What is Responsible Electives?

Responsible Electives was created nearly 20 years ago by Dundee Medical School to help motivated students experience a meaningful elective in a resource poor setting (currently Africa).  By building a partnership model students could learn more and do so more safely with ‘proven’ hosts and our medical school now supports more extended electives, as we find they can engage and contribute more clinically over time and it can sometimes enable Healthcare Improvement projects too.

Through ongoing partnerships, we also seek to support the host hospitals in their work in various means, including asking students  to fundraise for their host hospital prior to departure.  These charitable funds are then used by the hospital however they feel is most appropriate.


Post Covid, the University of Dundee also contributes to each of our sites financially in recognition of the learning they provide for our students.  Such electives require a little more oversight (for instance the levels of pre-departure preparation and local supervision available) and commitment from both medical schools and students.  However, our experience suggests this is well worthwhile, a sustainable approach and offers a model capable of promoting an educational fair-trade approach more broadly.

We currently have 3 partner sites:

  • Nkhoma Hospital, Malawi
  • St Francis’ Hospital, Zambia
  • Gahini Hospital, Rwanda (new for 23/24)