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The demands on our health services are greater than ever, and the UK needs a variety of skilled professionals to keep things running smoothly. As an aspiring physician associate on your way to university, you feel poised to answer that call – but do you have the work experience you need to make an informed decision before committing to two degrees?
At Gap Medics, we know that a global education can make all the difference to a student’s development, both as an individual and an applicant (just ask any of our 8,000+ programme alumni). Whether you seek insight for your university interviews or confidence in your career choice, our pre-university work experience programme will place you right in the heart of an international hospital or clinic to observe real physicians at work.
With support at our core, you and your family can rest assured that you are getting the most immersive work experience available in the most appropriate environment for your age. Our exclusive guest houses, friendly staff, and comprehensive pre-departure services provide the perfect foundation for the educational adventure of a lifetime with new friends from around the world.
Our physician associate programme is open all year, and you can attend for as many weeks as you like (we recommend two). Programmes begin on Sundays and end on Saturdays, leaving ample time for you to arrive at and depart from your destination.
“My mentor for one of my weeks on placement was a doctor in paediatrics. We would observe ward rounds and were able to ask questions about each patient and their treatment. Then we could stand in on surgeries and procedures that our doctor was doing or thought we would find interesting. While in obstetrics and gynaecology, I was able to see C-sections, an ectopic pregnancy, and went to the clinic for mothers of premature babies.
“The placement definitely helped me decide that I want to pursue a health career in the future. I have also thought about midwifery as a backup option, which I would never have thought of without this experience.”
Poland is the ideal location for students wishing to see the same high-quality healthcare they would expect back home. The country has a publicly funded healthcare system and the hospitals and clinics benefit from cutting-edge equipment and resources. As a result, those who choose to shadow health professionals here can expect to see a wide variety of conditions, from infectious diseases all the way to cancer and diabetes.
The departments we work with are designed to give students an insight into the many possibilities for specialism after medical training. Popular departments include ophthalmology, internal medicine, oncology, neurosurgery, and paediatrics. Those who join us for two weeks or more are placed in different departments each week for a broad and interesting experience. Be prepared to have your eyes opened to new conditions, new procedures, and possibly a new career idea!
The population, location, and climate of many Caribbean islands plays a huge role in shaping the types of cases that their health professionals are faced with. The heat brings tropical diseases such as dengue fever, while the increase in road traffic brings a variety of injuries to be treated in the emergency room.
While the departments in the Dominican Republic are understandably more traditional than in Europe and resources can sometimes be limited, students who join us can expect the same high-quality mentorship as anywhere else. You will be paired with your own dedicated mentor who will be there to answer your questions and explain complex cases - what better way to learn while gaining a global perspective on healthcare?
You will be placed in a Gap Medics partner hospital or clinic the Monday after your arrival, and you will spend weekdays shadowing your dedicated mentor in healthcare. We partner with busy facilities around the world that offer a variety of specialist departments for students to explore. Our partner hospitals undergo a rigorous vetting process before they are able to host our students, ensuring an unbeatable standard of quality when it comes to the educational value and academic rigour of our programme.
Each week, we will place you in a department carefully selected by us to ensure you receive the most relevant and comprehensive observational opportunities. If you have an interest in a specific medical specialism, simply indicate your interests on your application and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Your department mentor will be a professional clinician working in medicine. They will help you get the most from your experience by providing clear guidance and supervision as you learn to break down barriers in the patient wards and observe surgeries in the operating theatres. We work very closely with our partner hospitals to ensure that our mentors are fully qualified and understand the educational aims of our programme.
You will also attend global health tutorials throughout your placement. Our hospital mentors host these informal sessions at the Gap Medics house, focussing on the local cultural, social, and economic factors that will help you understand and interpret what you see in the hospital each day.
Dr Maruszewski has been at the Children's Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw since 1979 and has previous experience at the Royal Children's Hospital in Liverpool, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Harefield Hospital in London. He is currently the head of this department.
Dr Maruszewski is responsible for treating the full range of congenital heart defects in newborns, infants, and older children. With Dr Maruszewski as your mentor, you are likely to observe multi-stage surgical treatment of the most complex congenital heart diseases, artificial heart chambers, and heart transplantation.
We believe that all members of our staff have a responsibility to protect and care for our students, and our greatest pride is the relaxed family environment that we create to help foster your education and exploration. In addition to chefs, housekeepers, night managers, and security teams, Gap Medics houses also employ dedicated placement coordinators to help support and guide you throughout your physician associate programme.
Your placement coordinators will brief you at the Gap Medics house, accompany you to the hospital, and introduce you to your mentors. As experts on our destinations and offerings, these friendly individuals also love to advise our students on local travel opportunities and facilitate exciting and inclusive on-site activities – so if you fancy a game of volleyball, a traditional barbecue, or a table-football tournament, they will have you covered.
Tatiana is originally from Ukraine, but moved to Warsaw in 2010 to study at the University of Social Science and Humanities, where she gained a degree in international relations. Tatiana is now completing further study in European administration.
You will see Tatiana at the hospital making sure your placement is well organised and runs smoothly. She will also be around in the afternoon to help you plan activities and make the most of your free time. She is a keen traveller and, interestingly enough, has a great interest in medicine.