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
‘We can make it happen’ - words we live by when it comes to unusual medical electives. Let us know your interests and we’ll tailor your medical placement with clinical precision, right down to the smallest item. It’s important to know that these are not off the peg medical electives; they are custom-fit experiences that meet the specific wants and needs you have as an individual. Our team of Elective Experts will arrange your hospital placement, pair you with the right supervisors, handle university documentation, your visa application, and more — the service is comprehensive. Our Elective Experts are also responsible for overseeing our on-the-ground operations, meaning there’s no one better for the job.
Under the guidance of your in-country supervisors you’ll be introduced to a range of unusual cases and conditions such as dengue fever, typhoid, and malaria. Diagnosing and treating them will teach you new skills and impart you with knowledge that would otherwise be impossible to acquire. The cost of care and distance to appropriate facilities in developing countries often deters patients from seeking care until the last minute. This means you’ll see a number of advanced-stage conditions too. As far as medical electives go, travelling overseas to get experience as diverse as this is an opportunity not to be missed.
ON THE GROUND
When you’re in the country of your choice you’ll receive 24/7 support from our welcoming in-country teams and a room in one of our private, secure, and fully catered houses. To make it easy to find out everything about your elective all in one place, we’ll also give you access to MyTrip, our personalised, online elective information tool. 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
Phnom Penh is one of Southeast Asia’s most intoxicating cities, brimming with ancient ruins, fragrant street food, and monks clad in rippling saffron robes. Come sun-down the capital comes alive with colourful nightlife, and restaurants spill out onto busy streets. On a medical elective here you can develop your skills in a host of departments, encountering tropical infectious diseases like malaria, HIV, TB, and influenza. What’s more, patients will likely present conditions at stages much more advanced than you’re used to. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo, click here.
Philippines - Iloilo
Iloilo is the perfect elective destination if tropical beaches, long sunny days, and warm seas float your boat. Dive off the coast into a colourful underwater world, join cultural festivals, and check out local bars and restaurants for great nights out. For many medical students, elective placements here yield great patient interaction, giving you the chance to examine tropical diseases like malaria, and dengue fever. The high-sugar Filipino diet means frequent cases of hypertension and cardiac arrest, which highlights issues faced in the developing world. 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, but surrounded by beauty - safaris in Sealous Game Park, views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which some students choose to climb, and make the trip across to Zanzibar for 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 malaria, dengue fever and cholera. There’s also the Psychiatric Ward with a secure wing, if you want to experience mental health as part of your medical placements. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam, click here.
Philippines - Dumaguete
Dumaguete is besieged by 800 hectares of tropical forest on one side, and calm turquoise ocean on the other. Dive into a coral paradise inhabited by colourful marine life like whale sharks and island hop through the tropical archipelago in your spare time. Deploy initiative on your elective and friendly Filipino doctors will get you into popular departments like Emergency Medicine, Surgery, and even the Animal Bites Clinic. You’ll also find infectious diseases like dengue fever, tuberculosis, and malaria commonplace. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dumaguete, click here.
Peru - Arequipa
Peru is stunning. 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 villages. When it comes to medicine, electives here will see you working with rare conditions like arsenic poisoning, as well as conditions like Chagas disease, which is unique to South America. In the largest Oncology Department in Southern Peru you’ll work with radiotherapy, brachytherapy, and chemotherapy, 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 West Coast, Ghana boasts white sand beaches, coastal fishing villages, and lush jungles. The town itself is a cultural hot-spot, with bustling African markets, bars, and restaurants. On your medical placement, 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 is Nepal’s lively capital, home to mischievous monkeys, ancient Buddhist temples, a labyrinth of market streets, buzzing nightlife, and the misty Himalayas. Nearby, activities like paragliding, white water rafting, and bungee jumping await. Medical placements here will allow you opportunities in specialisms such as Psychiatry, Microbiology, Forensic Medicine, Cardiothoracics, Biochemistry – you name it. Be proactive to get involved in daily lectures, case presentations, and even community-based programmes. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu, click here.
Sri Lanka - Kandy
Kandy boasts stunning natural beauty, ancient temples, delicious cuisine, and over 5000 years of tradition. You’ll find a wealth of adventure opportunities here too, like water sports off the coast and trekking through jungles in search of rare wildlife. On your placement, you’ll learn how local specialists battle tropical diseases like malaria and dengue fever. Working on the Renal Transplant Unit, which performs 80% of all kidney transplants in the country, will highlight the hospital’s 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 nestled at the feet of the majestic Himalayan mountains. The surrounding areas offer amazing experiences like paragliding, trekking through the mountains, elephant safaris and touring ancient Buddhist temples. For many a medical student, electives here provide opportunities to work 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 local people’s lives. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara, 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, Pediatrics, Radiology, and Rehabilitative Medicine, gaining insight into how professionals utilise what limited resources they have.
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 local restaurants right on your doorstep. Medical electives in Africa give you the chance to show initiative in top hospital departments like Internal Medicine and Paediatrics, and opportunities like working with advanced stage HIV, hypertension, pneumonia and rare unfamiliar conditions like malaria will abound. Observing surgeries in theatre, should you choose to do so, 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
The ancient city of Anuradhapura with its stupas, temples, and sacred palaces never fails to impress. The new city – a lively centre with restaurants, bars, and markets – is no less exciting. Safaris, national parks, and paradise beaches are all nearby. 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.
"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
"Exposure to this has helped me to develop both clinically and emotionally".
Katie Yates: A Photo Review, University of Sheffield 2016Read more
"We rode piki-piki’s and watched a famous Maasai tradition - the goat sacrifice".
Saskia Van Ool - Maasai VHE , Maastricht University 2016Read more
"Nepal has stolen a piece of my heart".
Progga Saha, Bond University 2016Read more
From our blog
The first in our brand new series, we catch up with past Work the World travellers to see where they are now, and what part their overseas elective played. First up is Hugh, a GP Registrar in Orange, NSW, Australia.Read more
We weigh up the increasing trend of taking medical electives abroad...Read more