Electives & Residency Programmes


Electives & Residency Programmes


Interested In Completing Clinical Electives Overseas?

Students registered on the BMBS programme can opt to complete clinical electives overseas.

Completing a clinical elective in North America is essential to securing a residency in the United States or Canada.

GEMS has entered into formal arrangements with McMaster University and Rutgers University to provide our students with clinical electives. In addition to our formal arrangements, strong links have been forged with a number of North American medical schools to provide our students with clinical electives in a variety of specialties. In formal evaluations, North American institutions that have enrolled UL GEMS students on elective programmes have commented on their clinical proficiency and exceptional medical communication skills.

Students applying for an elective while on the programme are supported by members of the GEMS admin team, Stephane Pinson and Emmeline Searson.

Queries on electives to electives.gems@ul.ie

UL GEMS is also a member of GHLO. The GHLO® Collaborative helps final year medical students pursue clinical, research, and public health electives outside their home country. Opportunities are also available to Year 3 students. GHLO is currently working on creating opportunities for students in their pre-clinical years – details to follow in 2017!



Electives, students’ perspective

Laura Greene GEMS Graduate

“I pursued a mini-fellowship in the Research department of the Rothman Institute in Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia for a four-week period in June of last summer. This was a fantastic opportunity for a medical student such as myself to get involved with research projects in a highly productive and internationally well-respected institute. The research department is made up of a friendly and motivated international team of research fellows, clinical researchers, database co-ordinators, statisticians and medical students, all working alongside one another. As a result of this fellowship, I’m involved with two research papers which, upon completion, are both likely to be submitted to high-impact journals. This fellowship provides a unique opportunity to be part of the very research that serves to improve current orthopaedic surgical practices and management with the possibility of having your own name attached to these wide-reaching publications. This was a wonderful experience which was made possible by the Department of Orthopaedics in the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore and one I would highly recommend.”


Dermot Murphy GEMS Graduate

“Many different areas of orthopaedics are covered, including hip, knee, spine, and shoulder. There are medical researchers from all over the world working there. Before I went, I had little experience or knowledge of orthopaedic surgery, or orthopaedic research, but the time spent there was enjoyable and very enlightening. I became involved with two interesting projects which upon completion will be submitted to professional journals. This is an opportunity to strengthen one’s CV while also gaining invaluable research skills. I found everyone at the Institute to be both welcoming and helpful. The Institute is known all around the world as a leader in orthopaedics. It was a fantastic opportunity to spend time with some of the surgeons and researchers who have established the reputation of the Institute. As well as the research I participated in, I was given the opportunity to attend orthopaedic surgeries. The city of Philadelphia is historic and lively. The Institute is located in the centre of the city and near to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. There are sporting events, historical monuments, cultural and musical events taking place regularly which provide great ways to spend leisure time.”

GEMS currently has agreements with the following institutions;
•    Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine,McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
•    Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay
•    Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
•    Wyoming Medical Centre, Wyoming, USA

Additionally students have completed electives at the following locations;
•    Memorial University, St John’s, Newfoundland 
•    University of Toronto, Toronto 
•    Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio 
•    Memorial Sloane Kettering Clinic, New York
•    Weill Cornell University, New York
•    Warren Alpert at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
•    Johns Hopkins, Baltimore
•    Morristown Medical Centre, New Jersey
•    University of Miami 

UL GEMS continues to expand its network of partners overseas and encourages institutions looking to develop partnerships to contact the school at international.gems@ul.ie 

For further information on electives please contact electives.gems@ul.ie



Many Canadian and US students aim to secure residency placements in North America after completing their medical programme. Our medical school is committed to facilitating the application process and examination requirements for our North American students to help them secure residency posts. All graduates and final year students are supported through the residency application process by dedicated staff in the school. Our recent graduates enjoy an enviable reputation in securing competitive residencies throughout North America.


Below is a sample of the residency locations secured by recent graduates, both in the US and Canada:


  • McMaster University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Tufts University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • New York University
  • New Jersey City University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Arizona


Students are also supported in their preparation for licensing or board exams (USMLE, MCCEE) is recognised as essential for students applying for North America residency training and is carefully scheduled around the official academic timetable. GEMS supports students with bespoke tutorial programmes delivered by senior academic and clinical staff. In addition to academic-led experiential teaching, access to online resources, including QBank, diagnostic examinations and simulated testing, is provided. Our students are consequently well prepared for their professional exams as attested by their high USMLE pass rates. To date, GEMS students’ USMLE first-time pass rates have averaged over 90%.

For any queries regarding residency applications please contactinternational.gems@ul.ie

Looking To Complete An Elective In Ireland From Overseas?


The GEMS Incoming elective programme is facilitated through our network of overseas partners. We are happy to accommodate external students seeking elective placements over the summer months. In the case of summer elective placements the School only accommodates students from institutions that have an existing MOU with UL GEMS.
Queries to electives.gems@ul.ie


GEMS graduate

Early and extensive clinical exposure, emphasis on patient care and a dedication to professional development were aspects of the University of Limerick’s GEMS program that attracted me to apply. The unique problem-based learning (PBL) approach required students to employ a strong work ethic in addition to adapting the skills required to become valued team members. Moreover, the enduring support from faculty, hospital consultants, tutors, administration, and fellow medical students were integral to my experience at UL. With the help of faculty and administration, I arranged multiple clinical electives and sub-internships across Canada and the USA. This enabled me not only to gain North American experience but also to establish connections with well- regarded institutions, which is central to applying for residency. Furthermore, I felt well prepared for my electives and was able to make seamless transitions between the different health care systems. In addition to the abundant opportunities for travel and experiences in living abroad, I was most fortunate to meet my fiancé in Ireland, and both of us will be starting our residencies in the USA this summer. From the moment I interviewed with UL, I felt an instant connection with this institution, and I will be forever happy with my decision to attend medical school here.

GEMS graduate

I graduated from the University of Limerick Medical School in 2013, and I can wholeheartedly say that I had a fantastic experience throughout my four years at UL. The problem-based learning (PBL) approach was an invaluable way of learning. I am now an internal medicine resident in Ontario, Canada, and I can say with full confidence that the clinical knowledge and physical exam skills that I acquired in medical school have made me a competent, responsible resident. I also feel that the emphasis on group learning and public speaking through PBL was incredibly helpful in making me an effective and confident team member, which is so important for residents. The emphasis on a collegial, welcoming environment that has been created there is like no other; as students, we never felt that we couldn’t approach our professors with questions and concerns, and the focus on tailoring the program to students’ needs is unparalleled. Looking back, I truly feel that both my educational and overall life experience at UL was one that I will never forget; it has provided me with the tools to succeed as a physician.

GEMS Graduate

The University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical Programme in Limerick, Ireland is a new and developing program so it offers many unique and exciting opportunities. The teaching staff is world- renowned and their worldwide connections are invaluable when applying to electives in the United States and Canada. UL GEMS understands the needs of its foreign students; it offers students a weekly USMLE training course and supports them to organize electives overseas.The office staff and teaching staff are supportive and approachable. With their help I was able to participate in my first elective in South Africa after my first year of medical school and in many Canadian electives after that. The excellent training I received from my teachers gave me the confidence, skills and knowledge I needed to excel in my electives in my chosen field. With only a few graduating classes, UL GEMS has an excellent record of residency matches to the United States and Canada. Attending GEMS offers a balanced work-life. I have travelled all over Europe and I have lived in different communities across Ireland, all while participating in research, presentations and lecture series. The last four years have been great, and I highly recommend a medical education at the University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School.