March 2021 – Our Hospital Doctor Shadowing Program in the Dominican Republic will now open to students from May 9th, 2021, with a full range of COVID safety measures in place – and our total flexibility guarantee still applies.
For a detailed update on how we’ve made this program COVID-safe, please close this popup and click the link to watch our full video update on YouTube.
Although significant progress is now being made in the vaccine rollout, we have taken the decision to operate our Hospital Doctor Shadowing Program with full COVID-19 safety measures for the entire 2021 season as a precaution for everyone’s safety.
We understand that some students may still have their travel plans disrupted by restrictions in their home areas, so we are continuing to offer our total flexibility guarantee. This means that if you are prevented from taking up your place on the program for any reason related to COVID-19, our Student Support Team will transfer you to a future program session of your choice at no extra charge. Once you have passed your admission interview, your place on the program will remain guaranteed and you can make unlimited free changes to your program dates.
Finally, it is important that we recognise the coronavirus situation continues to change unpredictably. We are keeping this page as up to date as possible, but we are also continually reviewing the situation and will make further changes if we need to do so in the interests of our students’ safety and wellbeing.
Our own teams run every aspect of our programs, giving us the control to keep you safe
We have strong long-term partnerships with the hospitals and communities that host our student experiences. We operate our own private guest houses, and as a student you will be supported by our on-the-ground team 24 hours a day from the moment you arrive.
Controlling every part of the program in this way allows us to continually risk-assess all elements to ensure the highest safety standards are maintained.
Coronavirus took us all by surprise. Even now, the public health and protection standards are changing. While we can’t predict what the future will hold, we can and do commit to abiding by the policies laid out by public health experts. As the situation evolves, so do we.
Your double protective fields
For the two weeks you are with us, the program itself forms your “big bubble”, substantially isolating all participants and staff from the wider community. Inside this, you will be living and shadowing in a “small bubble” of about four students.
Your large protective field includes our staff, your fellow students, and your mentor at the hospital. This greatly reduces the number of interactions and potential infection points you will encounter. If you were to shadow a doctor at your local hospital, you would be returning home to family, friends, and potentially vulnerable loved ones.
At the house, you will stay with a small group of students sharing a large bedroom and bathroom – your small bubble. You will also share the same mentor and travel to and from the hospital together to avoid too much contact with other groups.
Mealtimes will be conducted similarly to how restaurants are functioning now. You will sit with your own group, still able to greet and chat with other students, while maintaining the proper social distance.
This is a unique opportunity to be on the frontlines and continue your health education without putting your community at risk.
Should any student present with a positive COVID-19 test, our small bubble approach will mitigate the potential for more infections in the larger group. We can then further isolate that bubble and focus on testing and treating as required.
Keeping you safe in the clinical environment
While in the hospital, you will be continually supervised by your mentor – a medical doctor who is paid directly by the program to keep you safe. You will not be moving about the hospital unaccompanied or without the guidance of your doctor.
We provide all necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) of an international standard for both you and your mentoring doctor throughout your hospital experience.
Access to and within the hospital will be controlled at all times. The reduced movements are important to inhibit the risk of infection, but also mean that you will gain more in-depth insights into individual cases.
You will still get the opportunity to observe clinical procedures, such as surgical operations. They will just be seen from an observation room or screened area. There will be a degree of separation while keeping you on the frontlines and getting a firsthand, one of a kind experience. Because of this separation, your mentor will be by your side explaining what is happening. You will not be handed over to the surgeon or to other doctors, however, at the end of the procedure you will have time to ask the surgeon questions in a socially distanced way.
We know shadowing doctors in the hospital is the most important part of your educational experience.
Keeping you safe at our guest house
Since we operate our own student houses, we can keep them protected.
Even before COVID, access to our houses has always been exclusively for Global Pre-Meds students and staff only.
Our housekeeping staff has been retrained to implement a cleaning and sterilizing regiment that abides by COVID-19 standards. Additionally, our food service team has also updated their catering process to prevent unnecessary contact.
The layouts, cleaning regime, and access are all up to us, and we’ve made adjustments to strengthen and adjust those conditions from an infection standpoint and keep the home COVID-resilient. The house will be your sanctuary.
We are not reinventing the wheel with our policies. Just like many other travel, hospitality, and health care institutions, we are following the guidelines set by international health care organizations so we can continue giving you the best experience.
Symptom monitoring and regular, mandatory covid tests
This process can definitely change quickly, depending on what the medical and scientific advice is at the time. However, COVID testing will be a mandatory aspect of our programming.
It is likely that we will require proof of a negative test prior to your departure from your home country. Once you arrive in the country for your Global Pre-Meds program, you will likely receive another test to prove you are negative for coronavirus. Additionally, you may be tested at regular intervals for the duration of the program.
Temperature checks will be conducted frequently, including when entering the house and your placement hospital.
We have partnerships with local private healthcare facilities that are well equipped to provide international standards of care and treatment for COVID-19. Should any student test positive on the program, they will be transferred to the facility and continue to be supported by our own staff as well as local doctors.
It’s important that you have travel insurance that covers proper medical treatment. It is important that you research and choose an insurance policy that provides appropriate cover for yourself, including COVID-19 care, taking into account any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. We offer the option for you to purchase travel insurance through us from our partner provider, which we have ensured provides appropriate cover for normally fit and healthy students participating in our programs.
Although COVID-19 has drastically affected the lives of so many, it is imperative that we keep educating and supporting the future health care workers of the world. Global Pre-Meds is committed to providing the same programs, with enhanced safety measures, so that you can experience international healthcare and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic firsthand.