Volunteering Abroad for Doctors



Going on an elective is often quoted to be one of the highlights of going to medical school. It represents a unique opportunity to experience healthcare abroad, giving you an opportunity to learn more about yourself and to explore a particular area of medicine. Depending on your medical school you typically get between 6-12 weeks, the timing of your elective will depend on your medical school, but it usually occurs during your years of clinical study.


Medic Footprints has teamed up with Changing Worlds who provide a number of volunteering and internship roles in Healthcare and Medicine, throughout a variety of countries. Changing Worlds have been running Healthcare and Medical trips since 1999, so are well placed to talk you through your option to help you find the best position available.

If you are looking to complete your elective as part of your studies or want to gain valuable work experience then check out the range of options available to you on the Changing Worlds website and quote Medic Footprints.


There are various projects available for doctors who want to work overseas:



PHASE Worldwide offers volunteer placements for experienced General Practitioners who would like to spend time in Nepal mentoring primary health care workers and teaching generic primary care skills in remote rural health centers. Some of the project areas take more than three days walk from the nearest road, hence volunteers need to be resilient and physically fit. We are mainly looking for GPs with 5+ years of experience, or who already have experience of training or of overseas work. Placements are a minimum of 8 days in the project, travel insurance and detailed pre-placement briefing and literature are provided. Volunteers generally bear their own travel and subsistence costs. For more information contact them by email  on click on their webpage.


Twoweeks is a doctor run UK charity that recruits volunteers from a number of career paths including medicine. Volunteer doctors work at Lily of the Valley, an orphanage is situated in a rural township called Mophela, outside Durban, South Africa. Lily of the valley Children’s village was established in 1993 primarily as a hospice to care for HIV/AIDS infected orphans. The minimum requirement for a volunteer placement is two weeks. Volunteers are expected to pay for their own travel costs. Total cost of a placement is estimated at £650 to £1,000. To find out more about this opportunity you can contact them by email or on their website which are below:

volunteering-abroadBILLYS MALAWI PROJECT

Billys Malawi Project was set up in 2004 by Mags Riordan in memory of her son who tragically drowned in Lake Malawi in 1999. Billy had visited the small African country on several occasions and had grown to love the country, its people,  and in particular the village of Cape MacClear. Mags wanted to identify a project to undertake in the village in Billy’s memory. She soon realised that a medical clinic in the village was not just necessary but essential. The clinic has existed for more than ten years and it provides much needed  medical staff. The volunteer doctors are drawn from a wide variety of specialties. However they are primarily interested in doctors with GP and A and E experience. Typically the clinic staff will see 120 patients per day. Volunteer doctors need to be post their foundation years training. Its is such a good experience that many doctors return to do a second placement. For more information check out their website.



Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity, working with a team of dedicated medical volunteers who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Known by many as ‘the smile charity’ – and with a presence in over 60 countries, Operation Smile is able to heal children’s smiles and bring hope for a better future

The medical volunteers are making a difference to the lives of children born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate. Every Operation Smile medical project includes a qualified team of medical professionals who generously donate their time, knowledge and skills to provide reconstructive cleft surgery, to repair smiles and change lives.

Every medical project has a qualified team of experienced medical professionals which include: Plastic Surgeons; Anaesthetists; Paediatricians; Paediatric Intensivists; Biomedical Technicians; Speech Therapists; Play Therapists; Nurses (RN, BSN, MSN); Orthodontists and Dentists.

Operation Smile believes in providing the highest standard of care to all patients and therefore every medical volunteer must go through a credentialing process. The first thing to do is to complete a volunteer application form. Each application is reviewed by a Medical Board to ensure that they ontinue to provide the best clinical care possible to every patient.

To find out more about becoming a medical volunteer for Operation Smile visit their website here