A healthcare internship abroad is an opportunity to travel to the developing world and undertake a short-term educational placement in a healthcare system completely different from what you're used to.
On your healthcare internship, you’ll see the challenges local staff face when their hospitals don’t have the funds they need. A healthcare internship abroad also gives you the chance to see staff shortages, a scarcity of even the most basic equipment, and practices that differ from what you’ve learned.
Below, you can explore healthcare internships throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Our internships abroad are suitable for both students and professionals.
When it comes to your healthcare internship abroad, you can choose to rotate through general medicine, surgery, ED, ICUs, anesthesiology, OBG, and pediatrics…
And in terms of settings, you can spend time in teaching hospitals, regional hospitals, large government hospitals, tertiary referral centers, specialist hospitals, and small rural health posts during your healthcare internship.
This kind of healthcare internship is about stepping out of your comfort zone to get new perspectives. While overseas, you’ll see different cultural attitudes affecting practice. You’ll see that being able to practice following the rules you're used to is a luxury of a wealthier healthcare system.
We cater to all interests, so you can get really specific with experience on your healthcare internship abroad.
Do a healthcare internship abroad and you’ll come home a changed person. You’ll be amazed at how resilient local midwives are in the face of a lack of hospital funding.
On your placement, you'll see just how limited prenatal care is, and why that results in more birthing complications than you’d see at home. A lack of funding impacts the quality of care too — many women give birth without pain relief. You’ll even see some of the fascinating sociocultural beliefs surrounding childbirth.
Physical therapy internships
Imagine trying to deliver effective therapies with limited equipment — a daily challenge for physios in the developing world. You'll see this firsthand during your physical therapy placement.
A healthcare internship abroad will show you just how big the differences are in the basics too. Practices like ECT and TENS are commonly used — and often a first port of call — in many of the destinations we operate in.
On a healthcare internship abroad you’ll see how severe resource shortages affect practices. You could even see patients undergoing procedures like manual intubation without analgesia.
On your paramedic science internship abroad, you'll see that primary care doesn’t exist in many low-resource healthcare systems. That means some patients use the ED as clinic, making emergency care that much harder.
As soon as you start your healthcare internship abroad, you’ll see that equipment and facilities aren’t the same as they are back home. In some destinations, X-rays are still developed on film in a darkroom.
On your healthcare internship, you'll see there's often limited privacy too, with multiple patients undergoing scans simultaneously. And in some destinations, protocols around radiation protection are far more relaxed than you’re used to at home.
On a pharmacy-focused healthcare internship abroad you'll see very different drugs compared to back home, including snake bite antivenoms. You can even travel to rural areas to see traditional herbal medicine.
In your placement hospital, you’ll see a significant ‘over-prescription’ of antibiotics compared to the standards you're used to, and different practices like breaking capsules and crushing tablets.
On your healthcare internship abroad, you’ll see resource shortages and outdated equipment as soon as you start your placement. You'll also see patients with extremely advanced decay as many can't afford treatment.
There are big differences in the basics too. In many of our destinations, there’s almost no preventative dentistry. Saving the tooth is a secondary concern as procedures are simply too expensive for most patients.
Occupational Therapy internships
Late presentations and advanced cases are common on placements in the developing world. On an occupational therapy placement like this, you might even see conditions — like leprosy — that are rare or don’t exist back home.
Don’t forget that occupational therapy is still an emerging practice in most low-resource healthcare systems. That means you’ll see unfamiliar techniques and some treatments being improvised on the spot.
What do our healthcare internships offer?
A Work the World healthcare internship gives you the chance to undertake a clinical placement in the developing world. You will spend time in a low-resource hospital and see unfamiliar practices and advanced conditions. You can even choose the departments you want to rotate through. Learn more about healthcare internships abroad.
What are the benefits of a Work the World healthcare internship?
The benefits of our healthcare internships include:
- Getting invaluable clinical experience in the field
- Making yourself more attractive to employers
- Building your personal and professional network
- Doing some proper traveling
- Sharpening your language and communication skills
- Renewing your perspective on healthcare
How long is a Work the World healthcare internship?
A healthcare internship is as long as you want it to be. Our minimum placement duration is one week, but students typically travel on their healthcare internships between 1 - 12 weeks. There is no upper limit to how long you can travel.
What is a healthcare internship?
A healthcare internship is a clinical placement that medical and healthcare students undertake as part of their degree. If you want to undertake your healthcare internship abroad, get in touch with us today.