Doctors Without Borders Alternative: Internships with Projects Abroad
Doctors Without Borders is an organization that sends trained medical professionals to volunteer abroad. Projects Abroad can be a great alternative to Doctors Without Borders for volunteers interested in participating in medical internships all over the world. While Doctors Without Borders wants doctors, nurses, logisticians and water-sanitation experts, Projects Abroad can use volunteers of all degrees, skills, and education.
Volunteers interested in participating in a medical internship with Projects Abroad are not generally required to have any prior experience. Anyone intersted in learning about medicine and volunteering abroad can participate; you only need to fill out the application, provide a reference and be at least 16 years-old. Medical interns can be high school students interested in becoming a doctors, undergraduate college students on the pre-med track, students taking a gap year, medical school students or doctors. Everyone and anyone is welcome to sign up for a medical internship in any of 16 different countries with Projects Abroad.
"I saw births, caesareans, sterilisations ("family planning") and abortions during my time at the clinic and got a lot closer and more involved than I would have been able to in England without any training. I was sad to leave at the end of my placement and would love to go back and visit them all one day! I was also able to spend a week at a leprosy mission hospital which was really fascinating, as there is no such opportunity to learn about this disease first-hand in Western countries."
Medicine and Healthcare, Medicine in India
Alternative Option to Doctors Without Borders Internships
Doctors Without Borders’ main focus is medical volunteer opportunities abroad, usually in response to catastrophic events such as armed conflicts, epidemics, malnutrition and natural disasters. Some of the Doctors Without Borders medical placements have the potential to be dangerous and even life threatening for volunteers. Projects Abroad does not work in these regions. Projects Abroad works in safe, secure, and stable developing countries that are still in need of volunteers’ help. Whereas Doctors Without Borders volunteers work with minimal support, Projects Abroad has full-time, paid and trained staff to support its volunteers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Projects Abroad offers a variety of types of medical internships, while Doctors Without Borders focuses on sending specialized volunteers to specific locations where they are needed. On the other hand, Projects Abroad allows medical interns to pursue any medical interests they may have, in any location there is a medical internship available. Volunteers can participate in one or many different medical departments – physical therapy, nursing, midwifery, dentistry, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Medical volunteers can even participate in internships that combine local traditional medicines with the more westernized medical techniques and practices.
Doctors Without Borders Intern or Projects Abroad Volunteer?
Medical interns that volunteer with Projects Abroad will not only get invaluable medical experience and the opportunity to volunteer in a foreign country, they will also have the opportunity to experience a complete immersion in that country’s culture. By living with a host family you will have the chance to learn all about the local customs and traditions, and experience the culture as a family member and guest rather than an outsider. Projects Abroad offers multidimensional and unique medical internship opportunities. If Doctors Without Borders is not for you, then consider Projects Abroad as a great alternative.
"Before I left for Mongolia, I thought I would be at the hospital Monday to Friday and explore Ulaanbaatar during the weekends. My assumptions were completely wrong. Although Ulaanbaatar is a pleasant city to be in, words simply cannot illustrate how beautiful the Mongolian countryside is. On weekends, Projects Abroad would organize group trips. During my five weeks in Mongolia, they took us to Terelj National Park and the ancient city of Kharkhorin. After going to the countryside my first weekend, I made a pact to myself that I would go every weekend and managed to stick to it."
Medicine and Healthcare, Medicine in Mongolia