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International Medical Internships in Peru

Overview
Project Overview
  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Cuzco
  • ROLE: To intern alongside trained local staff and learn from their knowledge and expertise
  • TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Hospitals, healthcare centers, children’s rehabilitation hospital, private health clinic
  • MAIN DEPARTMENTS: Varies depending on placement. These could include General Medicine, Gynecology, Obstetrics, and Pediatrics.
  • REQUIREMENTS: Interns must speak Spanish at an intermediate level, & must be 17 years or older
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 4 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

A Peruvian child receives treatment from a medical intern at an outreach

Interning on a Projects Abroad Medicine project in Cuzco, Peru is a fascinating experience and a chance for interns to give back to disadvantaged communities. As a Medicine intern you will gain a great deal of international work-experience alongside skilled medical professionals. The facilities are generally of a basic standard, although the huge disparity between rich and poor means that there are also a number of well-equipped private hospitals in the country.

On a Medicine internship in Peru, your role is mainly observational and you will shadow doctors and other medical staff throughout their day. By directly observing the work that doctors and nurses do, you will learn about different conditions and treatments, and can discuss the cases with them to improve your medical knowledge. 

Our Medicine program in Peru is based in the World-Heritage city of Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. We work with several hospitals in the city and interns are allocated to a particular hospital depending on their experience and preferences. 

For all Medicine internships in Peru, you need to speak at least an intermediate level of Spanish, and must be at least 17 years old.

Interns who are qualified, or are longer term pre-med students, can work at a hospital in a variety of departments, including nursing, medicine, pharmacy, or in the laboratory.

Did you know? Due to environmental issues such as the prevalence of mosquito borne illnesses, as well as inadequate sanitation, there are higher cases of communicable diseases for Peru’s urban residents, which is exacerbated there being few affordable medical care options in Peru’s cities.

Interns can also work at one of several healthcare centers. Interns who work at one of these centers usually have less experience and get to work closely with one doctor, who has more time to explain the illnesses and treatments than the staff at the bigger hospitals. The main areas here are nursing, medicine, midwifery, pharmacy, dentistry, and laboratory work. Outreach visits to local communities are also sometimes arranged.

We also have the option of working at a children’s rehabilitation hospital. This hospital is run by a priest and looks after many children with special needs. Interns here help to feed and play with the children, and are less in contact with doctors than at the other placements.

Volunteers can choose to work at one of several Private Health Clinics. Here your work is mainly observational. Interns whose level of study and Spanish skills are of a certain standard will be able to assist the doctor with wound cleaning, injections, and stitches. Interns who stay longer at this placement can rotate between nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and laboratory work.

Interning Abroad in Medicine in Peru with Projects Abroad

A Projects Abroad Medicine intern at a hospital in Peru, South America.

Our Medical Supervisor has many years of experience in the social health sector in Cuzco and provides regular group meetings with all the medical interns. This allows you the opportunity to ask questions, reflect on the work you have been doing, and learn about different topics related to the medical field in Peru.

Interns on the medical placements usually work from Monday to Friday, and have the weekends free. Daily hours vary from place to place and will be decided during your first meeting with your placement supervisor. Please remember that these medical internships should be taken seriously and the doctors with whom you work will expect you to be punctual and attentive.

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

You will stay with one of our local host families while you intern on your medicine project in Peru. Here you will have the opportunity to experience the warm hospitality of the Peruvian people. You will also be able to work on your Spanish speaking skills. On your time off you will be able to explore the delights of Cuzco and the surrounding region with our intern community.

Interns with an interest in Nutrition can also take part in our Nutrition Project in Peru.

All volunteers participating on standard projects in Peru have the opportunity to spend one week on a Conservation & Environment project at the end of their main placement. For more information, please visit our Rainforest Conservation & Environment Project in Peru page. You may also be interested in our Combinations option which allows you to combine not only projects, but also destinations.

Volunteer Profile Volunteer Jessica Hilder shares her story from the Medicine project in Peru
Jessica Hilder
My time in Peru was rewarding in so many ways and I made a lot of new friends. When I first arrived it seemed like the month in Peru would pass really slowly but it went by before I knew it. It was not without its minor crises but the experiences helped me to grow as a person and to hopefully be a better doctor someday. Read more...

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

Peru Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan

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