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International Medical Internships in Bolivia

Project Overview
  • ROLE: To work alongside skilled local staff in various departments of a hospital or public health clinic
  • REQUIREMENTS: Interns should speak intermediate Spanish
  • TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Public health clinics and hospitals
  • MAIN DEPARTMENTS: Pediatrics, Gynecology, Admissions, and Pharmacy work
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 4 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

Interns on Projects Abroad’s Medicine internships in Bolivia work at one of two public hospitals or various ‘Centros de Salud’, which are public health clinics that are open to everyone in Cochabamba, regardless of their ability to pay.

At the Centros de Salud, you have the opportunity to intern in a variety of departments, such as pediatrics, gynecology, admissions, and pharmacy work. You can also get involved in the local community by assisting in vaccination programs that the clinics organize throughout the year.

Since the facilities are basic, the clinics mostly attend to minor emergencies, accidents, and routine visits. There is not enough funding to maintain the facilities in complete working order or provide the clinics with sufficient staff or materials. As an intern you will be able to observe many types of health issues while working in facilities that are very different to what you are used to back home.

Did you know? Bolivia has 1.2 doctors and 2.1 nurses per 1000 inhabitants, and of the 2875 primary care centres, 45% do not have a physician.

As a medical intern, you may also be placed at a public hospital in the city center that, although receiving little funding, has a well-known Burns Unit and patients often travel far to receive treatment there. More experienced interns will have the opportunity to enter the surgery room. The second hospital you may work at is a non-profit hospital where you will learn the regular medical procedures that are carried out by observing the professionals that work there. The staff at both hospitals will be more than willing to answer any questions that you may have.

Medicine Internships in Bolivia with Projects Abroad

Medicine volunteer works with staff to help a child in Bolivia

Interns on all Medicine & Healthcare internships in Bolivia should be at least 18 years old and will need intermediate Spanish in order to communicate directly with the majority of doctors and patients. Many interns who lack confidence in their Spanish normally take a Language course or join a Teaching or Care Project before beginning their Medicine & Healthcare internship. This gives you the opportunity to improve your language skills before starting the medical part of your project.

Projects Abroad organizes regular workshops for our medical interns. The workshops provide a greater understanding of Bolivia’s medical system and focus on many of the common medical issues facing the local people. Interns also visit local communities to provide health education in a wide variety of topics. The health education work and the workshops are supervised and run by a qualified nurse.

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

While volunteering in Bolivia as a medical intern you will live with a local host family. There is a lot to do in your free time in the lively city of Cochabamba, where you will be part of the Projects Abroad volunteer community.

If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills Projects for Professionals in Bolivia. If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Bolivia.

Volunteer Profile Volunteer Chris J. shares his review from the Medicine project in Bolivia
Chris J.
I feel that I have gained a lot of experience from my placement, which will be very useful to me in the future. I have learnt several new things; at work and about Bolivian culture. In addition I also feel like I have educated a few people about my life in England. I've been really impressed with the running of the Projects Abroad placements here, I have felt safe at all times and have made many new friends, amongst the volunteers, staff and locals. Read more...
Bolivia Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan

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