. y dont u take toefl on this very sunday or may be the next?
Ur chances of getting electives r always 50-50 % (i.e. u might or might
not.. lol just kidding... ok honestly speaking i don't think it is late
at all, if u strategize well i m sure u will get electives.)
3- any number of universities can be applied to
4- yes u do mention the months and dept. u can opt for various dept in diff months in different uni.

I hope this will help.

All the best


Surgery electives

Hi Viraat,

am a final sem student at scb med coll, cuttack.
i found u in and got to know that u are interested in surgery as a specialty.
the same is with me.. but am really uncertain about my chances of getting a gen surgery residency.. my next choice is neuro...
havent given any steps yet... nor toefl ... and presently researching more and more on electives...
i also heard that u got neurosurg and gen surg electives at KUMC... well hats off!

could u plz help me with sum suggestions.. am not sure if i should take risks with surgery or just go for neuro....
and what would u like to suggest me for surgery electives... surely am gonna try at many places... but, could u suggest me, where to give more preference...

and one final question... many ppl say that to get tough specialty like surgery, we also need some research experience in that specialty... like 1-2 years in US with some publications... am not sure if any insti offers research in surgery (itz a clinical thing naa....).. have done sum research in infectious dis. (with an abstract publicatn in that).... and some basic research (3 mnths) in neuro, but nothing in surgery...
am still in final year and can think abt doing sum if itz that essential... and if am doing research in us for say 2 yrs.. will i be paid some stipend for it... coz am not be able to spend so much from my pockets.....

any help frm u will be appreciated... 

and what u doing now?? have u applied for match or already matched???... in later case, congratz... it would be great to hear that IMGs are getting selected for surg....

Dear Mr. Garg Hello. Thanks

viraatharsh's picture

Dear Mr. Garg

Hello. Thanks for your appreciation. When you are
applying for electives you should forget the word 'preference' and grab
whatever institute you are getting first unless you get accepted from
many universities for the same months and all in your dept of choice
(which is more or less a hypothetical situation).

When you say
neuro do you mean neurosurgery or neurology? Neurosurgery is far more
competitive to get into when compared to surgery itself. I think you
said Neuro is comparatively easier to get into, which is the case if you
mean Neurology.

Yes, research and publications go a long way in
getting you a residency seat, but that story starts once you get a good
score, otherwise your CV will be rejected with the excuse that you have a
bad score and no one will ever know that you had XYZ number of
publications or ABC years of research experience. So good score is
important for getting you an interview and research/publications/etc are
important in getting you a pre-match/match. So prepare well for steps
and try to get elective rotations in the dept that you would later be
applying for residency in. Research and publications can be thought of
all through as you are doing all this but score is most important.
Whether or not you will get paid for a research attachment is a very
difficult thing to say. It needs to be explored. You might get lucky!

just graduated this month. I am yet to take step-1 and CK. Have taken
and passed CS though. So I am more or less in your situation ;)

am really uncertain about my chances of getting a gen surgery
residency".... to this I would say, UNCERTAINTY IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
YOU PLAY ALL YOUR LIFE, so take your chances, know the prospects, have
full knowledge of what you wanna do and what might be the outcome of
what you are doing, and then give it all you can. I am not some big shot
myself, I try to give in what I should at this point, often fail to
achieve my targets in time, fall, get up and start all over again.. But
that's life, and that's how its supposed to be, I guess.

All the best


hi! I  hav quite a different


I  hav quite a different problem.. that is.. my college has stopped giving transfers ( atleast for  3 years, starting from my seniors) it seems bcoz the patient inflow is too much and the staff falls short. I m not sure if this is a stand taken by the dean or that the university has issued such orders; dean simply refuses to giv noc for the tranfer. I do have contacts in the university, who can help me get a transfer(though m not sure if i can rely on them completely) . and yes definitely this will help me a lot coz colleges in mumbai hav lesser load, so lesser working hours,more time to study and that i can join coaching as well,also , i wud hav better doctors to learn from(as many told me), many other students peparing for the steps with me., last but not the least, its my hometown!

     now i want to know if apart from the transcript is there any interaction with the dean as for application for electives or for the steps; coz once i take help directly from the university (in case the dean refuses noc) i shall surely get into his bad books .

  Another question.. in the transcript we also mention the marks we secured in the university exams. It happened so that in my first yr i passed with grace marks(as i wasnt keeping well). Does it in any way affect my application process, if so, is it possible that i simply mention that i hav passed uptil 3rd yr...

   For the purpose of electives, do i require anything other than a single page transcript? how many copies of the transcript r advisable?

Thank You!!!!

Hi Visitor You will require

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Visitor

You will require the Dean's signature to apply for steps. It is not advisable to cross swords with him. Find out a way to influence him to give you a transfer.

