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 31 - 45 of 81
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Tara
10/10

Life Changing Experience!

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!
Yes, I recommend
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Sierra
10/10

BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE

This program completely exceeded my expectations. Upon arrival you automatically feel welcomed. Within little time I felt like I had known everyone my entire life and we truly did feel like a family. The staff and mentors were so kind and helpful. There was never a dull or boring moment. The food was terrific and we definitely looked forward to meal times. I learned more in the 3 weeks I was there than I have ever learned in that amount of time. I would have never been able to experience and witness the great things I did in the hospital without Gapmedics. I was nervous 3 weeks would be too long and I would get homesick, but leaving was hard because I wanted to stay in Tanzania longer and so did everyone in the program. This program is educational, fun, and so worth the cost.

Yes, I recommend
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Collette
10/10

Tackling Thailand

My entire trip was jam packed with things to do- educationally and leisurely. The medical experience was incredible, and I met some amazing friends on the resort and within the community.

Monday-Friday, I spent my days at Chiang Mai's Hospital of Neurology (the placement of my choice) which was incredible. Each day I spent in a different ward (ie. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Surgery, etc.) and I was able to learn about the different procedures while bonding with the staff and patients. In the evenings, we had clinical sessions and Thai lessons. In our down time, we explored the local temples and went Bungy Jumping (that was scary, but so much fun!)

The GapMedics staff was very welcoming and helpful. They engaged in games with us during our down time, and even guided us throughout the city to show us the local stores and attractions.

One experience stood out to me the most:
On my last night there, I got on a red taxi to the airport. With red taxi's, they are cheaper but anyone can flag down the driver and get aboard at the driver's discretion. At the time, three people had got on after I did. One of the people that got on was a teacher, and was able to speak some English. After speaking with her, I realized I would not make it to the airport in time to make my flight if they were dropped off first as planned. The local spoke with the driver and requested to be dropped off immediately and paid the driver so that I would be able to make it to the airport in time. I couldn't help but cry after experiencing such kindness from strangers I had just met.

I'm going to miss the whole experience- the program, community and friends that I made. I would recommend it to anyone!

How can this program be improved?
Possibly more options in roommate selection.
Yes, I recommend
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Chris
10/10

Gap Medics Tanzania

This program was one of the most influential experiences in regards to gaining clinical experience for medical school. Gap Medics provided me a chance to see healthcare in a setting that is dramatically different from the one I've experienced back at home (United States). The surgeries that you'll see and the way that healthcare is delivered is one of the most eye-opening experiences. It is definitely a chance to step outside your comfort zone and gain insight to medicine practiced in other parts of the world. Additionally, the people that you meet in the program adds to the wonderful experience of connecting with peers from other parts of the world with radically different backgrounds.

Yes, I recommend
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Amalie
9/10

Gap Year in Tanzania

I spent 3 weeks at the gap medics house in Tanzania and can say with confidence that they were some of the best 3 weeks of my life. I meet amazing students from around the world and learned A LOT about medicine in the short time I spent at the hospital. The doctors were great and the Gap Medics staff was more than welcoming. The food was wonderful, orientation very thorough, always things going on (fun things!) and informative seminars. These 3 weeks helped guide me in the right direction and am now entering a physician assistant program in the Fall. Thanks Gap Medics for the amazing opportunity!

How can this program be improved?
More swahili lessons!
Yes, I recommend
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Andre
10/10

Amazing experience

I have been to Thailand in 2014, and it is a truly amazing experience. Part of the reason is you don't get such opportunities to 'be a staff' in fields related to healthcare. I enjoyed everyday of the trip. Not only you are allowed to visit the deepest part of their system, also to meet some fantastic or even life long friends. The staffs were so nice and they were so helpful in everything. It is just amazing.

How can this program be improved?
I think the Gap Medic House is a bit too far away from town and the hospitals. That's why I think we might have lost some time in travelling instead of working in the hospital or walking around Chiang Mai.
Yes, I recommend
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Melissa
10/10

Opportunity of a lifetime

Being able to travel to Thailand was most certainly an amazing experience. Going to the hospitals everyday and being able to witness surgeries and other medical procedures was eye-opening. Chiang Mai is also a very beautiful city and the activities organized for us were fun and engaging. The night market and visit to the temple were highlights during the trip.

