January 18, 2021
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
No two days are quite the same on our Doctor Shadowing program in the Dominican Republic, any more than they are for health professionals – so come with an open mind.
Your program begins on a Sunday, and if you’re flying into Punta Cana Airport that day we’ll be there to meet you off your flight and bring you to the house. You’ll have the rest of Sunday to settle in and start getting to know your fellow students, and in the evening you’ll receive your welcome briefing from our Regional Director.
Your final day is the Saturday two weeks later, which is always a real mix of emotions! It’s amazing how close our student groups become in just a short time, living together and sharing so many experiences; but there’s also the excitement of getting home to friends and family with a new perspective… and the inevitable plans for a reunion!
Below we set out what a day on placement looks like, and options for your free time.
Your day starts with breakfast at the house around 7am. Our Chef serves up a cooked option, such as pancakes or bacon and eggs, alongside a self-service selection of cereals, fresh fruit, toast, tea, coffee and juice.
At about 7:30, the minibus arrives to take you into hospital. On the first Monday, you’ll be accompanied by one of our Student Coordinators to familiarise you with the hospital, show you the changing rooms and personally introduce you to your mentor. Once you know the routine, you’ll be straight into your scrubs each morning and find your mentor at the designated meeting place.
Expect to be on your feet in the hospital for 4-5 hours (so don’t forget your water bottle). There’s more information on what to expect in the hospital on our Shadowing a Doctor page, but it’s important to remember this is a real life experience in a working hospital and the schedule is dictated by the patient cases that present each day.
Your mentor is your go-to person whenever you’re in the hospital, so if you have questions or are ever unsure about something, just ask. If for any reason you’re unable to find your mentor, you can always call or text your Student Coordinator for help – we’re never far away.
For lunch you can stop by one of the various shops or cafes around the town (we’ll show you on your first day), or head straight back to the house.
Most afternoons are your free time, and the swimming pool, tropical garden and games area at the house offer a perfect contrast to the busy hospital. If you want to read or study, the living and dining rooms are usually quiet during the afternoons.
The beach is a short taxi ride away for you to dip your toes into the Caribbean sea, or if you’re feeling more active there’s horseback riding and ATV cross-country adventures not far away. Once a week everyone usually gets together for a sunset cruise on a sailing catamaran, definitely a highlight of Caribbean life!
Dinner is prepared fresh at the house five nights a week, and usually served around 7pm (though we’re happy to fit around your free time plans – just talk to the Chef). Sunday is traditional Caribbean food night, and at least once a week we do a poolside barbecue.
Most evenings there are things going on at the house, including the weekly Global Health Tutorial, a chance to try your hand at salsa, merengue or bachata, and lots of games (that have been known to get a little competitive…). On Friday and Saturday night, most students go out for dinner at one of the many relaxed outdoor restaurants nearby (on our High School Program this is organized and supervised by staff).
Saturday and Sunday are your free time. You are more than welcome to stay at the house and enjoy all our facilities, or (if you are on our over 18s University Program) you are free to travel away and explore the island with fellow students.
A popular one-day trip is taking a boat to Saona Island, with its palm-lined sandy beaches and laid-back Caribbean vibe. Most operators of this trip include lunch, drinks on the boat, a stop-off at an idyllic swimming lagoon on the way back, and can pick up and drop off from the Global Pre-Meds house.
For a full weekend away, the small beachside town of Cabarete in the north of the island is hard to beat. It’s a world-famous kite-surfing destination, with great food, fun nightlife and accommodation options ranging from budget backpacker to boutique hotels.
On our High School Program, 24-hour supervision continues through the weekend, with a mix of organised activities and down time enjoying the house and pool.