How It Works

  • Before you go
  • Personal & professional support
  • While you’re away
  • Your hospital placement
  • Your spare time
  • After your placement

Before You Go

Registration

Registration is easy—simply hit “Apply” and reserve your space by paying the $450 registration fee.

Our programs run year-round, so you can start any weekend that fits into your schedule. It’s important to keep in mind that programs running between May and September often fill months in advance, so we recommend you register early to avoid disappointment.

Our Student Experience team will then contact you to welcome you to the program and confirm your placement. If we don’t have availability for your preferred dates or destination, don’t worry—if we can’t help you find an alternative, we’ll refund your registration fee.

Registration covers pre-departure support from our team, the processing of your application and the creation of your My Gap Medics pagewhich contains everything you need to know. The remainder of your package cost will be payable 90 days before your placement start date.

Connect with students

The Gap Medics Facebook page is a great way to connect with and meet the people you’ll be sharing your experience with.

Tons of students use our page to talk to others who are travelling at the same time and coordinate getting the same flight or meeting up at the airport.

 

Personal & professional support

Our team in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom is happy to help with any questions you may have. Friendly and accessible, they have a detailed knowledge of your placement, destination and our partner hospitals.

My Gap Medics: your online trip planner

After you register, you’ll receive access to a secure area of our website, My Gap Medics.

At the heart of My Gap Medics is your own personalized to-do list, which creates a snapshot of your preparation progress, from vaccinations to booking your travel insurance.

As items on the to-do list become due, they turn red. Once you’ve completed an item, you can tick it off, helping you see if you’re on track with preparations.

As your placement approaches, more information will become available. You’ll see details on your accommodation, your hospital departments and your mentors. We’ll also upload pictures of the Gap Medics team at your destination and the other students who will be on your program!

Flights, insurance and visas

We don’t include flights in our packages because students join us from all over the world. We can, however, give you details on where and when you need to arrive. We’ll also make sure a staff member meets you at the airport when you touch down.

We’re happy to recommend travel agents who know our programs well, but you can find great deals on your own by using an online flight comparison website.

Just as when you go on holiday, you’ll need to take out good personal travel insurance and of course, this needs to cover you while working in a hospital (which not all policies do). We’ve teamed up with Endsleigh to offer a policy designed specifically for our students on hospital placements, which is available to buy online through My Gap Medics.

For some destinations, you’ll need a visa and/or permit to undertake a hospital placement. You’ll get full details on what you need and how to apply through My Gap Medics. As always, our UK office can help with any questions you may have.

Health preparations

Travelling overseas does carry some health risks and being prepared for your trip with the right vaccinations and medication is important.

We strongly recommend that you arrange a visit with your doctor or a travel clinic a couple of months before your trip. This is important, as some vaccinations and medications recommended for the prevention of disease are not suitable for everyone.

If you’d like, you can also access the free services of InterHealth, a specialist medical organization that provides comprehensive online advice on vaccinations and medications.

Hospital and house details

Four weeks before you travel, we’ll provide you with the details of the hospital and departments you’ll be working in, your placement mentors, the house in which you’ll be living and other students who will be there via My Gap Medics.

The reason we don’t provide these details earlier is that things can change—health professionals can change departments—so if we assigned your mentors months in advance they might have changed by the time you arrive.

Gap Medics is a proud partner of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). As the oldest and largest US organization of its kind, AMSA provides services and benefits to pre-medical students all over the country.

Governed by its student-members, AMSA advocates for improvements in healthcare and physician training in the US and around the world.

Three times a year we also invite one exemplary member of AMSA to join us on a two-week premedical shadowing program abroad in the Caribbean—for free. To learn more about the Gap Medics Service & Leadership Scholarship, please visit our AMSA page.

While you’re away

Upon arrival, a staff member will meet you at the airport and take you to the Gap Medics house. You’ll then have time to freshen up, meet you housemates and settle in before your welcome briefing.

The welcome briefing is an informal chat by your Program Manager where you’ll find out everything you need to know about your placement. It’s also a great opportunity for you to meet the rest of the Gap Medics staff team. After a good night’s sleep, you’ll be taken to the hospital on Monday morning to meet your first mentor, and then you can jump right into your placement.

Your Hospital Placement

Hospital shadowing experience

During your placement, you’ll spend at least 23 hours a week shadowing a healthcare professional suited to your chosen discipline (e.g. a doctor, nurse or dentist). Generally you will spend five hours a day in the hospital from Monday – Thursday, with a shorter day on Friday to allow you to make the most of your weekend opportunities. Hospital timetables do, of course, vary due to busy periods, public holidays and staffing, so you may find that your schedule changes slightly.

You’ll have a fairly early finish the first day so that we can take you out for your local orientation during the afternoon. This is an opportunity to get to know the local transport system, internet cafes, cash machines and just about anything else you want to know – if there’s anything we don’t cover, just ask!

Global health tutorials

As well as your time in the hospital, you’ll receive a number of specialized global health tutorials. Held conveniently at the Gap Medics house by your mentors, these one-hour sessions will place into context any issues relevant to healthcare in your region. For instance, one session in Asia may focus on alternative medicine. Global health tutorials are planned to fit around your working hours and other student activities.

Tracking your progress

We want you to be happy while on placement so each week you’ll be asked to fill in a short questionnaire. Once completed, your Program Manager will discuss it with you. Each week your mentor at the hospital will also complete a student report card tracking your progress. This report card is particularly helpful if we ever need to provide a reference for you in the future.

Your spare time

Making the most of your time away

The evenings and weekends are your free time, so you can spend them however you wish. You may want to hang out with your new friends at the Gap Medics house or head out to explore your new surroundings. If you’re not sure where to begin, our staff members are more than happy to show you around or organize excursions for you.

Weekend adventures

To make sure you don’t miss out on anything amazing during your placement, we run a variety of weekend adventures. Our weekend adventures come at an additional cost to your placement and you can sign-up through My Gap Medics.

After your placement

Once your placement is over, our staff can help you arrange transport back to the airport. If you want to go travelling after placement, they will be happy to help you plan your next adventure!

Your feedback is important to us

We take feedback seriously and use it to improve our placements. To provide feedback—and receive $300 off your next placement—log onto My Gap Medics and fill in the survey.

Gap Medics Alumni

The fun doesn’t stop when your placement does. After attending a Gap Medics program, you’ll join the ranks of our esteemed alumni from around the world! This means you’ll be invited to exclusive events and receive special offers and opportunities.

The rest is up to you

Ultimately, you’ll get out what you put into your Gap Medics placement. Many of our past students have found their placements provided them with credible experience for their medical school interviews. And remember, we are more than happy to assist you with any referee requests in the future.