Pre-Med shadowing in Thailand

November 26, 2012

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

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Charlie Hammond, a Pre-Med student from Michigan currently studying at Williams College in Massachusetts spent summer 2012 on a Gap Medics placement in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.

“I would highly recommend Gap Medics to any students who are looking to gain experience shadowing doctors and to learn about medicine and international healthcare; especially students wanting to travel and explore exciting new cultures.

I was struck immediately by just how friendly and welcoming everyone at the Gap Medics house in Chang Mai was. Our program manager did an incredible job; not only of managing the placements with the hospitals but also by fostering an environment where students from all over the world could get to know one another and build lasting friendships. I lived with people from Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, Bulgaria, America, The Cayman Islands, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Not only was I able to learn about Thai culture, but also my fellow students various cultures as well.

In addition to the people and the great environment at the house, the standard of food and accommodation was exceptional, it was refreshing after a long day at the hospital to hop into the house pool and the Thai food was always delicious.

We were taught how to make traditional Pad Thai and spicy Green Curries, recipes that I have brought back to America and now enjoy preparing for friends on a regular basis. 

I had learned over the first three years of college that I wanted to pursue a medical career and my placement in Chiang Mai offered me a great opportunity to survey a number of different areas of medical specialization. I spent my first week in Maharaj Hospital shadowing in the orthopaedic surgery department, the second week experiencing a variety of departments and then my third week working in the family medicine department. The placements allowed me close-up shadowing experience interacting with and observing the hospital’s doctors who really enjoyed teaching us all about their work.

All the hospital staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming; students were regularly invited out for dinner with the doctors during their placement.

On the weekends I travelled with my housemates, we visited Doi Suthep during the first weekend and Pai for the second. Doi Suthep is a beautiful temple nestled in the mountains outside Chiang Mai. Pai is a small town in the north that had great activities including elephant riding, rafting and an exotic evening market. In addition to these trips we spent a lot of time exploring Chiang Mai itself, visiting the Sunday market and going on runs in the nearby national park. I would strongly urge any student to plan trips while in Chiang Mai; there are so many interesting places to go. Additionally, if you have time at the end of your placement its very easy to explore the southern Thai islands such as Koh Samui where the beaches are unbelievable.

Gap Medics has been an immeasurable asset in terms of developing my medical knowledge and the experience of working with professional physicians; it has helped me to find my preferred areas of interest within medical practice and I really enjoyed the amazing experience of spending a month living in a completely different culture!”

Charlie Hammond

Pre-Med at Williams College, Massachusetts, October 2012

If you are you are a Pre-Health student applying to medical school in the near future and want to get shadowing experience in your subject while enjoying the trip of a lifetime then the Gap Medics program is for you!

If you are a Pre-Health/Med advisor working to guide and inspire your students towards a medical career or a pre-clinical 1st year med student looking for a unique opportunity to travel and gain real work experience click the links below for more information and to reserve a place.


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