Premed experience abroad

April 12, 2021

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

Click here for 2021 shadowing opportunities

Finding premed experience abroad can be exactly what you need to stand out from the crowd of other medical school applicants.

In 2019, over 50,000 students applied to medical schools and over half of those applicants were rejected from every school they applied to. And these are students who had an average science GPA of 3.48, and an average MCAT score of 506.1.

In other words, it’s not just about your GPA and test scores anymore. You need extracurriculars that will show admissions officers you are an exceptional candidate.

At Global Pre-Meds, we provide opportunities for hospital doctor shadowing and global health experience in international locations. We accept the most determined students who are on the path to becoming doctors, nurses, midwives, and physician assistants, and want to get unique real-world experiences.

In this article, we will explain how you can get premed experience abroad that will enhance your resume.

Shadow a doctor

Shadowing a doctor at an international hospital can be a great way for you to get premed experience abroad. It is imperative that students applying to medical school shadow doctors and other healthcare professionals before they submit their applications.

Job shadowing is what helps students decide if a profession is right for them, and it’s something that admissions officers expect to see on your resume.

Of the students who apply and get accepted into medical school, another 8 percent of those students will never practice medicine. Students drop out of medical school for different reasons, but one prominent reason is that they decide medicine is not actually their calling.

Shadowing a doctor is one way to get the experience you need to help make decisions about your career. Most schools emphasize that variety is key when it comes to doctor shadowing hours. While you want to make sure you shadow physicians in your home country, international experience can show you medical cases that you would never see at home.

At Global Pre-Meds, we have two different programs that can help set premed students apart. Our hospital doctor shadowing program in Dominican Republic gives you a minimum of 40 hours on the hospital frontlines. Our global health experience program in Tanzania takes you to the frontlines of a primary care center and the rural communities of two different tribes to learn from their traditional healers.

Both programs are fully curated so that you can immerse yourself in a safe and ethical learning experience. We select medical doctors to serve as your mentors for the duration of your programs. They help keep you safe and answer any questions that you have.

If you do decide to get international doctor shadowing hours, make sure that the program and facilities have health and safety, as well as ethical policies in place. Some medical programs abroad put students in unsafe situations. At Global Pre-Meds, we can ensure our student’s safety because our program is strictly observational. You are on the frontlines of a real working hospital, but there is no physical contact between you and patients, and your mentor is always at your side.

Shadowing a doctor to get premed experience abroad helps you complete your prerequisites, but it also ensures that you see medical cases that are unique to what other premeds are learning about at home. These are the types of extracurriculars that give you exciting topics for your interviews and personal statements.

Volunteer overseas

Volunteering overseas can also help you get premed experience abroad. Just like doctor shadowing programs, it’s important to find a volunteer organization with a good reputation before you commit.

Finding a good medical volunteer program abroad can help you gain relevant clinical experience, and it looks great on your med school application. In fact, most medical schools are looking to see that applicants have at least 35 to 40 hours of volunteering on their resumes, however, most students have an average of 100 hours of volunteer experience.

While you can volunteer at your local hospital, clinic, or something that’s not medically related, finding ways to get international experience is also a great way to build up your application.

Some students go on medical mission trips, or find programs through their schools. These are both good options as long as you know they are safe.

You can also find non-medical volunteer programs abroad. At Global Pre-Meds, we offer our students the chance to volunteer with local organizations each week during their program. This helps you connect with the culture and community you’re in, and contributes to your application hours.

Study abroad as a premed student

Study abroad programs can also help students get international medical experience.

The best way to find a study abroad program is to go through your school. While there are other organizations that have curated programs, if your school already has an existing premed program at a partner university, you know that your credits will transfer and the schools can work together.

You can find companies that plan and host students to study abroad, as well. These can include your room and board and other excursions to help you get to know the country. However, you’ll want to verify that the credits will transfer with your academic advisor before you commit to any program.

Studying abroad can be a wonderful educational experience. It’s important to remember, however, that if you do plan on practicing in your home country, some of the classes may not apply to you. Just keep that in mind when looking through your course options and selecting a program.

We offer our Global Pre-Meds programs during school breaks so that you don’t have to worry about your coursework at the same time. Our guesthouses are beautiful and designed to give you that real vacation feel, so that you can enjoy time with peers from around the world when you are not at your placement.

All you have to do is apply and you know you will be gaining amazing premed experience abroad. If you’re interested in our programs, head over to our dates, fees, and application page to learn more.