Gap Medics

Program Reviews

Emma
10/10

When I first arrived, I was super nervous but the whole team put me at ease at the airport. I was greeted by Rainer with a big hug! I was in Emergency Room, Pediatric Trauma, and Anesthesiology. All of the mentors are amazing. They take their time out to explain what they are doing and their english is good. My mentors are Dr. Almonte, Dr. Feliz, Dr. Galan, Dr. Adolphus, Dr. Mendez, and Dr. Garcia. I had such a great time on the outings as well with my group. I miss them all but we all stay in touch! My new friends are from all over the world including Australia, England, New Zealand, America, and Bosnia. I enjoyed my placement so much that I ended up coming for another 4 weeks. The second time I came, Erjohnny greeted me at the airport just like Rainer with a hug and smile on his face. The staff is amazing and I miss them all so much! They became family to me. Lourdes and Marie are amazing night shift supervisors they are very friendly and personable and really look out for you. My placement coordinator Erjohnny made sure that I was happy and had a great week! Wilson is amazing at cooking and always made sure I was well fed! Gerald was very nice and funny. Even though his english is very little, I enjoyed getting to expand my Spanish with the staff. Alicia gave me some really great information in our Global Health Tutorials. I had to leave early due to a knee problem but the staff were very helpful to me. Christiana from La Romana took me to the hospital and helped me out that day. The rest of the staff helped me out during that week as I was bed rested. When I left I cried for a good 20 minutes. I love Gap Medics and highly review and recommend them! I have amazing photos of surgeries. Thank you to all of the Gap Medics staff and my new friends for a one in a lifetime experience that I won't forget! I miss you all. I would love to come back!

Yes, I recommend this program
Youssef
10/10

My dedication to study medicine and become a doctor did not really start until I was In Year 11, sitting in my school hall, waiting for a Year 13 Prefect to tell us about her summer work experience. As she showed us pictures of her medical work experience with Gap Medics in Tanzania and pictures of her playing around with the kids in the orphanage, I was inspired. I told myself I had to go and do this this summer. I wanted to travel by myself and explore a different culture. Therefore, I went on Gap Medics and my two options were Tanzania or Poland since they were the only under 18 programs during 2015.

Since it was my first time to travel alone, I decided to go to Poland in 2015, as I have been to many European countries in the past, and promised to myself if I enjoyed my experience I would go to Tanzania. In Poland, I was shadowing doctors in the Children Memorial Hospital, and I was able to see open heart surgeries on infants and communicate with the patients around my age. Although I didn't speak Polish, I made a very close friend there in the hospital and I still speak with him till now. The beauty of visiting different countries is, before you know it, you start learning a few polish, eating their traditional food and knowing more about their history. This is what interested me in Tanzania too! Learning about a different lifestyle you are not adapted to, is the reason why I love traveling and meeting local people. The Gap Medics experience in Poland made me very interested in pediatrics. I was in the Cardiology Department where I had one of the most respectful mentor/surgeon. During every operation, he would give me a detailed explanation of each of the steps he has taken, so I could understand the procedure. My mentor was very enthusiastic and friendly that he wanted to show me the Heart Valve Bank the hospital had which was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

My experience was truly unforgettable that I had to go to Tanzania the next summer. This allowed me to compare between the two experiences. In Tanzania, I had the chance to join the midwifery placement, learn more about the importance breastfeeding and how to stitch an episeotomy on a sponge. My two mentors prepared me for the theory version of a C-section before we had the opportunity to observer one, therefore, I could understand what was going on during the C-section. Midwifery is a field I never really thought I would be interested in, but I loved my time there. Additionally, In Tanzania, I managed to observe a gastrectomy, and the difference between the operating theatre in Poland and Tanzania was huge. Some of the differences were the shortage in the number of medical staff and the limited resources. This allows you to do some thinking on shouldn't every person around the world receive the same quality of healthcare. Why do some countries have a good health care and others don't? Why should the health of a person be seriously affected just because the hospital cannot offer the right treatment? These questions make you more of a global citizen; a person who will selflessly care for others when they become a doctor and who is ready to put their patient's life their number one priority. This enhances your confidence and allows you to have a bigger perspective of the world, turning you from a teenager to a young adult. Gap Medics helped me to know what I am getting myself into and made me more ready than ever for the journey ahead of me. Gap Medics has not only interested me in medicine but gave me the right skills and experience which will make me a better doctor in the future.