I think you are not very sure what a transcript is. For me it was about 5 pages, one had the marks, one had my rotations (clinical clerkships in 2-4th year), one had the number of hours of classes done is various subjects, one had part of internship completed and showed them as compulsory clinical rotatory internship transcript and cant recall what one more page was. So its not a 1 page thing.

When you get your transcripts made its not mentioned that you passed with grace, just get the marks mentioned. That should suffice. I hope this clears your doubt.

All the best


electives followed by cs?

hi again:)

   Viraat..hav u given cs immediately after doin ur electives? how many electives did u get? u got ample time to study as well? u did the exam and the electives in the same trip?

Hey there I had taken CS

viraatharsh's picture

Hey there

I had taken CS about 15 days after completion of my rotation.
 I had two electives. I dint get any time to study during my elective rotations coz i was rotating in surgery, otherwise people do get time to study for CS. And yes I did the exam and CS in the same trip. My electives were a great help in passing the CS exam.

All the best


Dr.Viraat, about CS

Dear Dr.Viraat,

I want to ask about CS after electives...I would take 2 electives in internal medicine, then 2 surgical electives in another city.

What is your advice, to take CS after first 2 IM electives or after 2 Surgical electives (i.e after the 4 electives) ?

P.S: I will be alone without any colleague, the first 2 electives are in city that contains CS center but many students told me that it is IMG UNfriendly at all !!

Thank you

Hey Man!! It will be your

viraatharsh's picture

Hey Man!!

It will be your choice as to where you want to take CS exam. I personally know people who have taken the exam at all the 5 different centers and all of them passed, so I would say it really does not make a difference as to where you take the exam coz USMLE follows very strict and standard rules everywhere.

As to when you should take the exam will again be answered by you. If you are prepared enough you could take it anytime, and if you are not prepared please do not take it after 4 months also, i.e. take the exam when you are fully confident as this exam is very important and your 1st attempt pass will be a big deal in your residency application. If I were you I would get over with my rotations and give 5-7 days to practice full time if I get a live partner and then take the exam as experience in electives are a big help in passing the CS. I had myself faced situations like angry patient, impatient patient, depressed patient with a problem needing surgical intervention, crying patient, excessively talking patient and silent patient etc. so after facing these situations in real life and being able to manage them well I was pretty confident of doing well on the same in exam too. (now for taking the exam at end of 4 months I might have to go to a different city, but that's me and you dont have to do what others do..) I hope I made myself clear.

All the best


hello VIRAAT.. i ve been thru

hello VIRAAT..

i ve been thru the entire forum.This is definitely of immense help. Here it bcums necessary for me to express a vote of thnx on behaf of al those who hav benefited from it.

   Sir, i hav written my final yr exams last month and i am kind of planning to do toefl in feb end (havent registered).and go for electives in the month of jan-feb-mar 2012 in IM.I had a few queries ..wich if u cud plss answer...

1. i wud really lik to go for IM in the future..but i also need

to know other fields as well.. wich site cud provide me the details of all the branches i cud tk for residency and its prospects.

2. how do i decide the dpmt according to my choice..

as in if i intend to go for gastroentro after IM, wat choices do i hav for electives.

3. it wud b very nice if u cud share ur experience with toefl.. ur preparation time.. books.. coaching etc.

  thank u again...

Hi Wenskyrose! Thank you for

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Wenskyrose!

Thank you for your generous and warm words.

1. There is no one website which will tell you about all the dept and their prospects, but once you get into USMLE preparations, electives preparation you will get in touch with and meet others, and your knowledge database will improve gradually. Try and surf as much as your time allows you. IM is the most sought after dept in the US coz its comparatively easier to get into for international students, i.e. when compared to surgical branches. But, Pediatrics, Neurology and Family Med are also comparatively easier to get into, but the question is not whats easier to get into, the question is what you want to do. If your aim is only going to the US and the Dept does not matter, Family Med/Psychiatry are good but if you want to do IM that should be your aim. As far as prospects are concerned, all the dept have good prospects in the US. There might be slight variation in salaries and work pattern depending on which hospital/branch you are in but all of them have good prospects, as I said the main question is what you want to do.

2. If you want to go for GI apply for 2 months GI in the hospitals, otherwise you can apply 1 month GI and other month something like Endocrinology/Respi/Cardio etc to get an exposure to other dept. Try to get as many elective rotations as you can. Apply early to avoid hassles.

3. TOEFL. I did not get/allot much time preparing for it. Just like you I was anxious about it and was not sure how Ishould prepare for it. Unfortunately there was no institute in my town which trained for TOEFL. So the 1st thing I did was that  I bought Barron's iBT TOEFL Preparation book with CD and started reading it like a novel. I realized that the standards that they look for was not very high (what I had imagined earlier) and they tested the basics. Once I was done reading the text, I took the tests in the CD. All this took me about 10 days (of course I was also doing other things these 10 days, like checking for elective info and attending internship duties.) Thats it. Then I was ready to take the exam. I realized that I would not even have needed Barron's TOEFL iBT preparation guide but Barron definitely helps you to give an idea what kind of questions you would be getting in the exam.

