Junior/Pre-clerkship Electives

The Department of Emergency Medicine offers a 10-20 hour preclerkship elective program for 1st and 2nd year University of Ottawa medical students.  Each student is paired with either a senior resident or staff physicians whom he/she will shadow for the duration of the elective.

Objectives  »

  1. To introduce the student to the clinical discipline of Emergency Medicine.

  2. To introduce the student to the working environment of the ED

  3. To introduce the student to the unique nature of Emergency Medicine practice.

    • concise histories and physical exams
    • simultaneous patient evaluation and treatment
    • differentiate seriously ill patients from those with minor complaints

Year 1 and 2 Electives  »

Year 1 and 2 longitudinal electives

  • 1st year students: 10 hours
  • 2nd year students: 10 hours or 20 hours for non-mandatory elective.
  • Each shift length will be 4 hours in duration.
  • Electives with a resident must be completed within the resident’s 1 month block.
  • An elective with a staff physician may be completed over a 1-2 month period.
  • The student and staff/resident will be notified of a pairing for an elective. The student will then contact the staff/resident by email to arrange a schedule.
  • The student schedule will be set based on the schedule and availability of the resident and staff.

Mandatory 2nd Year elective

  • A 20 hour mandatory 2nd year elective during Spring Break.
  • The length of each shift will be no more that 4 hours.
  • There will be a maximum of 2 students per site during the March break week and during the mandatory elective week.
  • The shifts can occur during the day, evening, or weekend.
  • The shifts will be assigned by the Undergraduate Coordinator.

Elective Application  »

Please contact Margaret King, Undergraduate Coordinator, DEM

Evaluations  »

The student will receive an evaluation at the end of their elective.  They must bring an evaluation form during their final shift. The students are also expected to evaluate the elective and must send this evaluation to Margaret King.

Cancelling an Elective  »

If the student is unable to do the elective within the assigned month, they must notify Margaret King immediately, who will assign another student to the elective.

Senior/Clerkship Electives


The student will have the opportunity to assess and manage a broad range of patients presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary care university teaching hospital. The student will hone their ability to do focused history and physical exams, develop a differential diagnosis, and make decisions regarding patient investigations, treatment and disposition. This elective affords the opportunity for hands-on care for the full range of patient presentations from minor complaints to major life-threatening illness and injury.  The student will also be able to participate in a variety of teaching opportunities:  weekly academic half day, journal club, PGY1 rounds, and Emergency Medicine grand rounds. Education opportunities are tailored to meet the specific learning needs of the student.

Objectives  »

  • To provide the student with the opportunity to gain experience in assessing a wide range of clinical problems seen in a teaching hospital emergency department;

  • To improve the student's ability to take an accurate and concise history and physical exam in the undifferentiated patient;

  • To improve the student's ability to develop a differential diagnosis, investigation plan, treatment, and disposition of the undifferentiated patient;

  • To improve the student's technical skills in providing patient care in the ED.

  • To improve communication, collaboration, and professional skills required for patient care in the ED.

Application  »

Application must be submitted at least 4 months prior to the elective date

There are a limited number of elective positions available in Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Preference is given to students in their last year of medical studies.  Please look over the policy carefully to ensure that you have the requirements needed to process your application.

Location: Ottawa Hospital - Civic or General Campus

Policy  »

  • Must have done 6 months of Core Clerkship OR must have done 3 months of Core Clerkship PLUS 4 weeks of Emergency Electives prior to the Elective date
  • Elective duration is 3-4 weeks; however, on an individual basis, a 2 week elective will be considered. 
  • Must be available for day/evening/weekend shifts
  • Maximum of 4 shifts per week spread out over the various areas in the ED
  • Maximum of 4 elective students at any 1 time (2 at each site)
  • Maximum of 2 outside university students at any 1 time

How to Apply For this Elective  »

  • All University of Ottawa students must apply directly through the Emergency Medicine department (Please contact Margaret King, Undergraduate Coordinator, DEM, mking@toh.on.ca)
  • All NON University of Ottawa students must apply through the Faculty of Medicine, Electives Office