Clinical Shadowing for Pre-Med Students

(Under 18? Please see our hospital shadowing for high school students)

The Gap Medics clinical shadowing program is designed specifically for pre-medical students wanting to gain first-hand experience of hospital medicine and surgery, under the mentorship of an experienced Medical Doctor.

We offer individual pre-med student placements in Europe and the Caribbean from one to twelve weeks’ duration, with start dates every week of the year. We also work with universities and student groups to create tailored experiences in other parts of the world, including Thailand and Africa.

Whether you join us by yourself or as a group, you’ll have the benefit of our vast experience hosting over 10,000 students to provide all the support you need before and during your placement, and the chance to live in one of our famous Gap Medics student houses.

Your Hospital Shadowing Placement

As a pre-med student, gaining relevant hospital volunteer work and spending time shadowing a doctor is so important, both to inform decisions you take about your path to a medical career, and to help you stand out in the medical school application process. Our pre-med internships put you at the front line of clinical medicine and surgery, and provide a uniquely valuable insight into the effects that environment and culture can have on healthcare delivery around the globe.

From day one, you’ll be in your scrubs at your mentor’s side on the wards, in clinics, and if you’re in a surgical department, in the operating room. This is an experiential learning program – not a teaching one – so what you get out of the experience will be down to the effort you put in to prepare, ask questions and absorb everything around you. Our job is to give you the best possible platform from which to learn.

We’ve put a great deal of work into developing strong partnerships with a wide range of hospitals, including a major specialist trauma facility in the Dominican Republic and general hospitals in Croatia offering a broader range of departments. That portfolio allows us to offer placements across a wide spectrum of medical fields, such as Emergency Room, Traumatology and Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care.

Our specialist Placement Advisors can help you decide which program will provide the best and most relevant experience for you – and whichever program you choose, we’ll pair you with a personal mentor to help you understand and interpret what you see during your clinical shadowing.

Jordan Mixon

The experience was phenomenal and taught me so much. I gained medical exposure in the Dominican hospitals beyond what I would ever have access to in the states, and I am incredibly grateful to the patients and doctors who allowed me to observe.

Samantha Schillero

This trip opened my eyes to the different way healthcare is utilized in different countries and gave me an even more clear idea of what I want to pursue in my career.

Audrey Kelly

My mentors were knowledgeable, intelligent, resourceful, and great about involving me in hospital life. I got to see a ton of really cool procedures from up-close and gained a practical understanding of the complexities of diagnosing and treating patients.

Ross Watson

I think the Gap Medics experience is a once in a lifetime trip which brings medicine to life, as well as helping mould the doctors of the future. I believe this trip has shaped me as a person and made me want to strive even harder to enter the medical profession.

Louisa Betts

I had an amazing trip with gap medics. I loved the ratio of placement time to free time – there were so many things to do and I was able to meet so many people!

The Famous Gap Medics Social Life!

Undertaking a premed hospital shadowing placement can be an intense experience, especially in a foreign country, but our support service and the social side of our program make it a whole lot less daunting.

Wherever you go, you’ll live in one of our own safe, secure and super friendly Gap Medics houses. Rooms are shared with students of the same gender, which is a great way to help you quickly form friendships you’ll keep for years to come, and the lively atmosphere around the social areas and gardens with private swimming pools is a huge part of what makes our programs so popular.

Around half our students come from the United States, with the rest coming from the UK, Australia, and many other countries around the world. As well as that peer support, every program has a dedicated Gap Medics staff team made up of passionate local people under the leadership of an experienced Program Manager. From the person who meets you at the airport, to the chef who cooks your meals and the Student Coordinator who will personally introduce you to your hospital mentors – all are part of the Gap Medics family.

Our Ethics

Gap Medics is a proudly ethical business, and we take seriously our opportunity – our responsibility – to contribute to the communities in which we work.

It’s very important to us that our partner hospitals gain real benefit from the program, and part of the fee you pay goes directly to them. This extra income stream is a huge help to hospitals that often struggle with under-funding, allowing them to buy equipment, medicines, beds, and even employ extra staff as a direct result of receiving our students.

We pass on a further proportion of your fee to the individual doctor who personally mentors you each week, an important recognition of their value to the program. In hospitals where funding limitations often mean losing the best clinicians to private practice or the draw of better pay overseas, the extra income our mentors receive has a real impact in retaining talent to serve the local population.

Our Operations Managers put a great deal of focus on professional ethics when working with our partner hospitals to ensure that the presence of students doesn’t compromise safety (their own or other people’s) or patient care. Placements are strictly observational, except where the supervising clinician allows students to undertake activities that do not require specialist training (such as taking blood pressures) under close supervision.

We also believe passionately in respecting and taking care of our natural environment, and that influences every operational decision we take. We are gradually converting as many of our houses as we can to solar energy and installing reverse osmosis water purifiers to cut the use of plastic water bottles. We use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients in the food we cook wherever possible, and some of our houses already compost our food waste to feed the garden to grow more.

Get involved!

Our program is designed with the flexibility to fit around the other commitments of busy pre-health students who join us from all over the world. Placements are available starting any week of the year, and you can choose to spend from one week to as long as you like (most students choose between two and four weeks, to give a good insight into several different specialities).

Apply using our simple online Application Form, and you can pay the Registration Fee ($450) securely online to immediately secure a position on our waiting list. One of our expert Placement Advisors will then contact you by phone or email to confirm your placement, guide you through the next steps of the process, and get you set up on our online preparation portal, My Gap Medics.

If we do not have availability for your preferred destination and dates, we’ll work with you to find an alternative option – or refund your Registration Fee in full if we are unable to offer a placement you’re happy with. Please bear in mind that our programs are very popular, especially between May and August, so the earlier in advance you can apply the more likely you are to get your first choice.

The remaining cost of your placement depends on the destination you choose and number of weeks (see our Prices page). This covers a comprehensive package that includes your hospital placement, professional mentoring, global health tutorials, accommodation in our own Gap Medics House, food prepared fresh by our in-house Chef and personal support from our friendly team every step of the way.