So for TOEFL I would say the preparation, preparation time, books etc everything varies from individual to individual. Students with strong vocabulary and good spoken English would need less preparation time than those who might not be so very adept in the subject.

I hope this answers the question. :)

All the best


thanx for ur prompt rep..

thanx for ur prompt rep.. cant help sayin. u know wat for the sole purpose of mle i hav joined n number of forums n groups.. but mededia seems to b way byond them!!

  i wish someday i cud be of not some nut huge help to all others here..

thanks again Viraat. 

hmm hope so too bro..

viraatharsh's picture

hmm hope so too bro..

you are most welcome..!!

All the best


viraat ,,, help me

sir i have got 2 months in mskcc feb and march 
jan31- feb25
feb28 - march 25...

i delayed booking for cs exam ,, i did nt know we have to send form 183 for step 2 cs ... i paid money today and today only i have printed the form 183 ,, monday i ll get sign and send ... there are no dates for cs . 

already only 2 dates are available suitably ,, i.e. only after i finish electives on march 25 ,,.
philadelphia 29 th 30 th march 
atlanta 28 , 29 . 30 march .....

there is no date before starting elective on jan 31 or in between two electives 26 27 feb... 
please go to step 2 cs and help me out in giving idea for date .... 
can i take holiday during elective and write step 2 cs... 2 hrs to philadelphia..

Calm down!! why do you not

viraatharsh's picture

Calm down!!

why do you not want to take the exam after electives? i think that will be much beneficial, as in elective you will l get an exposure to patient history taking and physical. for now book any date as soon as possible then there is a system by which you can get a reminder if there is a vacancy in the period when you want to take the exam so later you can change the date/center.

All the best


in between two electives ? or during the elective week days

what is an elective ... what type of work do we have to do ? 

is it like hous esurgeon - taking blood investigations and giving dues ?  or ,like final yr postings .... 

got to study and present cases ?

can i take a leave one day and write step 2 cs ... there are dates available during the elective week days ..

aany help regarding stay near mskcc?

Hey Visitor In an elective

viraatharsh's picture

Hey Visitor

In an elective you attend clinics with the attendings, go on ward rounds, go on consultation. You are considered equal to a fourth year american medical student. You are required to take histories and do physical examination. Depending on the institute they may require you to attend lectures or even make presentations. you may be allowed to assist in minor procedures. The attendings may ask you questions in rounds, just like they do in India but generally its not as grilling as is in India.

Whether or not you will be allowed to take leave to take an exam totally depends on your attending but as far as I know they are very considerate and understanding and it should not be a problem. But again, I want to impress the fact that passing CS in the first attempt is very important, and your interaction with the patients in clinics and wards etc iduring electives will play an important factor on you CS exam. Moreover it gives you such a wonderful way to practice for CS, you dont need skype partners and all that trouble.

I could not get a live partner during my electives and had no time to practice on skype. Ultimately when my electives ended I had some time to practice with a friend I was living with, but trust me all I had needed, the two months of electives gave me well. Real patients, real scenarios, real difficult scenarios, real challenging questions. It had really helped.

I hope this answers your question.

All the best


hats off to you

thank you sir,,,,,


viraatharsh's picture


All the best


Please visit the

umar's picture

Please visit the following link. You can take a day off for your CS exam. Generally most of the programs, I know, allow it.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


I applied to 7 universities :-



Weil Cornell

Thomas Jefferson





 My Toefl Score is 112 with 26 in speaking

 I am going to give step 1 in January

I am lost what should I do now..

I just wanted to ask, will my giving step 1 increase chances of getting electives??

Are there any universities which prefer step 1 and are very good?? dng my internshp in dng my internshp in india..i wanna apply for electives..please tell me wht to write in da mails which v send to da university coordinators b4 v apply...pls everybody is tellng me in a vague manner..pls help me..i wanna strt my process..i vl thnk u for ur help my whole life..pls pls pls tell me

Simply write you are

umar's picture

Simply write you are interested in doing electives in these months; kindly guide you about the application procedure!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

Yes, step 1 immensely

umar's picture

Yes, step 1 immensely increase your chances. Which specialty are you applying in?

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

hi. i am very sorry to hear

hi. i am very sorry to hear about your rejection from these universities. Try checking if you made any mistakes while applying.i haven't applied to any as yet but i think luck plays an important part. Yes USMLE does increase your chances of getting in..Dont loose hope. try till the last day of internship and give it your best shot.and even if you  get unlucky again you still have your degree and an opportunity of getting a high USMLE  score . All is well my friend!! best of luck

Hi am sorry about the

Hi am sorry about the rejects...

