Gap Medics: Pre-medicine programs

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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.

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:….


based on 81 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9
Showing 16 - 30 of 81
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No, I don't recommend this program

Go for the Experience and Stories not the Refrences

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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No, I don't recommend this program

Focused on profits

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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Yes, I recommend this program

Morogoro- Gap Medics 2015

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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Yes, I recommend this program

Good Trip

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I would have had more time.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Helping me decide my future.

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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Yes, I recommend this program

Friends for Life

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.


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
Joint pain
General malaise

Features of severe form

Can present with all non severe as well as -
Ataxia- aggressive
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

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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Yes, I recommend this program

Gap Medics, Morogoro, Tanzania

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]

What would you improve about this program?
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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Yes, I recommend this program

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

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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Yes, I recommend this program

Iringa, Tanzania-July 2015

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

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Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Thing I've Done

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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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Yes, I recommend this program

Best 2 Weeks of My Life

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.

What would you improve about this program?
As a picky eater, I did not eat much.
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Yes, I recommend this program


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.

What would you improve about this program?
Wifi at the house would be good.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Recommend to all

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!!

What would you improve about this program?
Accommodation could be improved slightly and more evening activities
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Yes, I recommend this program

Gap Medics Thailand

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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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No, I don't recommend this program

Terrible company

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 Global Pre-Meds

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.