Is a Medical internship in Jamaica right for me?
Our medical internship is perfect for any student with an interest in medicine. Medical work experience in Jamaica will boost your CV, and your university or job application. Your experience will also be invaluable in interviews, so talk about what you learned and the challenges you faced.
Our medical placements in Jamaica give you an insight into how different departments work and the day-to-day operations of a hospital. Part of your experience will also include seeing how conditions like Chikungunya and Zika are diagnosed and treated.
You’ll also give back to the community through outreach work. You’ll help provide basic medical care where it’s needed most, and share knowledge about about preventing and managing diseases.
You can join the medicine internship in Jamaica at any time throughout the year, and stay for as little as two weeks. We encourage you to stay for a longer period to get as much as possible from the experience.
Please note that you have to be 18 years or older to join this project.
What do you do on the Medical internship in Jamaica?
You’ll work at a hospital or health centre in Jamaica. At both placements, there are plenty of opportunities for medical interns. Here are the tasks you can expect to do:
- Shadow doctors as they diagnose and treat patients at a large hospital
- Spend time in several hospital departments, including surgery, gynaecology, and paediatrics
- Provide basic medical treatment during outreaches in disadvantaged communities
- Give health talks in communities and schools and focus on topics like nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and personal hygiene
- Participate in medical seminars
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Observe doctors on their rounds
On your first day, you’ll put on your white coat and start exploring the world of medicine! You’ll shadow doctors on their rounds, watch what they do, and you can ask questions. We encourage you to make notes so you remember everything you experience and learn.
Spend time in several hospital departments
This internship gives you the opportunity to experience the work in several hospital departments. If you’re placed at the hospital, you’ll shadow doctors working in surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, accident and emergency, and more.
If you’re placed at the health centre, you’ll get to spend time in clinics specialising in family planning, wellness, psychiatry, and more.
Spending time in different departments will broaden your medical knowledge and diversify your learning experience.
Participate in outreach work
In Jamaica, we also organise outreach days. These outreaches are an opportunity to get practical experience and give back to communities where healthcare is difficult to access. You’ll take time out from your regular schedule and join other interns. You’ll work under supervision, and do tasks like measuring blood pressure levels.
Health education campaigns
Health education is an important focus of our medical internship in Jamaica. You’ll help run interactive lessons on good nutrition, the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and personal and oral hygiene. You can also talk about other topics that are relevant to local people. We recommend discussing these topics with your supervisor first.
Throughout the year, medical seminars are organised by the hospitals. These cover different medical-related topics, and serve as a wonderful opportunity to learn. Attending seminars will add to your learning experience while abroad.
Types of placement on the Medical Internship in Jamaica
Medical interns are placed at either a regional hospital or a health centre in the town of Mandeville. Your placement depends on your level of experience. If you have no previous experience, or are in your first or second year of medical studies, you work at the health centre. If you are in your third year of medical studies and upward, you will work at the regional hospital.
The two placements provide slightly different working environments. At the hospital, you can spend time in:
- General medicine
- General surgery
- Accident and emergency
The health centre specialises in:
- Family planning
- Child and maternal health
Please be aware that if you are only in Jamaica for a short time, this may limit the number of departments you can spend time in. Contact us directly for more information about this.
Where will I work on the Medical internship in Jamaica?
You’ll live and work in the university town of Mandeville.
Mandeville has a small town feel. It’s a four hour drive from the popular beach town, Montego Bay, and a similar distance from the nation’s capital, Kingston.
Your medical placement in Jamaica depends on your level of experience. If you have no previous experience or are in your first or second year of studies, you work at a health centre. Students in third year or higher are placed in a hospital, where you will rotate through more wards and departments.
The regional hospital is one of the major hospitals in the area, but does struggle with limited resources.
Both placements are within walking distance from the Projects Abroad office, and are easy to get to by taxi from your host family.
During your free time, you can discover majestic waterfalls on hikes or relax on idyllic beaches. Some memorable places to visit include Portland, Ocho Rios, Negril, YS Falls, and Treasure Beach.
Typical Day on a Medicine Internship in Jamaica
Mornings are the busiest at hospitals and health centres in Jamaica. This is when you will be most active in watching and learning from doctors and nurses.
You will arrive at your placement between 8am and 8:30am, and your work day will end at about 3pm. There is the option to work until 5:00pm, but this is up to you.
During your work hours, you can follow doctors during their ward rounds. You’ll sit in on consultations and listen as doctors diagnose patients and prescribe treatment. You’ll also shadow nurses as they administer medication and provide patient care.
Your afternoons will be less busy, which will give you time to prepare for health talks and campaigns or explore the town.
On some days, you’ll break away from your normal schedule to take part in community outreaches.
Aims and Impact of the Medical Internship in Jamaica
The main aim of this Medicine Project is to help you expand your medical knowledge and give you a deeper insight into a developing country’s healthcare practices.
Jamaica faces serious social and economical challenges. There are high levels of poverty and many communities have limited access to basic healthcare. You will see first-hand how doctors treat high numbers of patients with limited medical resources.
You’ll also be part of our efforts in Jamaica to improve healthcare in disadvantaged areas. You’ll participate in outreaches and do health checks or give educational talks. The work you do will help us promote the importance of health living and prevent disease.
In Jamaica, we’re working towards five long-term goals in our Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan:
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
- Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases
- Improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge
- Reduce the number of cases of HIV/AIDS, Chikungunya, and Zika
Join us and gain medical work experience in Jamaica, while helping us achieve these long-term goals.
Professional volunteers and medical electives for students
This project is also ideally suited to professionals interested in using their skills to help, as well as university medical and healthcare elective students.
As a professional, you can be sure we will match your training and expertise to the placement where you are needed most. With your support, we can make an even bigger impact on the local communities we work with.
If you are an elective student, we will organise an elective placement where you can learn as much as possible. We want you gain the knowledge and skills that will begin to shape your professional career.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
When you think of the tropical Caribbean, Jamaica is one of the first countries that comes to mind. With its white-sand beaches and vibrant culture, this island nation has a lot to offer. It’s an amazing location to volunteer in, and explore during your free time.
The local cuisine is definitely worth trying, with tasty dishes like Jamaican patties and jerk chicken. You can enjoy these at seaside restaurants and then head down to the sea for a cooling swim in the ocean.
With a rich culture and friendly locals, exploring markets and museums is a must-do. Visiting the famous Bob Marley Museum in Kingston makes for an enlightening weekend trip. While you’re there, you can also tour Fort Charles and the National Heroes Park.
There will be other volunteers working on different projects in Jamaica while you’re there. This means you can choose to explore independently or connect with other volunteers and travel as a group.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team in Jamaica
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