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Gap Medics

About

Are you looking for hospital work experience? You have come to the right place!
Gap Medics is a specialist company dedicated to arranging pre-health shadowing programs for students applying to medical school, nursing school, and other health degree programs. Students join us from all over the world—particularly from the US, Canada, UK and Australia. Our programs offer students aged 16+ genuine insights into the work of health professionals in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Our comprehensive support services are designed to make these opportunities as safe, convenient, and secure as possible and draw on our experience placing thousands of students in healthcare settings around the world. Our head office is in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Website
Founded
2009
Headquarters

South Shore Road
Gateshead
NE8 3AE
United Kingdom

Reviews

Emma
10/10

When I first arrived, I was super nervous but the whole team put me at ease at the airport. I was greeted by Rainer with a big hug! I was in Emergency Room, Pediatric Trauma, and Anesthesiology. All of the mentors are amazing. They take their time out to explain what they are doing and their english is good. My mentors are Dr. Almonte, Dr. Feliz, Dr. Galan, Dr. Adolphus, Dr. Mendez, and Dr. Garcia. I had such a great time on the outings as well with my group. I miss them all but we all stay in touch! My new friends are from all over the world including Australia, England, New Zealand, America, and Bosnia. I enjoyed my placement so much that I ended up coming for another 4 weeks. The second time I came, Erjohnny greeted me at the airport just like Rainer with a hug and smile on his face. The staff is amazing and I miss them all so much! They became family to me. Lourdes and Marie are amazing night shift supervisors they are very friendly and personable and really look out for you. My placement coordinator Erjohnny made sure that I was happy and had a great week! Wilson is amazing at cooking and always made sure I was well fed! Gerald was very nice and funny. Even though his english is very little, I enjoyed getting to expand my Spanish with the staff. Alicia gave me some really great information in our Global Health Tutorials. I had to leave early due to a knee problem but the staff were very helpful to me. Christiana from La Romana took me to the hospital and helped me out that day. The rest of the staff helped me out during that week as I was bed rested. When I left I cried for a good 20 minutes. I love Gap Medics and highly review and recommend them! I have amazing photos of surgeries. Thank you to all of the Gap Medics staff and my new friends for a one in a lifetime experience that I won't forget! I miss you all. I would love to come back!

Yes, I recommend this program
Youssef
10/10

My dedication to study medicine and become a doctor did not really start until I was In Year 11, sitting in my school hall, waiting for a Year 13 Prefect to tell us about her summer work experience. As she showed us pictures of her medical work experience with Gap Medics in Tanzania and pictures of her playing around with the kids in the orphanage, I was inspired. I told myself I had to go and do this this summer. I wanted to travel by myself and explore a different culture. Therefore, I went on Gap Medics and my two options were Tanzania or Poland since they were the only under 18 programs during 2015.

Since it was my first time to travel alone, I decided to go to Poland in 2015, as I have been to many European countries in the past, and promised to myself if I enjoyed my experience I would go to Tanzania. In Poland, I was shadowing doctors in the Children Memorial Hospital, and I was able to see open heart surgeries on infants and communicate with the patients around my age. Although I didn't speak Polish, I made a very close friend there in the hospital and I still speak with him till now. The beauty of visiting different countries is, before you know it, you start learning a few polish, eating their traditional food and knowing more about their history. This is what interested me in Tanzania too! Learning about a different lifestyle you are not adapted to, is the reason why I love traveling and meeting local people. The Gap Medics experience in Poland made me very interested in pediatrics. I was in the Cardiology Department where I had one of the most respectful mentor/surgeon. During every operation, he would give me a detailed explanation of each of the steps he has taken, so I could understand the procedure. My mentor was very enthusiastic and friendly that he wanted to show me the Heart Valve Bank the hospital had which was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

