Community Medicine Elective with Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

An Elective Students's View


Ms. Brooke Rasmussen, Medical Student from Australia


Participating in the Community Medicine Clerkship with the local USJP medical students was a highlight of my medical degree, and a wonderful way to finish my final year. Sri Lankans have such a different way of life to the western world and being able to immerse myself in Sri Lankan culture was a privilege. Each day of the community clerkship was different to any placement you would experience in Australia, and every day was off-campus in a different area of the city. This gave me the opportunity to see how the health system worked and to also see parts of the city I would not have otherwise seen.

The clinical experience was fantastic and I had the opportunity to see patients with communicable diseases that are rare in Australia, including dengue fever, filaria and tuberculosis. The doctors were always willing to teach and welcome you into their clinics.

A major highlight of my placement was a visit to a tea estate with the other medical students. The bus ride was a hoot, with everyone playing music on various instruments, singing and dancing. The tea estate was beautiful and interesting, and we had the opportunity to see and learn of the health and safety practices employed for the workers. It was like nothing you would see or do as a medical student in Australia, and it gave me the opportunity to become great friends with the group!

The supervisors and staff at USJP are really kind and helpful. I found them all to be extremely welcoming and communicative and I am so thankful to them for allowing me to take part in their course. The students are also lovely and took it upon themselves to guide me through the placement. They were always friendly and willing to help and were very easy to become great friends with.

If you would like to immerse yourself in culture, see interesting pathologies and make great friends, I highly encourage you to consider the Community Medicine Clerkship at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, for your next elective placement. It was an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.