July 3, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
To obtain a license to practice as a midwife, you will have to complete a degree program, which will take you 3 years at the very minimum. You really do not want to go through it all only to find that is not the right career path for you. The best way to determine beforehand if this is really what you want to be doing is to get some work-experience in that area, and the best way to do this is with midwife shadowing.
Theoretically, midwife shadowing would be more convenient in your own home country. However, you could find very quickly that there are too many hurdles with this endeavor. No matter how altruistic your intentions, most clinics and hospitals would be very reluctant to offer you any sort of placement simply because there are just too many issues involved – from health and safety legislations to confidentiality clauses and then of course, insurance too.
Midwife shadowing in developing countries such as Tanzania provides students with a huge learning curve. This really is midwifery laid bare, with delivery rooms that do not have facilities that are considered most basic in the western world, where the only pain relief is paracetamol and the idea of sterile water and sterile sheets is non-existent.
As you shadow your supervisor all through the working week, you get to observe and learn skills in an environment that is completely different from anything you’ve ever seen. Seeing your midwife supervisor dealing with the various exigent situations will challenge your preconceived notions of midwifery and open your eyes to the reality of healthcare around the world, especially in developing countries.
Gap Medics organizes midwife shadowing in Tanzania, which is an excellent program for aspiring midwives. We cut through all of the red tape and layers of bureaucracy and also make all the travel, arrival and lodging arrangements for you so you do not have to do a thing except pack up and go. During your stay we provide you with useful midwifery work experience as you shadow skilled professionals working in busy maternity wards without access to the wealth of resources that you would otherwise expect back home.
Midwife shadowing in Tanzania also offers other advantages that cannot be discounted. Imagine the envy of family and friends when you return from your stint and tell them about your weekend trips to the breathtakingly beautiful National Parks or the Zanzibar archipelago, amongst many other things. A stay in Tanzania is a rare and wonderful opportunity to experience the spectacular natural wonders of the country, while chalking up valuable midwifery experience points to help you with your applications to university, and give you something unique and exciting to talk about at interviews. You will certainly stand out from the crowd.