Health & Safety


All residents participating in international electives must seek pre-travel advice from a travel clinic which will include discussion of:

  • Preparations specific to any medical conditions you may have
  • Vaccinations
    • Start this well in advance, as some vaccines require a dosing schedule that can take months (e.g. Twinrix® for Hepatitis A&B requires 3 shots over a 6 month period)
    • This may be costly; expect to pay a fee to attend the travel clinic and to pay for most vaccines as they are not usually covered by extended health plans (e.g. the rabies vaccine costs ~$200 per dose and requires 3 doses!)
  • Malaria prophylaxis as needed (see malaria risk & prophylaxis by country)
  • Special requirements: enquire from host country (e.g. mosquito nets, bug spray, gloves)
  • Familiarize yourself with HIV post-exposure prophylaxis guidelines and availability in your elective site
  • Suggested medications/first aid kit
    • Analgesia: Acetaminophen (Tylenol®, aka Paracetamol in many countries), Ibuprofen
    • Antibiotics: CiprofloxacinEstas con la cabeza caliente? Protegete de las ITS y del VIH
    • Antidiarrheals: Loperamide (Imodium®)
    • Antinauseant: Dimenhydrinate (Gravol®)
    • Antihistamine: Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
    • Post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV
    • Antiseptic solution, bandages, gauze, etc.

Medications are often available over-the-counter in most countries, but beware of counterfeit medications.  It is often safer to take your own.

Visit the CDC Traveler’s Health website for more information.


  • Health – ensure that your plan includes emergency evacuation/repatriation
  • Travel (many credit cards will cover travel and health insurance if you buy your airline ticket with them)
  • Medical malpractice (dependant on the host site)



  • Waivers for UBC/BCCH

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