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Clinical Elective

The purpose of the Clinical Elective is to gain initial experience of patient care in outpatient, clinical, and primary care settings (i.e., the clinical elective must have a direct patient care connection). The most important information about the Clinical Elective can be found below.


From the end of the lecture period of the 4th semester, after passing the performance record "Introduction to Clinical Medicine", a total of 4 months (120 calendar days) must be completed during the lecture-free period. The lecture-free period includes the semester break (period free of classes and examinations after the 16th week of the semester), official vacations (e.g. Christmas vacations) and vacation semesters.


The Clinical Elective is divided into four clinical elective sections:

  •     30 days of practical or outpatient clinical elective
  •     30 days of hospital clinical elective
  •     30 days of family doctor patient care (compulsory elective)
  •     30 days clinical elective of choice

Practice or outpatient clinical elective
Clinical Elective is possible in a facility of ambulatory health care under medical supervision or in a suitable general or specialist practice, both in Germany and abroad.  

Hospital clinical elective
Clinical Elective is possible in a hospital, in university clinics or academic teaching hospitals and in an inpatient rehabilitation facility, both in Germany and abroad.

Family medicine (compulsory elective)
One Clinical Elective must be completed in the area of primary care. This includes all general practitioners, pediatricians and internists who do not have a specialty designation.

Clinical elective of choice
The clinical elective of choice can be completed in a facility that is also suitable for the above-mentioned clinical elective sections or in another facility where medical activities involving patient contact are performed. This includes public health facilities such as medical officers of health. It is possible to split the Clinical Elective (see below) and complete it in two different facilities, but these must be from the same area (outpatient, primary care, inpatient patient care or public health care).


To apply for a clinical elective, it is best to contact the head physician's office of the desired ward of the respective hospital or the respective outpatient care facility (practice) in good time. In most cases, a short application with a curriculum vitae is required.

Interruption of Clinical Elective

Whether and how often an interruption of the clinical elective is possible depends on the respective clinical elective section. If clinical electives are interrupted, the individual sections must always last at least 15 calendar days at a stretch.

Recognition of Clinical Electives

A certificate is issued for each clinical elective by the head physician of the respective institution. The certificate must clearly indicate the type of clerkship (Outpatient, Hospital, Family Medicine or clinical elective of choice). Please email a good legible scan of the certificate along with the application for recognition in PDF format from your HHU email address only to the

Further and more detailed information can be found on the LPA websites.

Clinical Elective abroad

The same rules mentioned above apply to Clinical Electives abroad; however, a family medicine clerkship cannot be completed abroad. It should be noted that a complete certificate (see forms above) must be issued in German. If this is not possible, a certified translation in German must be attached.

For more information about the clinical traineeship abroad, please visit our International websites.

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