Medical Elective/ Internship
Contribute to some of the most poorest medical institutions in the developing world.
Doing a Medical Internship/ Elective in Nepal with Volunteer Society Nepal is an excellent way to contribute to some of the poorest medical institutions in the developing world.
This program remains one of our most popular at Volunteer Society Nepal. As an Intern in Nepal, you will have the opportunity to observe medical work in a variety of departments.
Your options for specialization as a Medical Intern in Nepal
Every internship is tailored to your level of experience and interests. There are options for specialization in the following departments:
- General Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Infectious Diseases
- Psychiatric ward
- Emergency (requires at least 6 years medical training)
- Surgery (requires at least 3 years medical training)
- Burn and Plastic Surgery
- Community Medicine
Do I need any qualifications or skills to do this work?
All Medical Elective Interns in Nepal must have completed at least one year of medical studies or training by the time they join a project, or at least three years to work at the pediatric hospital. Once your placement has been arranged, your supervisor at the hospital, the Director, will assign you to work with specialist doctors within the different departments related to your experience. The hospital staff request that you spend a minimum of two weeks per project or department. We will do our best to place you according to your preferences, but cannot guarantee every department will be available all of the time.
Your role as a Medical Intern in Nepal
As a Medical elective interns your role at the hospital will vary depending on your education and experience. First, you will begin by shadowing the local Nepali staff. When you show enthusiasm and develop a good relationship with the doctors and nurses, you will be rewarded with more responsibilities. The hospital’s facilities are basic and the treatment standards will probably be different from what you’re used to. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases, and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients.
Normal working hours are from Sunday to Friday from 8am to 14pm. Many of the doctors do not work in the afternoons, though it is sometimes possible to arrange extra hours from 2pm to 5pm to help the nurses or do additional work with patients.
Most of the doctors speak English. In some departments there are nurses who speak a little English, or from time to time there may also be local medical interns who can communicate in English.
Where in Nepal can I volunteer in a hospital or health center?
We have placements available in hospitals in Banepa, Kathmandu, Chitwan, and Pokhara.
What accommodation will I be living in?
Wherever you choose to volunteer in Nepal you will be placed in a home stay with a local Nepali family. By living with a family you will gain a greater insight and understanding of Nepali culture. The standard of lodging will depend on whether you are in a rural or urban area. In a rural area the facilities will be basic with minimal running water and a squat toilet. However, in an urban placement you will most likely have a flushing Western style toilet and a shower. All of your food will be provided for you at your home stay and you will never be more than 30 minutes from your place of work. For more information on what to expect in a home stay have a look at our Food and Accommodation Page.
Check out the experiences from some of our volunteers:
- Medical students from University of Leeds, UK share their volunteer experience
- A Medical Elective student from University of Adelaide, Australia volunteer at a hospital in Nepal:
Once you arrive we organize an introduction for you. We deem this to be highly valuable and it’s a program valued by many volunteers and interns in the past. By means of an introduction you can acclimatise and prepare for your volunteering. You can begin at you project rested and prepared. In this way you can be really effective.
Arriving to work in a foreign country can be a nerve-wracking experience, this is why at VSN we provide a friendly and in-depth welcome. The in-depth welcome encompasses basic language training, cultural training and sightseeing through Kathmandu and surrounding. This is what you can expect from the moment when you touch down at Tribhuvan Intl. Airport. The program may vary depending on your time of arrival. We will manage to include all below mentioned activities in you introduction program.
While you volunteer with Volunteer Society Nepal you will be staying with a Nepali host family. Be part of a Nepali family. Eat together with the family. Play with the children. Experience the rich Nepali culture firsthand. Many volunteers tell us this unique insight into the culture of Nepal is a key part of why they come back again and again.
All our host families have conducted a training regarding hosting volunteers adequately. They know how to ensure hygiene and provide security. They will treat you as a member of the family. To secure the knowledge of the western culture and desires we train our host families yearly.
Although we do not experience it frequently and it can be considered very rare, it could be possible you are not satisfied at your host family. In that case, it’s possible to switch host family. We want to guarantee your happiness and secure the positive experience of Nepal. Hence, we remain contact if every runs properly at your host family during your stay.
When you arrive on placement you will be introduced to your host family by the VSN representative and given a full tour of the premises. Many of our host families have children and it seems many of our volunteers enjoy helping them with their English, learning to cook Nepali food and mixing in with their life. The other way around, we experience volunteers learn a lot from the hosts and children regarding the life in Nepal.
At the host families you will stay with or without fellow volunteers. You can clarify you preference and we will take that into account while arranging your host family. It is always possible to stay as a couple or group of friends in one host family. You should consider the host family as you temporary family in Nepal. As they will treat and value you as a family member. They can even so help you regarding how to discover the neighborhood, advice on travels and offer you warmth in times of homesickness.
