Gap Medics: Pre-medicine programs
92% Rating
(80 Reviews)

Gap Medics: Pre-medicine programs

Our pre-medicine internships are designed to help you understand the realities of life as a doctor. In small student groups – with guidance from a carefully selected mentor – you’ll spend your time shadowing medical staff in a real clinical environment.

One day you might be observing surgery in the operating theater, the next you might be in the outpatient clinic; we’ll place you in departments we know will give you the best and most varied experience. If you’re interested in a certain specialty – such as surgery, oncology or pediatrics – let us know, and we’ll do our best to incorporate it. Most of our partner hospitals are large and busy, providing plenty of scope for learning about different specialties. Students who visit Mafia Island will have the opportunity to gain experience in a unique rural community setting.

Locations
North America » Dominican Republic
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
Project Types
Language
English
Housing
Apartment
Hostel
Starting Price
$500.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Costs inlcude:
Real life hospital shadowing
Personal mentor & clinical supervision
Global health tutorials
Accommodation and food
Professional support 24 hours a day

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    88%
  • Support
    92%
  • Fun
    91%
  • Value
    94%
  • Safety
    90%

Program Reviews (80)

Chloe
Female
19 years old
Cwmbran

La romana, Dominican Republic

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.

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Ben
Male
22 years old
Northampton, MA
Wheaton College

Community

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).

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Kristine
Female
17 years old
Sydney Australia

Really enjoyed!!

10/10

Met a lot of friends I wouldn't have been able to meet :)
Being placed in a program for the 2 weeks i was there really enabled me to make close relationships with people from all around the world.
The program enabled us to have something in common, GapMedics, making it much easier to start conversations and share which field of medicine we were interested in.
Additionally, it felt like the experience flew by and yet was such a long time. It felt like I had known the other members living at the house for a much longer time than I had actually. This might be because living together enabled us to see each other constantly and make lots of memories.
What I really enjoyed was the amount of freedom GapMedics gave us. We could go to the mall and spend lots of times with friends doing what we wanted. Additionally, Krakow was lots of fun to visit!

Tommy
Male
23 years old
Hsinchu, Taiwan

General Surgery: cholecystectomy

10/10

Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure of gall bladder removal due to various reasons including gall stones. From the morning, we followed our mentor and the general surgery team to each of the rooms to do check ups. Particularly, one of the patients was admitted and to be operated due to gall stones. We observed how the surgeon physically examined the patients bowel and despite they had a little conversation in Polish, our mentor was very enthusiastic in explaining what they discussed which made us feel part of the team. Scrub up and get into the operating theatre! We observed very closely to how the team set up and carried out the procedures with a very good, clear view of operation through a monitor as the operation involved laparoscopic work. The mentor was very patient and explained very little detail to us and was very happy to answer all of our gaps in knowledge. Overall, we had different procedures almost everyday for a week, so you can imagine how much you can learn from it.

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Madeline
Female
18 years old
Dunmow

Poland 2016

10/10

Being able to share my fascination for science and medicine with other people isn't something I've ever really been able to do before. Meeting 50 new friends all at once who understand me was just amazing. Being able to show doctors my enthusiasm and have them tell me that they were just like me once, and that I'll be a great doctor in the future; that's something that money can't buy. I have never felt like I fit in more than I did on this placement.
Of course, the actual work experience was also amazing and very worthwhile and exciting! But the main part for me was being able to socialise with others who get it.

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Lauren
Female
18 years old
Oakville

Gap Medics Poland

10/10

The month I spent in Poland was the best month i've had to learn so much and have a lot of fun. I miss it so much and hope to go back again! By far, my most favourite part was being in Neurosurgery, which I ended up doing for 2 weeks. It was absolutely amazing and I hope to be just like some of the surgeons when I grow up. I grew in confidence and learned whats its like to be in surgery. I was absolutely amazed and awstruck with the abilities of the surgeons and became mezmorized during surgery. The girls at the house were so amazing and I miss Tatianna the most because she always checked in on me and she was super easy to talk to! Thanks to Ewa the food was always the best and I never went hungry! Being in Poland confirmed my love for medicine and especially for the amazing brain and everything that it's capable of.