Univs which require step 1
Cleveland clinic
UNC chapel hill
Univ of Texas at Houston
Emory (with sponsor )

All the best

Dear Shrey I do not

Dear Shrey

I do not understand why you got rejected at all places. It was probably luck that the dates for which you applied were full in all the universities. What dates did you apply for? Did anyone give a reason for rejection? Yes there are some universities which require Step-1 scores as a requirement for elective application. I do not have a list but one of them is SUNY DOWNSTATE. you can go to individual websites and look for the university rules to check if they require Step-1. Then your chances of selection will improve, esp. if you have a good score.

All the best



dear viraat... i want to know if kumc can give a step 1 waiver or are they strict abt step 1?? n wats the application and tuiton fees over there??

 Dear Mr. Kundra.. you

 Dear Mr. Kundra.. you probably did not read the full article. i have mentioned that i did not take step1. and kumed does not reqire step-1 scores for u to apply for electives.. hope that answers ur question..     all the best.. -viraat

btw.. by KUMed I mean KUMC

btw.. by KUMed I mean KUMC

hi.. this is regardin the


this is regardin the university of texas med school at houston...i put in an application for a visiting student for elective rotation & this is what they replied.. " your school has to prove a substantial equivalence in the state of texas & your school is not listed in the list that texas medical board produces" .... can anyone please tell me what they meant by "prove a substantial equivalence in the state of texas"???

hey tejaswi this can be best

hey tejaswi

this can be best replied by the person who signed the email that was sent to you. you should reply saying all medical schools in india have the same standards and substantial equivalence as approved by Medical Council of India, and that same subjects are taught in your medical school as are taught in any medical school in USA. If this does not work ask what kind of proof they wanted.. this is the best answer that is striking me for now..

pls guide me

hi sir...thanks to ur guidance i cud secure an elective in pediatric emergency medicine in Brown.can u guide me as to how i should prepare for my electives.pls help me to perform my best so that i can make the best use of this chance.can u guide me as to as and how should i request for a letter of should i study.pls help me sir.


viraatharsh's picture

Dear Visitor

Congratulations..!! I am happy my post is helping so many people.. For ur electives, Just go with the flow. The
duties of, expectations from and liberties of a medical student in
elective rotations depend on the dept. and the instt. so just wait and
watch. try and do whatever u can to impress them, dont be pushy. and
once you are doing ur rotations u will know best when and how to ask for

All the best


dear viraat sir. thank u so

dear viraat sir.

thank u so much for sharing your experience with us... i am applying for clerkship..of recently i got my toefl scores..its 105 with 30 in the speaking session...m presently doing my internship in will be over by april 2011. AM I TOO LATE FOR APPLYING FOR CLERKSHIP?. also , i want to go for a clerkship in surgery & neurosurgery which i hear is very difficult to get into...since you did your clerkship in the same i thought you could help me with the possibilities..then i learn that there are some universities like the NIH, which accepts students only from those medical schools which are recognized by the united states do i know if my home college is recognized or not??please help me e-mail is

thanks in advance

Hey tejaswi Congratulations

viraatharsh's picture

Hey tejaswi

Congratulations for a good score in TOEFL. U can definitely apply in NIH. Start working towards it today. I dont think its too late. You have enough time. And as far as getting an elective in Surgery and Neurosurgery is concerned, I think i was lucky. If you plan well, apply to places where IMGs have been going frequently and luck favors you then you might as well get an elective in surgery and neurosurgery.

I hope this answers the question.

All the best


All the best


thank u sir for replying...

thank u sir for replying...

hi tejaswi. are you sure that

hi tejaswi. are you sure that NIH  accepts certain medical school international graduates. i think NO as i know many students from India have applied. Viraat i think is busy with certain proceedings presently. i would like to answer a part of your questions if thats ok. 

hi there....thank u for

hi there....thank u for replying....thats wat i asked about nih...they r accepting students from certain do i know if my college is recognized & accepted..i wud b thankful if u answer my other queries as internship wud be over by april 2011...m i too late in applying for electives now??? and how good or how bad are the chances of gettin into a surgery elective??

Hi tejaswi. i dont think you

Hi tejaswi. i dont think you are right about NIH. anu school can apply. 

dear viraat

dear viraat sir,

                   Thanks so much for sharing you experience with us. I'm about to begin my internship and have chosen to give my TOEFL next Saturday. I have also taken a applied for the USMLE STEP 1  and intend to take it by January next year. I just wanted to know which universities/institutions  granted you a USMLE waver could you please share the list with us or recall some of the universities that waved it for you. I will start applying as soon as i get my TOEFL score and I intend to request those places that require a USMLE  for a waver citing the fact that I have applied for it and intend to take it within Jan , do you think this might convince them to wave it in my case what are your suggestions regarding this idea!?Please help! Thanks in anticipation !  