Thank you.

Yes, I recommend this program
Chloe
10/10

My trip to the Dominican Republic was such a well organised experience. Upon arrival, I was met at the airport by Edwin, who immediately made me feel at ease. I instantly felt welcomed by the other students when I arrived at the house. Over the weekend my fear was erased and excitement started to build up for my two weeks in the hospitals. The hospital placements were well organised with so much to see including surgeries, endoscopies and patients in the ER and intensive care. The mentors were helpful and explained everything and welcomed our questions. Gap medics offers so much more than just medical experience. With free time at weekends and evenings, there are so many trips that staff will happily organise for you, including a whole day trip to an island with all inclusive food and drink and boat trips either way. The trips to the orphanage to teach English was also a fantastic experience. I was able to use my minimal Spanish skills to help teach English to some enthusiastic girls. The gap medics staff were so friendly and helpful and the chef cooked delicious meals everyday. I made so many new friends (including Edwin) and memories that will last forever. A truly life changing experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
Cristina
10/10

It was one of the valuable experience l have ever had. l met lovely people, the stuff was amazing, friendly and always availalabe and they made me feel like home.
l learnt so many things shadowing doctors in the different wards, volunteering in a local village and orphanage....these are things that you cannot learn from books. At the same time l enjoyed the wonderful sea, swum with dolphins and did ocean sports like parasailing.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ruby
10/10

My time spent at the Gap Medics house in Morogoro, Tanzania was the best experience of my life. All aspects of the Gap Medics experience is well planned out and executed to an extremely high quality, this ranges from the staff, accommodation, food, free time and placement. The staff members are some of the most friendly and helpful people you will meet, and throughout the course of your stay you will build genuine friendships with them and will be sad to leave them. They are there to welcome you at the airport, accompany you to placement, show you around town and resolve any questions or problems you might have. The dedication of the staff results in a strong support system while you are at the house, and throughout your stay. As for the accommodation and food, both are very good. The house itself is beautiful and supplies you with all the facilities you may need throughout your trip, and the food is great! The kitchen staff are always happy to accommodate any dietary requirements you have, and there is always at least 2 options so that everyone finds something they enjoy. During placement you will learn so much and gain extremely valuable life experience, there is never a dull moment as long as you engage with your mentors and be sure to ask questions or ask what topic areas you would like to cover. Placement will not only give you a strong insight into your chosen career path but will also help you grow as a person, it will help you to be able to sympathise with people, make you mature and open your eyes to the things that are happening in the world. Finally free time is also important during the trip. There are many activities you can do in your free time from helping out at the orphanage, going hiking, visiting a wood shop where you can buy hand crafted gifts, going shopping in town or just chilling around the house! I personally would recommend going to the orphanage as often as possible, the children love it when people go there, even just to play with them! Although at times it may make you sad to see how the children live there its worth it because it makes them happy! Overall the experience is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone! Don't be put off by the thought of travelling on your own because everyone feels the same way and you will make life long friends in no time!

Yes, I recommend this program
Morgan
10/10

Not only was my experience with Gap Medics eye opening in the best way, it was fun, well-organized and seriously the trip of a lifetime. Every morning I was able to spend hours observing patients and learning from my amazing mentors. Then, the afternoon brought activities such as visiting nearby beaches, dune-buggying and helping to build a school. Every single person I met greeted me with open arms and treated me with upmost respect. I met lifelong friends and learned information far beyond what a classroom setting can offer. My favorite moment of the trip was experiencing my first natural birth. It was hectic and nerve-racking yet beautiful at the same time. I cried (happy tears!!!) when I watched the mother lay eyes on her baby for the first time and my heart swelled with joy. The following days I got to witness several other natural births and C-sections and they never failed to amaze me over and over again. This trip provided me with excitement and motivation for pursuing a medical career in the future and I highly recommend students at any level to consider studying with Gap Medics.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Elinor
10/10