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Hal
Male
18 years old
Sydney
University of Sydney

A Whole New World

10/10

Upon arriving in bustling Tanzania off the back of a 23hr plane trip i was overwhelmed. Stepping out into the warm winter air of Africa on the first day and getting an authentic taxi journey (bumps & shortcuts included) to our hotel where at last i thought i could rest. Little did i know it was all just about to begin.
The staff were gracious and went out of their way to make sure every individual was feeling 100% and ready for the adventures ahead. Immeadiately i felt comfortable and part of this huge family that is Gap Medics. Our arrival at the house was warmely welcomed by the old students and the friendly on site staff, and as ancient African tradition goes we played a volleyball match to get to know everyone right after dropping our luggage in our rooms.
In my first week of placement I witnessed surgeries that would require at least 3 years of medical training just to stand as close as i did. Under the mentorship of two incredible doctors i learnt more about what it meant to be a doctor in my first day than anything i had learnt in my prior 17 years. The rest of the week went incredibly fast too and before i knew it i was off on safari, surrounded by my new friends experiencing the essence of Africa and it's uniqueness. The second week in paediatrics went by in a blur too, from cradling newborn babies to the diagnosing of young patients and watching their slow but steady path to recovery.
Of all the things that shook my world, visiting the morgue and hearing the story of a man who lost two of his friends inspire us to make use of what we have changed me the most. It showed me just how quickly life can come to an end and that everyone should make the most of it and love what you do.
Leaving the compound was a very difficult trip for me, because in my heart i felt at home and truely happy. The social experience with people was across the globe with the same interests was unprecedented and something that i will cherish for a long time. I can't recommend this program enough for those that think medicine is the career for them or even those who are uncertain.

How can this program be improved?

Possibly by bunking more people together who arrive in the same week as those are the people who they will perfoming most of their activities with.
Also onsite entertainment facilities like a small tabletennis table or pool table or even board games could be a great way to let people enjoy the nights more once the pool and volleyball court get too dark

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Gemma
Female
19 years old
Edinburgh

Morogoro, Tanzania

10/10

When I first asked my parents about going to Tanzania I never imagined they would ever agree to let me go but here I am now a year on.

After sharing a double bed on the first night with a girl I had never met before in the middle of Africa I knew this was going to be a crazy experience. Although this may sound strange, 4 of us had a flight outside the arrival times so to save money we paired up and booked an extra night at the designated hotel.

The staff at the Morogoro house are some of the friendliest people I have ever met, from the moment you meet them at the airport to when you jump on the coach back to DAR with everyone in tears!Delphine the programme manager is like a second mother whilst you are there despite wanting to switch the wifi off all the time!

The doctors on placement are also so friendly and welcoming and are genuinely delighted to be able so share all of their knowledge and take time to thoroughly answer your questions.

Since placement finishes at 1 there is so much time left to socialise either chilling by the pool, going out for lunch or taking part in one of the activities like visiting the orphanage.

Overall I had a fantastic experience and I would truly recommend to anyone! I have made some amazing friends from all over the UK and a couple from America, one of which is coming over to visit in a couple of weeks.

How can this program be improved?

Nothing except placement starting slightly later (me being lazy!)

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Emilia
Female
19 years old
Surrey

Gap Medics @ Morogoro, Tanzania

10/10

A snapshot of Obs & Gynae Ward at Morogoro Regional Hospital

Child birth in real life is very very different! I was fascinated to see the whole process, from listening to the baby’s heartbeat with a wooden cone, to contractions, the actual birth, and the afterbirth along with the oxytocin injection. In total, I was privileged enough to witness 19 births and 3 C-sections. My first natural birth was the most extraordinary experience I’ve ever had. We were waiting patiently for something to happen, when suddenly my friend Alex shouted that she could see a head (followed by screams of Doctor from the patient.) We all dashed over, the woman grabbed my hand to reassure her, and by the time the Doctor had put his gloves on the baby had popped out. Smiling through tears, we welcomed this new little life into the world, what a happy occasion.

How can this program be improved?

Already a perfect balance of safety, freedom and fun.

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Sam
Male
19 years old
Carlisle

Expensive, but definitely worth it!

9/10

Saw Gap Medics while searching for overseas placements for university. I was first struck by the price of the placements per week, but i decided to go ahead and book 2 weeks in Morogoro, Tanzania.
Honestly one of the best summers i've had. Having spent 2 weeks in outpatients and paediatrics, watching more than 10 natural births, i was able to gain an experience where i would not be able to anywhere else.
The placements are well co-ordinated and your mentors speak reasonable English and are very eager to teach all they know about their speciality. They are passionate and extremely tireless in all they do. Placements from 8am-1pm means that there is enough time in the afternoon to relax and discuss with everyone else what you saw during the day.
The social aspect of the placement is unique. From the first meeting at the airport, you immediately make friends as people have similar career plans and interests. Over the course of 2 week, the most popular choice however, many people do 3 weeks you get to know everyone and make life-long friends. It is exactly 1 year since I was in Tanzania and I am still in contact with almost all of the people on my placement and set to have the 5th reunion this summer! All the staff are very friendly and welcoming from the moment you arrive at the airport to the tears when you leave on the bus back to Dar es Salaam.
Completely different to all the hospital placements in the UK, you are able to compare the differences and see that countries such as Tanzania would benefit from the healthcare that we as a country take for granted. Although a donation is not required, they extremely benefit those who receive it. Orphanages, which depend solely on kind donations are one of the best places to donate.
I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is looking into a career in healthcare if they can afford it.
The blog i kept while away - https://tangotrips.wordpress.com/

How can this program be improved?

