Medicine Volunteering in Africa

January 10, 2012

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

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Gap Medics offer medicine volunteer placements in Tanzania, East Africa for those students looking at getting into a career in healthcare. You will be volunteering your time to gain work experience in Iringa Regional Hospital in Tanzania together with other students looking to gain some experience of healthcare in the developing world.
Tanzania is our most popular destination for pre-meds looking to gain some work experience and it’s a placement that we feel very passionately about and are very proud of! Iringa Regional Hospital and all the Doctors within it are always welcoming and thrilled to be passing on their knowledge to the next generation of healthcare professionals in this country.
Volunteering your time in the Hospital also has the benefit to the Hospital itself as Gap Medics pay the Hospital direct and pay each Doctor, nurse, midwife or dentist that looks after our students. Iringa Hospital used to have a problem as quite often the most skilled Doctors would be enticed to leave for the better wage opportunities afforded in larger Tanzanian cities such as Dar Es Salaam. Its our Hope that in time as more Gap Medics students go through the programme, as the doctors are earning more money as a result of looking after our students it will stem the flow a little and we can keep the skilled doctors in the region.
Iringa regional hospital is a fantastic place to gain experience, it’s a large Hospital that serves a widespread community and has many departments in which our students work and learn. Shadowing doctors, our students learn about the various medical techniques employed within the Hospital, some of which will be akin to what you will experience back home after you have completed your university degree and others that will give you a unique comparison to draw with the medical techniques employed back home.
The hospital day starts for our students around 08.30 when they make the 7-minute journey by foot from our house to the Hospital. Each student is allocated a student mentor who is responsible for facilitating our students’ medical knowledge and guiding them through their placement. The doctors at the end of the working day talk to our students’ seminar fashion about subjects such as: life in the hospital, the challenges they face and prevalent diseases within the country.
Volunteering in Africa can seem quite a daunting prospect. With the Gap Medics staff team on hand consisting of a programme manager, student mentors, cater, housekeeper and 24-hour security, we take every precaution possible to ensure your time volunteering in Africa is as safe and productive as possible.