I stayed in Tanzania for 2 weeks, on the under 18s programme in Morogoro. Initially, the thought of flying alone was daunting, especially because I was only 16 at the time, but I was put at ease when I met other friendly students at the airport. At Dar es Salaam airport, we were met by Clarence who was really friendly and kind, and ensured that we were safely transported to the hotel near the airport. The following morning, we all enjoyed breakfast together, and then drove to the lodge in Morogoro. The facilities, like the pool and volleyball nets, in the lodge were great, and the food was amazing! The House Staff were brilliant, and I immediately felt safe, and cared for, even when I had to visit the doctor!

The first week of my placement was a surgery rotation, where I observed pre and post surgical treatments, as well as numerous live surgeries. The doctors and nurses were really supportive and made sure that I felt comfortable to ask questions, and that I was able to make the most of my placement. The surgeries I observed were really eye-opening and provided huge clinical exposure; more than anything I was able to find in the UK. We were really involved with the doctors and nurses, and were able to speak to the patients freely.

The second week of my placement was General Medicine, which again was great! I was able to see a variety of different treatments, including surgery, anti and post natal check ups, and some dental treatments. The doctors and nurses again were really kind, and made sure that we were safe, but also learnt from the observations and experiences we are provided with throughout the programme.

The safari weekend was amazing, and was a once in a lifetime experience! I really would recommend the safari to anyone going to Tanzania!

The placement provided not only a vast learning experience, but a very enjoyable time, where I was able to grow more confident as a person. I am most grateful for the support and kindness from everyone in the Morogoro camp. The other students were really friendly, and we're all still in touch now! I was lucky enough to secure offers to study Medicine at university, and I feel that a vital part of my application was the ability to compare and reflect on healthcare systems, and to speak of my experiences in Tanzania, and more importantly, the important skills and morals it instilled.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Tamara
9/10

It was an amazing experience which helped me grow and learn. I learned more in those two weeks than years before that due to the great teaching and the environment that we were in. The facilities were amazing and the staff were incredibly kind and caring. They went out of there way to help and look after everyone who took part in the program. We had an amazing time in the hospitals but the other activities which where all arranged by the team were equally amazing. I loved the orphanage, spending time with the children was humbling and fun. We learned a lot from them. I made some amazing friends and would love to return.

How can this program be improved?
More safety, but otherwise nothing else
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ben
9/10

My community placement was week 4 of the trip. Despite loving every moment of my stay in La Romana, I was beginning to feel tired and ready to go home. I was worried that Community might be overwhelming in terms of the hours and the heat. However, to my delight upon arriving on our first day our mentors greeted us with enthusiasm and excitement. They were extremely reasonable and accommodating and made it clear that our happiness and learning experience was very important to them. For the remainder of the week I got to hang out with them, share stories, learn (and stay in the shade). I got hands-on experience with real patients and was allowed to ask them questions, suggest treatments, take blood pressure, and listen to/monitor vitals. It was amazing, by far my favorite week.

How can this program be improved?
My number one complaint would be the price. The trip was amazing and I was always well taken care of but I think its simply too expensive. The program itself in addition to registration fee, flights, all the supplies that were required to bring, and taxi rides all add up. It should be made clearer that students really cant leave the house and walk around or explore on their own and that they have to take taxis every where they go (which aren't covered by the program).
Yes, I recommend this program
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Olivia
10/10

It must be an incredible trip when you are already planning when you can do it again whilst on the plane trip home?
I could write countless pages about my experience with Gap Medics but I think three words sum it up better than any essay could: unforgettable, challenging and inspiring. Exposure to the harsh reality of Tanzania's impoverishment was an incredible culture shock and was certainly nothing short of challenging. Now I know some might read the word 'challenging' and be discouraged, but I can't emphasise enough the positive impact this has had on me as a 19 year old Uni student. I highly encourage anyone considering Gap Medics to take on this challenge and immerse themselves in an amazing trip that no review on a travel website could suffice.

Yes, I recommend this program