Later starts and later finishes possibly. 9am to 2pm would be better.
A list of extra costs to placement
Feedback from mentors should be shared with students instead of being kept confidential

Simon
Male
18 years old
London, United Kingdom

invaluable and life changing experience!

10/10

If i was tasked to describe my Gap Medics experience in one phrase it would be, 'eye opening'. My enlightening experience in Warsaw was a perfect cocktail of having fun with housemates coming from all over the world, challenging debates and informative shadowing in the hospital. The extremely flexible timetable around my placement, created a fantastic atmosphere in my accommodation, making it a second home for the week that i stayed. If anyone out their is interested in medicine i strongly recommended Gap Medics as a trampoline to launch your career as a doctor.

How can this program be improved?

After having such a fantastic experience i struggle to find any improvements, i just wish that i had stayed in Warsaw for longer!!

Hángma
Female
23 years old
Cwmbran

Looking back, it's the best decision I ever made.

10/10

Two weeks in Iringa, Tanzania was such an amazing and life changing experience. I completed two weeks placement shadowing doctors in Surgery and Internal medicine. The hospital placement was eye opening and truly incredible. It was different to what I was used to in United kingdom and gave me an insight into medicine. Hospital placement was well organised and the staffs always made sure that I have someone I can shadow each day. All the mentors were extremely helpful and did not hesitate to answer any questions. So do not feel uncomfortable to enquiry about anything that you are unsure about. All of the medical procedures that were performed on a patient were explained properly during ward rounds.

Travelling oversea own my own for the first time was terrifying but Gap medics house staffs were very welcoming which automatically made me feel like a part of their family and they went out of their ways to make me feel at home. All the house staffs are very approachable. The local people were also very welcoming and this made it easier for me to get around town without fearing about anything. Learning new language, new culture and meeting new people from all around the world who shared the same interest as me was amazing. This also helped me make a great circle of friends from all over the world.

Gap medic placements definitely made me realise that I was choosing the right career path for me. I am even more motivated and focused than before to pursue a career in health sector. I would definitely recommend Gap medics to anyone looking to volunteer abroad. You will not regret it and I know this was the best decision I ever made.

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Daisy
Female
20 years old
England

Best Experience Ever

10/10

If you have the opportunity to go on a gap medics placement, do it! For me it was such an amazing experience. I made great new friends from all over the world and had valuable time in hospitals watching amazing things. You really will have the time of your life!

How can this program be improved?

Nope, I really do think this program is perfect.

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Jemini
Male
23 years old
Preston
University of Manchester

Worst Experience of My Life - Croatia

2/10

On arrival in Pula the programme manager and the housekeeper met me. Although the housekeeper was very welcoming, the programme manager was not, as when I arrived at the Gap Medics house he gave me a very brief tour of only half the house and just left me to it. I understand that food is not provided at weekends but he made no effort to explain where I could buy food considering I had a long journey.

Food was a serious issue as Gap Medics gave me the impression that there would always be some sort of food in the house. However, this was not the case most of the time. There were no bottles of water and no one explained whether I could drink the tap water. In the end I had to drink the tap water from the bathroom. During meal times there were also no fruit juices, etc. Breakfast was okay, but most of the time not sufficient. Often there were days where there would be no milk or the milk would be warm. On one particular day there were no teabags even after reminding the chef on the previous day to buy them. There would always be fruit in the house but it was always rotting and never edible and the food in the fridge had clearly been there for a very long time therefore I was always scared to eat anything. Lunch option was ridiculous, as you had to make your own lunch, which was 2 pieces of small bread and a piece of cheese every day. There was never anything to eat in the day. The kitchen was dirty and very small and I was expected to wash my own dishes, which seems unfair seeing as I paid so much for the placement! However, the evening meal was great!

Gap medics gave me the impression that someone would always be in the house at all times. However, this was not the case and the programme manager would often leave for ‘an hour or two’ this meant that if I needed anything there would be no one to contact. I think this is ridiculous as there is no form of security! Also, when Leila came to stay, she didn’t even ask my name or introduce herself, therefore once again I felt like there was no one I could approach.

Taxis were a big issue. I understand on the first day that we had to walk to the hospital so we can get a local tour but the next few days taxis were not provided unless is was ‘very hot or raining’ This is really unfair seeing as everyone the previous week were provided with taxis! The hospital was around a 45 minute walk, which meant I arrived sweating as it was very hot and I felt uncomfortable and faint all day due to being so tired. There was no sense of organization. I couldn’t deal with this and ended up having to pay for the taxis myself.

