The Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, South India


Christian Medical College, VelloreChristian Medical College, Vellore

Tertiary teaching hospital


Large country town in Tamil Nadu, South India


India, the second largest country in the world, the largest democracy with a booming economy.

Medical Experience:

Vellore offers a broad range of experience, and there is world-wide interest in attending Vellore so applications need to be in well ahead of time. (This does mean that you may well meet a diverse group of young medicos.)

Vellore hospital itself would best suit elective medical students, however it may be possible to arrange placements at nearby rural clinics where the level of responsibility would be greater.

Hospital Facilities:

Every super-specialty, a large general medical and surgical component, obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatrics with public health epidemiology and outreach to both the rural and urban poor. The medical PACS system and genetics unit has been established already(!) There may be research opportunities.

Facts and figures available on

Major duties:

The hospital is well geared to meet the needs of the students, but the numbers may mean that you may not quite get what you want. Most popular is the rural health projects, but the clinical material is very varied and fascinating.

Working hours:

According to your interest. Shadowing the hospital medical staff especially after hours can be a tremendous learning experience


Available in a hostel on the hospital campus, or else in hotels nearby.


Local, with a wide range of choice within the town

Hospital staff:

Some of the leading clinicians and researchers in the world.


English is the medium of instruction and discussion among the medical and nursing staff, Tamil is the commonest local language, followed by Telegu and Hindi. People come from all over India for care.

Town facilities:

Large country town with historic fort and temple, caters well for the many visitors to the hospital.

Getting There:

Madras is the local international airport. You can then get a bus, a train or a taxi to Vellore about 4 hours inland.


Locally autorickshaws and buses are the main means of getting around.


A very extensive and informative one on

Hospital Contact: gives advice on applying to CMCH formal application can be made after reading this segment to :
If you would like to make contact, please email and we will pass your message on.

My contact details:

I was able to work there for 5 years in 1984-88 as a general physician and deputy director of continuing medical education. This is where I learnt about Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence Based Practice.

Dr Alan J Gijsbers
Director, Drug and Alcohol Liaison Service Royal Melbourne Hospital.
(03) 9342 7459
If you would like to make contact, please email and we will pass your message on.

Other Comments:

India is very much a worth-seeing place.

I have written this with a medical student elective in mind, however, such experience would be invaluable even to a resident doctor.