Volunteer as an Intern Abroad in Medicine
- Role: Observing local doctors and performing routine tasks in various departments at hospitals, clinics, and community outreach programs.
- Requirements: None for Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania; some related education for Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Morocco, Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, Vietnam; Spanish skills for Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru; French skills for Morocco, Senegal, Togo. Interns must be a minimum of 18 years old to participate in Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Romania, Senegal, and Vietnam.
Interning abroad on a medical project is an ideal way to observe how the poorest resourced medical institutions in the third world operate. Whether you are a pre-medical student, currently in medical school, or a trained professional, you will be able to gain great insight into the hospitals, clinics, and centers that we work with. When possible, we can tailor internships both to a volunteer’s level of experience and their interests.
Medical Internships Abroad
As a medical intern, you are sure to see a huge gulf in medical standards between the developed and developing worlds. Hospitals are often poorly resourced with underpaid medical staff. This, combined with a lack of experience and funds to pay for routine medical treatment often causes the patients you see to have advanced illnesses and conditions now rarely treated in the developed world.
High School and College Interns Abroad in Medicine
You will be involved in the day-to-day running of hospitals and clinics, observing or sometimes directly assisting doctors and nurses. You might find yourself, for example, watching a caesarean in the operating room or working with a doctor on his rounds in a big city hospital. You can sometimes help out in simple but practical ways, vastly increasing your own knowledge and understanding of medical practice.
Medical Students and Qualified Medical 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. If you are in medical school and planning to do an elective please visit our Medical Elective Students page. Fully qualified medical professionals with experience should visit our Projects for Professionals section.
"The medical program was extremely beneficial and really gave me an insight into the Indian medical system. It has definitely reconfirmed my wish to become a doctor. I saw several operations that I wouldn't have seen until my fourth or fifth year at medical school, had I not taken a gap year."
Medical intern in India
Traditional Medicine Internships Abroad
In India, China, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam 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 internship abroad, thereby creating an all around medical experience. We can also arrange for you to spend some time in an Acupuncture clinic in Mongolia.