Syed faizan,


Dear Syed Brother there is no

Dear Syed

Brother there is no specific list and moreover the universities keep changing the rules every year. So the best thing is to go through the rules/requirements mentioned on the website of the university. If you have a doubt email them. Most of them will reply quite promptly. Do not get offended/discouraged if some universities do no reply. Call them and they will definitely help you. Also once you see that they require USMLE Step-1 scores then email them to request to waive it giving the reasons that:- 1. you have taken basic sciences exam equivalent to usmle step-1 as both test the same subjects. and 2. you have applied for step1 and that by the time you go for electives you will have the scores in your hand and you will send them the scores as soon as you have them. I think it should work. But again many universities are very strict on the requirements and may deny your request outright. So to be on the safer side think of applying to the universities which do not require the step-1 scores. And if luck is good some university might waive it for you.

I hope that answers the question.

All the best


Dear Viraat Sir

Dear Viraat Sir ,

                 Thank you Sir for your earlier help , but i need a another favour from you sir . I have tried alot to write a good letter of recommendation but have failed . I have even searched alot on the net but my friends say that they have been copied by many students and the universities notice this .

Sir if you could please help me about how to write a good letter of recommendation or if you could show me a sample of LOR written by you or any of your friends .

Please Sir your help will be of great value to me ..... Thank you Sir .....

My email ID is

dear vistap Why do you want

dear vistap

Why do you want to write a letter of recommendation for yourself??? U need one from ur dean to send to the elective program that you will be applying to? then let the dean write it. trust me it will be good. if u have doubts or think that ur dean wont write you a genuine letter or think that he can not write one in proper english, and u know that he will be ready to sign on the letter that you write by yourself, then read a lot of letters available online and then close all of them, then imagine you are a dean and writing a letter for your favourite student. write it in one go, not in bits and pieces or it will never be complete. so if you wanna write one for urself by yourself then u shud write it in one go, and of course later improvise on it. it will be good. just have peace of mind when you are writing it. i guess that should help.

all the best


Dear Viraat Sir ,            

Dear Viraat Sir ,

            Sorry for the mistake Sir and thank you for replying so fast . I want to do a elective in internal medicine for 3months and will it keep rotating every four weeks or I will remain in the same posting ? Do we have an option to select in which subjects we would get rotated ?

Thank you Sir .......

Hi Vistasp What dept. you

Hi Vistasp

What dept. you will rotate in will depend on your choices in application and then the vacancy, The application generally asks for 4 choices of dept and month desired to be filled in by you according to your preference. If you want internal medicine you can fill in internal medicine as the first,second and third choice. If one uni allows you only for one month in a dept apply for different uni and IM in all of them and you might end up doing electives in IM at 2 places and for 2 months each. Some of it has to luck..

All the best.


Dear Virat Sir ,         I am

Dear Virat Sir ,

        I am in my final yr and will clear it by december , i intend to do electives the next yr ie during my internship , i havent given toefl , i will give it as soon as i finish my finals , i have heard its difficult to get electives during july , august , september therefore to get electives before i will be too late to apply by december .....

 Sir have said that you applied in March and got confirmation by April , were you lucky or do we get electives so fast , as its written here that we need to apply minimum 6months before ?

 SIr how many months shud i ask for ? that would help to improve my CV plus get me a good LOR ?

Thanking you i anticipation , Sir what u are doing is a great help for people like us ...... Thank you Sir

Hey vistasp 1. My name is

Hey vistasp

1. My name is Viraat and not Virat.

2. U r in your final year, so u have a lot of time to prepare and acquire knowledge about the various places for electives. It is good that u r working on it from now itself. Will surely help.

3. I cant say if I was lucky or they liked my CV or my toefl score, and I think it is not even important what gets u into the elective. The bottom line is that u will never know WHY u did or not get into an elective that you had applied for, unless you disqualify in a specific requirement (say toefl or taking step-1 exam)

4. What months and for what duration you want to apply for is totally your discretion. I had applied everywhere for July Aug and got selected at 3 places so I cant say that it is impossible to get an elective in July Aug. Also one thing which matters is WHICH branch you are appying in.

I think that should answer your questions. Thank you for your appreciation.

All the best



Dear Virat,

I got acceptance for july and august next year's elective at kumc..strange that i was put in wait list for some time...:)
i had question regardin visa...ll they give B1/B2 visa and then we can convert it to F1 for kumc and then B1/B2 for the rest of the electives...and how many months visa u have now?

Hey Vineet Sorry for the late

Hey Vineet

Sorry for the late reply.. U shud call up KUMC and request them to let you come on a B1/2. they might deny it first but will eventually agree.. i can say that for sure.. but ya u have to be really polite and have to request them showing genuine reasons.

