Medicine Volunteering Projects Overseas
Volunteering overseas on a Medicine project is an ideal way to gain work experience whilst often helping some of the neediest people and poorest resourced medical institutions in the developing world. Whether you are looking to get in to a university course, a trained professional, or somewhere in-between, you will have a role to play in one of the many hospitals, clinics and centres that we work with. Each placement is tailored, where possible, both to a volunteer's level of experience and their interests.
Volunteering abroad on a Medicine placement
As a Medicine volunteer, you are sure to see the huge gulf between the standards of medical practice in the developed and developing worlds. Hospitals are often very poorly resourced, medical staff underpaid, and the combined lack of experience and funds to pay for routine medical treatment means the patients you see will often have advanced illnesses and conditions that you will rarely see in the developed world.
There may also be opportunities to learn skills and knowledge from more senior medical volunteers. Once learnt, you may be able to use these during your placement and contribute more towards patient care.
You will be involved in the day-to-day running of hospitals and clinics, observing or directly assisting doctors and nurses. You might find yourself, for example, watching a caesarean in the operating theatre, or working with a doctor on his rounds in a big city hospital. You can help out in simple but practical ways, vastly increasing your own knowledge and understanding of medical practices.
Medical student 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.
In Bangladesh, China and Sri Lanka, 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 placement, thereby creating an all-round medical experience. We can also arrange for you to spend some time in an Acupuncture clinic in Mongolia.
"Having undergraduate medical students working alongside me is a real help. I run the woman's clinic alone, and am often rushed off my feet - to have someone that I know can administer injections, take blood pressure, process urine samples and assist with births makes an enormous difference to both myself and the patients."
Dr H Ibrahim
If you are planning to do a Medical elective please go to our Medical Elective Placements page.