Is a Medical internship in Tanzania right for me?
If you’re looking to get practical medical experience to add to your CV, this internship is ideal for you. It will help your application for medical school or a job stand out, and give you interesting points to talk about in interviews.
You’ll spend your day shadowing experienced doctors and nurses, learning all about their day-to-day work. This gives anyone with a strong interest in medicine a valuable insight into a developing country’s medical practices.
You will also get an insight into the healthcare challenges people face everyday. Many medical facilities in Tanzania lack resources. You’ll get to see how doctors cope when supplies run out and you’ll learn to diagnose and treat diseases you wouldn’t encounter in your home country.
This project runs all year round so you can organise a trip whenever it suits your schedule. You can join for as long as you like, with a minimum duration of two weeks.
What will I do on this Medicine Internship?
This is a chance for you to gain medical work experience, by learning from doctors and doing outreach work. Here are the different tasks you will do:
- Observe professional doctors in a hospital or clinic
- Spend time in several hospital departments
- Learn about healthcare and gain practical skills during medical workshops
- Participate in medical outreaches and practise taking health measures
These are the different areas your work will focus on:
Learn from qualified doctors
You’ll spend your days shadowing medical staff, sitting in on patient consultations and getting to experience the life of a doctor in Tanzania. You’ll get to see first-hand how doctors cope with challenging circumstances and lack of funding and resources. You’ll get to see different medical procedures and learn how to diagnose and treat different diseases.
Work in different departments
Depending on how long you intern for, you might get to spend time in different departments, giving you the chance see what specialisation stands out for you.
Attend medical workshops
As part of your learning experience, you’ll also get to learn from medical professionals during workshops. These are held about once every two weeks. Local doctors will take this time to teach you practical skills, like how to measure blood pressure or administer first aid. They’ll also talk you through the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of tropical diseases, like malaria.
Help local communities
You’ll also be helping people in local communities during medical outreaches. We'll teach you everything you need to know, and your work will be supervised by medical professionals.
You’ll give talks on healthy eating to help with heart disease prevention. You can also gain experience measuring the blood sugar and blood pressure levels of people who can’t seek formal medical treatment. Medical outreaches provide basic medical care and diagnoses to people who can’t afford regular check-ups.
Types of placements available for this internship
This internship is all about broadening your medical knowledge. So we’ve partnered with local hospitals to give you the opportunity to spend time in many different departments.
There’s even the option to work in a Maasai hospital where you can learn about more traditional medicine techniques. However, you’ll need to intern for at least four weeks to work in the Maasai hospital. Because there is less supervision and structure at this placement, we only recommend it for interns with medical experience.
In all of our medical placements, these are some of the departments you can intern in:
- General medicine
- Dental unit
- Palliative care
The number of different departments you can work in will depend on how long your internship is. We recommend spending at least one week in a department before moving to another department. If you’re interested in a specific department, feel free to contact us and we can help advise you.
Where in Tanzania will I work?
We have two medical placement locations in Tanzania. You can intern in Arusha or in Moshi. Depending on where you intern, you might work in a hospital, health clinic, or Maasai community hospital. In both of these regions, buildings and facilities are not always well-maintained and communities might be less developed than what you’re used to.
Arusha is a busy city with smaller, less developed communities in some areas. It is nestled at the foot of Mount Meru and is home to over 400,000 people.
In Arusha, you can intern in hospitals or healthcare clinics. They are typically under-resourced and there will be a stark difference between hospitals in Arusha and the kind of medical care you’re used to seeing.
There’s also the option to intern in a Maasai community hospital where more traditional medicine is practised. Again, facilities and treatments here will be basic. With few medical staff and a busy, fast-paced environment, this placement is ideal for interns with medical experience who want to assist in an understaffed hospital.
Moshi is a rural town at the foot of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Travel along bumpy dirt roads, past goats and local people on motorbikes to small, rural hospitals and clinics.
Conditions in these hospitals and clinics are basic, with very few resources, like medical equipment and hospital beds. But you’ll get to see how doctors cope with these challenges and come up with innovative ways to provide the best possible care to patients.
A typical day on this Medicine Internship
Your day will start with breakfast with your host family. You’ll sit down for a tasty meal before getting ready, picking up your notebook, and catching a dalla dalla, which will zip you off to a local hospital.
Your typical work day will start at about 7.30am, because Tanzanian hospitals are particularly busy in the mornings. You’ll usually finish work at around 3pm.
You’ll be assigned a supervising doctor, who will lead you through different consultations and procedures. Take notes, ask questions, and take this opportunity to learn as much as you can. You might have the chance to learn how to take X-rays or practise working with medical equipment.
You’ll help out at medical outreaches about once every two weeks. During outreaches, you’ll set up a healthcare station at a local school or community centre, and take measurements like blood pressure, blood sugar, height, and weight. This is tiring work and you’ll probably screen many different people in one day. But it’s also a chance to have direct contact with patients and provide them with early medical screening.
Once every two weeks, you’ll also attend a medical workshop given by a local doctor. At these workshops, you’ll learn valuable skills like how to administer first aid or practise suturing.
Your evenings will be free, giving you the chance to explore your surroundings and get to know your fellow interns.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The main aim of this internship is to promote an exchange of medical knowledge. This means you’ll be doing a lot of learning. Take the opportunity to ask questions, write notes, and get involved as much as you can. Qualified medical staff will be happy to share their expertise with you.
On top of all the learning you’re doing, you’ll help to provide medical care to people who don’t have the funds or transport to go to clinics and hospitals. During medical outreaches, you will give free screenings. Depending on your experience, you can assist doctors with referring patients who need further care.
During outreaches, you will also raise awareness about healthcare problems like diabetes and heart disease. Your focus will be on prevention and treatment.
In Tanzania, we’ve identified five main goals in our Medicine Management Plan. These goals are:
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
- Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases
- Improve hygiene standards
- Improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge
Join our Medical Internship in Tanzania and help us achieve these goals.
Professional volunteers and medical electives for students
This project is also ideally suited to professionals interested in using their skills to help, as well as university medical and healthcare elective students.
As a professional, you can be sure we will match your training and expertise to the placement where you are needed most. With your support, we can make an even bigger impact on the local communities we work with.
If you are an elective student, we will organise an elective placement where you can learn as much as possible. We want you gain the knowledge and skills that will begin to shape your professional career.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
A trip to Tanzania is the chance to experience life in the heart of Africa. There’s plenty to see and do here during your free time on your project.
A project in Tanzania wouldn’t be complete without a safari! This is a chance to see the beautiful wildlife of this country, like elephants, rhinos, and lions.
What’s more, Tanzania is home to the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. Hiking around the base through lush vegetation is a peaceful way to spend an afternoon.
Browsing through a vibrant, local market is a must while you’re there. You can also spend time in a Maasai village, getting to know a completely different way of life.
There will likely be many other volunteers in Tanzania with you. This means you have the option to explore the country independently or with a group of like-minded volunteers from different projects.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Tanzania
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