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International Medical Internships in Senegal

Project Overview
  • ROLE: To gain a wide range of medical experience by working closely with trained local staff
  • TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Hospital, medical centers, and outreach workshops at centers for street children
  • MAIN DEPARTMENTS: General Medicine, Pediatrics, ENT, Gynecology, Orthopedics, Radiology, Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, Emergency, Laboratory, and Psychiatry
  • REQUIREMENTS: Interns must have completed at least 4 years of medical related studies or have recently qualified and speak an intermediate level of French
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

Gap year intern working with a child in a clinic on the Medicine project in Senegal

The Projects Abroad Medicine internship in Senegal is in desperate need of interns to help people in some of the poorest medical institutions in the developing world. As a Medicine intern in Senegal you will have the opportunity to gain a wide range of medical and healthcare work experience in a variety of departments.

All Medical interns in Senegal must have completed at least four years of medicine or healthcare related studies or training by the time they join this project. Some of our internships will only accept students in their fourth or fifth year.

Interns also need an intermediate level of French. Most of the staff and patients do not speak English and it is vital that you can understand and communicate in French while you are working at an internship. A copy of your resume will be requested after you have applied, so your internship can be tailored to your level of experience and interests.

Volunteer Profile Volunteer Ashlin Mountjoy shares their volunteer story from the Medicine project in Senegal
  • Name: Ashlin Mountjoy
  • Project & Country:Senegal, Medicine
  • Year: 2008
  • Future Plans: Current Medical School Student
My overseas experience was the motivating force to attend medical school and become a doctor. My experience exposed me to what it is like to work with patients one-on-one and to have an impact one person at a time. I certainly believe it helped get me into many top medical schools, as it showed my commitment to the field and my willingness to be exposed to new things.

Interning Abroad in Medicine in Senegal with Projects Abroad

In Senegal we work with two institutions. Interns will be working in a regional hospital or in a regional health center in St Louis. You will find yourself working in one or several areas of medicine – including General Medicine, Pediatrics, ENT, Gynecology, Orthopedics, Radiology, Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, Emergency, Laboratory, and Psychiatry – such is the diverse nature of problems brought to the hospital. 

Did you know? Over ¾ of people in Senegal do not have health insurance, and must pay out of pocket if they have a medical emergency.

The second placement is a Red Cross Medical Center that provides a drop-in service where local people can come for consultations on general healthcare issues. The center can also offer minor surgery depending on the availability of staff. This can be a problem, given that it can only afford a complement of one doctor and four nurses.

In addition to these placements, interns may spend some time with healthcare workers on outreach projects at the local Talibé (street children) Center. All interns live within a 30 minute journey of their placement.

All Medicine interns should be aware that the placements they will be working at are basic and treatments are sometimes not of the standard you would expect, coming from a more developed country. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients. Your working hours will usually be decided on a weekly basis, in cooperation with your supervisor and a Projects Abroad staff member.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Senegal Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.

When interning in Senegal, you will live with a local host family. This is an excellent opportunity to improve your French speaking skills and learn the Senegalese colloquialisms. You will also be able to pick up some Wolof, the local language. Many of our host families live in close proximity to each other so socializing with other Projects Abroad volunteers is easy.

Medicine internships in Senegal are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable medical experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local medical system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.

Senegal Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan

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