My elective was split in to four two week blocks. For the first two weeks I did obstetrics and gynaecology. It was quite hands-on, with lots of examining. I learnt to suture episiotomies and I developed my stethoscope skills! The next two weeks I spent doing medicine. I saw a lot of infectious diseases and learnt how to manage general medical problems with few resources. I then did two weeks of paediatrics. There was a lot of renal disease and thalassaemias! The Sri Lankan medical students translated for me. I spent my final two weeks doing ENT at Kandy Teaching Hospital. On the ward rounds there were lots of chances to examine interesting ENT patients and see operations done in a non-NHS way.
Positives of the experience included getting to know Sri Lankan medical students, being welcomed by the Kandy Bible Fellowship (strongly recommended!), I learnt a lot and the food was amazing everywhere. The language barrier was a bit tricky, but notes and ward rounds are all in English. At times I wished I had a peer - the hospital in Kandy had more elective students than Peradeniya where I spent most of my time. The elective would be good if you're keen to see how healthcare works in limited resources, but not at the point of dire shortages.
There are loads of places in the area to visit, all easily reachable: Pinnawalla Elephant Orphanage, Sigiriya ancient rock fortress, Polonnaruwa ancient capital, Kandy tooth temple, Perahera procession in August, tea plantations, the beautiful mountains at Ella and beaches on the south and east cost.I would have like to have known that there was going to be a lack of foreign students in Peradeniya, at least in July/August (I think Australians go there in January). I wish I'd brought some gospel tracts. I would recommend going with a friend. My elective was organised through a family friend.
Approximate cost: £1500