Medical Elective in Ghana
4-12 weeks from $1,755
- Gain excellent work experience in top medical wards and clinics in Ghana
- Work across a range of disciplines, including maternity, family planning, outreach & more
- Shadow doctors and get involved with some hands-on assistance
- Make a real difference to the lives of patients and doctors as a volunteer
- Stay in a shared volunteer house and have three meals per day included
- Explore Ghana during your time off from the project!
Head over to Ghana in West Africa and gain fantastic medical experience in a professional setting! This medical work experience internship is ideal if you are considering studying medicine at university, or are currently training in the medical field as part of your elective. This excellent programme will provide you with unparalleled experience working in some of Ghana’s top hospitals and clinics, and valuable insight into the medical services that exist in Africa and the issues they face. Plus, during your time off from your placement, you can explore more of Ghana and Africa. The best of both worlds!
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
What to expect at the project
Our medical work experience programme welcomes pre- medical students and 1st year medical students to work, shadow and support medical professionals in hospitals and clinics around Accra. During the programme you will learn how staff manage, interact and treat patients and you will be invited to offer a hands-on role in the medical care being delivered.
Assisting medical staff and nurses on community visits is also an eye-opening experience where you will witness firsthand the living conditions and struggles so many face in Ghana. These outreach teams visit local families in their homes, treating anything from malaria to checking on pregnancies and newborn babies.
While you are likely to assist with some of the more exciting aspects of medical care, it is often in the less glamorous parts of the profession where you can make the most difference. If you are willing to be proactive in your role as a medical volunteer and get 'stuck in' to the work around you, this medical placement will be a truly life changing experience, for both you and the patients you work with.
Although you need to be self-motivated and expect some disorganization, you will of course have continual support from our in-country staff, other interns, and from local medical professionals.
Please note that all activities, inclusions and itineraries are subject to change.
Day in the life
Your daily duties will depend on which area you specialize during your time in Ghana. This project has links with a range of clinics and hospitals, including maternity clinics, family planning clinics and other hospital wards. Your duties will depend on the availability and needs of the project at the time you arrive into Ghana, as well as your own interests.
You will spend 4-6 hours per day from Monday to Friday at the project. There may be some weekend work, but weekends will mainly be free for relaxation and exploration.
Your time in the clinics can involve a variety of work, including time spent in maternity wards, operating theatres, and recovery wards. The local medical staff will at times invite you to offer practical assistance while sometimes it will be more appropriate for you to simply watch and learn. A number of students have had the experience of witnessing, and in some cases, assisting with the delivery of newborn babies, as well as essential post-natal care.
As well as practical work, you can also make a lasting impact through the emotional support you offer to patients and their families. Due to extremely busy days, the local medical staff are often unable to regularly meet with relatives and patients in recovery. You can bring a great sense of reassurance by simply spending time chatting and providing basic updates for these patients and families.
It is important to note that while our medical placement will allow you to make a positive impact on healthcare in Ghana, and will also give you a valuable insight into the workings of African hospitals, you need to accept that days can often be quite challenging due to a lack of organization and support. Attitude is everything in Ghana and especially when working in medical care. The frustration you are bound to experience however, is the reality of medical care in Ghana, and is also the very reason why you can make such a positive difference to it.
Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme
This project has a close partnership with several of the best hospitals and clinics in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. The programme gives motivated pre-med and medical students the chance to experience on the job training to help improve the quality and delivery of local healthcare services. These range from maternity clinics, where you can assist with pre- and post-natal care, to family planning clinics where you can work with local staff to give advice on sexual health issues.
This medical work experience internship is ideal if you are considering studying medicine at university, or are currently training in the medical field as part of your elective. Students from around the world join our internship programme, which is designed specifically to give unparalleled experience working in some of Ghana’s top hospitals and clinics, and valuable insight into the medical services that exist in Africa and the issues they face. This programme will give you the confidence and experience to carry forward into your medical career.
You will also get the satisfaction of having made a real difference in the local community. You will provide vital assistance to medical services in Ghana and offer genuine support to both doctors and patients. There’s no greater feeling than giving something back while on your travels.
