Career Advice for Job Seekers

5 Reasons to be a Medical Intern Abroad

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
August 9, 2013

Medical intern at a hospital

Medical intern at a hospital. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Have you thought about getting an internship in medicine?  If the answer is yes, consider five reasons to intern abroad.

International volunteer organization Projects Abroad has been organizing medical placements in the developing world since the mid-90s. There are many great reasons for students to get involved with medical work abroad. Here are the organization’s top five:

Meet wonderful people

As an intern working alongside local doctors and medical professionals while living with a local host family, you will meet some inspiring people and gain a deeper understanding of your host country. You will be sharing the experience with a community of other international volunteers. Projects Abroad itself is one of the largest volunteer abroad organizations in the world, with about 10,000 participants a year from all over the globe.

Develop cross-cultural skills

Having an understanding and respect for different cultures and mindsets is an extremely valuable skill to have, especially in the healthcare field. Culture can affect people’s attitudes toward receiving care and influence their decision-making process.

Stand out from the pack

Let’s face it, medical school admissions are tough! International service experience offers a unique opportunity to show your eagerness to challenge yourself, display your commitment to delivering healthcare wherever it is needed, and provides real-life material to demonstrate your flexibility and adaptability in an interview.

You did not get to study abroad as an undergrad

It is hard to fit in all those pre-med requirements and still graduate on time. Now you are graduating and it may be your last chance to live abroad until you pay off your student loans!

Give back to communities abroad

As an international volunteer you will have a valuable role to play in your host community. You will work alongside local colleagues, join service projects and public health initiatives, and participate in international exchange. Projects Abroad medical interns get involved with outreach activities to bring access to healthcare to local communities. You can also get involved with monthly group community service projects with other Projects Abroad volunteers.

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