How can this program be improved?
Moving around the city outside of the programs activities was a bit challenging at times
Yes, I recommend
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Emma
10/10

Gap-medic Review

My Gap-medic experience was incredible. Even though I am studying Occupational Therapy, working with the doctors and nurses taught me a great deal. Not only did I learn about conditions and diseases, which I can and actually have applied to my studies, but I also learnt just how much I love my current career path. I am now far more confident with my patients and have a greater respect for my own occupation. Through Gap-medics I have gained valuable insight into the medical model by observing the doctors and I now understand their approach that they take towards patients.I love children but I have never wanted to work with them, however spending time at the orphanage and a week in the labor ward...I have a completely different mindset and I can not wait to work with children in my future pediatrics block! Gap-medics not only gave me invaluable lessons in the hospital but they also gave me such beautiful friends from around the world. There's something so special about a group of young people coming together from all around the world sharing the same passion to make a difference in a life...everyone just clicks. The only downfall of going on a Gap-medic program is now that I am looking for other volunteer programs to do... not one comes even close to the one that Gap-medics offer. You can not get better than the warmth of all their staff, their professional manner, the specific details that they give you before you depart on your journey (which really helps calm the nerves if you are travelling alone) and the safety that they provide for all their students. I would definitely repeat my Gap-medic experience again.

No, I don't recommend
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Michael
8/10

Gap Medics Medical Placement Review

Following completion of my first year at University during the Summer, I was keen to embark on a five week journey overseas to gain some relevant medical experience that I could reflect upon into entry into my second year at University.
I heard about the Chiang Mai, Thailand medical work experience project that was on offer through Gap Medics and after hearing the reviews of this programme, had my mind set that this was the right place for me to undertake this adventure.
I decided to squeeze in five weeks work of placement experience. I found the application process and journey preparations ran smoothly. I spoke to the Gap Medics team on numerous occasions before my departure and found them to be incredibly friendly and helpful, answering all my questions and concerns.
I was reassured instantly upon arrival at the airport when I was met by one of the Gap Medics team, who met myself and the other arrivals and answered our burning questions.
Upon arrival at the Jungle Lodge resort, I met numerous other volunteers from all areas across the world. I think the age range of 16-25 year olds accepted upon the programme gives a wide mix of individuals at various points in their education and allows the sharing of learning experiences between one another. All volunteers were friendly and sociable and you will instantly form solid friendships with likeminded people. I stayed at the Jungle Lodge resort and shared living accommodations with up to 64 other students at the busiest time of the year. I felt as part of a large family and we were cared for by the caterer and Gap Medics Team. The caterer called us her ‘sons and daughters’ and was very popular, turning into a surrogate Mum for many students! The cleaners, despite speaking little English made us feel very welcome. We further had help at hand from Gap Medics staff who also lived on site and took us under their wings during scheduled activities. The staff felt more like friends than staff and were really keen to help make each students experience as enjoyable and fun-filled as possible. The food offered was served in a buffet style and was always varied and enjoyable!
My first placement experience consisted of a week on a general surgery ward at one of the busiest hospitals in Chiang Mai. This week I got to scrub into theatres and observe firsthand operations ranging from minor procedures, such as hand reconstructions to emergency procedures, such as neurosurgery. I even witnessed the performing of C-sections and was a bit taken aback when a surgeon handed me a newborn baby to hold! I found despite the pressure the surgeons were under, they were still keen to try and explain the procedure in every way they could. I gained a lot of knowledge from witnessing the differences in the healthcare system and was exposed to opportunities to witness procedures that wouldn’t have been possible in the UK. This placement gave me a deep understanding of the human body, including anatomy and physiology that I would not have been able to gain from a textbook!
My second week consisted of a placement in orthopaedics in one of the largest teaching hospitals in Chiang Mai. During this week, most mornings we received English taught lectures on fracture case reviews that were occurring in the hospital by the junior Doctors and Registrars, which were very informative and interesting to watch. The staff at this placement were both incredibly welcoming and keen to supply students with ample learning opportunities. We were able to accompany the doctors on ward rounds, who spoke very good English and would translate everything spoken in Thai for us. A junior Doctor also took us out for the lunch period, which allowed us to embrace the local culture. The days were varied, we would rotate around different departments of the hospital, for example, routine outpatient appointments, plastering, X-Ray and theatres, which ensured a good varied placement experience and an understanding of the journey that the patient may encounter.
My third week consisted of a week in a new private hospital in the local Accident and Emergency Room. During this week, I got to witness a variety of procedures, for example, burns treatments, suturing, plastering and local healthcare procedures. It was interesting to also witness the differences in the healthcare provided and the facilities between a public and private sector hospital. Although some days were busier than others, due to the nature of the placement, the staff, including the student nurses, were very keen to communicate and share their experiences with us.
My fourth week consisted of a week in a psychiatry hospital. Despite initial uncertainty regarding this placement, I really enjoyed it. I was able to learn about various mental health conditions and observed cognitive behavioural therapy sessions and day to day sessions/activities that the patients took part in. Throughout our time at this placement, the Doctor was keen to show us all aspects of mental health care and arranged for us to go with the low risk patients on an away day, which was really rewarding to be a part of.
My final week consisted of a week on neurology and a neurological hospital. The staff at the hospital devised a timetable for us, which enabled us to attend various departments throughout the hospital. I spent time on the rehabilitation wards, which gave me an idea of the management of care required for neurological conditions. On our final day, we were fortunate enough to witness a planned spinal surgery, which put into perspective what we had learned about at the beginning of the week.
I found Chiang Mai a very exciting and fun filled place to live. The programme at Gap Medics is jam-packed. Every day after placement there is a scheduled activity, whether this is a Thai speaking lesson, clinical taught session, trip to the local Bizarre night market or evening meal out with the house. There is always plenty to do and culture to embrace and the Gap Medics team are keen to facilitate activities for the students depending on their desire. I would highly recommend partaking in the Hill Tribe experience as this was an unforgettable experience, which involved staying with a host family in the jungle, riding elephants, zip wiring and rafting. I would also recommend going to see the world famous lady boys show, which really is a must!
To conclude, I had an unforgettable experience on my Chiang Mai medical placement with Gap Medics. I found the placements informative, relaxed and provided a good learning environment. I have also met some amazing people, who I will remain friends with and feel like I have developed as a person from embarking on this journey.