Although I saw some pretty valuable things on the actual placement, the mentor didn’t understand English properly. The nurses always talked about us students in Croatian as they believed we didn’t understand. They were rude to us and deliberately blocked our views. Most of the time there was nothing going on and I had to sit around doing nothing. This is so unfair considering how much I paid for the actual placement! I believe the staff should be more welcoming!

The whole placement seems very overpriced and not worth half of what I paid for it. I don’t understand why we should have to pay extra costs for things like scrubs and the return taxi to the airport. There are a lot more hidden costs than Gap Medics make out.

I sent my complaint to Gap Medics but they have not done anything about the issue therefore I am going to escalate this further. My overall experience of the trip was much worse than I expected. My friends are looking to travel with Gap Medics soon and it is a shame that I will have to share my experience with them. I also requested a breakdown of the cost I paid to see where the money is actually going, but again I was ignored!

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Katelyn
Female
21 years old
Alberta, Canada

Go for the Experience and Stories not the Refrences

7/10

My stay at Gap Medics was great, but not flawless. We ended up being moved to the brand new house which was still under construction due to unforeseen circumstances, which made it less than great. However, I'm sure that it will be beautiful once finished. It was a little bit of an oversight on Gap Medics part to move us there without it being 100% up to expectations. The food was sub par, and there was an issue with accommodating some food allergies that were not initially communicated with the chefs upon arrival to the house. Make sure you wake up right at 7 o'clock, or you won't get much selection for breakfast. There often wasn't enough food prepared for the amount of students coming through. Make sure you hit up the little coffee shop in Buddhachinaraj hospital!

Being that it is a new location and new hospitals, there were many times where my placements were quite unorganized. There were a few times where we were told by our mentors to go home early, with 2 hours left in the day, with a 1 hour lunch break already being taken, as well as a late start. We later found out that our mentor just didn't understand her told with Gap Medics, which is simply a lack of communication on Gap Medics part. However, mentors in Orthopaedics, Dr. Art in ophthalmology, and Dr. Namtip in Neonatal were absolutely fantastic, and my experience was so great.

However, coming home from Gap medics I am slightly disappointed after asking for my references to be sent. I was assured that Gap medics sends top notch references out to students that are a key aspect to aiding your application to medical school. Frankly, i would be embarrassed to pass these on to any official grading my application to a medical school. When I was in Thailand, we were given score sheets that were to aid out mentors and the Gap medics staff in creating thorough reviews for you. When asking for my review from Gap Medics headquarters, I was sent the score sheets with 5s in each category and nothing else. Really? I could print one of these off and do it myself and claim it as a doctor to send to medical school. This is very disheartening

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Anonymous
Male
22 years old
San Diego, CA

Focused on profits

1/10

Gap Medics has a very professional and misleading website. The website states that there is English speaking staff and that there is 24 hour security on the premises. They definitely defied the definition of "English speaking." When we landed in Phitsanulok, we were greeted by a woman who spoke very little English and could not communicate well with us. It was at that point that I got a feeling that the program could go poorly. When we arrived at the house, the security guard was fast asleep on the hammock and I knew that this program was a sham. It was Sunday night, and dinner was not served. So we had to find a place to eat our first night in the city, which by the way, has no good dining options. Now let's get to the food... Breakfast consists of rotten bananas and bread, they stock the fridge with a few yogurts a day and you need to wake up early to nab them. Dinner usually has two meat options, and the quality of the meat is absolutely appauling and made me sick. It is left uncovered and totally swarmed by mosquitoes. The rice is the only edible thing. One week costs 1800 dollars here, they can definitely afford an indoor eating area or at least nets for the outdoor one. Why aren't they in? Because the company is concerned with their own pockets! We pay almost two thousand dollars, and they make is do our own dishes. Food doesn't belong outside!! The chef also does not wear gloves and it's absolutely digusting. Getting to the hospital is terrible. The transportation is a 1980s Toyota Tacoma that has two benches in the bed. They can easily afford a cab, but again, profits are paramount. Global health tutorials are interesting and mandatory, which is totally fine. However, they make you sit on the floor infested with ants. Why can't they put in seating? Because they care about their pockets more than the students. On Thursday night, we went out and they made us pay for transportation... It wasn't much, but the fact that you have to pay after paying nearly 2 grand is appalling. The scrubs cost 5 times more than normal scrubs. We had to pay to get back to the airport. They totally nickel and dime you. The idea of a medical internship in Thailand is cool, but it is executed horribly by this company and its basically a scam. So disappointed and I STRONGY urge anyone interested in this to look into work the world instead.

