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Volunteer overseas on worthwhile and sustainable programmesVolunteer Overseas

Medical Electives Overseas

Projects Abroad Medical volunteer treats a boy at medical outreach in Ghana

A Medical Elective is an ideal opportunity for students at any stage of their studies to contribute to essential medical programmes in the developing world. Senior medical students and pre-med students alike will find appropriate placements working alongside local professionals.

You will experience the challenges of practising medicine with limited resources, witness diseases rarely seen in developed countries and network with medical students from around the world. An overseas placement allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture whilst challenging yourself both personally and professionally.

What can a Medical Elective with Projects Abroad offer me?

Projects Abroad volunteer working on a medical community outreach

  • Gain insight into developing world medicine and healthcare
  • Work alongside local professionals
  • Unparalleled educational experience
  • Develop skills, technique and knowledge
  • Flexible rotations based on preferences & interests
  • Guaranteed, tailored & hassle-free placements
  • Meet medical students from all over the world
  • Over 20 incredible destinations to choose from

Where are Medical Electives offered?

Projects Abroad offers a wide array of medical projects 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 choose to work in.

The opportunities available vary greatly; you could work in a large teaching hospital in Nepal, busy semi-rural hospitals in Tanzania or in a community outreach programme in Ghana.

You can choose your volunteering destination from the following countries:

For an overview of the disciplines available in each country, download our electives guide.

"As a final year medical student, I wanted my last year before being a ‘real doctor’ to really be pushed outside my comfort zones. Unfortunately being a final year student doesn’t leave much time to plan. So I got in touch with Projects Abroad; a few emails later and a trip to Tanzania had been organised. From a medical perspective my placement was by far the most challenging and rewarding experience. I went to Tanzania to experience a new culture; instead I practiced medicine, taught resuscitation, did lots of medical teaching and ran my own clinics. Given I’d almost finished my degree, I was utilised to the fullest possible extent and the experience was invaluable.”

Deakin University

What kind of Medical work will I be doing?

Projects Abroad medical volunteer and local Mexican doctor examine a patient

During a Medical Elective, you will witness the disparity between the standards of medical practice in the developed and developing worlds. The hospitals, clinics and centres that we work with are often vastly under-resourced, forcing local professionals to use very different treatment methods.

With limited funds to pay for routine medical treatment, many patients will have advanced illnesses and conditions that would rarely be seen in the developed world.

Once in-country, your allocated supervisor will educate, engage and give you practical exposure to the day-to-day workings of your placement at an appropriate level. Any opportunity to gain experience in practical, hands-on work, will always be at the discretion of local practitioners. There will also be opportunities to gain skills and knowledge from senior medical volunteers. With hard work and determination, you can play an important role within a local medical team and make a valuable contribution to your chosen placement.

The work that you do during a Medical Elective will vary depending on your experience, skills and preferences.

Pre-Med Students

Male volunteer checking a baby in a medical project in Sri Lanka, Asia

For students planning to embark on medical studies, a Projects Abroad placement offers a valuable, first-hand insight into your chosen profession and provides you with a wide range of experiences. The supervisors take time to explain treatment plans, demonstrate techniques and discuss healthcare issues within that country. Pre-med students take this opportunity for a variety of reasons; to reaffirm that medicine is the right path for them, to stand out on their medical school applications or to gain some experience before the study begins. Whatever your reason, this experience will provide you with an appreciation and understanding of medicine in the developing world.

Med Students

Projects Abroad’s clinical placements offer students convenient, flexible and hassle-free placements with guarantees. At your placement, you will have a supervisor and can choose your rotations; helping you to get the most from your overseas placement. Working with over 200 healthcare placements and arranging countless community outreach opportunities throughout the developing world; the placements offer practical and educational exposure to medicine in unique and challenging conditions. The local full time staff are there to support you, as are your fellow medical interns from around the globe.

"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

Traditional Medicine

Projects Abroad Medicine volunteer doing health checks with children at a medical outreach programme in the Knockpactrick community of Manchester, Jamaica

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.

What are the requirements for a Medical Elective with Projects Abroad?

Projects Abroad’s medical internships are suitable for students at all levels of study. Whether you are applying for a university course or qualified as a trained professional, we can help to find the right placement for you. Where possible, each placement is tailored to your interests as well as your level of skill and experience.

Please contact us to discuss your preferences and the options available to you.

Medicine project destinations:


Medicine project destinations:

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