- Medical Internship Placement
- Airport transfer on arrival
- Accommodation at volunteer house
- 3 Meals per day at volunteer house
- Detailed orientation
- Full support throughout your placement
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- Travel insurance
- Transport to and from your placement
- Project T-Shirt
- Optional activities and excursions
Throughout your placement in Ghana you will be accommodated in a shared volunteer house in Teshie, near the capital city of Accra. Centrally located, you are in easy reach of local shops, banks, bars and even the beach!
You’ll be sharing a dormitory style room with other volunteers of the same gender, each room accommodates between 2 and 12 volunteers. There are also shared bathroom facilities including toilets and showers (cold water). There are fans in each room and air conditioning is available at night time only for a fee which can be arranged locally.
The house is basic but comfortable and has some lovely communal areas where you can chill out during your free time and socialise with fellow participants. Limited wifi is also available to use, but local sim cards with data packages can be also be bought very cheaply locally.
Three meals per day will be provided for you, the food will be basic but nutritious. Meals are a combination of western and local Ghanaian dishes, please ensure you inform us of specific dietary requirements prior to departure.
Transport from your accommodation to your project each day is not included in the programme, so you will need to make your own way to and fro. During the first few days of your programme, a member of our in-country team will accompany you to show you how to use the local transport system and ensure that you are happy and comfortable doing so before you start making the journey on your own.
Your flight to Ghana should arrive at Accra Kotoka International Airport (airport code ACC) on your programme start date. Your return flight or onward travel should be arranged on your programme end date.
To book your flights, please contact the Real Flights team on 01892 277037 or [email protected] who will do their best to get you the best deal on the day. Please provide them with your full name as it is stated in your passport. Before you make the call please make sure you have your required departure dates, return dates and other details you may require.
The minimum age for this programme is 18 years. Volunteers will need to show a clear commitment to studying medicine, and either be enrolled onto a course to study medicine, or be currently studying medicine.
A 3 month tourist visa is required for entry into Ghana. The application process takes 10-15 working days, so please allow plenty of time for your application. Please ensure your passport is valid, with at least six months validity remaining from the date of your planned return. It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away.
Please also note that a valid Yellow Fever Certificate may be required in order to enter Ghana. All visa and entry information is subject to change and you should consult your nearest Ghana High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
An enhanced DBS check is required for this programme. If you do not hold a certificate dated within 12 months of your programme start date, please contact us as we can help you arrange the DBS check for an extra fee.
Is This A Paid Elective Experience?
No, this is an unpaid position.
How Long Can I Stay?
This programme is available for stays of 4 to 12 weeks.
What Is The Accommodation Like?
You'll be staying in shared volunteer house in Teshie, Accra. you'll be sharing a room with other volunteers of the same gender.
Do I Need Insurance?
Yes. Before you can undertake your medical elective you need to have insurance against any medical claim of negligence (this is included in your free MPS or MDU membership) and full travel insurance. You will also require travel insurance which must be purchased before you leave.
Do I Need A Visa For Ghana?
Yes you do! You must obtain your Ghana visa prior to departure as it is not possible to obtain a visa on arrival. You are required to have a tourist visa for this programme. British passport holders can obtain a Ghana tourist visa from the Ghana High Commission in London. You will need to apply and pay for your visa online and send off your passport and valid yellow fever certificate for your visa to be issued. It takes 10-15 working days for Ghana visa applications to be processed, please allow plenty of time to apply for your visa.
What Vaccinations Do I Need?
As we are not medically trained, we are unable to give advice on which vaccinations you may need for your travels. However, please note that a valid Yellow Fever Certificate is required for entry into Ghana and will be inspected immediately on arrival. Malaria is also present in Ghana so please you ensure malarial prophylaxis options with your GP prior to travel
Do I Need To Take A Sleeping Bag?
No, you won't need to take a sleeping bag with you, however it might be a good idea to just take a sleeping bag liner or a thin sheet for night as it can be very hot.
Do I Need To Take A Mosquito Net?
All of the house windows and doors are netted and the rooms are frequently sprayed for mosquitoes. When you travel during your free time, mosquito nets are normally provided in guesthouses etc when required. It is possible to purchase a mosquito net locally if you would like to have one.
Will There Be A Safe/safety Deposit Box Available?
Yes, this is available at the volunteer house. The local team will give you more details when you arrive.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.