Why go overseas?
Medical electives in the developing world can help you become more creative working in low-resource hospitals, connect you with peers from around the world, strengthen your confidence, help you become a more effective communicator, and help you stand out with ‘overseas medical elective’ on your CV.
- Our famous elective tailoring service
- Supervised clinical experience
- Extensive pre-departure preparation
- Support from in-country teams, 24/7
- Private, spacious, catered housing
- Free local language lessons
YOUR ELECTIVE, CUSTOM-MADE
Let us know your interests and we’ll tailor your medical placement — right down to the smallest detail — with clinical precision. These are not off the peg medical electives, they are custom-fit experiences that meet your individual needs.
Our elective experts will arrange your hospital placement, pair you with the right supervisors, handle university documentation, your visa application, and more. The very same experts are responsible for overseeing our on-the-ground operations, meaning there’s no one better suited to tailoring your experience.
Working closely with your in-country supervisors you'll diagnose and treat a range of unfamiliar cases and conditions like dengue fever, typhoid, and malaria. This will teach you new skills and impart you with knowledge that would be a challenge to acquire elsewhere.
The cost of, and distance to, care in developing countries can deter patients from seeking care until the last minute, which means you’ll see advanced-stage conditions too. As far as medical electives go, an opportunity like this is quite literally once-in-a-lifetime.
ON THE GROUND
From the moment you arrive, you’ll have 24/7 support from our friendly and experienced in-country teams based in our private, secure, catered accommodation. To make it easy to find out everything about your elective all in one place, we’ll also give you access to an online elective planner, personalised for your experience.
Our sole focus is the creation of exceptional overseas clinical experiences. So when it comes to your medical elective abroad we’re proud to offer the best medical placements abroad available anywhere.
Medical elective destinations
Cambodia - Phnom Penh
With ancient ruins, fragrant street food, and monks clad in rippling saffron robes, Phnom Penh is one of Southeast Asia’s most intoxicating cities. The capital's character changes dramatically with colourful nightlife, and restaurants spilling out onto busy streets come sundown.
On a Medical Elective here you can develop your skills in a host of departments, encountering tropical infectious diseases like malaria, HIV, and TB. Patients may also present conditions at stages much further advanced than you’re used to. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Phnom Penh, click here.
The Philippines - Batangas
Batangas City is the perfect jumping-off point to discover tropical beaches, hike through the lush rainforests, and dive with some of The Philippines’ most diverse marine life. The city itself is small, friendly and a land of contrasts. You’ll find music festivals and street parties come to life during summer months and crumbling, yet beautiful architecture.
On a Medical Elective here, you’ll encounter cases of everything from dengue fever to malaria. You’ll also have the chance to hone your skills in departments like Anesthesiology, Paediatrics, Radiology, and Rehabilitative Medicine, gaining insight into how professionals utilise what limited resources they have. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Batangas, click here.
Philippines - Iloilo
If tropical beaches, long sunny days, and clear seas float your boat, Iloilo might be the perfect destination for you. From the coast, dive into a colourful underwater world, join cultural festivals, and check out local bars and restaurants for great nights out.
For Medical students, elective placements here yield fantastic patient interaction, presenting the chance to examine unfamiliar tropical diseases like malaria, and dengue fever. The high-sugar Filipino diet will also mean frequent cases of hypertension and cardiac arrest. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo, click here.
Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is a large city surrounded by beauty — safaris in Sealous Game Park, views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which some students choose to travel to ans summit, and trips across to Zanzibar where you'll find some of the best beaches in the world.
On your Medical Elective in Africa you’ll thrive in busy departments like Emergency Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and work on patients burdened with unfamiliar tropical diseases like malaria, dengue fever and cholera. There’s also the Psychiatric Ward with a secure wing, if you want to experience mental health care as part of your medical placements. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam, click here.
Peru - Arequipa
Peru is one of the most unique destinations in our line-up. Here, you can hike up a mountain to explore the remains of Machu Picchu – an ancient Incan city, trek through the Amazon jungle, join in on colourful festivals, and boat across ancient lakes to visit floating island villages.
When it comes to Medicine, electives here will see you working with unfamiliar conditions like arsenic poisoning, as well as Chagas disease, which is unique to South America. In the largest Oncology Department in Southern Peru you could also work with Radiotherapy, Brachytherapy, and Chemotherapy techniques, treating cancers uncommon in the developed world. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa, click here.
