Student Electives

All student elective programs for 2020 are cancelled at least until August due to COVID19. Papua New Guinea has currently closed its borders now to any arrivals by non-citizens. The international travel restrictions and the uncertainty as to when this  pandemic will settle down are some factors that have contributed to this decision. In the mean time, for those students who have already arranged dates for their programs for this year, you are welcome to postpone or cancel as you wish by contacting us. However, for those students  interested in student electives programs for 2021, you are welcome to contact us to discuss the possibilities. We will give further update as travel restriction advice is made available. (26th March 2020)


Kompiam Hospital offers a fantastic hands-on experience for a medical student elective at any time through medical school. The hospital has historically had strong links to Australia Universities, but nowadays we are seeing medical students come from all over – the U.S., Europe and the U.K especially. In addition, we have a strong commitment to training PNG medical students. So there is often a nice multicultural mix around the hospital.

As a student, you have the opportunity to practice medicine in a resource-poor, developing world setting with good clinical support and get exposed to conditions rarely seen in large Western hospitals. Kompiam has 48 bed inpatient ward in addition to a 15 bed TB unit. There is also daily outpatient work, a special clinic for maternal and child health, HIV care, operating theatres, X-ray and laboratory.

Students participate in ward rounds three times per week, elective theatre twice a week plus emergencies and doctors clinics. In addition to this, you can learn how to take and process x-rays, do simple blood tests in the lab and anything else about the place that needs to be done.

Sometime during their stay, students will usually be offered the choice to go on a medical patrol to a health centre or aid post within Kompiam District lasting from a few days to a week. This is often by hiking a reasonable distance or sometimes flying or boating, or a combination of all three, depending on where the health centre is. It’s a great opportunity to stay in a village and see what the realities of health care truly are when you are out bush with even fewer resources.

There is great accommodation in Kompiam as well as internet access via ethernet cables in the finance office. Wireless internet is no longer available for students within the hospital, as the local mobile phone network is much improved and suffices for most data use. You will need to get yourself a Digicel sim card on arrival in Port Moresby (go to the Digicel counter in the International Terminal just after you come out of the customs/immigration.)

There is also comfortable student accommodation at Lapalama HC, about a days walk from Kompiam, where students can go for a more remote medical experience. An amazing opportunity a little off the beaten track – send an email and find out more!

Check out the articles below (PDF files) to help you plan your elective. See also our Getting Here page for travel, VISA and accommodation details.

Student Placements – Dr. Mills 2020

Kompiam Placement – What to Bring! 2020

Med Student Handover Notes–  Tim Robinson Dec 2019 Former Medical Student

Kompiam – A Student’s Perspective – Jackie Boyd 2005 Former Medical Student

Shopping Advice  – Written 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

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