How can this program be improved?
Although the majority of meals are provided, I think it's important to mention that the costs will not provide you with an evening meal on a Thursday evening (as you will be asked to go out for lunch), on a Monday lunchtime, due to a half day on placement, you will need to allocate spending money for lunch (with exception to the first week as this will be paid for within your local induction) and on a Saturday evening.
If you like using wifi, some free wifi is provided at hospitals on placement, but otherwise, there is a local cafe by the resort which will charge you a small amount to use their wifi.
Yes, I recommend
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Issie
9/10

Definitely worth it!

Having had to take an unexpected Gap Year, I was looking for something to do that would be an amazing experience, but also useful in my University Application. I came across this program on the internet, and it was one of the best decisions ever! The house was beautiful, and being able to relax in the pool every night was a big bonus. The staff were all friendly, the food was delicious (If all a bit rice based) and I met some very lovely people.

The actual work experience placements were very well organised and interesting. During my time at the Neurological Hospital I saw every aspect of the Hospital, including spinal surgery, and at the Maternity Ward of another hospital I saw some caesarian sections and natural births.

If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend the Hill tribes weekend excursion. In just two days we went on an elephant trek, white water rafting, hiked to a waterfall, went zip-lining and went to a tiger safari! Only six of us went whilst I was there, but it was still an amazing experience.

The lack of wifi at the house was a bit of a con, but there was an internet cafe a few minutes up the road so it was still fairly easy to contact home. Also, beware of bugs!

Overall, it was a fantastic experience, well worth the money. It has inspired me to pursue Neuroscience at University, and really helped my personal statement stand out.

How can this program be improved?
- Whilst the food was very nice, it did get a bit repetitive
-I can imagine that going at a busy time of year could be very crowded and hectic. I went in early September, which was ideal
Yes, I recommend
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Anna
8/10

Amazing experience

I am very pleased with my experience in Thailand. I was very pleasantly surprised with the house I stayed. My hospital placements were very well organised and I managed to see various procedures. I am a, so very happy that I managed to make friends from different countries.

How can this program be improved?
One of the problem at the time when I was there was there was no Internet in the house. The food was lovely up they could introduce more varied food.
Yes, I recommend
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Rumi
8/10

Thailand Gap Medics

This was one of the best medical placements i have been on, not only was I able to get hands on experience, but the medical staff were so informative and helpful. It's a real eye opener and defiantly gives you an insight of the medical world, if that is what you want to go in to. Accommodation was good, rooms were cleaned daily and provided with AC. The gap medics team were very friendly and helpful and you go away from all this with experience and meeting great students from all over the world.

How can this program be improved?
Try doing Ice breaker sessions once a week so new and old students get to know each other.
Yes, I recommend
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Lauren
3/10

Worst Program to attend

There are way more programs that would actually allow you to gain experience. When I visited Thailand for three weeks, Gap Medics over booked the houses where the students stayed. This caused confusion and trouble for some of the students and their placements in the hospital. One week while I was there, there were 13 students who did not receive a placement in the hospital because there were too many students. For one whole week, students were required to stay at home and gained no hospital experience. When the students complained and asked for their money back, the program replied "sorry its not our fault". This is completely a fallacious company who is trying to scam students for their money. I would not recommend this program to anyone. Also the program is mostly full of 16 year old. You will not be hands on in this program I can guarantee you that!!!

