Medical and Health Program:
With socio-economic development in India, a lot of new health clinics and hospitals are opening to address the chronic shortfall of medical care in India. Many medical colleges and has started producing more medical graduates. Today, the healthcare system in India is developing and there are facilities and funds available for medical research. Despite gaining a reputation as one of the fastest growing countries in the world, financial inequalities and lack of healthcare access is widespread in India.
Opportunities to Engage / Support:
Volunteers are welcome to participate in various fields of work – Public Health; Food, Nutrition and Preventive Healthcare Workshops; Mother and Child health, Adolescent health;etc. Our volunteers will work with local doctors. Volunteers working in the field of healthcare can be of tremendous value to local staff and medical facilities. Volunteers work in hospitals, small clinics, elderly homes, orphanages, mobile camps, child care hospitals and mobile camps to assist the staff in the treatment of patients. They can educate and guide these disadvantaged people about sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and provide first aid to people with small injuries. Equipment is basic but all staff and most locals have a good grasp of English. In addition to general clinic work, volunteers will also perform a number of home visits with the local staff.
Please note only medical specialisatiion professional volunteers will be allowed to treat patients. Medical students will not be allowed to treat patients. They will only be allowed to shadow local doctors and learn from them gaining valuable experience of working in a developing country that is full of fascinating contradiction..
Volunteers will work mostly in the morning and start at around 9 am for about 4 hours. Job responsibilities for Medical and Health Program / project volunteers/interns in India vary dependent on education, skills, experience and qualifications and on the community’s current needs. Volunteers/Interns are not permitted to perform major exams or surgeries and they will mostly observe and learn from local doctors. Most often volunteers help doctors or work as their assistants. As a medical volunteer in India, you could be placed in a large hospital or small rural health center. Most of the hospitals (regardless of size) have many departments: Emergency, Gynecology, Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, Hematology, Endocrinology, Oncology, Internal Medicine, Clinical Pathology, etc. so a volunteer may be placed in any department, but skills/qualifications will also be considered. Volunteers may also take patients’ vitals: blood pressure, temperature, height and weight, and carry out health center tasks. You may provide treatment for minor injuries or wounds and document patient records. The tasks and activities vary day by day.
Medical Elective project
As a volunteer on the Medical Elective project you will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the stark contrast between medical practice in the Western world and the realities of medicine in developing countries.
This project is well suited to medical and nursing students who are looking to expand their knowledge of healthcare systems. When volunteering on this project you can expect to be placed in a hospital in either Dharamsala or Amritsar where you will shadow fully qualified physicians and nurses. Whilst hospitals in India are under resourced and equipment is basic, these institutions are bound by government regulations and cannot allow international volunteers to perform tasks independently.
Typical tasks that you can expect to assist with as a short term volunteer include; observing the operating room to become familiar with procedures in the surgery ward; working with children to move and exercise their limbs in the physical therapy department; examining burn wounds and changing patients’ dressings in the burns unit; participating in emergency room rounds; following the main emergency room physician; learning about family planning and immunizations; and helping mothers of newborn babies. Experienced and longer-term volunteers (2+ months) will have more scope to assist with hands-on tasks, and may also have the option to experience work in a rural health clinic, where they will assist medical staff in performing day-to-day tasks in the more “off-the-beaten-track” communities of India. If you are placed in a more rural location, you may also have the opportunity to take part in local community medical campaigns where you will assist in conducting seminars to motivate and educate local villagers on healthcare initiatives.
This project is open to volunteers who are in medical or nursing school, and have completed at least 2 years training. You will need to present a copy of your qualification to our local team at least 30 days prior to your arrival. Please note that there is a minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks for this project and there is also a surcharge of US$60 per week to cover training and resources used. This will be included in the program fee quoted to you when you apply. Please ensure that you apply for the Medical Elective project at least 6 weeks before your chosen start date, to allow our local team the needed time to arrange a suitable placement.