Since 2007, Projects Abroad medical electives has sent many UK medical students abroad to developing countries to complete their elective placements.
While the overwhelming majority of these were for medicine projects, nursing electives have also increased in popularity – making up roughly 25% of all elective placements.
The most popular destinations include Nepal, Ghana, Sri Lanka, China, Mongolia and Mexico.
Choosing to do their elective placements abroad in developing countries is an increasingly popular option for UK medical students in their elective year.
There are a number of reasons for this.
- Firstly, students get the chance to experience medical practice in another country. If working in a developing nation, students will be exposed to techniques and illnesses that they wouldn’t necessarily encounter back home
- Secondly, students will have the opportunity to work alongside skilled local staff and learn from them, lending a hand where necessary. Doctors and nurses act as mentors and supervisors, sharing their knowledge and teaching students about the healthcare issues of their host country
- Finally, working in a limited-resource environment makes for an exciting challenge, as one is often forced to become more innovative and seek creative solutions to medical problems. Taking your elective abroad is an excellent way to broaden your horizons, expand your medical knowledge, and gain work experience that will be of great benefit to your medical career.
A cultural element
There is also a cultural element to an overseas elective placement – students have the chance to benefit from positive cross-cultural exchange, not just with the local staff, but also by meeting other students from up to 40 different countries.
‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about a different way of life and explore a new country in their time off.
Says Fred Campbell-Jones, who took part in a medicine elective in Peru: ‘The breadth of cases we got exposed to was outstanding. The placement overall was a true eye-opening experience.
‘I came to Peru with the aim of getting a really broad exposure to all aspects of medicine in a developing country for the benefit of my medical studies and that’s exactly what Projects Abroad enabled me to do.’
Projects Abroad offers elective placements in six different fields: dentistry, physiotherapy, midwifery, occupational therapy, medicine and nursing.
Furthermore, students are able to specify in which department they’d like to work.
Abroad has over 24 years of experience collaborating with medical professionals, and will arrange a placement that meets your requirements and gives a full and rewarding experience of the country in which you are based.
Our electives are offered in many destinations around the world, so there is a wide range of exciting options to choose from.
About Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a programme for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The programme had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programmes with projects in 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.
For more information on medical electives abroad, please visit www.projects-abroad.co.uk/volunteer-projects/electives.