Ghana - Takoradi
Found on Africa’s beautiful West Coast, Ghana boasts white sand beaches, coastal fishing villages, and lush jungles. The town of Takoradi is alive with bustling African markets, bars, and restaurants.
On a Medical Placement here, supervisors keen to share their expertise will grant you access to a range of key departments. These include A&E, Female Surgical, General Medicine and NICU. A spell in the hospital’s HIV clinic will open your eyes to the realities of providing care with severely limited drugs and medical technologies. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi, click here.
Nepal - Kathmandu
Kathmandu — a labyrinth of market-lined streets — is the lively capital city of Nepal. The city is home to ancient Buddhist temples, buzzing nightlife, mischievous monkeys and delicious local cuisine. Activities like paragliding, white water rafting, and bungee jumping await in the Himalayan foothills nearby.
Medical Placements here will allow you opportunities in specialisms such as Psychiatry, Microbiology, Forensic Medicine, Cardiothoracics, Biochemistry – you name it. Proactivity will allow you to attend daily lectures, get involved in case presentations, and even in community-based programmes. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu, click here.
Sri Lanka - Kandy
The city of Kandy boasts ancient temples, delicious cuisine, stunning natural beauty, and over 5000 years of cultural history and evolution. You’ll find a wealth of adventure opportunities here too, like beach water sports and trekking through jungles in search of endangered wildlife.
On your placement, you’ll learn how specialists battle tropical diseases like malaria and dengue fever. Our placements areincredibly flexible, but choosing to working on the Renal Transplant Unit, which performs 80% of all kidney transplants in the country, will highlight the challenges faced by local professionals when dealing with a lack of resources. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy, click here.
Nepal - Pokhara
Pokhara is set in a lush, green valley at the feet of the Himalayan mountains. The area offers amazing experiences like paragliding, trekking through the mountains, elephant safaris, and tours of ancient Buddhist temples.
For many a Medical student, electives here provide opportunities like working with unfamiliar conditions like leprosy, worm infestations, even snake bites. Working in the valley’s only NICU will provide clear picture of the impact a lack of resources can have on both the local people and healthcare providers. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara, click here.
Tanzania - Arusha
Arusha is one of the liveliest cities in Africa, and an open door to adventure with mountain climbing, big game safaris, dormant volcanoes, craft markets, and traditional restaurants right on your doorstep.
Medical Electives in Africa give you the chance to gain experience in lively hospital departments like Internal Medicine and Paediatrics. You could also seize opportunities like working with cases of advanced HIV, hypertension, pneumonia and other unfamiliar conditions like malaria. Observing surgeries in theatre, should you choose to, will be a highlight of your Medical Elective. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arusha, click here.
Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
Exploring the ancient side of Anuradhapura, with its stupas, temples, and sacred palaces, paints a vivid picture of Sri Lanka's fascinating history. Exploring the new side of the city — a laid-back hub of Sri Lankan culture with traditional restaurants, bars, and markets — will help you to understand the allure of the local lifestyle. If you're here for adventure, you can explore national parks, go on elephant safaris, relax on paradise beaches, and take a hot-air balloon ride over the country's vast tea plantations.
Medical Placements here will see you placed in a teaching hospital which actively promotes patient interaction, working in departments from ICU to Neurosurgery. Encountering advanced stage cancers and cardiovascular diseases will highlight the limitations local professionals face. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura, click here.
"Culturally, the Village Healthcare Week was a really great experience."
TOM NOTEMAN, QUEENS UNIVERSITY BELFAST 2017Read more
"The experience gave me more passion to do the best I could for the patients I came across."
EVA DE GEUS, Universiteit Leiden 2017Read more
"Life at the Work the World house was incredible"
Navin Leanage, University Of Leicester 2017Read more
"The time I spent in Tanzania was genuinely the most amazing experience in my life."
Sarah van der Valk, Maastricht University 2016Read more
"I highly recommend a Work the World placement for anyone looking to broaden their scope and understanding of healthcare".
Tamalee Henson, University of Western Australia 2016Read more
From our blog
What is a Medical Elective?
A Medical Elective is a placement medical students undertake as part of their degree—broadly speaking, it’s up to you where you choose to go and what the theme of your medical placement will be, which is why they’re called ‘electives’.