American students Pre-Med shadowing experience in Tanzania

November 26, 2012

Conner, a Pre Med student from the University of Georgia joined a placement in Iringa, Tanzania, for summer 2012. He recently got back in touch to let us know all about his Gap Medics experience.


Connor at Iringa Hospital with local women of the Hehe tribe“Hi! I’m a third year Pre-Med student at the University of Georgia where I am currently double majoring in Biology and International Affairs. 

I travelled with Gap Medics to Iringa in Tanzania in Summer 2012 on a Pre-Medicine program to shadow doctors in Iringa regional hospital.

I stayed in the Rock House with a large group of other students from all over the world and one of my favourite parts of the whole placement was getting to know all of the other students (Brits, Canadians, etc) and learning about how studying medicine works in their countries in addition to in Tanzania.


I was based in Iringa regional hospital and it was an amazing experience; I was in Internal Medicine, Surgery, OBGYN and the Outpatient clinic, each department for a week. The doctors all speak English (they study medicine in English after all) and are really enthusiastic to teach the students all about their work and about life in the hospital.

My favourite weeks were spent in the Obstetrics department and the Outpatient clinic but I learned a tremendous amount in all of the wards. Dr. Faith who is one of the mentors is utterly brilliant and will teach you how to recognize and diagnose the regions most prevalent illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis, and [unfortunately] HIV. Learning about HIV in Africa has actually sparked an academic research project of mine, which I am doing through the International Affairs department of the University of Georgia.

Observing deliveries has made me want to become an OBGYN doctor after med school, that’s one of the really great things about Gap Medics, the program will help you figure out what medical specialty is right for you.

For American students this is going to look amazing on a resume for med school; it’s the real life experience which will set you apart during the interview process. 

Is traveling around the world scary? Yes. This was my first time ever on a plane and I was traveling alone but I can honestly say, I never once felt unsafe on placement with Gap Medics!

Enjoying the spectacular views in Ruaha national park Iringa is a great city and the Gap Medics team did a fantastic job of making sure we were able to be just as independent as we chose to be. I went running around town by myself many times for exercise and the local people are genuinely welcoming, happy and friendly.

I also joined a safari trip into Ruaha national park on my first weekend in Iringa which was organized for us by Gap Medics, it was amazing to experience the Lion King for real right in front of you! 

I highly recommend the Gap Medics program to all Pre-Med students!”  



Conner Blackwell, 3rd year Pre-Med, University of Georgia, USA

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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