Medicine Volunteering Projects Overseas, Gap Years and Internships
Joining a medical placement in the developing world – whether as a pre-med, preclinical or clinical student – gives you the unique opportunity to gain a different perspective on medicine, discover another way of life, and challenge yourself – both personally and professionally.
Projects Abroad offers a wide array of medical placements which are tailored according to your skills, experience, preferences and interests in over 20 countries across the developing world. The placements are designed to be safe, supported and structured; giving you the chance to make a positive impact and form a genuine connection to the community you work in.
The opportunities available vary greatly, from working in a teaching hospital in Nepal or a large multi-disciplinary hospital in India, to rural outreach programmes in Ghana or small but busy hospitals in Tanzania. These settings are often under resourced and poorly equipped, forcing local professionals to use very different treatment methods. You will see patients with diseases rarely seen in the developed world, as well as those with more common complaints, who often only seek care in the advanced stages of the condition due to a lack of access or funds.
As an intern, you are exposed to radically different resources, conditions and techniques, and learn firsthand how to manage these in a challenging global health context.
Medicine project destinations:
Volunteering overseas on a Medicine project is an ideal way to gain work experience whilst often helping some of the neediest people and poorest resourced medical institutions in the developing world. Whether you are looking to get on to a university course, a trained professional, or somewhere in-between, you will have a role to play in one of the many hospitals, clinics and centres that we work with. Each placement is tailored, where possible, both to a volunteer's level of experience and their interests.
Interested in doing a medical elective overseas? - contact us for more information.
Volunteering Abroad on a Medicine placement
As a Medicine volunteer, you are sure to see the huge gulf between the standards of medical practice in the developed and developing worlds. Hospitals are often very poorly resourced, medical staff underpaid, and the combined lack of experience and funds to pay for routine medical treatment means the patients you see will often have advanced illnesses and conditions that you will rarely see in the developed world.
There may also be opportunities to learn skills and knowledge from more senior medical volunteers. Once learnt, you may be able to use these during your placement and so contribute more towards patient care.
You will be involved in the day-to-day running of hospitals and clinics, observing or directly assisting doctors and nurses. You might find yourself, for example, watching a caesarean in the operating theatre, or working with a doctor on his rounds in a big city hospital. You can help out in simple but practical ways, vastly increasing your own knowledge and understanding of medical practice.
Medical Student Volunteers
You are likely to be given increasing responsibility depending on your training and experience. You may be expected to have a more active role in patient care. There are normally opportunities to observe surgeries and other procedures. You will be able to explore the healthcare service of the country you choose and compare it with what you have already experienced.
In India, China and Sri Lanka, there are unrivalled opportunities for those who are interested in the practice of traditional medicine. Many communities in developing countries rely mainly on treatments taken directly from medicinal plants, where facilities are sparse. In this day and age, some experience of cures and preventions that have been used for thousands of years, using locally available natural products, is valuable for those of us who live in the drug-dependent west. You can opt to combine traditional and western practices during your placement, thereby creating an all-round medical experience. We can also arrange for you to spend some time in an Acupuncture clinic in Mongolia.
"Having undergraduate medical students working alongside me is a real help. I run the woman's clinic alone, and am often rushed off my feet - to have someone that I know can administer injections, take blood pressure, process urine samples and assist with births makes an enormous difference to both myself and the patients."
Dr H Ibrahim