@ Viraat & everyone interested in KUMC

KUMC has allowed me to rotate there with a B1/B2 visa as it will be tough to get a visa status change there.

hi vineet..cud u plz get in

hi vineet..cud u plz get in touch wth me as i wil be going to KUMC too next id is

or if u may give ur id plz..thnks a lot..

hey vineet i got aceptance

hey vineet i got aceptance from KUMC FOR  july aug too..but no waiting list..ii calleded them n they saui they wud rezeve the slots for me. cud u plz tell me if u have filled the form an whens ur deadline..did u get the applicaiton material by email??

yeah i got those emails..i

yeah i got those emails..i have been asked to submit them before 6 months of starting my rotations..wat abt u

 dear vineet..  cud u plz

 dear vineet..

 cud u plz gimme ur email r telph no ..caz i want to contct u in person regrdin the  elective details  at KUMC . hope thats nt a problem

my e mial is

  hope thats not a porblem.  thanks ,

hi vineet, I know a person

hi vineet,

I know a person who last yr did her elective in kumc on a B1 visa as she had it already from her other electives. so if get electives at b1 other b1 places kumc compromises.

may i know which place are u from? (bangalore?) 

hello sir. i too have the

hello sir. i too have the same question us of texas san antoni req step one. how did they accept u? do we have  to tell them somthing like to waive off  the requirement??

 regards   ab r

About the last line in your article

Hi! I am currently doing my internship in Delhi. I noticed that in the very end of your post, you mentioned that you had been accepted by UTHSCSA. I presume that is University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. I was interested in applying for an elective there. Did you get accepted without a Step 1 score there? I was told that they would not consider anyone without a Step 1 score. I'd be grateful if you could help me out in this matter.

Thank you.


Dear Ms Jain At this moment I

Dear Ms Jain

At this moment I do not exactly remember if I had applied for a Step-1 requirement waiver or at that time they did not require Step-1 scores. But you can always request them to waiver the Step-1 score requirement and see what they say.

p.s.- my apologies for the late reply.

Dear Anupam You should read

viraatharsh's picture

Dear Anupam

You should read the post/comments in Malpractice Coverage/Insurance under the section Electives on this site.. All your doubts will be cleared.

p.s. : KUMC (where I am going to), provides free Malpractice Coverage so I never researched on the matter. Sorry I cant be much help in this.

All the best


dear sir  hello. i would like

dear sir

 hello. i would like to know if we can fill the form on the KUMC site even if as yet a student hasnt given toefel...nd is going to give it in future,i mean just to book a place r it isnt useful?? wht is the email id of the registerar??

  thank u fr ur help

hi ab r I dont think there is

viraatharsh's picture

hi ab r

I dont think there is any loss/harm in filling in the form for request of application material (i guess thats the form you are hinting to). You dont need the email address of the registrar. You need to fill in that form on the site and the coordinator will get back to you. Put in your doubts/queries there. I hope this helps.

All the best


dear dr viraath thnk you sir

dear dr viraath

thnk you sir for such a quick reply. but what i am confuzed ab is that toefel is one of the basic requiremnts but if i fill the form sayin NO to the toefel recquirment would it give me a second preferance? i mean for future purpose how wud they take it that a student as yet hasnt given the toefel req. wht r the chances of getting selected at kumc? thanks agian gr ur help.

people like u are always an inspiration by helping otheres and giving wht they can from their expieriences. keep up the good work. !!

Dear ab r Thank you for your

viraatharsh's picture

Dear ab r

Thank you for your generous words of appreciation.

If you want to apply now, you can send in the details in that form, dont lie. In the column where they ask you to write your question/remarks write you have not taken toefl yet but intend to do so in ### number of days or on **/**/**** date. (of course after you have booked the date) and then i am sure they will get back to you, or will tell you to take the toefl first and then contact you. just be polite and do not lie. I think this should help. Are you an intern now? How many days do u have left in internship if its already started?

All the best


dear viraat sir        i am a

dear viraat sir

       i am a final mb student going to finish in about 2 months hopefully. i did fill the form and i did exactly as you had advised.thank you very much!! i have been following this elective thing since prefinal and now over such a period have gained considerable know how..but luck really does matter in all of this.and you really have to keep yourself upto date. i did do it intermittently during final mbbs taking some time during evenings  to take a break and spend some useful time.  i applied to NYU but a week bak got a rejection letter. hope persistence pays!! at the time of applying in future  i will hopefully be in the initial phase of my internship. i would love to hear from you again. if you dont mind cAn u gimme ur email id. mine is way we can keep in touch without any hikkups! thanks a lot for ur advise.

 regards ab r 

Dear ab r Dont worry about

viraatharsh's picture

Dear ab r

Dont worry about rejection from one place. You have to have luck combined with your hard work. I suggest that you take toefl as soon as possible. Make a good CV. I hope and wish that you get selected at a place of your choice for electives.

