Future doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives or psychologists, listen up. Developing countries around the world need your help supporting their healthcare system. Students of medicine who want to help those less fortunate, why not volunteer and intern abroad? Prepare for a life-changing international experience that medical school will never provide. Work abroad and gain practical international experience in your field. Join one of the medical internship programs overseas and give people in Africa, Asia, and South America the healthcare they deserve. The experience will leave you wide-eyed and moved as you transform people’s health and therefore their lives.
Why become a Medical Volunteer Abroad?
Those of us living in developed countries tend to take our healthcare system for granted. In undeveloped regions, however, many people can’t afford healthcare or simply don’t have access to it. Low-income countries have about 10 times fewer physicians than higher-income countries do. In Nigeria and Malawi, there are around 4 physicians for 100.000 people while the ratio in countries like Norway and Switzerland is 40 to 10.000.
People in developing regions often don’t receive basic vaccinations, don’t have access to medicine and have developed illnesses caused by poor living standards. Without help from external healthcare projects, they die or remain in poor health for the rest of their lives.
Medical students can make a big difference by volunteering or doing internships for medical programs abroad. There are countless opportunities to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry in low income countries.
Treating those less fortunate
International medical volunteer projects have identified the need for medical support in less fortunate regions. These projects collaborate with hospitals and clinics and rely on the help of medical students to treat those who don’t have access to proper healthcare. These projects target areas like Africa, Asia, and South America where local communities need all the support they can get. Work alongside other students of medicine and save lives.
International (work) experience
If you are studying medicine and are eager to gain international medical experience, volunteering for a medical training program abroad is an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons. Medical training internships will give you more insight into the healthcare practices in developing countries. As a medical volunteer abroad, you’ll have the opportunity to work with an international team, learn more about the culture and know what it’s like to work in less than ideal conditions. If your university approves, you can even count this international work experience as an internship and build study credits.
Volunteer for a medical training project and take this chance to help the local community and give them the healthcare they deserve. Countries like Africa, Asia, and South America are struggling to provide sufficient healthcare and need your support. Volunteer or do an internship for one of the programs and save lives.
Students will learn things during medical internships abroad that can’t be taught at school.
What will I do as a Medical Volunteer Abroad?
With over 100 different programs, it may feel overwhelming choosing the right medical training program for you.
Each program varies significantly in terms of work and responsibilities. Some internship programs only allow students practicing medicine to apply. Good news for medical students: Volunteering can count as an internship. Medical training projects abroad are available for:
Depending on your specialty and career focus, you can apply for a program that matches those skills. Depending on your experience, you will treat patients and perform surgeries. Volunteers or interns who can’t rely on medical experience will learn a lot from observing and assisting doctors on site. Here are some of the tasks you will help with during your medical training program:
A medical internship abroad is the perfect opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in school to real life. Your skills will be put to the test during the program because the projects need all the help they can get!
Characteristics that are great to have for Medical Internship Projects Abroad
In case you’re not sure whether you have what it takes to be a medical volunteer or intern abroad, we have listed some characteristics that are great to have for a medical training program:
It’s not necessary to tick all the boxes but it may help you decide whether an internship in healthcare abroad is suitable for you.
There will be many opportunities to learn during your internship for a medical training project but also bear in mind that it will not always be easy. As a volunteer physician, intern or assistant, you will witness difficult situations and sensitive scenes which you may be unprepared for. Medicine is a challenging field and even more so when practices abroad.
What language skills are required?
English is the main language for all projects. It’s important that volunteers have a good understanding of English to be able to work and communicate with the staff at the project center and other volunteers. For projects in South America, it’s best if you have a basic knowledge of Spanish because a large part of the population doesn’t speak any English.
Best Places to Volunteer or do Medical Internships Abroad
Developing countries need your help the most because it’s where adequate healthcare is most lacking. If you decide to volunteer or do an internship for medical training, you’re in for a ride. Not only will you travel to remote places, you’ll also be immersed in a completely new culture and work environment. Let’s take a look at which parts of the world medical training programs or internships will lead you to.
Volunteers eager to brush up on their Spanish can go to Latin America to put both their language and medical skills to the test. Offer some of the most culturally diverse places in the world the medical support they need and grasp this opportunity to explore the exquisite landscapes of countries like Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico.
Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa are waiting for volunteers or interns to back up their healthcare professionals. Get off the beaten track and experience Africa in its authenticity. Do a medical internship and learn things about your profession and the world you’d never get learn from of a textbook.
Be a medical intern in hotspots like Thailand and Vietnam and provide the local community the medical support they need. Colorful India or less common destinations like Cambodia and Mongolia. will unfold its secrets to you. Uncover all the treasures of your medical internship destination.
Benefits of Medical Internships Abroad
It’s difficult to name drawbacks when discussing volunteering or internships overseas. Especially when it’s dedicated to helping people become healthier. By volunteering or doing internships for medical training programs, you’re supporting the local healthcare sector and helping them provide the care that’s so necessary. But let’s take a look at the benefits of these opportunities for you:
Valuable Learning Opportunities
As a medical volunteer or intern, you will learn from experienced doctors. Those who want to specialize can focus on a particular area. You will also learn about the culture, the country and what healthcare in the developing world is like. School is important but an internship abroad will teach you things you won’t learn in school.
Meet other people
This is your chance to meet other like-minded individuals and form meaningful connections. You will get to know locals and other volunteers who share the same interests. Joining a medical volunteer program may be the first step to a lifelong friendship.
Volunteering is a brilliant way to expand your perspective of the world. Issues that were huge problems before may become trivial after your volunteer experience. When you decide to join a medical training internship or project, it will seem like the new experiences never end.
Research shows that a sense of purpose has a massive influence on people’s happiness levels. Volunteer in healthcare and you will experience how empowering it is to help others as you guide them toward a healthier life.
This is your chance to explore the world and discover some of the most interesting places. You’ll travel AND contribute to a meaningful cause.
Doing an internship abroad combines the best of all worlds. You’ll be learning, gaining practical work experience and traveling. What are you waiting for? Get out your luggage and start packing!
How do I become a Medical Training Volunteer or Intern?
Are you ready to start learning but not quite sure where to start? Start by having a look at the different programs in Africa, Asia, and South America, and pick a few that have caught your attention.
Once you’ve done that, let’s take a look at these 3 steps that will help you select your medical internship program abroad:
Once this is sorted. Let’s take a look at the practical steps:
Insurance (Health & travel)
We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is a requirement for all volunteer and internship programs abroad. Get in touch with your project contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.
Visa, passport, and documentation
Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your life-changing adventure!