The Medical Elective project is well suited to medical and nursing students, who have the opportunity to experience first-hand the stark contrast between medical practice in the Western world and the realities of medicine in developing countries. Volunteers are either placed at a hospital in Kathmandu, Chitwan or Pokhara where they shadow fully qualified physicians and nurses. Whilst hospitals in Nepal are under resourced and equipment is basic, these institutions are bound by government regulations and cannot allow international volunteers to perform tasks independently.
Typical tasks that short-term volunteers can assist with include; observing the operating room to become familiar with procedures in the surgery ward; working with children to move and exercise their limbs in the physical therapy department; examining burn wounds and changing patients’ dressings in the burns unit; participating in emergency room rounds; following the main emergency room physician; learning about family planning and immunizations; and helping mothers of new born babies. Experienced and longer-term volunteers (2+ months) will have more scope to assist with hands-on tasks, and may also have the option to experience work in a rural health clinic, where they will assist medical staff in performing day-to-day tasks in the more “off-the-beaten-track” communities of Nepal. Volunteers who are placed in a more rural location may also have the opportunity to take part in local community medical campaigns where they will assist in conducting seminars to motivate and educate local villagers on healthcare initiatives.
Please note, there is a minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks for this project and there is also a surcharge of US$80 per week to cover training and resources used. This will be included in the program fee quoted to you when you apply. Volunteers need to have completed at least 2 years training at medical school or nursing school and are required to present a copy of their qualifications and certificates to our local team during orientation in Nepal. Please ensure that you apply for the Medical Elective project at least 6 weeks before your chosen start date, to allow our local team the needed time to arrange a suitable placement.