Gap Medics: Pre-medicine programs

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About

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.

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Questions & Answers

Hi, great question! To get a feel for the program we recommend reading reviews and testimonials. The reviews section at the bottom of this page has a lot of stories and pictures from past participants: https://www.gooverseas.com/volunteer-abroad/multiple-countr… .

Reviews

92%
based on 81 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 15 of 81
Emma
10/10

Gap Medics- Santo Domingo

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
Chloe
10/10

La romana, Dominican Republic

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
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Ben
9/10

Community

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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Kristine
10/10

Really enjoyed!!

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
Tommy
10/10

General Surgery: cholecystectomy

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Madeline
10/10

Poland 2016

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lauren
10/10

Gap Medics Poland

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Hal
10/10

A Whole New World

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
Yes, I recommend this program
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Gemma
10/10

Morogoro, Tanzania

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!)
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emilia
10/10

Gap Medics @ Morogoro, Tanzania

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sam
9/10

Expensive, but definitely worth it!

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.

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
Yes, I recommend this program
Simon
10/10

invaluable and life changing experience!

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!!
Yes, I recommend this program
Hángma
10/10

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

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Daisy
10/10

Best Experience Ever

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jemini
2/10

Worst Experience of My Life - Croatia

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!

No, I don't recommend this program

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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...