Seen on the idealist.org voluntary placement site (feel free to share with any foreign medical students you may know):
Visit South Africa – a “Rainbow Nation” that combines modern culture with an ancient landscape that is simply breathtaking. South Africa has evolved over thousands of years to become the biologically and culturally diverse nation that it is today, and attracts thousands of visitors a year to its wide, sandy beaches and cosmopolitan cities, and of course the dramatic natural monument that is Table Mountain.
If you are embarking on a career in medicine, then this project is the perfect work place experience for you. With a wide range of healthcare activities you can be sure of a varied and in-depth placement from which you will gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the challenges facing the medical professionals in a country such as South Africa.
Based in Port Elizabeth, you will also have the opportunity to explore a beautiful city with a rich historical and cultural background and this placement will ensure you get the most out of your time in South Africa with a wide range of experiences, and you will return with a multitude of memories that will remain with you forever. The practical learning experience you will gain from this placement will undoubtedly prove to be highly rewarding and enjoyable, as well an invaluable addition to your CV and an ideal opportunity to develop your future career!
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
This project is best suited to medical students and medical practitioners as the work will involve carrying out medical duties at the placement. Your internship will give you invaluable preparation for a career in medicine. The placement will allow you to observe medical practices and give you the opportunity to take part in the day-to-day running of a local clinic or healthcare NGO. Those with determination, enthusiasm, aptitude and the right inclination may be able to assist the doctors and nurses in their duties and gain hands-on experience of administering healthcare to the South African people.
Your placement will be arranged at either a local health clinic or local healthcare NGO, depending upon availability. You will be providing medical care and outreach work to underprivileged communities in and around Port Elizabeth.
Your work may consist of basic healthcare activities such as observing procedures, shadowing medical staff, taking histories, administering prescriptions and diagnosis of ailments and giving assistance to the existing medical staff. However, please note that your level of involvement will depend completely upon your own previous experience and qualifications as well as the needs of the clinic/NGO at the time of your visit. It is therefore important to remain flexible. Those volunteers with little experience could be given the opportunity to get involved with various community outreach programmes such as medical camps, health education, community visits and other relevant activities, or shadowing the in-house nurse at a local orphanage.
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