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Clinical Medicine: Attachments and electives

Subjects: Medicine


As clinical students you’ll spend a proportion of your time in clinical settings away from Oxford. This page collects together information on resources and services for students on attachments and electives.

Before you go on placement

The following check list will help you to remember the things you need to do before you go on your placement:

  • Make sure you know your University of Oxford Single Sign-On username and password.  You’ll need this to access many online services (e.g. Canvas, email, online journals).  For more information see

  • Return/renew all existing items on loan.  You can do this by signing into SOLOIf you’ll be on attachment or elective for more than 2 weeks and have books from the Cairns Library or Knowledge Centre, then come and talk to us before you go to see if we can renew your books to cover the duration of your time away from Oxford.  If your book is due back while you’re away you will not be able to renew it if it’s been requested by someone else.
  • Consider setting up the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service and Eduroam. The VPN will allow you to connect your computer or mobile device to an Oxford University network, even when you are away from Oxford. Eduroam is a wifi network used by many universities worldwide. Both the VPN and Eduroam use your Remote Access Account, which you can set at (this is different from your Single Sign-On.

Online NHS resources

You’ll find that your University Single Sign-On gives you access to considerably more online journals and ebooks than are available from the NHS. However, you may find that your local NHS library provides access via OpenAthens to some resources that are not available to you via the University.

While you are on placement you can register a for local Trust OpenAthens account. This is different to the national student OpenAthens username and password you may have already been issued with in Oxford. It is much quicker to register for an OpenAthens account from an NHS computer either on a hospital site or in a GP practice. If you are using a non-NHS computer or email address, your registration could be delayed.

You can use your OpenAthens username and password to access an online collection of electronic resources provided by the NHS via the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub. Contact your local NHS hospital librarian for any help with registering for a local Trust OpenAthens account.

NHS Libraries

NHS attachments will often be supported by a physical library service - see below for details.

Please note that, if you borrow any books or other items from your local library while on attachment, it is your responsibility to ensure their safe return before you leave.