Gap Medics

Provider

Gap Medics is a specialist company dedicated to arranging pre-health shadowing programs for students applying to medical school, nursing school, and other health degree programs. Our head office is in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with our US office being located in San Francisco, CA. Students join us from all over the world--particularly from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Our programs offer students aged 16+ genuine insights into the work of health professionals in Tanzania, Thailand, and Czech Republic. Our comprehensive support services are designed to make these opportunities as safe, convenient, and secure as possible and draw on our experience placing thousands of students in healthcare settings around the world.

Gap Medics Pre-Health Shadowing Programs

Programs from Gap Medics

Program Reviews

  • María
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Barcelona, Spain
    University of Barcelona
    Iringa, Tanzania-July 2015
    08/24/2015

    Earlier this year I decided that this summer I wanted to do something medicine related where I could help others as well as further my experiences in this field. That was when I came across GapMedics. They were the first company that offered what I was looking for in terms of hospital work but also focused on people around my age. After watching some of their amazing videos, I booked my trip for 2 weeks in Iringa, Tanzania (one of their over 18s projects).
    From the very beginning you are guided through every step, first with the payments and preparations, but also once you get to the country.
    The accommodation is amazing, the staff becomes part of your little "family" and the friendships you make are genuine and probably those that will last a lifetime.
    But most importantly, the experience you gain at the different hospitals is priceless. Some of the things you are able to do whilst on placement you wouldn't even dream of doing back at home until your last years of Medicine. What shocked me the most was that the doctors there really want you to learn and better yourself, even if you have no experience in doing things like taking blood pressure or putting in an IV, they let you try because "If you don't try it, when are you going to learn?".
    By the end of my 2 week placement, I didn't want to come back home, because in Tanzania I had found a surrogate family that made me feel happy and secure whilst doing what I loved the most- being able to help others. I'd definitely do it again in a heartbeat, but I'd stay longer this time!

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  • Chelsea Shannon
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    United Kingdom
    Other
    Pre-Midwifery Experience In Tanzania, Iringa
    08/22/2015

    My Time In Iringa Was Truly Amazing, I Observed Pre-Midwifery Experience In The Local Hospital. The Midwife's/Nurses Were Amazing As They Really Got You Involved. The Staff At The House Were Lovely As Well As They Always Made You Feel Welcomed, This Really Helped Me As I Was Feeling Really Home Sick & Was Feeling Really Shy So They Got You Involved In The Activities And Made Sure You Were Never Alone. Also The Lucky Area Was So Beautiful. The Orphanage Home Was Great I Loved It, You Go To The Orphanage Homes On Thursday's After Placement And You Get To Play With The Kids, Put Be Warned They Do Try & Take Your Phone As They Love Taking Selfies Of Themselves. Also The Safari Weekend Was Magnificent You Get To See So Many Animals, And The Lodge You Stay At Is Amazing & The Masai Villagers Are Great To They Welcome You To Their Village So Nicely And They Also Sing And Dance For You.

    How could this program be improved?

    The Only Think I Would Want To Be Improved Would Be Some Of The Midwife's At The Hospital Weren't Always There To Give You The Experience You Wanted. I Only Really Loved One Of The Midwife's, Which Was Sister Monga She Was So Friendly And Amazing.

    Photos:
    This was me holding a 5 minute old baby it was amazing.
    This was me holding a 3 minute old baby to go get it weighed
    This is me with the iringa gap medics staff :-)
    Video Review:
    MY AMAZING EXPERIENCE WITH GAP MEDICS :D
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  • Danielle
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Sheffield
    Sheffield Hallam University
    Iringa Project - Tanzania
    08/21/2015

    Gap medics was definitly a life changing experience for me. The Gap Medics team made everything perfect, made me feel safe, welcome and part of the team. Shadowing the Nurses on the Pediatrics ward and the Midwives definitly determined my future as a Pediatric nurse and I am now studying Pediatrics nursing at university. The experiance I got was so eye opening and being able to make a difference to Iringa Regional Hospital by donating hospital equipment made me feel so lucky and privileged. The amount of knowledge I have gained from doing a Gap Medics placement is unbelievable. I can honestly say I will be returning to Gap Medics in the future.

