Jahnavi Patel and Tetsuya Nakamura explain how to take part in research in another country
An increase in academic research posts and a greater emphasis on research in almost every discipline of medicine mean that medical students should consider research electives as well as clinical placements. A period of research abroad as an undergraduate could provide an insight into a career path that you had not previously thought about.
The differentiation between a doctor and a researcher is blurring. Almost all aspects of medicine are governed by clinical or laboratory research. Guidelines and protocols are the result of years of research, and research projects abroad often encompass epidemiological and public health studies. Such studies can have an important effect on the local population.
Research projects abroad can be daunting, but they are a more realistic option now than ever before. Many institutes are keen to create international relationships, travelling to remote areas is easier, and globalisation means language barriers are being broken—more so in research