Global Pre-Meds

Global Pre-Meds

About

Formally known as Gap Medics, Global Pre-Meds provides opportunities for students from America and around the world to shadow doctors in working hospitals in the Caribbean. Programs include a minimum 40 hours clinical shadowing time, and accommodation is provided in the organization's own large guesthouse exclusively for pre-health students.

This is one of the best-supported programs of its kind, with a permanent team of organization staff available to students 24 hours a day and a strong emphasis on the social as well as the learning experience.

Separate programs are available for high school students aged 16-18 and university students aged 18+.

Founded
2009
Headquarters

Collingwood Buildings
38 Collingwood Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 1JF
United Kingdom

Reviews

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Isabella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have been interested in the medical field for most of my life so when I found Global Pre Meds I was ecstatic! When I first left from California I was so nervous that I wouldn’t make any friends or that it may not be as good as I was expecting... I was SO wrong. When I first arrived EVERYONE was so friendly and welcoming it was lovely. I stayed for two weeks and everyday was so magical. I was able to go into the operating rooms and watch one or more surgeries everyday which I absolutely loved. All the mentors were so informative and helped me learn so much. I was able to watch and do things like casting a friends arm, that I would have never been able to do in the US and I will forever remember that! The way healthcare works in the Dominican Republic changed the way I think about medicine and underdeveloped countries which will always stick with me. I made life long friends and had the best experience of my life. The surgeries I was able to see we’re AMAZING! I wish I could’ve gone longer. Every person on the Global Pre Meds staff in the Dominican Republic and in the UK were so friendly and helpful! My experience wouldn’t be the same without them. While The medical procedures I saw were life changing, the activities we did after leaving the hospital were just as life changing. We had beach time, ATV riding, island cruises and so much more. I had the best experience of my life with some of the most amazing people i’ve ever met. I continue to talk about and use my experiences back home all the time. Thank you so much Global Pre Meds for the best experience of my life!!! I can’t wait to book another trip!!

Default avatar
Zena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This experience was hands-down the most amazing two weeks of my life. The experience of shadowing hospitals in a foreign country is so valuable because I learned how different the health care system is compared to what I am used to. More importantly, I got to experience first hand what my dream profession would be like through shadowing incredibly talented mentors, as well as getting a feel for working in a hospital environment. Not only did I learn about medical procedures, medical conditions, etc., but I also learned a lot about which future profession truly suits me. I also made life-long friends with awesome like-minded people on this trip, and I will never forget the memories we made together. Aside from our shadowing placements in the hospital, we had the opportunity to experience Dominican culture through fun activities and excursions such as trips to the beach, ATVs, and a sunset cruise. This trip was the perfect blend of a valuable, academic shadowing experience and a fun, cultural immersion with amazing people.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was most afraid of going into this program without knowing anyone else I would be meeting, and I was not sure how easily I would fit in with everyone else. I overcame it by actively getting to know everyone, which made me realize I should not have been scared in the first place because the people I met were very like-minded and we all got along incredibly well.
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Ciara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Global Pre Meds experience leaves you fully appreciating the struggles a less economically developed country faces when it comes to medicine. The opportunity to shadow doctors in a variety of departments and explore the differences in treatment options for patients in the country compared to your own is incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement, had lots of fun during the placement as well as in the activities. The staff are incredible from the moment they pick you up from the airport to saying goodbye. The rooms vary in size, normally sharing with 4/5 other people. There is always a night supervisor and security surrounding the house. The food is very good with plenty of options each night. After placement, there is a variety of fun activities such as a sunset cruise, horse riding, roller skating etc. Overall it was a very valuable experience as it is a great to talk about at interviews, whilst giving you extra work experience!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay for 2 weeks instead of 1. This would give me more chance to see private and public hospitals for comparison. I just went to the public hospital.
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Rosanna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an amazing two weeks there and would recommend this experience to anyone who is unsure if they are ready to go to medical school. The doctors that you shadow are very informative and do their best that each student gets to see various procedures in the hospital as well as targeting each area of interest. A couple things they could improve on is having an itinerary of what the two weeks will look like, sending price lists of various activities that you can do in the afternoon and having the La Romana staff contact students prior to arrival instead of at arrival. Other than that, the hands-on experience is something that is crucial in medicine and the ability to ask the doctors about each step is something that I loved most about the program.