    How could this program be improved?

    I think that the Gap Medics team should promote longer stays on the Gap Medics placement. I thought that two weeks would be enough but I was definitly not ready to go home. I was worried about being home sick but when I got there the staff are so amazing and there was always something to do. I didn't feel homesick at all.

    Photos:
    Top of the rock!
    Me on my gap medics placement
    The wonderful friends I made on such a wonderful experience
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  • Saskia
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    England
    Other
    The Best Thing I've Done
    08/11/2015

    Gap Medics is an amazing opportunity, for the incredible medical experience you gain, the understanding of what being a medical professional means and because of the life long friends you make whilst your there.
    The atmosphere at the Gap Medics house was so welcoming, and the staff there were great, they were happy to answer any questions and just great to talk to in general.
    The hospital work experience was incredible and enabled me to learn so much and opened my eyes to all sides of medicine. Also I found it so difficult to find medical work experience in England and honestly I doubt there is any work experience you can find that is better than that which Gap Medics provides.
    In the Kilimanjaro house, which is where I stayed, we were also encouraged to interact with the local community, one way was by visiting 2 local orphanages, I think the interaction had with the children there will stay with me for a long time.
    Also Gap Medics offer so many activities to do when not at placement, this includes weekend day trips to hot springs and a hike to the KIlimanjaro base camp. Both of which I did and were awesome. They also offer a weekend safari trip.
    Gap Medics encourage you to become immersed in the culture, and this included swahili lessons, which were amazing and helped to be able to interact with the patients in the hospital, and having a basic conversation may seem like nothing, but at some times you could see that just something small like that would make someones day.
    As amazing as Gap Medics was educationally, it's just as special socially. I have made friends whilst away with Gap Medics that I think, and I hope will stay with me for a life time.
    Gap Medics is an amazing thing to do and experience and to anyone who has the chance to go, don't hesitate. It is the best thing I've done and I would do it again.

    How could this program be improved?

    I don't think there was anything I would change about the programme, despite the pool being a little chilly once you were in the water it wasn't much of a problem.

    Photos:
    Only a few of the friends I've made
    Part of the trek to the Kilimanjaro Base Camp
    View of the Hot Springs, although this picture doesn't do it justice
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  • Anonymous
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    uk
    Other
    Awful Company
    08/10/2015

    I would advise others to stay well clear of Gap Medics. They are very good at having a slick image and have a good reputation but unfortunately not all is as it seems. I fell for the appearances and I had a terrible experience with Gap Medics. I feel the company is more interested in financial gain rather than actually creating a positive and beneficial experience for their customers. I went to Croatia, Pula for two weeks in June 2015 for the pre-midwifery course which I was really looking forward to. I am afraid my trip was not what I expected at all. I chose to leave on my fourth day and return home because it was so stressful and so not as described.

    I was told I would be in the Hospital Monday to Friday but in actual fact I was only going to have 2 day shifts and 1 night shift each week. In the disorganised and noisy house it became immediately apparent it would have been impossible to sleep during the day to make up for the sleep missed during the night shift anyhow.

    I understand that the trip is purely observational and that it is impossible to control the number of births in a hospital. The day I went to the hospital the mentor did not have anywhere near enough to show us and it consisted of hours and hours sitting on a bench waiting for something to observe. I tried to be proactive during the hospital placement but there was very little to see and thus we got sent home early. Gap Medics could not cope with the number of students arriving and could not provide the quality service we paid for. There were three of us students shadowing one mentor midwife in the hospital and so the mentor was overwhelmed and as students we could not get the amount of attention needed.
    The website portrays that pastoral care is valued by Gap medics, however I found the staff team to be unapproachable, unsupportive and lacked the skills to work with young people. They were stressed and understaffed; there were only two staff members. One staff member took an aggressive and defensive attitude, seemingly because there were considerable problems in delivering what was meant to be given by the Gap Medics experience. I raised my issues with the trip when I was there but it was pretty much dismissed.