Response from Gap Medics

Thank you for your review Lauren, we do take on board all feedback, good or bad, to ensure we are providing the best service possible. We send over 2,000 students away each year with tremendous feedback but I'm sorry on this occasion we were unable to meet your expectations.

The Gap Medics house was not overbooked at any point during your stay. Whilst you did travel at a busy time of year, we have a maximum amount of beds in the house, which reflects the number of students we take at any one time. At no point were there more students than there were beds, or hospital placements. You mention that several students missed a whole week of placement due to overbooking. In fact, they missed two days of placement as a result of unacceptable behaviour in the hospital. They were allowed to return to the hospital after apologising to hospital staff, where they continued their placement. The hospital side of our placements is the most important part so we take very seriously any inappropriate behaviour within our partner institutions. Although the vast majority of students are serious about their hospital experience we do very occasionally get students that do not give the hospital and their staff the full attention and respect they deserve. I'm sorry if this affected your placement but the disruption on this occasion was justified.

The age range of our students is between 16-25. Although there may be a higher summer of young students in the summer months due to school holidays, there is always a mixture of ages.

You also mentioned that our placements do not allow you to get hands-on experience. We are very clear on our website and throughout our marketing that our programme is purely observational. We offer shadowing opportunities to students before they have started their clinical training at medical school. I'm sure that you would agree that allowing unqualified students the opportunity to perform procedures on a patient would be dangerous for the patient, as well as damaging to the reputation of the hospitals. Medical schools also do not look favourably on unqualified students engaging in medical practice. Observational experience is the best way to get an understanding of medicine before embarking on your clinical training.

We have been in correspondence with you already in regards to the issues you have raised, however, if you would like to get back in touch, please contact Mark Hinksman on +44 191 230 8080, or email: [email protected]

Thanks again for your feedback and we wish you all the best for your future studies.

No, I don't recommend
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lovedeveryminute
10/10

Words can't even describe how amazing it is!

From the moment I arrived in Tanzania, Gap Medics supported me 100%. They picked me up from the airport, looked after me in the hotel before the bus journey to Iringa, and all the time were more than willing to answer any questions and help out with anything. Akiba in rock house is the most amazing cook, and he is helpful with any dietary requirements you have. Baptista, Mdoe, Nzoni, Stapher and everyone else are all amazing staff from Gap Medics and look after you so well, they are really fun to be around too. The hospital experience is good it exposes you to things you would never see back home. Tanzania is very different, but lovely, and there is nothing more that I want than to go back. (Also, go on the safari in Ruaha national park- AMAZING!)

How can this program be improved?
My only complaint is the price- not only is it really expensive in the first place (I went for 2 weeks and you have £1000 Gap medics cost and also a £290 fee on top of that, but the work permit and visa for Tanzania come to around £200) when you have insurance, antimalarials, jabs etc as well as expensive flights, this gets very expensive very quickly. However, I don't regret it at all, by far the most amazing experience of my entire life. Don't miss out!!!
Yes, I recommend
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Emma
10/10

UNEXPLAINABLE.

I cannot put how amazing and insightful this experience was.

I'll begin with the town: a little but busy place with not only beautiful buildings and atmosphere but also beautiful people. The locals were always smiling, dancing and singing. The children were laughing, waving and eager to learn English. It was a stunning place.

The Hospital: I saw and experienced things that would never have been possible in Australia. At the age of only 16, I was worried it would be too confronting but it was actually the perfect situation. The mentors are amazing people and taught me no only medical but life lessons as well. It has completely confirmed my hopes and dream of doing medicine in the future.

The House: It was so cosy and loving, I felt so accepted and everyone learns so much about each other. The showers were a bit dodgy as many people have mentioned but the reality is that your in Africa, it wouldn't be the same with the luxury of a 5 star shower! As for the staff at the house, they really are the most beautiful and inspiration people i have ever met and i will never forget a single one of them.
Jerry, because of his caring nature and continuous need for everyone to be happy and safe.
Mdoe, for always putting smiles on each of our faces.
Akiba, for filling our bellies with amazing food and brighting the day with his singing and dancing.
Queenie, for her motherly love and unforgettable sayings, and Baptista, for the forever smiling, forever laughing and forever positive person that he is.
Basically they were my Tanzanian family, they made me safe, happy, secure and confident.

Sorry about the length but I could honestly go on for days, this program is the most amazing thing I've heard of and you wont regret a single moment of it.

How can this program be improved?
It's important to throw yourself into every opportunity. It was sad to see some people's experiences cut short by their lack of enthusiasm.
Get to know everyone, try to see everything and most of all, give everything a go!!
Yes, I recommend

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About Gap Medics

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...