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 strong ties to Adelaide University in Australia but medical students can apply from other places too. To get the most out of your elective, students usually come for a minimum of 4 weeks.

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 hospital has an inpatient ward, outpatients, MCH (maternal and child health), theatre, lab and x-ray. Patients with anything can walk in the door – medical patients, surgical (including machete/gun shot trauma), infectious diseases (especially malaria, TB and HIV), paediatrics, obstetrics, and the list goes on.

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 usually 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 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.

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.


Clothing Guidelines for Kompiam – please check out these recommendations put together by our staff. There are cultural differences to Australia and some clothing commonly worn in the west would be offensive to people here. Please have a read of these guidelines and avoid the embarrassment of being told you have to change what you are wearing.


Medical Elective in Kompiam

Kompiam Medical Placement

Kompiam – A Student’s Perspective

Med Student Handover Notes– Dec 2019

Kompiam Shopping Advice– Dec 2019

Student Placements

image description