Brother you can send your queries here. I will be very happy to reply to them. No hiccups. And if you really need to discuss something which can not be discussed here, then please leave a msg here along with your email address and I will be very glad to contact you myself. Please do not take this otherwise, I do not have problem giving you my email address but if I do so and you ask regarding your doubts directly over the mail/chat then we will be depriving others of the information which we share only between two of us and that is exactly what this site does not actually want. We want that the information be available to more and more people at a glance. I hope you can understand.

All the best


hello sir     i got an emial

hello sir

    i got an emial from KUMC that the dates i had provided arent available and they have placed me in a waiting list. could you please tell me what are the chances of getting selected from a waiaintg list. n can i change the module dated and apply agian? thanks a lot

Hi ab r Did you formally

viraatharsh's picture

Hi ab r

Did you formally apply, as in with the application fees and all or did you get this email after you submitted the online form requesting for the application material? If latter is the case then be patient, something will materialize soon and they will send you the application material. If former is the case then I want to ask you is you had conversed with them before sending the application and they had told you to deposit the application? Either case I want to tell you that communication with KUMC will be a bit difficult for the time being 'coz the Coordinator of International Programs who took care of the electives process etc has left the job at KUMC and therefore the Director herself is managing the electives. Very soon I guess they will have a new coordinator and things will be back on track. Can you please tell me who did you get the email from, I mean the name of the undersigned? Be in touch with them and ask them when should you expect to get a definite reply.

All the best


hi sir  i had just applied

hi sir

 i had just applied online and got the email saying that the dates were full n i was placed in a waiting list. the name of the undersigned was Judith reagan and it ddn seem they had any problm of any sort as  i got the reply quikly n she was very polite as compared to the rest of the places i had mailed!! so after she replied sayin i was in the list i rote bak agn n asking if i cud change my dates. she replied rite bak to me agn n i will se wht i cna do!! so on the whole very polite! Cud u sugggest the munths i shud rite bak..earlier i had ritten i am confuzd..plz suggest 2 to 3 months!! thnks

Hi ab r Yes Ms. Judith Reagan

viraatharsh's picture

Hi ab r

Yes Ms. Judith Reagan is the Director of International Programs at KUMC. I think you should email her and ask her to tell you which dates they have vacancy in at KUMC and then you can apply accordingly. Tell her you are very much interested in getting elective rotations at KUMC and dont want to miss the opportunity for the mere reason that you applied for the wrong dates so it wud be very kind of her to let her know for which dates KUMC has vacancy. I think she might as well give you the dates and you will then have an advantage. U can then apply for those dates and if ur papers are right be assured of getting the rotations for those dates. (give her a period range or which you will be eligible to take electives.. like ask her 'can you please let me know for which months KUMC has vacancy between oct and feb' or so.. (whichever dates apply to you)  for which i should apply for electives at KUMC?) i think this should help.

All the best


hello sir.  well i think ur

hello sir.

 well i think ur right ..things here should be meant for all..really nice of u to think that way!! but i wanted ur caz i thout it wud be nice to convert a short term acquaintance into a along term friend..and that way we coud be informing each other about day to day developments in a btter way ..though matters that need to be discussed here will be done the same waay! and thn who knows we mite meet some day ..maybe in the US ! and here on the site u gata  be a bit formal.  and belev me i am nothing like that..u mite have gessed it form the spelling mistakes i make in my RITE     ups!! so it wud be real nice to be in personal touch wth u! if u wish.

 my id is thnks agn!!

dear ab n viraat..... u can

umar's picture

dear ab n viraat.....

u can interact with each other on that's I added it... so that various visitors and contributors can interact with each other... u can chat and send private messages... with each other... email communication is somewhat out-dated now..... lol...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.


Dear Sir,

My name is Ekansh Debuka and am currently a 3rd year medical student at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. I am planning to apply for my electives coming January 2011 during my 8th semester under Srugery. 

It would be a big help if you could guide me on the following points.

1. Is it beneficial enough to apply for electives during my final year or should i wait till my Internship ?

2. Could you give me a rough estimate of the expenditure I would incur in the whole process for a 4 week Elective in the US from a non Ivy League University ?

3. Is there anything else i should keep in mind as I have just started my research on this and am quite disillusioned as to how I should go about choosing the right University and applying to it ?

Thank you

Ekansh Debuka

1. both are equally good. 2.

umar's picture

1. both are equally good.

2. varies from place to place, university to university and even person to person.... anything from $300 to $5000 is possible...

3. Visit this website and read every page and comment in detail...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

Hi Ekansh It is good that you

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Ekansh

It is good that you are aware about electives since the very beginning, I wish you all luck. I would suggest you to spend some time on the internet reading posts on this site and also on other communities and forums, esp. the ones on orkut. They are very informative.

1. For the first thing you can apply for your electives for the period when you are supposed to be in your final year of graduation, which is internship in India. So for all practical purposes you can go for electives only during your internship.

