Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Ahoy there!

Not sure how you stumbled onto this blog, but hopefully over the next few months, I'll have a few things to add that may be of use to someone.

I'm not an avid blogger when it comes to travelling. Not because I don't blog (check out my other blog if you're a crafty cardmaker/stamper), but because I never really travelled in my life. Unless you call immigration travel, I'm that Asian stuck in South Island of the home of the Lord of the Rings a.k.a. New Zealand.

Nevertheless, I thought I'd start another blog just for my medical elective which is taking place later this year. I've been an early bird and got a placement in Aitutaki Hospital (Aitutaki, Cook Islands) from mid-August this year for whopping 12 weeks (I got it organised 2 years early)! 

I've tried to look for information around places, but sometimes it's just hard to find the specifics about doing your elective there on the internet even. I've come across a couple of blogs that previous medical students have done and thought it'd be something I could do for anyone else keen on doing their elective in the Cook Islands. 

So this is Aitutaki...
Image Credits: http://www.cook-island-travel.com/images/aitutaki-island-aerial.jpg
 Isn't it just gorgeous? It's kind of obvious why I chose it... right?

Well actually, the fact that it was a beautiful tropical paradise didn't hit me until after I had the elective organised. LOL. I know, I know. Sounds impossible. But that's how it was. I read a couple of reviews on the Electives Network and thought, "do a bit of everything, a bit like rural GP - I am so going." So that was the real reason why I sent off my emails to do my elective there. The fact, that it was exactly on the opposite side of Hawaii (yes it is!), that it's that Pacific paradise you see on TV, that they use NZD (bonus!), have Westpac/ANZ banks (win!) and full of tropical fruits (I'd have them three meals a day if I could!), only sunk in later. Funny huh?

I haven't got anything sorted yet, except that I am going there for 12 weeks. I've just sent off another email recently to check they still had me on the books. They've had a recent change in the administrator for electives in the Cook Islands, so Elizabeth Iro no longer oversees medical electives. For those of you interested, leave me a message and I'll give you the details of Dr Voi who is now in charge. When you email, have a CV and a letter from your school/Dean handy.

So far I know I get free accommodation on-site at the hospital, under the condition that you are the "doctor" first on-call (yes, you'll get called for whatever happens overnight at the hospital too!). I am rather glad I am going at the end of this year. By then I should be at the level of a house surgeon (I graduate as soon as I get back from my elective!) so I should feel a bit more confident with what I'm doing compared to students from other countries who seem to do electives fairly early on in their training.

I'll try and update this as I get more information, and eventually fly off!

I've had so much great help on TripAdvisor forum so if anyone is needing info from people who know Aitutaki/Cook Islands well, it's worth going and asking!

But anyway, that's enough writing for one night!

I'm going to have to get some vaccinations done when I'm back in Christchurch next week $_$

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