On my second day of placement I got to witness my first birth and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Being able to experience that intimate moment between mother and baby is so special and I am so thankful Gap Medics gave me the opportunity to see this.
Your Midwifery Shadowing Placement
Our midwifery placements are available as residential programs in the European city of Pula, Croatia, and on the Caribbean island of Dominican Republic. Our partner hospitals include specialist maternity facilities as well as obstetrics departments in general hospitals (the latter being ideal if you wish to combine a placement on our nursing program), and we can work with you to match you to the most suitable setting based on your education and specific interests.
A Gap Medics placement is about experiential learning through direct observation of real-life hospital environments. On your first day, our Student Coordinator (a full-time member of our team, there to support you throughout your placement) will personally introduce you to your mentor, who you will shadow for most of your first week. Most of our mentors are themselves midwives, but in certain settings we may pair you with a different kind of health professional to give you a more valuable experience (for example, if you are spending a week with the specific aim of observing C-sections, your mentor that week may be an obstetric surgeon).
Babies, unfortunately, have a habit of being a little unreliable when it comes to scheduling their arrival into the world! However, we recognise that as an aspiring midwife, the opportunity to experience that magical moment will be high on your priority list. All of our placements are in units that are busy enough that you’re likely to get to observe at least a two deliveries in a typical week, and in busy weeks you could see five times that number. We recommend a minimum of two weeks for midwifery placements, in case mother nature is working against us.
When you are not in the delivery room or operating room, there is plenty of opportunity to experience the wider work of midwives and their department colleagues. Depending on your mentor and the needs of patients, this could include shadowing on the antenatal and postnatal wards, in neonatal intensive care, in outpatient clinics, or in some locations joining a community midwife on rural or home visits.
I witnessed many beautiful natural and c-section births throughout the week, assisted midwives and doctors on the antenatal, prenatal, labour ward, ultrasound and theatres. Gap Medics basically saved my midwifery journey as afterwards I managed to carry on through all the hard times and I’m finally on my way to becoming a midwife.
The dedicated midwives and obstetricians I shadowed took every opportunity to teach me about caring for women and their babies. I felt comfortable asking questions and that my mentors really cared about how my learning was progressing – they even quizzed us to keep us on our toes!
I believe my time overseas taught me a lot about life in general! During my placement, I was able to witness how different cultures perceive and treat patients. It was amazing working with the healthcare professionals in the hospital and interacting with patients every day.
My second week on the hospital program was in the obstetrics and gynaecology department, where I observed everything from C-sections to ultrasounds. The hospital aside, I loved exploring Warsaw. The weekends consisted of immersing myself in Polish culture, such as eating pirogies, going on bike tours of the city, and climbing to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science.
The Famous Gap Medics Social Life!
Your time in the hospital shadowing a midwife 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 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).
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 you a placement at all. 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.