2. The cost varies a lot. The most important thing which matters is if the university that you are applying to, is charging you any tuition fees. The tuition fee could range anywhere between $0 per month to $ 4000 per month, so thats a huge difference you can see. Other expenditure I would roughly point out, but this is only an estimate as I dont have an experience of my own yet.

a. application fee............................  $0-400

b. return flight ticket (as of now)........ $1300

c. stay in the US (lodging)...............  $500-700

d. Fooding.......................................$500-600

e. tuition..........................................$variable

That comes to $2400 approx if you get selected at a place which does not take tuition/application fee.

I guess thats most of it. You can understand that obviously your pockets will get bigger holes than you plan. Umar bhai will be able to give you a better picture of the expenditure in the US. Please comment Umar bhai.

3. Brother I have already answered this question in my experience. You have to plan well, apply to more than one university so that your chance of selection increases. Rest is your luck, keep your fingers crossed and pray to God.

I guess this answers most of your questions.

All the best


Dear Viraat sir, Thank you

Dear Viraat sir,

Thank you for getting back to be so soon. Your input is of great help. I will definitely follow up on your advice and research more on the internet before applying anywhere.

As per the expenditure, I figure colleges with tuition fees will determine how big the holes will be. I am looking up University of Toronto, University of San diego and possibly Yale and Harvard Universities if I can manage their tuition fees.

Nonetheless, thank you once again.

Ekansh Debuka

@Ekansh Howard and Yale are

viraatharsh's picture


Howard and Yale are costly. I would suggest you going for the universities without any tuition fees. And why do you want to apply for Canadian Universities when you can get electives in the US. I think you should apply for US universities only, and then if dont find luck enough to get selected in any of the universities then try for the Canadian universities. And since you have time I think you can very well explore your options.

One of my net friends has been accepted for rotations at Albany, for June 2011. So if the colleges can confirm you on the electives so early you will have a lot of time to decide what to do. Right?

All the best


Dear Viraat sir, I have been

Dear Viraat sir,

I have been researching on the net for the past few days and I have come to realize you are right about Harvard and Yale. I am looking for a elective in California now since my own brother is currently doing his MBA from UCLA. That ways my expenditure would really come down specially since I am supporting myself for this endeavour. But UCLA doest accept Indian students anymore. 

Can you suggest the names of few more good hospitals and universities in California that I could research on. 

Also, I cant decide which field to apply to. I am interested in Cardio and Neuro but Radio seems more lucrative. 

I can't quite find my footing regarding the field of my choice. What should I keep in mind while deciding it or of there's anything else that i could possibly do?

Thank you,

Ekansh Debuka

Hi Ekansh To your question

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Ekansh

To your question "Can you suggest the names of few more good hospitals and universities in
California that I could research on." I would say, brother to answer this I will have to do a research on the net  and then answer here (as none of the institues come to my mind at this moment), but I guess you can do that yourself.. Right?

As far as choice of stream is concerned, I would say go for the dept which you find interest in, not the one which looks lucrative/inviting in terms of money etc. R u interested in cardio/neurologial surgeries or medical branches, as in cardiology/cardiosurgery? That should be a wise decision to be made by you, coz you must b knowing that although its not impossible to get into surgical branches, it is tougher for an IMG (I am myself interested in neurosurgery and keep getting jitters every week or so on the very thought of uncertainties the future has to unfold to me), so you should know what you are getting into, once u know them, you are most welcome to sit on the hot plate..

I think you will better know your interest if you attend the wards well, esp. during the internship when you spend whole days in one single dept, you know which direction your heart goes to. I hope that answers the questions.

All the best


congrats 4 getg

congrats 4 getg selectd...mine storys similar....evn i hv takn transfer for my i came knw abt electives a bit late n still applying...nt yet givn step 1 so many univrsity nt acceptg...lets c hw thgs work:)...wat i wantd 2 knw was you tok all required applicatn workup from ur parent col dean?also recommendatn lettr 4m ter?n lettr of permisn 2 allow to let u go for elective durg ur studies 4m ur parent or trnsfrd col???wat u meant by passng basic sciences exam instead of step 1 is tat pasng 1st n 2nd yr exam in india? would b helpful if u reply..

Hi Pal Yes, I took all the

viraatharsh's picture

Hi Pal

Yes, I took all the documents from my home school (including permission/recommendation, everything). And you are right, passing basic medical sciences implies passing 1st and 2nd MBBS in India.

All the best


Dear Viraat I am currently an

Dear Viraat

I am currently an intern in Maulana Azad Medical College and am interested in pursuing clinical elective in medicine in U.S.

Quite a few universities, including Albany, require Malpractice Insurance. Could you please give some info as to how and from where could I obtain that?

Thanking you


Visit the following link.

umar's picture

Visit the following link.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

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