My experience was truly unforgettable that I had to go to Tanzania the next summer. This allowed me to compare between the two experiences. In Tanzania, I had the chance to join the midwifery placement, learn more about the importance breastfeeding and how to stitch an episeotomy on a sponge. My two mentors prepared me for the theory version of a C-section before we had the opportunity to observer one, therefore, I could understand what was going on during the C-section. Midwifery is a field I never really thought I would be interested in, but I loved my time there. Additionally, In Tanzania, I managed to observe a gastrectomy, and the difference between the operating theatre in Poland and Tanzania was huge. Some of the differences were the shortage in the number of medical staff and the limited resources. This allows you to do some thinking on shouldn't every person around the world receive the same quality of healthcare. Why do some countries have a good health care and others don't? Why should the health of a person be seriously affected just because the hospital cannot offer the right treatment? These questions make you more of a global citizen; a person who will selflessly care for others when they become a doctor and who is ready to put their patient's life their number one priority. This enhances your confidence and allows you to have a bigger perspective of the world, turning you from a teenager to a young adult. Gap Medics helped me to know what I am getting myself into and made me more ready than ever for the journey ahead of me. Gap Medics has not only interested me in medicine but gave me the right skills and experience which will make me a better doctor in the future.

Thank you.

Yes, I recommend this program
Chloe
10/10

My trip to the Dominican Republic was such a well organised experience. Upon arrival, I was met at the airport by Edwin, who immediately made me feel at ease. I instantly felt welcomed by the other students when I arrived at the house. Over the weekend my fear was erased and excitement started to build up for my two weeks in the hospitals. The hospital placements were well organised with so much to see including surgeries, endoscopies and patients in the ER and intensive care. The mentors were helpful and explained everything and welcomed our questions. Gap medics offers so much more than just medical experience. With free time at weekends and evenings, there are so many trips that staff will happily organise for you, including a whole day trip to an island with all inclusive food and drink and boat trips either way. The trips to the orphanage to teach English was also a fantastic experience. I was able to use my minimal Spanish skills to help teach English to some enthusiastic girls. The gap medics staff were so friendly and helpful and the chef cooked delicious meals everyday. I made so many new friends (including Edwin) and memories that will last forever. A truly life changing experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
Cristina
10/10

It was one of the valuable experience l have ever had. l met lovely people, the stuff was amazing, friendly and always availalabe and they made me feel like home.
l learnt so many things shadowing doctors in the different wards, volunteering in a local village and orphanage....these are things that you cannot learn from books. At the same time l enjoyed the wonderful sea, swum with dolphins and did ocean sports like parasailing.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Ruby
10/10

My time spent at the Gap Medics house in Morogoro, Tanzania was the best experience of my life. All aspects of the Gap Medics experience is well planned out and executed to an extremely high quality, this ranges from the staff, accommodation, food, free time and placement. The staff members are some of the most friendly and helpful people you will meet, and throughout the course of your stay you will build genuine friendships with them and will be sad to leave them. They are there to welcome you at the airport, accompany you to placement, show you around town and resolve any questions or problems you might have. The dedication of the staff results in a strong support system while you are at the house, and throughout your stay. As for the accommodation and food, both are very good. The house itself is beautiful and supplies you with all the facilities you may need throughout your trip, and the food is great! The kitchen staff are always happy to accommodate any dietary requirements you have, and there is always at least 2 options so that everyone finds something they enjoy. During placement you will learn so much and gain extremely valuable life experience, there is never a dull moment as long as you engage with your mentors and be sure to ask questions or ask what topic areas you would like to cover. Placement will not only give you a strong insight into your chosen career path but will also help you grow as a person, it will help you to be able to sympathise with people, make you mature and open your eyes to the things that are happening in the world. Finally free time is also important during the trip. There are many activities you can do in your free time from helping out at the orphanage, going hiking, visiting a wood shop where you can buy hand crafted gifts, going shopping in town or just chilling around the house! I personally would recommend going to the orphanage as often as possible, the children love it when people go there, even just to play with them! Although at times it may make you sad to see how the children live there its worth it because it makes them happy! Overall the experience is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone! Don't be put off by the thought of travelling on your own because everyone feels the same way and you will make life long friends in no time!

Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Hángma Tumbapo

Hángma is a third year student at Teesside University in the United Kingdom, majoring in BSC Biomedical Sciences. She is also a member and volunteer of the St. John Ambulance Team.
Studying Abroad in Tanzania

Why did you pick this program?

