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Doctors Without Borders and Projects Abroad Comparison

Many volunteers ask us, "How is Doctors without Borders different from Projects Abroad?" Projects Abroad is not affiliated with Doctors Without Borders and there are several important differences between Projects Abroad and Doctors Without Borders.

Doctors Without Borders is a medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. Doctors without Borders recruits professionals in the medical and other fields to provide medical care to people in crisis in many countries worldwide.

Unlike Doctors Without Borders, Projects Abroad offers pre-medical and medical students the chance to gain valuable medical experience in many different developing countries. Projects Abroad medical programs help individuals learn about the field of medicine, how it is practiced abroad, and the challenges faced when practicing medicine in the developing world.

Projects Abroad offers Medicine Internships, Medical Electives, and Professional Medicine Placements for volunteers of all ages looking to do an internship in a non-emergency context.

Differences between Doctors Without Borders and Projects Abroad

Volunteers on a Doctors without Borders Alternative Medical Internship checking patients heartbeats

There are a number of important differences between Projects Abroad and Doctors Without Borders.

Requirements – Doctors Without Borders requires mainly skilled and qualified individuals- doctors, nurses, logisticians and water-sanitation experts with at least two years of experience. Projects Abroad Medical placements are open to anyone ages 16 and up and the majority of placements do not require you to have previous medical experience or foreign language proficiency.

Context – Doctors without Borders brings medical care to areas where the need is greatest, often to areas caught in crisis such as armed conflict, natural disasters and endemic disease. Projects Abroad does not work in crisis or emergency contexts, only in stable situations that are monitored by its full-time, trained staff.

Timeline – Doctors Without Borders processes applications in several months and an assignment generally lasts nine-to-twelve months for most professions. Projects Abroad accepts applications in several weeks and an assignment generally lasts two-to-eight weeks.

How can I get involved in a Medical placement with Projects Abroad?

Volunteer performing a dental check up with the help on a local doctor on a Dentistry project done as a Doctors without Borders Alternative

Projects Abroad offers Medicine programs in over 20 countries including destinations in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. We also arrange placements in different Medical fields such as Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Midwifery, Public Health, and more.

Our placements are designed for individuals of all levels including:

Medical interns who volunteer with Projects Abroad will not only get valuable medical experience and the opportunity to volunteer in a foreign country, they will also have the opportunity to experience a complete immersion. 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 rather than an outsider.

Projects Abroad offers multidimensional and unique medical placements around the world. Find your perfect experience by checking out our Medicine Internships and reading through stories from former medical volunteers.

"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."

Laura Nicell
Medicine and Healthcare, Medicine in India
Explore how volunteering abroad and interning abroad works with Projects Abroad.

Experience: Over 20 years of organizing overseas volunteer projects.

Flexibility: You choose your start date.

Variety: hundreds of worthwhile projects to choose from.

Support: Full-time staff close-by in every destination.

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