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Recommendations for experience working internationally

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by Peeshee, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Peeshee

    Peeshee Senior Member

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    When I graduate from medical school and finish residency, etc., I would like to work internationally in areas that are medically underserved. Right now, while in medical school, I would like to get more experience of international work, so I can be more prepared in the future. Does anyone have recommendations of how to do this? I have volunteered internationally in underserved locations at different points throughout my life, and I have enjoyed it very much. Is there any other way to gain experience besides this though? As far as I know, this is the only way to do it. Is there anything else I can be doing even during the semester that may help me in the future? I am planning another volunteer trip in the summer of 2002 to a location that I have not determined as of yet. Please give me any advice you have.
    Thanks so much!
     
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  3. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    I am also interested in any advice pertaining to this question. bump.
     
  4. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I'm not sure what options there are for US medical students, but I know foreign medical schools (like the ones in Ireland) heavily recommend or require that their students do an elective in underserved areas (aborigine groups in Australia, places in Indonesia, places in Africa). Interesting how they place more emphasis on it than we do. I'll tell you as I know more, unless you're in medical school already? Maybe pick a specific country of interest and start emailing universities' med programs about electives regarding rural/underserved areas. Australia would be a good one to start off with, since I know there's a tradition of them handling med students who go there for the purpose of doing a rural elective.
     
  5. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    Doctors without borders would be a start. Red cross. WHO.

    An MD willing to work for a low stipend in an underserved area needn't look long, I don't think. We have tons and tons of posters at my med school offering electives at different parts of the world. I never thought about who sets it all up. Some humanitarian organizations, I guess. You've never seen posters like that at your school?

    I think most doctors have a dream of working in a primitive area but few actually follow through.

    Good luck.
     
  6. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. Bell Kicker: the dilemma I am having with organizations like Doctors Without Borders, WHO, etc. is that they do not accept any interns, residents, or medical students. They will only accept fully qualified physicians, and the minimum committment is 6 months even then. I suppose I will have to go about this by doing most of the legwork on my own, as leorl suggested, contacting specific medical schools overseas and setting up programs with them directly so that they are coordinating with my school. I anticipate that this will take some work, especially if it is to be counted as one of my rotations during medical school, but it will probably be worth it.

    Thanks again.

    Oh, btw, one more question: when is the best time to schedule these away rotations? During 3rd of 4th year? During 3rd would be difficult because I personally would want more experience before embarking on this challenge, however 4th year gets tricky because you do not want to be away while applying for residencies, interviewing or when the match takes place. So when is the best time? :confused:
     
  7. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    That's really surprising about Doctors Without Borders! I always thought it was the young, idealistic docs that went. Oh, well.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Peeshee

    Peeshee Senior Member

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    I agree that Drs.Without Borders and similar groups do not readily accept medical students. I have talked to a few of these groups, and they told me to call back when I am a practicing dr.

    I found some opportunities by searching on the internet with search words such as "international medical electives" and "medical electives in developing countries." I will look for the websites I found and post them soon.

    Sometimes, I think there are so many organizations out there, that it is hard to choose what country to go to and what to do! But, that is also the fun of it.....

    Good luck!
     

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