Medical Elective Application Criteria

Information for Medical Elective Enquirers

Many thanks for your interest in completing a Medical Elective. This form should give you the information you need as to the selection criteria and procedures for our Medical Elective scheme. Yes, there is a lot of application paperwork but please don’t be put off!

We prefer medical students to show the following:

  • Affinity and connection with Nepal
  • Christian commitment
  • Early interest and organization
  • Interest in Third world/ developing country/ mission work in the future.
  • Mission organization support – this is a must in order to give you help with all the pre-departure work as well as to provide back-up and support to you both before departure, in project and after return to your home country.

Through our elective programme we hope to give experience to committed Christians with a possible interest in mission overseas and we like them to be active in their local church. We are under an obligation to cover the cost of running the programme for medical electives and we charge each student US $250. Students are also expected to cover all other personal costs including travel to and from Tansen, food, accommodation costs and visa.


We accept a maximum of 2 students at any one time to ensure that the standard of each placement remains high.


We do not accept students for less than six weeks and our students must be in their final (or end of pre-final) year of Medical School. Therefore you need to be prepared to commit for a minimum of six weeks (excluding travel and holiday time). We want you to get the very best out of your elective period with us and we ask you to be wholly committed to the elective dates at the hospital allocated. Holiday time should be arranged for before or after your hospital elective, and should not be taken during the elective period.


Students need to be 'sent' by one of our recognised mission agencies, a list of which can be supplied. These agencies provide valuable back-up and support both before and during your medical elective. The important issue is that they take responsibility for you whilst you are overseas and also give advice and assistance with the whole pre-departure paperwork and list of things to do.


It is crucial that all students already have clinical experience in order to fully benefit from the elective. The big difference of working in a rural hospital in any developing country is the variety of cases that you get opportunity to see. Hence, we have the policy that students should already be able to perform general clinical procedures / patient examinations, allowing them to focus their time on diagnosing and treating many cases not seen in the West.


At this point it is important to say that we ask that you commit to this elective period 100% whilst you are here. We are very aware that some elective placements within Nepal and other countries are operated very casually in terms of the workload, students being allowed to do their own thing, take time off when they want, finish early,  etc. But this is not Tansen! Each year we get 3-times as many applications as there are places so we take our electives very seriously. Our doctors are investing time into you as we want your elective to achieve something, to challenge you, to change you and also allow you an opportunity to test what God may be saying for now and the future, so in return we expect commitment from our elective students.


As a student you also need to be willing to take initiative during your elective period. The more you put in the more you are likely to get out of it. There are lots of opportunities to observe as well as opportunities to do some more hands-on procedures. We try to give our students as many opportunities as we can, but it is important to remember that part of our mandate as a hospital is to train Nepali staff (interns, skilled birth attendants, etc), so they naturally take priority when training opportunities come up. Thus there may be many times when the role is more observing than hands-on. Hence, in order to get the most out of your elective you need to be prepared to take night call occasionally and be available when maybe others aren’t. This way will ensure you get chance to learn new procedures hands-on, and be involved in cases first-hand.


We suggest that you choose just two areas in which to specialise during your time here. This gives you a chance to get to know the department, staff and ways of working, thus providing a fuller elective experience. These can be finalised after you arrive.



Tansen Mission Hospital is a 165 bed acute care general hospital with some specialist services available like orthopaedic surgery, maternal and child health. This hospital is located in a hilly region, about 300 km. west of Kathmandu and can be reached by road (about 9 hours) and by air plus road (30 minutes+ 2 hours). Hospital has a guest house with internet facilities. Hospital is engaged in the MDGP (Medical Doctorate in General Practice,) program and other short training programs. Hospital has a library with fairly well stocked books and some medical journals, and internet access with a subscription to "Up-to-Date".



Okhaldhunga Community Hospital (OCH), a 35 bed acute care general hospital is located in the hilly region east of Kathmandu and accessible mainly by air. There is a unpaved road although it is sometimes unpassable during monsoon. There is a regular flight form Kathmandu to Rumjatar three times a week. It is not unusual for the flights to be cancelled often needing time and patience. From Rumjatar you can reach the hospital either on foot (3-4 hours) or by local vehicle on gravel road. The hospital acts as a site for MDGP residents' rural placement and has a guest house.



Below, please find a summary of our basic requirements, along with our application procedure. If you would like to apply or have further questions please contact us at .



1. Students must have at least completed the next to last year of medical school.

2. Students must stay for a minimum of six weeks (excluding travel and holiday time) and maximum of three months.

3. Students must have the approval of their medical school and a letter from the school stating that the student is in good standing.

4. Students must get the recommendation of one of our recognised mission organizations within their home country.

5. Students need a recommendation letter from their church pastor/elder commenting on their Christian walk, church involvement and responsibilities. Christian commitment and church involvement will be an important consideration.

6. Students are required to meet all costs themselves. A charge of US$250 is levied to cover the administrative and training costs of the elective programme.

7. Students need comprehensive medical insurance with the provision for evacuation from the project in case of any emergency.

8. Medical fitness certificate from a registered medical officer /general practitioner must be provided.

9. Students need to ensure they have all necessary immunisations before travel.


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