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Global Health Learning Opportunities (GHLO): A new era for foreign electives’ aspirants

Global Health Learning Opportunities (GHLO): A new era for foreign electives’ aspirants


By Muhammad Asad Hanif
Final Year MBBS

KE’s participation in the GHLO collaborative has proved to be a milestone in aiding students to secure electives abroad. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of awareness among Kemcolians about this amazing opportunity which is at their disposal. So I am writing this blog with the hope of rectifying this issue.
GHLO is the AAMC's (American Association of Medical Colleges) service that makes it easier for medical students to pursue clinical and research electives outside their home countries. GHLO's international network of institutions offers nearly 2,000 clinical, public health, and research opportunities in more than 36 countries. So what this basically means for most of us at KEMU is a more convenient and effective method of applying for and securing clinical electives in the USA to strengthen our chances of acquiring a residency there. So that will be the main focus here.

Creating an account:
                                    The first step is to create a user account on the GHLO application service. For this you’ll have to approach Rashid Bhai (Kamcaana Lab) with your student ID (or any other ID to prove that you are an enrolled student, like anatomy card etc.). He will make your account right away and send a link on your email ID for you to complete the process.  

Searching and Applying for Electives:
                                                                  Once your account has been created it is very simple to search and apply for electives as the GHLO Application Service is very user friendly. Still, in case of any ambiguity refer to the GHLO Student Handbook via the following link:

Important Information and Tips:
·        PLAN EARLY! Keep the required documents (transcripts, CV, titers etc.) ready right after you enter fourth year officially (i.e. right after your third year prof. result is out) so that you can pounce at any elective opportunity available on GHLO just as it starts accepting applications. And believe me when I say this ‘Time is Money!’ It is in my opinion the single most important factor in getting an elective and especially a free one (like the Wayne State University- Internal Medicine – Urban Medicine clinical elective).

·        Electives via GHLO can be done during fourth year and final year.
·         Always CONSULT your trusted seniors in person before doing things like getting your transcripts issued, or your titers done etc. as they may give you some extremely useful advice that will save you a lot of time and money.
·        When you write a letter of intent or anything of that sort (a requirement for many elective programs), avoid making any spelling or grammatical mistakes and get it all checked by some trusted senior once.

·         Check the GHLO Application Service regularly (once a week or so) for new elective offerings and opening of applications. You can also save an elective profile to make it easy to review and keep a check on when it starts accepting applications.
·        The required documents for the various elective programs are clearly mentioned on their respective profile pages and all these are to be uploaded on the GHLO Application Service, which is very convenient as compared to the usual methods of sending documents via courier service etc.

·        GHLO charges a mere $45 application fee. The application and tuition fee for each elective is separately charged by the Host Institution (the institution offering the elective), it is free for only a few electives (like Wayne State University- Internal Medicine – Urban Medicine clinical elective).All this is mentioned on the respective elective profiles and the payment is to be made online via credit card which is again much more convenient than the usual bank drafts, cashier cheques etc.

·        Also help and guide your fellow students undergoing this process to the best of your knowledge! Your competition is with the world and not your own friends and class fellows so don’t ‘hesitate’ in giving them good advice and sharing useful information.

That’s all from my side.I hope this blog serves its purpose and a greater number of Kemcolians acquire good electives via GHLO each year. Best of luck!  

Note:
For GHLO, one of the most important things is to apply to different universities. It increases your chances to bag yourself an elective.

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