Why resource-poor countries are commonly chosen as host countries for medical programs

December 11, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Gap Medics student Angela and her mentor in the pediatric department of Tosamaganga Hospital Here at Gap Medics, we host many of our medical programs in Tanzania and Thailand. But what is it that makes medical programs in resource-poor countries so beneficial for pre-healthcare students? Take a look at some of the benefits you get when you do a medical placement in such settings.


You learn new techniques

The major advantage of joining a medical program in a developing country is that you get to learn a number of new medical techniques that you would never get to see back home. Unlike their First World counterparts, developing countries do not have access to the advanced technology, the latest machinery or skilled staff. Instead, they still use basic tools and techniques to diagnose and treat even the most complex ailments. It may sound basic but learning this kind of medicine can help expand your knowledge base tremendously, which could give you the edge if you decide to join a global healthcare organisation such as WHO, UNICEF, SMILE, the Red Cross and several others.


You get to learn about new diseases

People in developing countries often suffer from tropical diseases and other ailments that are not commonly seen in developed countries. Back home, you would never be exposed to several of the diseases and infections such as malaria, typhoid and dengue fever, which you will come across in these countries. Learning first hand about these diseases and how they are treated using mostly local treatments could also give you the edge when it comes to working with some of the leading healthcare organisations that focus on these countries.


You get exposed to different healthcare systems

It may sound incredulous to someone from Australia, but a lot of people living in developing countries do not have access to even basic healthcare insurance. This means they have to use their savings for any treatment that they seek and depending on the treatment required, this can get wiped out far too quickly. Exposure to these situations can act as a starting point for someone interested in pursuing a career as a healthcare policymaker.


You get to interact with different people

During a medical program abroad, you will have the advantage of interacting not just with people from the host country, but also with healthcare professionals from around the world. Several experienced medical professionals as well as new graduates opt to spend a few weeks or more volunteering or doing internships in developing countries as a way of giving back. There is a lot to learn from these professionals. Getting insights on medical procedures and practices that are radically different from what you see back home can help broaden your horizons and give you a different perspective on medicine.

Last but not least, all of our locations offer you a wealth of opportunities to travel and explore new destinations and have new adventures while picking up invaluable hospital exposure along the way!