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Shannon
Female
19 years old
UK

Morogoro- Gap Medics 2015

10/10

I decided to undertake a medical placement in Africa in March 2014. I didn't embark on this trip until August 2015, and I am so glad that I waited! Placement was 08:00-13:00 everyday apart from the weekend, this meant that in the afternoons we had the option to go to the orphanage, wood shop, town or just lounge by the pool. Placement is very interesting and I would definitely recommend thinking carefully about the placement that you wan to do else you will find it boring and will not gain the most you can from it!

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Aidan
Male
20 years old
Bromley, Kent
Other

Good Trip

10/10

The generic thing to say is that this trip will change your life and stuff. Honestly however after seeing an entirely different culture and way of life you can only be changed after experiencing such things. You will come out with friends, memories and a new found awareness about the world around you. This trip regardless of the money will be worth every penny and more, and I hope that whoever reads this heeds the words I'm typing and decide to go on the trip of a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?

I wish I would have had more time.

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Nicole
Female
18 years old
Dublin 15, Republic Of Ireland.
Other

Helping me decide my future.

10/10

Throughout my secondary school education, I have always been a bit undecided on what to do after I graduate. I always knew I wanted to go into a career which is science based, it is my passion. Originally I decided on a Biomedical course, but after my experience of shadowing doctors in a hospital, I have decided to study medicine in college. All of the doctors in the hospitals in Tanzania were willing to answer every single question I had regarding any patient. The doctors fully explained each patient they were treating, also one of my mentors in Sokoine Health Centre gave my group lectures in different tropical diseases each day. It was life changing to learn about the tropical diseases and also to see patients suffering from these diseases.
The friends I have made on my trip, were amazing people. They are people whom I hope to stay in touch with. The staff working in Tanzania were lovely and inspiring people, they could not have been more welcoming!

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Hannah
Female
19 years old
Millisle, Northern Ireland
University of Oxford

Friends for Life

10/10

Gap Medics was a wonderful opportunity for me to not only gain valuable medical experience but to make life long friends. These friends I hope to stay in touch with long into the future. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in not only medicine but also dentistry and midwifery.

On placement I learned about the differences in medicine in the UK compared with medicine in undeveloped countries. The Global Health Tutorials were fantastic in broadening my understanding of current conditions affecting lives in Africa. I was then able to apply this when on placement.

Extract of information gained from teachings on Malaria.

Malaria

Public health problem
Parasitic disease usually affecting red blood cells caused by plasmodium (species)
Carried in the blood
Most research says male does not suck blood they suck juice

Fever-most common symptom

Types of plasmodium
Mia common in uk plasmodium fasupa
Second - plasmodium ovale
Third - plasmodium Vivax
Fourth - plasmodium Malarie

Severe malaria

RMDT - test 20 mins
Clinical malaria conclusion is reached through history and physical examination - proven

Non severe malaria

Features of malaria - non severe

Patient present history or present fever
Loss of appetite
Headache
Diahorea
Vomiting
Joint pain
General malaise

Features of severe form

Can present with all non severe as well as -
Hallucination
Ataxia- aggressive
Convulsions
Jaundice
Prostrations- severe ill cannot walk or stand or sit without support
Coca cola colour urine - damage to kidneys

How to diagnose -

MRST - 20 mins
Similar to pregnancy test , has a control point and a subspecies, when it is reactive means you have malaria parasites, if you have all plasmodium then three lines plus control line comes up

Microscope - 30 mins
See photo for names
Banana shape - gametocytes
Nucleus is pinky
Cytoplasm is blueish

Sometimes you can see all structures but sometimes you can just observe one strain - antigen antibody reaction

How to treat malaria -

Non severe : use alu actimeta + lumefantrine- 2 drug combination ( treat in combination because these microorganisms because they can mutate, when relying on one type not affective) / use tablet 2 drug / antibiotics / painkillers

Severe form
Injection used atimeta
Quinine injevtion - tablets for non severe and injection for severe form

Prophylaxis
Treated insecticide Nets
Clean environment + windows should be protected with nets to prevent Mosquitos entering
When pregnant should get prophylaxis of malaria
IPT intermittent preventive treatment
Spray with deet
All pregnant should be taking folic acid as they affect red blood cells and so prevent anaemia

Genetically Africans have a greater tolerance to malaria

Can cause liver damage
Can cause anaemia then aterferia then lung collapse
Can cause accumulation of fluid in lungs so pulmonary oedema

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Katy
Female
20 years old
England

Gap Medics, Morogoro, Tanzania

10/10

Firstly, this program changed me as a person and completely changed my outlook on life. How? Well you have to experience it to understand it but some of the things you will see in the hospital will make you appreciate being alive. Having said that, my placement in Morogoro was the best two weeks of my life without a doubt. You will fall in love with all of the staff in the Forest House, with all of the friends you will make and with the country! The staff go above and beyond what they are required to do to enable you to have an awesome time! One stag member spoke to an old friend and made arrangements to get me an iPhone charger (not an easy ask in Africa!) when mine broke! Do not underestimate how much you will love the staff and other students. I cried for half an hour straight when everyone left for the airport (I was on a flight the next day).

