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How much does a medical internship abroad help?

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If someone goes on a medical internship abroad in the summer for 1-2 months how would it be viewed by adcoms? A lot of people say it's just going to be shrugged off as tourism. However, what if the program entails doing more than just shadowing and you do more than explore the hot spots in surrounding areas? Does it look good to go to a foreign third-world country? If someone from an admissions committee could answer that would be really helpful. I'm on the very brink of signing up for one, so I'd like to get your opinions. Thanks!
 

gyngyn

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If someone goes on a medical internship abroad in the summer for 1-2 months how would it be viewed by adcoms? A lot of people say it's just going to be shrugged off as tourism. However, what if the program entails doing more than just shadowing and you do more than explore the hot spots in surrounding areas? Does it look good to go to a foreign third-world country? If someone from an admissions committee could answer that would be really helpful. I'm on the very brink of signing up for one, so I'd like to get your opinions. Thanks!
Almost all of these opportunities (for you) take jobs away from locals who need them far more than you.
What do you mean by "hot spot" and how would this exploration help?
If you do more than your skills would allow here, it will hurt your application.
Travel is illuminating. It is not service.
Your description of other countries that are not as rich as ours is "cringey."
Many of us share this perception: https://www.aamc.org/download/47425...al-shadowing-experience-executive-summary.pdf
 
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doc05

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If someone goes on a medical internship abroad in the summer for 1-2 months how would it be viewed by adcoms? A lot of people say it's just going to be shrugged off as tourism. However, what if the program entails doing more than just shadowing and you do more than explore the hot spots in surrounding areas? Does it look good to go to a foreign third-world country? If someone from an admissions committee could answer that would be really helpful. I'm on the very brink of signing up for one, so I'd like to get your opinions. Thanks!

Sounds like traveling.
 
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deleted962392

Almost all of these opportunities (for you) take jobs away from locals who need them far more than you.
What do you mean by "hot spot" and how would this exploration help?
If you do more than your skills would allow here, it will hurt your application.
Travel is illuminating. It is not service.
Your description of other countries who are not as rich as ours is "cringey."
Many of us share this perception: https://www.aamc.org/download/47425...al-shadowing-experience-executive-summary.pdf

By "hot spot" I meant that in many of these programs people visit the popular sites. For example: the eiffel tower in France, and the Great Wall in China.
What if we don't do anything that is outside of normal bounds? The link that you sent me doesn't have a whole lot of information regarding viewpoints on people who go on international trips without being involved in unsupervised/supervised invasive procedures.
I agree that travel is illuminating.
I legitimately didn't know that was offensive. From now on, I'll cut that phrasing out of my vocabulary.
 

vrazzles

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The term "third world country" is rather dated. "Developing country" or even better "low to middle income country" are preferred. Also asking whether it "looks good" to go there is cringey and speaks of privelige.

As someone who lives in a country like this and regularly interacts with medical tourists, I wouldn't do it. The local health care workers absolutely feel the pinch from it and consider it ridiculous that someone is trying to provide health care without knowing a lick of swahili.

Travel is always good. Best of luck!
 
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candbgirl

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Just stay in America and find an opportunity to help some of the unserved/underserved right in your community. If you want to travel by all means do that but don’t try to combine it with premed requirements. But I somehow think you are going to anyway. Just remember to have an over abundance of volunteering with the unserved in your community too.
 
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pewpew95

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If someone goes on a medical internship abroad in the summer for 1-2 months how would it be viewed by adcoms? A lot of people say it's just going to be shrugged off as tourism. However, what if the program entails doing more than just shadowing and you do more than explore the hot spots in surrounding areas? Does it look good to go to a foreign third-world country? If someone from an admissions committee could answer that would be really helpful. I'm on the very brink of signing up for one, so I'd like to get your opinions. Thanks!
Going to another country and traveling to the non-tourist areas is a great experience because you get to learn a new culture and lifestyle. I did the same when I did a summer study abroad in X country. I would say that if you want to go abroad, you should find a short term study abroad program that focuses on those cultural aspects (or maybe even a crash course in a foreign language?) rather than trying to do clinical stuff. You can find these programs through something like ISEP, if your school partners with them. There is a lot of negative connotations towards medical tourism, especially when it is often just as important to help the underserved in your local communities as it is to serve those in developing nations. I had also been on the fence of doing either Students Helping Honduras or a regular study abroad. But I think I ended up making the right decision because my interviewers brought it up often and we had great discussions about what I learned.
 

alice_

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I did a program where I went to Spain for 2 weeks and shadowed doctors at a hospital. we were not allowed to do anything other than watch and I really did learn a lot watching procedures and etc. I put it on my amcas application. i view it as a good experience that allowed me to travel and get extra shadowing experience. I agree with some of the other commenters that doing anything that you wouldn't be allowed to do in the US would be looked at in a bad light.
 

vrazzles

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The term medical tourism describes patients who travel abroad to receive medical care.
Thank you for the correction. Medical volunteerism (voluntourism?) I wouldn't travel to where I live for medical tourism either though :)
 
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JeSuisUnDoc

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I’m confused at what your skills are that these countries need? I find it insulting if a premed goes and touches patients there. Almost like treating them as less than American patients. If you don’t do these kind of things here, you shouldn’t pay thousands of dollars to do them there.


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Goro

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The term medical tourism describes patients who travel abroad to receive medical care.

Thank you for the correction. Medical volunteerism (voluntourism?) I wouldn't travel to where I live for medical tourism either though :)

I started using the term "medical tourism" instead of "voluntourism" after hearing the former used by an MD pathologist colleague of mine.
 

gyngyn

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By "hot spot" I meant that in many of these programs people visit the popular sites. For example: the eiffel tower in France, and the Great Wall in China.
What if we don't do anything that is outside of normal bounds? The link that you sent me doesn't have a whole lot of information regarding viewpoints on people who go on international trips without being involved in unsupervised/supervised invasive procedures.
I agree that travel is illuminating.
I legitimately didn't know that was offensive. From now on, I'll cut that phrasing out of my vocabulary.
Travel if you can. Learn another language (Spanish would be especially useful).
Use the money you would have have spent on the "medical internship" to develop your own strengths.
The "internship" adds little to an application, and many find them questionable.
The only shadowing that matters to your application is in the US. Primary care in an office setting is particularly valuable.
 
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deleted480308

A premed isn’t qualified to do more than shadowing from a medical standpoint so you should not be doing more than shadowing
 
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