Summer medical program in Africa

March 26, 2021

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

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A summer medical program in Africa could be what you need to take your resume to another level. As a premed or prehealth student, getting unique shadowing and clinical experiences can help set you apart from other applicants. 

Given the impact of the recent pandemic, we understand more than ever how important it is for medical professionals to have experience in international healthcare.

The African continent is an amazing location for students who want to gain a new perspective and understand global health. We created our global health experience program in Tanzania to help give students real world experiences in international healthcare and in this article, we explain how a medical program like ours can help you on your career journey. 

What should a premed student do over the summer? 

Summer break as a premed student is your chance to spend some time doing extracurriculars that can make you stand out from the crowd of other medical students. Whether you’re studying, shadowing, or volunteering, it’s important you make the most out of your summer break. 

As an aspiring doctor, nurse, midwife, or physician assistant, it’s imperative that you get clinical and shadowing experience. Whether you are applying to schools or have already begun your journey, you will need to find relevant learning experiences. 

Many schools recommend a minimum of 40 hours of shadowing at a hospital or clinic, but it’s actually normal for students to have up to 100 hours of clinical shadowing. It’s a good idea to spend some of your break – without the distractions of school – shadowing a doctor or healthcare professional.

Our Global Pre-Meds program in Tanzania has you shadowing healthcare professionals for a week. You will be guided by mentors as you observe at a local healthcare facility, so that you can ask any questions you may have. 

Volunteering is another way students can get relevant experience, and it’s a helpful to have volunteer hours in addition to your shadowing and clinical experience. On our program you will have the opportunity to volunteer with a local organization to help you connect with and give back to the community. 

Your participation in our Global Pre-Meds programs also provides a direct economic benefit to the doctors, hospitals, and tribal communities that create the learning experience for you. Your program fee helps increase access to healthcare for these communities. 

We know that hardworking premed and prehealth students want to enjoy some of their break, too. That’s why we own and operate our own guesthouses, so that we can take care of all of your needs in the beautiful sanctuary that we create for you to enjoy.

Our in-house chef prepares delicious, daily meals for you, our housekeepers keep the environment clean, and we provide your daily transportation. We strive to provide the hospitality and vacation feel of a holiday, so that you can focus on the learning experience during your day. Our Global Pre-Meds programs are social experiences as much as they are learning opportunities.

A summer medical program in Africa can help you gain global health experiences for your career, while you explore a new country and culture.

Getting global health experience

Global health perspective is hard to find on applications from students who are so early in their careers. By getting this experience, you can help admission officers take notice.

If you understand global health it means that as a future doctor you’ll know there are many factors that impact the health of an individual. A global perspective means recognizing that there are patterns and environmental issues that you need to be aware of, which can help you treat communities instead of just the individual.

On our global health experience program, you will spend half of your time observing professionals at a primary care facility. These centers are smaller than general hospitals, and often the first points of care for many Tanzanians. They provide preventative care such as vaccinations and maternal/child health check-ups. But they also handle births, cardiac cases, and range of illnesses

While they refer riskier cases to the larger hospital when they can, this center is the heart of community care in the area. The medical professionals who work there are often handling these cases with limited resources, which creates entirely different challenges from what you would see in your home country. 

In addition to shadowing doctors, you will spend a day with the Maasai and Hehe tribes to learn from their traditional healers. This is a crucial aspect of our global health program because it exposes you to different cultures and healthcare delivery systems within the country. 

While you may not use herbs to treat patients in your own practice, learning from these healers helps you understand what kinds of cases they see in their communities and how culture and tradition impact medicine. 

Dr. Isaac Mlay, pediatrician and global health expert, will host a seminar to explain the Tanzanian healthcare system and the public health issues that affect the population. He will help you understand the context of the medical cases you see.

Included in your program fee is a weekend long safari to Ruaha National Park. You will stay at a beautiful safari lodge on the edge of the park, and during the day venture out to see the world’s most magnificent wildlife – elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, and so much more.

Our summer medical program in Africa helps you get the most out of two weeks in Tanzania. You will be working towards your academic and career goals, learning a new culture, and relaxing at our guesthouse in your off time. 

We hope you join us for the adventure of a lifetime! You can learn more about our global health experience program here