What would you improve about this program?
Communication about costs and sending an itinerary.
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Amy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip was an experience of a life time and one I wish I could relive everyday. It was my first time truly travelling alone, but the people you meet as well as the amazing staff at the house become a second family instantly. The hospital, Dr Dario Contreras is a place I will never forget. I was assigned to Neurosurgery with Dr Vasquez and Dr Carreras and they made our assigned group feel so welcome and always made sure we understood what was going on and if we had any questions at all. We were invited to as many surgeries as possible, and standing in the OR watching so many amazing procedures is such a privilege and one I treasured everyday there, as it is something that simply doesn’t happen at my age. We accompanied the doctors on patient rounds and consultations getting an immense learning platform for their field and the medical field in general.
This program is one I suggest to anyone wanting a career in healthcare at any level. Once you go you will never want to leave.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The one thing that fully makes the trip is being at the hospital but what makes it even more memorable is what you do on your free time. Planning excursions and site seeing adventures with your group are a must do activity. It is a step out of your comfort zone for sure but it is how you truly get to appreciate the country you’re visiting and the people you are meeting. Step outside that comfort zone and you won’t be sorry!
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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Amy Davies

She is a second year university student from Toronto, Canada, completing a science degree with the intention of going into medicine.

Why did you choose this program?

After hearing about it through a friend, I researched the program and was inspired by how they set up their program and how personal and up-close their hospital experiences are. I also loved the idea of staying at the program’s house, living more local to get to experience the incredible culture. They kept everything super simple on their website and answered the main questions making the opportunity almost impossible to pass up.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

They assisted me with almost all things related to the trip. I was provided with a contact person at their main office who I could email with any questions, but who also sent me helpful emails at different stages of the pre-trip process. Things like packing lists, house and local information for where I’d be traveling as well as the more important travel document information. This made the whole process that much more easy and stress-free.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Definitely take advantage of the excursions as they add so much more to the overall experience. Obviously, the hospital shadowing will take priority but there’s a significant amount of free time that is great to plan trips to go see the national sites and have a great time with the group of people you are with. While these activities are planned while you’re there, I’d say just keep in mind that there is so much to do and not to be scared to step out of that comfort zone of yours - you won’t regret it one bit!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day involves a bit of an early start.

Breakfast would be served at 6:50 am (which was always so delicious!). The bus to the hospital left the house at 7:20 am and got us to the hospital around 8. We’d then go and change into our scrubs and lab coat and disperse into our smaller groups in which we would then accompany our residents for the day. This would involve patient rounds and consults and of course surgeries. These surgeries meant you would fully scrub in and join the doctors in the OR observing whatever procedure they were doing- this was my favourite part of the whole day!

Around 1 pm, we would leave the hospital and head back to the house for lunch. The afternoons were then free time to head to the beach or plan activities, whatever you wanted to do. We would all meet back around 6:30 pm for dinner and group time.

A great way to round off the day.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I felt more comfortable knowing I was joining a group in the Dominican Republic, so that didn’t worry me. My biggest fear was the traveling aspect, especially on the way there. I made sure I did everything on my end that I could to make sure connecting flights went as smoothly as possible but that was my biggest concern was arriving on time especially with all the luggage I started out with.

This was a great experience to have especially as a young traveler as it taught me that at some point the travel will be out of your hands, and sometimes things go wrong but as long as you’ve done what you can on your end, things definitely go a lot smoother.

What is your favorite memory of this trip?

While I could write and write about all the great stories and memories from the trip - the best one by far has to be the first day at the hospital.

We’d arrived and changed and were waiting to meet our doctors that we’d be shadowing. We were all still slightly asleep from the travel the day before and one by one the doctors arrived and collected their group until there was only our group left. Turns out our doctors were already in surgery, so on our first day, our group immediately scrubbed in and walking straight into the operating room where a full-on brain surgery was being performed. It was surreal, we hadn’t even been there for half an hour and already I’d seen a living brain being operated on. For someone who’s so interested in medicine, especially surgery it was a moment where time stood still for a minute and I fully couldn’t take in what I was seeing.

We saw our fair share of surgeries during our visit but that first day will always be the most significant and memorable.