This internship is designed to give you an experience as close to being a practicing physician as is possible before going to medical school. You will spend every clinic day doing one of the following activities:
Shadowing a doctor: You will sit right next to the doctor and listen as he or she meets with patients, diagnoses conditions, and prescribes treatment. You will have opportunities to ask questions and learn as much as you would like. You might even learn a few skills like how to differentiate between the heartbeat of an unborn fetus' and the mother with a stethoscope, or how to treat an open wound.
Measure Vital Statistics: Learn how to take blood pressure readings, analyze blood sugar levels, take height and weight measurements, and temperature readings. You will learn these skills and then use these skills, because volunteers take all the vital statistics and record them for the doctors.
Manage the Pharmacy: Once the doctors have prescribed medications, volunteers fill the prescriptions and give them to patients with instructions.
Public Health Workshops You will work 6 clinical days - there is one additional day devoted to public health classes. Teams will arrive at local schools and teach children the importance of hygiene, dental health, hand washing, nutrition, or any other subject the team decides to teach. Ideally teams will bring something to distribute to the children such as toothbrushes or bars of soap.
Below is a sample itinerary of your trip. The number of clinic days is guaranteed, but the order of days could vary.
- Day 1 - Fly to the host country
- Day 2 - Rest and prepare for the clinics
- Day 3 - Clinic
- Day 4 - Clinic
- Day 5 - Clinic
- Day 6 - Clinic
- Day 7 - Clinic
- Day 8 - Day off
- Day 9 - Day off
- Day 10 - Clinic
- Day 11 - Day to teach public health classes
- Days12 -14 - Free Days for fun travel
- Day 14 or 15 - Fly back to U.S.
What you get: Work with a local NGO, gain valuable international experience, learn basic medical training, and explore the cultural and natural beauty of the host country. Included in the program fees are in country transportation, food and lodging, support staff including doctors and a translator. The VAW programs are challenging, rewarding, safe, and personalized experiences.
Qualifications: The biggest requirement is an adventurous spirit. Volunteers are adventurous, enthusiastic, caring, sensible, humble, and curious individuals. Volunteers are expected to learn and grow while improving themselves and the communities in which VAW works. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Medical training and Spanish are useful skills but are not required for a successful experience. We will teach you many of the medical skills required while you are volunteering with us!