Elective study abroad during a residency is unusual, although this is not uncommon for medical students and fellows. There may be several reasons for this. Resident training programs are structured to last three or four years in North America and traditionally are under the auspices of specific university departments. This is a relatively short period of training compared to European countries, and consequently there tends to be less flexibility, and therefore less mobility, in training. Residencies also tend to be a combination of education, training and service requirements, and as programs have a specific allocation of positions for each year during the residency, absenteeism may well compromise delivery of health care. In addition, there are important considerations for the residents themselves, who tend to be older, perhaps married with a young family. Commitment to their staffing positions and workload, coupled with financial obligations, may make travel abroad difficult.
Conlon, M.B., P.
"Brief Communication: A Resident Elective Abroad,"
Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry:
1, Article 10.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jeffjpsychiatry/vol6/iss1/10