I chose to join this program as it provided me a challenging environment with a unique kind of medical experience that I would not have received if I had chosen to do a similar program in the United Kingdom. Trying to pursue a career in the health sector and securing a place at medical school can be very competitive, but this program provided broad experience which will help me to enhance my personal statement and prepare me for the future.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

I would definitely recommend it because it is a once in a life time opportunity and an unforgettable experience. Learning a new language, new culture, and meeting new people from all around the world who share the same interests as me was amazing. I would tell them not to be scared to meet new people, because you get to learn a lot from it.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Hearing 'Iringa, Tanzania' might put you off from applying to this program, but it will give you the insight and experience of being in a medical setting. You will have an opportunity to watch surgery and other procedures up close, which is difficult to witness in the United Kingdom if you are under 18. Do not feel uncomfortable to inquire about anything that you are unsure about during ward rounds. This placement will definitely prepare you for medical school. Aside from the academic program, there are so many interesting things to do and experience in Tanzania; if you love seeing beautiful landscapes and watching wildlife, then you will fall in love with this country.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

I have so many beautiful memories and stories of the trip but my favorite one would be going to the Local orphanage to meet the children. Each child was unique in their own way. All of the children were so happy, friendly and had a lot of respect for their teachers and volunteers. They were so grateful for each day. Even a small thing like a packet of biscuits made them feel so happy. At the same time, it was heartbreaking for me to see that they do not face the same opportunities as the average child in the United Kingdom, for example, does. This helped me to open up my eyes, appreciate, and be thankful for all the little things I have in my life.

Hángma's health tips for visiting Tanzania:

Note that short sleeves and skirts are not appropriate in many parts of Africa, so make sure that you pack loose trousers and long sleeves. You will most likely need anti-malarial tablets for most areas in Africa, make sure that you go to your doctor ahead of time and get a prescription. In addition to the way you dress, packing a strong insect repellent is key to avoiding getting bitten by mosquitoes. Don't forget to pack a bottle of hand sanitizer and keep it with you, specifically during hospital placements, as the hospitals typically do not have enough hand sanitizer for each ward.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Emma Smith

Job Title
Senior International Operations manager
Making friends with an elephant

What position do you hold at Gap Medics, and what made you want to work there?

Senior International Operations manager - I loved the idea of students being able to confirm their passion and interest before committing to spending the next few years studying and learning. I also knew I wanted to pursue a career in operations as it would allow me to be involved in all of the day-to-day aspects of a company.

Describe the main responsibilities you have.

To set up, run and manage our overseas programs. I am involved in everything from the initial meetings with the hospital to arranging the company for the daily transport for the activities and everything that comes in between.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

No two days are ever the same, and you can never predict what is going to happen next meaning you often find yourself in the most bizarre situations. Like your driver in Thailand getting lost and dropping you off at a random giant white marble temple in the middle of the jungle, which then becomes a full day activity for the students once you work out how you got there.

Any amazing moments?

I have been fortunate to also be able to shadow some of our health professionals whilst setting up the program and watching cardiac surgery has to be up there on the list, alongside going on safari and being able to see a huge herd of elephants in the wild!

What do you think makes Gap Medics unique?

The focus is on the whole experience and everyone in the team really wants to make sure that the students see and learn as much as they can in the hospitals. Also, that they are able to build relationships with their mentors and get to know them as well as the family environment we create with the local staff teams and many international students.

Why do you think students choose us?

Safety and peace of mind, we take student safety very seriously and have everything in place in our overseas destinations so that the students and parents can feel comfortable and allow them to make the most of the exciting opportunities available to them, such as night shifts in the ER, safari's, cliff jumping, and relaxing on the beach and everything else!

What advice would you give to anyone considering a placement with Gap Medics?

Do it! When you arrive, be as proactive and open-minded as you can, these are real hospitals that we work with and there is a lot to see and learn in a setting that can be completely different to what you are used to. Make the most of the opportunity to see healthcare from another point of view!

More Interviews
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