Why Go Overseas

A medical elective abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In a novel clinical setting you’ll learn how staff manage limited resources to treat advanced conditions — many of which you’re unlikely to have seen at home. Whether you’re a medical student or professional, the experience is the best way to advance your personal and professional development.

Over the last decade, we’ve tailored thousands of medical placements abroad. The partnerships we have with hospitals and clinics worldwide unlock experiences that would normally be closed to you. Structured supervision throughout your placement is another benefit of these relationships. Our in-country teams oversee our medical electives and provide 24/7 support. They also manage our private, catered accommodation, and will monitor your elective experience throughout.

How it Works

We know more about medical electives abroad than anyone else. Our expertise will help you make a well-informed decision about which of our destinations you want to travel to. We’ll then build your perfect placement based on your areas of clinical interest. Working with our expert team you can customise everything, right down to which departments you want to work in.

We put an enormous amount of work in behind the scenes for every medical placement abroad. So you can stay up to date with every step of the process you’ll get access to MyTrip — an interactive online elective planner containing personalised information about every aspect of your trip.

Team and Accommodation

A member of our experienced in-country management team will meet you at the airport, then take you back to the Work the World house. We’ll provide a comprehensive welcome briefing, and take you on a local orientation and hospital introduction trip.

 

Our spacious houses are private and secure. With medical students, professionals and others from a range of disciplines, the houses foster a lively, social atmosphere. You’ll love the amazing weekend travel opportunities with all the new friends you make. Providing 24/7 support, our management teams are always on hand. The rest of the team is made up of an in-house chef, a housekeeper and a teacher who hosts twice-weekly local language lessons.

IN THE HOSPITAL

Before the first day of your medical placement, our team will show you the best route to your hospital and introduce you to who you’ll be working with. The close relationships we’ve developed with our partner hospitals will allow you to see advanced and often unusual medical conditions, unfamiliar clinical practises and diverse cultural attitudes towards medicine. To ensure your elective consistently meets your expectations, our in-country teams review your experience in real-time. Medical electives run from Monday to Friday, leaving your evenings and weekends free to explore the destination you’ve chosen, making them the best medical placements around.

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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Merida is Mexico’s cultural capital, home to beautiful colonial architecture, green plazas and broad boulevards. The city is lively in the evenings with restaurants and bars in full swing. Further afield, you can dive in beautiful underwater caves cenotes, relax on tropical beaches, and visit awe-inspiring ancient Mayan ruins.

 

Gain experience in a modern, highly specialist institution where the majority of patients are from poorer backgrounds. Many require sophisticated treatments like open heart surgery and even neurosurgery. Access to the Hospital’s high-tech theatre simulation room is a highlight. Going on to treat tropical diseases like chikungunya, and West Nile virus in a low-resource hospital will offer a fascinating contrast.

Vietnam - Hue
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A vibrant focal point of Southeast Asian culture and backpacker favourite, with bustling markets, lively bars and delicious street food in abundance. Close to tropical beaches, rainforests, and ancient temples and pagodas, you’ll have every chance to indulge your adventurous side.

 

In Hue, our partner institution is a large university teaching hospital. This means that, the range of specialisms you can gain experience with is exceptional. Gastrointestinal endoscopy, oncology, reproductive endocrinology, even traditional Vietnamese medicine.

Zambia - Lusaka
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Lusaka is the beating heart of Zambia. From here you can visit up to 20 game parks to see rhino, lions, elephants and cheetah. You might even spot hippos wading through the beautiful Zambezi River while canoeing along the shore. You can also the rich local cultures and traditions so ingrained in Zambian tribal culture.

 

Our partner hospital is actually five hospitals in one — an Adult Hospital, Paediatric Hospital, Mother and Newborn Hospital, Eye Hospital and Cancer and Diseases Hospital. Rotating through any number of these departments, you could work with severe spinal injuries to multidrug resistant patients and beyond.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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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.  Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Phnom Penh. 

Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest

Philippines - Iloilo
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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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 and 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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.

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Peru - Arequipa
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa. 

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Ghana - Takoradi
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi. 

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Nepal - Kathmandu
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Sri Lanka - Kandy
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy. 

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Nepal - Pokhara
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Tanzania - Arusha
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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. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arusha.

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"My trip to Kathmandu was an amazing experience. I developed as a person and as a future doctor."

Annefleur Mauritz, 2017

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"My guidance would be: don’t be afraid to get stuck in and do stuff!"

Josie Walshaw, Hull York Medical School 2017

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"Put yourself forward, build relationships with your supervisors and you will get so much more out of your placement. "

Kaylee van de Par, Maastricht University 2017

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Thymen Houwen

"These experiences will be beneficial for your personal and working life forever!"

Thymen Houwen, 2017

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Katherine Hughes

"I loved experiencing a new and vibrant culture in a beautiful country that is so different to mine and meeting so many wonderful people".

Kathryn Hughes, Cardiff University 2017

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What is a Medical Elective?

Medical Electives are placements Medical Students undertake as part of their degree—We tailor structured, supervised Medical Electives in destinations across Africa, Asia and Latin America.