You should not expect luxury on your stay in Nepal. Nepal is a developing country and may well be different from what you are used to at home. However, you will have your own room unless requested otherwise, and the rooms are always clean and comfortable. The quality of toilet and washing facilities vary significantly between placements. If you are based in Kathmandu you may find you have a hot shower and a Western style toilet in your homestay. However, if you are in a rural placement then it is more likely that you will have a traditional squat toilet and a cold shower. If you feel like having a hot shower and flushing toilet is a priority then make this clear when you are applying and we will see if it is possible to find you one of our better equipped host families.
The electricity supply in all areas is limited. Due to nationwide electricity shortages the government imposes power cuts of around 12-14 hours a day. In the cities some houses have backup batteries that will run low power bulbs in key rooms, but in the rural areas you can expect to use candles. A head-torch is a very useful thing to bring.
On placement you will usually eat with the family and share the same food as them. At least two meals a day are provided for you while volunteering. The usual meal times are between 9 and 10 AM and 6 and 8 PM. You will usually be served the national staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari which is a tasty and filling plate of rice, vegetable curry, lentils and pickles. It may occasionally have meat such as chicken or mutton in it, although if you are vegetarian this can easily be explained. This may be supplemented occasionally by noodles, eggs and other snacks dependent on your host family and placement
Your hosts family will provide you with clean drinking water on your placement.
The Medical Elective/ Internship Placement Is Available At The Following Beautiful Places:
The Kathmandu Valley lies at the crossroads of ancient civilizations of Asia, and has at least 130 important monuments, including several places of pilgrimage for the Hindus and Buddhists. The cities of Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, Kirtipur and Chobhar are located in this valley, and each displays excellent examples of Newar art and architecture. The valley is the cultural and political hub of Nepal, but this melting pot of traditions and different Nepali >>>>
Dhulikhel is situated at an altitude of 5,500 ft above sea level, 30 km east of Kathmandu on the Kodari Highway and is a 90 minute drive from Kathmandu. It is a typical Newari town surrounded by nearby Tamang villages, and is set on a hill top, enveloped in copper soiled terraces with magnificent views of the central Himalayan peaks. Dhulikhel is well known for its beautiful sunrise and >>>>.
Pokhara valley is located at the very center of Nepal and is dominated by the peaks of the Annapurna mountain range. The town of Pokhara (913 meters), is only fifty kilometers from Annapurna 1 (8,091 meters), and the sharp decline of six thousand meters within the short distance of only twenty-nine kilometers gives the region. It is famous for the peaceful Phewa Lake and the magnificent >>>>
Himalayan Region:(Mt. Everest)
Salleri and Garma, Solukhumbu
Salleri is a small Himalayan town that serves as the headquarters of Solukhumbu District. It is everything you would imagine from the Everest mountain region: beautiful landscape; hillsides dotted with villages, a lively weekend bazaar, a Tibetan refugee camp, and many spectacular Buddhist monasteries. Recently road has been connected with Salleri and regular jeep service operates from Kathmandu. The duration of Jeep drive is about 10 hours.>>>>
Sitting at just over 5000 feet, Okhaldunga is an ideal destination for immersion in a genuine Nepali village. The magic of this town is conveyed in both its hospitality and natural beauty. Although a narrow dirt road now connects this district to the rest of Nepal, the hilly terrain makes travel to Okhaldhunga difficult at best, and at times quite treacherous. For most, a two day walk from the town of Katari continues to be the best and safest way to reach Okhaldhunga >>>>.
The name Chitwan means ‘heart of the jungle’ and is also the name given to one of Nepal’s most visited National Parks. This lowland area of jungle and reclaimed arable land is the centre of Nepal’s agricultural production. Matched to this, people flock to see elephants, Bengal tigers and the famous one-horned Rhino in the parks.>>>>
Why pay for doing Internship?
You probably asked yourself on occasion. Why pay for doing internship? After all…you’re offering your services free of charge… and on top of that you have to pay? How ridiculous is that?? The question one should ask though is: “what is it I’m paying for?” In the following points, we will shed light on this question, and hopefully will have answered any misconceptions many people have on volunteering. As a potential intern/volunteer you need to understand that below is a list of reasons why a program fee is required.
Note: In some cases, you may work directly for the organization in need of volunteers and there may be volunteering program with little fee. These organizations may be local or international, and their process for applying generally differs from our organization as it will be more tailored to their requirements and needs and less so on those of the volunteers. But, be aware that they usually are unable or unwilling to provide above mentioned logistics and support like arranging housing, orientation, sight -seeing, language classes, visa Assistance, 24/7 support and social and Cultural activities etc.