Next, you will become so so so close to everyone there. You all see some horrific stuff together and also have the best time together - you will feel like you've known them for your whole life.

The Forest House in Morogoro is gorgeous and the food is fantastic! You will go in the pool at least once a day it's the best thing to do after a tiring morning at placement! Going into town often is a must too, and make sure you go to the tailors in town.

If you want a life-changing experience where you'll meet some of the most inspiring and amazing people and will also get a pretty nice tan then this is the place for you! Also it helped me realise that I want to do medicine and has made me much more confident in everything that I do! Don't be scared, jump in and you will have the time of your life!!!!

Email me and questions/worries I'm happy to answer : [email protected]

How can this program be improved?

I wish there hadn't been so many extra HIDDEN costs- they should include a quote for the cost of vaccinations and malaria tablets and also the transfer back to the airport isn't included. Scrubs also have to be bought seperatly. Basically, budget around £200-£300 more than it says on the website when planning your saving up for the trip!

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John
Male
19 years old
Athens, Greece
Other

Gap Medics - Pre-Medicine - Warsaw, Poland (Under 18)

10/10

When I decided that I wanted to study medicine I began looking for a pre-medicine shadowing program. After an extensive search I decided that the Gap Medics program seemed the best fit for me and I was not wrong. From the start, it was evident that this program was very professional. Before even arriving in Warsaw, Poland I was contacted several times by the Gap Medics staff. They provided me with all the information I would require, but also they were interested to know about any special requirements that I might have. They also had a great personalized page called MyGapMedics, in which I found not only very useful info about my placement and arrival info, but also gave me the opportunity to meet my housemates and the staff that would be taking care of me during my stay prior to my arrival.
Regarding the actual placement, I can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. The whole program was very well organized. During my two week program I was placed in two different hospital wards where I could extensively observe medical cases and staff. Our groups were small which gave us the opportunity to receive very personal contact with the physicians and get the most out of the experience. We were also given weekly tutorials where we could discuss and debate on controversial medical issues and get to know the Polish health care system. We even got the chance for community involvement by visiting an old age home.
Besides the valuable medical experience that I received, I also had a great time with amazing people. The Gap Medics staff were not only very friendly and approachable but they also ensured our stay was full of wonderful activities and events such as visits to museums and galleries, strolls in the city and even barbeques in the wonderful garden. Between our placements we had a fair share of free time and there was never a dull moment. One of the highlights of my stay there was the weekend trip to Krakow, where we got to meet the city, but also to visit the WWII concentration camps.
Regarding the housing, we stayed at a wonderful garden house in the suburbs of Warsaw, yet close to downtown. It had a great environment with comfortable spaces. Our cook did her utmost to cater to our various dietary preferences.
All in all, Gap Medics is a program which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in receiving a well-rounded medical shadowing placement while having the opportunity to meet wonderful people from around the world and make life long friends.

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María
Female
21 years old
Barcelona, Spain
University of Barcelona

Iringa, Tanzania-July 2015

10/10

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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Saskia
Female
19 years old
England
Other

The Best Thing I've Done

10/10

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 can 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.

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Betsy
Female
19 years old
Washington, D.C.

Best 2 Weeks of My Life

10/10

I am a 17-year-old high school student from Washington, D.C. who wants to become a surgeon. My peers know me as the girl whose life revolves around emergency medicine and is following a dream on a daily basis by volunteering at our local fire station. I am always striving to learn more.

One night, I was researching ‘Medical experiences abroad’ and came across Gap Medics. I requested information and was contacted right away. The next step was convincing my parents to let me go to Tanzania. It was hard at first, but they know my dream and always support my decisions.

I spent the next 10 days in Africa where I was lucky enough to assist in operations at Morogoro Regional Hospital. While shadowing my talented mentors, I realized without a doubt, this is what I am meant to be doing with my life.

My placement was a wonderful experience and everyone was very kind and willing to teach me. I was even called in for a night shift surgery to help assist two doctors perform a bone repair on a teenager my age.

Towards the end of my placement, I also went on safari. This was such a great way to complete my perfect trip. Also, the friendships that I made in Africa will last forever!

Thank you Gap Medics for such a wonderful experience.

How can this program be improved?

As a picky eater, I did not eat much.