    I found Gap Medics website to be misleading. There were also absolutely no 24 hour security guards as advertised. In fact at one point another girl and I were completely alone at the house. It needs to be more transparent and honest.

    The whole trip is enormously overpriced and I am unable to see where the money I paid for this trip has gone. There are also extra hidden costs e.g. needing to purchase your own scrubs, googles, gloves, facemasks and hairnets which you are not informed of once you have signed up. Only once I had paid the registration fee of PS290 did I also find out that many meals are not included in the price. Over the weekends Friday eve to Sunday lunch there are no meals provided. You are supposed to eat out or you can ask for the chef to supply the cupboards although I found them to be low stocked. There is an expectation to bring money for lunch. I could make and take my own packed lunched there was, however, very little choice for the lunches.

    The actual accommodation was very poor and not the house that I was told we would be staying in when I booked. The accommodation felt crowded and hectic, it was definitely not "spacious" and did not "comfortably accommodate up to 40 students" as described on the website. There was no air-conditioning in our small bedroom, which contained two bunk beds for four; it was claustrophobic and this made sleeping difficult. It was also unfortunately placed in the middle of the social area and therefore very noisy. This was not a space to be able to relax or recoup in. The house was bare, uninviting and had no facilities which had been described on the website such as a swimming pool or even shower curtains. I am aware that Gap medics only moved into the new house 2 weeks prior to me staying. The beds were assembled the day before we moved in and we had no wardrobes to use. Unfortunately, the poor organisation during the transition period of moving to another student house has meant that I have suffered. We should not have be placed in the house until it was properly established. It actually took more like an hour to walk to the hospital in the heat rather than the advertised 20 minutes. I could have paid for a taxi but again this would have increased the cost of the trip. Some students even stayed in a hotel just to get some sleep!

    I know that many of the other students were also disappointed with the service provided and expressed unhappiness which further supports my claim. This shows that my experience is not an isolated event. I made official complaints to Gap Medics. They took months to even reply and only responded when I had contacted The Times paper. I did not receive a refund let alone any compensation. I would just like to warn others that not everybody has a good experience with this company and if you complain they are not supportive. Had I known the truth I definitely would not have booked onto the course.

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    Response from Gap Medics
    08/11/2015
    Gap Medics has successfully sent more than 7,000 students abroad in the past five years to experience very valuable, high quality hospital work shadowing experience which helps them in their future careers. We ask them all to complete a quality survey and the vast majority rate us extremely highly. Our location in Croatia is rated by them as scoring 4.6 out of five - so more than 92% rate it with top marks. We promise students more than 23 hours of work shadowing with an experienced mentor, and this is what we delivered for this student but unfortunately she decided to leave after just one shift. Normally this is delivered across five days, but in this case it was three eight hour shifts to match the work pattern of her mentor, but this can be a typical work pattern for a midwife. All accommodation, food and drink is covered as part of our booking, students get a cooked breakfast and evening meal five days a week and food is provided so they can take a packed lunch with them to the hospital. At weekends they can prepare their own meals as many students choose to go away on excursions. Some students choose to eat out during the day, but that is their choice. This student was only with us two nights but she did not raise concerns such as the noisy bedroom with our staff while she was there so we could have addressed them. Our staff did attempt to get her to stay so she could experience the full programme, but she decided to leave for personal reasons. As she joined us at a time when we were changing accommodation in Pula there may have been some small inconsistencies in the information she got in advance and we could have explained the shift working more fully, so apologise if these aspects did not meet our usual excellent standards on this occasion, and for the delay in getting back to her but I wanted to check out the situation thoroughly If she had stayed with us and raised these issues so we could have corrected them I am sure she would have found, as thousands of other students do who travel with Gap Medics, that she would have had a rewarding experience that would have been very helpful in becoming a midwife.
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