Embarking on a medical career is a serious decision. On average, a physician will have to spend eight years getting a university and medical degree and an additional seven years for internship, residency, and license to practice.
But while it takes years of hard work and a steadfast commitment to start a medical career, that doesn’t mean a would-be doctor can’t have an opportunity to travel overseas. Worldwide, there’s a deficiency of about 4.3 million medical workers, including doctors and nurses, according to the World Health Organization. This shortage is starkly felt in remote communities in developing countries.
If you’re working to jump-start your medical career, you might be better positioned when you set your sights on overseas internships. This way, you’ll get to experience a more memorable internship in less advanced hospitals while having a great work-life balance.
Why Should You Consider An Overseas Internship?
A medical internship abroad refers to an overseas placement where a physician from any country is assigned to a medical facility in developing nations. As expected, you’ll be working in challenging situations and in completely different settings.
These extremely difficult conditions will help develop your skills and knowledge in other sectors of public health while forging good relations with your patients. Without getting to these places, you can only view these situations in medical textbooks.
The Best Destinations For A Medical Internship
The African continent is said to only have an average of 2.3 healthcare workers for every 1,000 people, according to one review. The repercussions of this severe shortage are felt in all areas, including Zambia.
Situated in the south-central part of Africa, the healthcare system in Zambia is in desperate need of additional resources, including manpower who specialize in pediatric, adult medicine, oncology, as well as mother and newborn wellness. As an intern, you’ll find out more about the distinct Zambian tribal culture and how it impacts the delivery of medical services.
Zambia is also home to the Zambezi River, where an abundant wildlife is waiting to be explored. Numerous game parks with endemic animals also dot the area, where you can embark on any of these adventures.
This Southeast Asian nation is a popular tourist destination on its own, frequented by backpackers eager to explore its historical ties with France, the United States, and other countries. On the other side, Vietnam is also suffering from a serious shortage of medical workers, especially in remote areas. An internship in Vietnam will offer a medical student with a dynamic experience in the field of medicine such as oncology, reproductive endocrinology, obstetrics, and so on.
On a lighter note, you’ll enjoy the vibrant markets and beaches, historical spots, and sacred temples. While there, you could visit the Golden Bridge of Vietnam, located in Ba Na Hills, in Hòa Vang, on top of the Marble Mountains of Da Nang.
This African country is located in the western part of the region. While relatively better off than the other countries in the continent, Ghana—like the rest of its neighbors—suffer from a severe lack of physicians.
Its healthcare system is widely open for medical practitioners willing to learn more about how healthcare works in the country. If you’re planning to specialize in neonatal intensive care unit and female surgical procedures, as well as human immunodeficiency management with relatively low resources, this place is for you.
Apart from gaining invaluable medical skills and knowledge, you’ll be rewarded with a scenic view of the African wildlife and safari, the fishing villages, and the busy metropolis.
The Philippines is a melting pot of various cultures with Western influence. After becoming a Spanish colony for more than 300 years, the Americans and Japanese also colonized the country successively but in shorter periods.
Like the rest of the countries in Southeast Asia, the country is suffering from shortage of physicians. In 2016, the country’s deficiency was at 15,000 healthcare professionals. Medical workers are expected to manage various chronic diseases—among them hypertension and diabetes, making it a great destination for those who want to specialize as an internist. Additionally, tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever continue to claim lives in this country.
With over 7,000 islands, there’s no shortage of destinations in the Philippines—whether you want to explore the outdoors, take a dive into the vibrant marine life, or just relax on the beach during your rest days.
To Sum Up
A medical internship abroad will help you stand out from the rest of medical students. With an overseas placement, you get to expand your knowledge and develop problem-solving skills. When you choose to spend your internship abroad, you’ll be interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds, which can also enhance your people skills—one of the main proficiencies you need to develop as a physician.
With these in your résumé, prestigious healthcare facilities will see you as a more viable candidate for their medical programs.