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Jen
Female
19 years old
Oxfordshire, England

Amazing

10/10

Gap Medics gave me an amazing experience in Thailand, combining shadowing doctors in a different health care setting to at home with seeing a country and experiencing a culture I hadn't before. The Gap Medics house was brilliant. Even though it's 40 minutes from Chaingmai city centre, the taxis are cheap and great fun so it isn't a pain at all. The food at the house was great and all the staff were lovely! Chiangmai Mai is a great city with great nightlife. I'd definitely recommend doing this placement.

How can this program be improved?

Wifi at the house would be good.

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Cymran
Female
24 years old
Uk

Recommend to all

9/10

Best two weeks experience I had received met some amazing people who I am still in contact with and had an overall enjoyable time- anyone thinking of organising a trip with gap medics go for it you will not regret it!!

How can this program be improved?

Accommodation could be improved slightly and more evening activities

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Abi
Female
24 years old
Dundee, Scotland
University of Dundee

Gap Medics Thailand

10/10

I spent 3 weeks with Gap medics in Thailand last summer. It was a great experience, I throughly enjoyed everyday I was there and I learned a lot from my stay. I've always wanted to study medicine and thought this was the perfect way to gain vital work experience as well as being given the opportunity to travel somewhere i'd never been before.

The placements are well organised, interesting and helpful. I was able to watch various procedures, as well as visit different hospitals and shadow different doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. I feel the experience fuelled my passion for medicine and gave me a real insight into the career.

The Gap Medics house in Thailand is great. The staff are really friendly and are always nearby ready to help. The rooms are basic but nice. Each has their own bathroom, I shared a room with 2 other girls and became good friends with them over the placement. The facilities at the house are great, the pool is perfect after a day at the hospital. Breakfast and dinner is provided at the house and the food is amazing! The cooks are really nice too!

The only downside to the house is it is far from the centre so it can be difficult to get into town sometimes. however, the staff are always happy to help you book a taxi with drivers that they know and trust. Another benefit of staying the 3 weeks is after 2, you complete classes and have more free time in the afternoon to explore!

Overall, I would recommend gap medics to anyone whose thinking of going, it's a great experience and you meet loads of new people.

How can this program be improved?

Some of the doctors that I shadowed had very poor english/strong accents and therefore it was hard to understand them and know what was actually going on. Although, most of them are aware of this and try to make themselves as clear as possible.

I also would change the class times at the house, they make it difficult to enjoy Thailand and visit various places. Maybe a class after dinner would be better?

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Sam
Female
24 years old
Ohio
Other

Terrible company

3/10

Gap medics is awful. They emailed me the week that my final deposit was due telling me that my placement had changed from chaing mai (tourist area) to phitsanulok (rural and nothing to do). They assrured me that the house would be beautiful and just like the other houses. We were the first group at the new house and it was less than perfect. The power kept going out the plumbing didn't work for days there was no food / chef and we were luck to get toast or cereal (maybe cold eggs on a good day). There was also no security gaurd and the "amazing social area" looked like a few tables set up behind a garage. The placements were a mess and the days consisted of waiting around for a mentor to show up just to tell us there was nothing to do. The mentor would try to find other doctors for us to observe but none were confident enough I n their English or able to take on our large group of students. We had 8 students to 1 mentor, which was gap medics fault not the hospitals, but made it impossible to learn anything. I would avoid phitsanulok at all costs atleast until they get everything organized and running.

Response from Gap Medics

Hi Samantha, thank you for your review. Gap Medics encourages all feedback, good or bad to ensure we provide the best possible service to our students. On this occasion we are sorry we were unable to meet your expectations.

The location of our Thailand programme was changed and we informed all affected students three months before your placement start date. All students were offered the opportunity to change to a different destination or receive a full refund but we are satisfied that the placement provided met the high standards we set ourselves when it comes to arranging our shadowing opportunities.

We carefully selected Phitsanulok as the home of our new programme for many reasons. We wanted a rural, authentically Thai setting whilst still being very accessible to tourist areas so students can explore on their weekends. Of course, the heart of any Gap Medics placement is the quality of the local hospitals and in Phitsanulok we feel we have a destination that offers the best in healthcare shadowing combined with a location that offers everything Thailand is famous for. Phitsanulok offers many great attractions such as modern Thai style shopping malls, night markets, great local restaurants, temples, waterfalls and most importantly some fantastic hospitals that are proud to be a part of the Gap Medics programme.

We appreciate the house was still undergoing some minor construction works during your placement, however we ensured any work was carried out within students shadowing hours where possible, and that workers were off site when students returned home before evening meals. There was an incident where a contractor unfortunately damaged a cable, resulting in a power outage, but this was fixed in a timely manner and unfortunately was out of the control of Gap Medics and their staff.

