Medical electives have been part of the medical school curriculum since the 1970s in the United Kingdom. They are typically 4-8 week medical placements organised by the student in a field they are interested in. Electives are an extended period to increase understanding of global health, improve our clinical skills and deepen understanding of a speciality. They are the only part of the course in which students have autonomy over their learning.
I write in response to the statement released by the University of Cambridge to "suspend mass lectures in person for the next academic year" . It has, understandably, elicited discussion around the value of distanced learning and the wider University experience.