A Sydney student reflects on an amazing summer in Tanzania with Gap Medics!

August 22, 2012

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

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In Summer 2012 Katie Meredith, a student from Sydney headed out to the town of Iringa in Tanzania to join the Gap Medics program.

Katie and her friends had an amazing time and wanted to share their experiences with other Australian students who are thinking about joining Gap Medics and pursuing a career in medicine.



  Katie in surgery at Iringa Regional Hospital

“Hi, im Katie from Sydney, I was out in Tanzania for 4 weeks this summer, I would recommend a Gap Medics placement to anyone who is considering a career not only in medicine but in healthcare generally.” 

“Even now when I think about my time there it doesn’t seem real; the opportunities available to us were beyond incredible and there were more than a few amazing stories to be told when I came home to Sydney!!”



“I have always thought about becoming a doctor and more recently a physio, I’m studying exercise and sports science at Sydney university and I hope to do either medicine or physio afterwards.

One of the main realisations I gained from the placement was the diversity of what I could do in medicine and new avenues of healthcare I hadn’t even considered; I did a four week placement, a week each in OPD (outpatients), obs and gynecology, paediatrics and surgery.

The doctors are excellent at teaching in their respective specialisations, I felt like I learnt more in 4 weeks from them than I do in a whole semester at university!

Over our time there, we found that the more we learnt, the more questions we asked and the more we could get involved, a big part of the experience at the hospital involves showing your enthusiasm and interest to the doctors, do and ask as much as you can!! 

Life outside the hospital really did make all the difference between a good trip and an amazing trip. I lived in the Rock House in Iringa and the friends I made there are definitely friends for life. The Gap Medics staff were our close mates too; they always made a huge effort to make sure we had the best time possible, for example, I hurt my knee quite badly in the first 2 weeks (I was going for a run near the Rock House and fell over.. top tip: wear good shoes), straight away Mdoe and Jerry (the project managers) made sure I saw the right doctors, made sure I had a lift to and from the hospital each day and they even made sure I had an xray just to be on the safe side.

They are such a laugh in the house and made us feel so welcome straight away, corny as it sounds, it’s like a huge family and leaving everyone at the end of the placement was just awful!” 

“How else has Gap Medics benefitted me???

Well, what an eye opener it was.. the experience I gained in developing world healthcare was invaluable. I think it definitely inspired a lot of us to pursue health professions involved with international and underprivileged healthcare. We learnt how to make the most of simple resources and how working in tough conditions will make you a tough doctor.

I would really love to return to Iringa hospital one day after further training to offer more much needed help! 

A few final highlights included the weekend safari (pretty much the Lion King in real life.. Unforgettable!!), playing with the kids at the local orphanage and Thursday night BBQ’s, a classic round-the-campfire evening with endless delicious food. 

If you’re thinking about a healthcare or medical career then a trip with Gap Medics is perfect for you!

I can’t express how much I value my trip to Tanzania with Gap Medics, not only academically but personally in terms of the friends I made and in helping me in my plans for the future!” 

Katie Meredith – Sydney – August 2012

If like Katie you are planning for or thinking about applying to study medicine joining us on a Gap Medics placement in Tanzania this Summer will give you an amazing program of fully supported medical work experience where you will be shadowing doctors, observing procedures and learning about real medicine from an array of respected professionals!

Spaces on our January 2013 placement for Australian students are selling out fast, if you would like to join us out in Tanzania this Summer (or at one of our other amazing destinations) then click the links below for more information and to apply now, its going to be amazing so dont miss out!