As part of the welcome briefing we ensure all students are made aware that Thai toilet systems cannot handle toilet paper flushed directly down them unlike westernised countries, and that toilet paper must be disposed of in the bins provided. Unfortunately from time to time this can be forgotten and result in a blockage in the toilet system which requires maintenance to rectify. We are sorry that during your stay this occurred and offer assurance that our staff team dealt with the situation as soon as they could.

Gap Medics houses are famed for their food and we always have a selection of snacks available throughout the day and the main house meals are prepared at designated times for all students to eat together. Breakfast is always prepared for 7 am sharp to ensure students are well fuelled for a busy day in the hospital and we encourage all students to be present early for a warm hearty breakfast. Our Thailand destination is always popular with students for the delicious Thai cuisines they can enjoy. After looking into this issue, we are very happy with the quality of the food provided but we are sorry we were unable to meet your expectations in this area.

The Gap Medics house benefits from secure grounds with one large access gate and 24/7 security. Aside from the range of activities and great quality partner hospitals that exist in Phitsanulok we chose the area specifically for its low crime rate and great community feel. For extra peace of mind there are also four security guards at the Gap Medics Thailand house.

We always encourage students to be proactive during their hospital placement to make the most of their shadowing hours. Should a student have a problem during their placement, we make it very clear they should speak to our in country staff so we can rectify the issue immediately, so that it does not continue throughout their stay. If our staff teams had been made aware that you were unhappy with any aspect of your trip they would have strived to make sure you were getting the experience you expected. Hospitals in South East Asia can be very different to westernised hospitals and this can manifest itself in many ways within the hospital too. Running thousands of hospital placements each year is operationally extremely complex and we have great help from our partner hospitals, doctors and support staff. We would have welcomed any critical feedback during your stay and I’m sure if this had been forthcoming we could have ensured you left our programme feeling more than happy with your experience.

We are truly sorry you feel like you did not enjoy your placement, Gap Medics sends thousands of students away every year and we pride ourselves on our great reputation so we take negative comments very seriously indeed.

Please be assured we have completed a full investigation into your comments and I’d encourage you contact myself, Jodie Price, toll free on 1 844 340 4576, or email me at [email protected] if there is anything at all you would like to discuss.

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Tara
Female
24 years old
Fort Collins, Colorado
Colorado State University

Life Changing Experience!

10/10

I always wanted to be a doctor, but I knew I had to do something in order to reassure that it would be the best occupation for me. That is when I decided to do some research for a program that would submerge me into the medical world in a way in which I had never seen it before. I stumbled across the program Gap Medics, and after doing a lot of research, decided it was the perfect program for me!

From the beginning, the staff at Gap Medics were always only a phone call or email away. They would constantly check up on me and assure I had everything prepared prior to arrival. It was really reassuring knowing that I was going to be taken care of before, during, and after my time with Gap Medics.

The minute I got off the plane, I was greeted by the friendliest of faces from the Gap Medics team and I knew I was in great hands. After a good night's sleep in a well accommodating hotel, we embarked on our long bus journey to the town of Iringa. Though a long ride, it was a great introduction to Africa and was never boring.

Finally in the town of Iringa, we were welcomed by a whole team of staff and fellow participants. We were shown our accommodations and I could not have been more impressed! Bright, spacious, and clean bathrooms and bedrooms are scattered across the property that really feel like your home away from home. The common house is equipped with a full kitchen and family room as well! Not to mention, the property is very safe with full security and barriers.

Now on to the best part of Gap Medics, the placement! It was truly amazing being placed in different parts of the hospital each week. I was able to witness and participate in things I never thought possible. For instance, my second week there I watched an above the knee amputation....best day of my life! I even got to help put casts on broken arms, administer shots, and help assist in surgeries! It was the best experience I could've asked for and really showed me what it is like to be a doctor.

In addition to the medical placements, I was able to volunteer at a local orphanage for a week. This was another life-changing experience. Being able to help out in any way was truly rewarding.

Though you can't always have all work and no play and Tanzania has a lot to offer! We frequently visited the shops, markets, and restaurants in Iringa after our work day or during the weekends. If you are wondering if you should do the safari they provide, my answer is YES. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The weekend trip gives you everything you could ever want out of an authentic safari; not to mention the lodge you stay at is absolutely gorgeous.

I recommend this program to everyone. I was there for a month and it was the best month of my life. It truly offered learning experiences you just can't get in the States.

How can this program be improved?

If I could change one thing, it would maybe be to offer additional trips to places over the weekends. Tanzania is an amazing place and it would be a lot easier if the program could organize more trips to sign up for!

About The Provider

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Are you looking for hospital work experience? You have come to the right place!
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. Students join us from all over

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