What to Know about International Medical Internships before You Apply: Part 1


medical interns and volunteers

The UK has become a much more popular destination for international medical internships as medical schools face an ever-increasing gap between the number of medical graduates and the lack of opportunities for them to work in the UK. This is where international medical internships come into play!

Training abroad can be an incredibly valuable experience, both professionally and personally. Medical interns in the UK can gain an insight into new methods and techniques, as well as the opportunity to work in a new country and practice their language skills.

By exploring the real world in different parts of the globe, students gain a well-rounded view of the healthcare system in a foreign country, as well as gain familiarity with their professional field. 

With all the wonders of international medical internships, it’s still important to do your research and know what you should consider before sending your application. 

What You Should Know about International Medical Internships

1. Tailor Your Desired Experience by Choosing the Right Overseas Medical Internship That Suits Your Goals

Finding an overseas medical internship can be a daunting task, especially as there are so many different options to choose from. Medical internships in the UK are very popular among international medical students and UK medical schools, but it’s important to ask yourself, how can I tailor my future experience to best help me reach my long-term career goals?

Make sure that you have a very clear idea of what you are looking for in a particular internship program before you start your search. Start with a look at the country or region (if you’re open to multiple options):

  • Where are you looking to travel?
  • What is the healthcare system like in that country?
  • What is the language like and how can you take advantage of the language school?
  • Do you want to add to your CV a volunteer experience or do you have a particular interest you’d like to develop and promote?
  • What kind of hospital experience are you looking to gain? 

medical volunteers

2. You Don’t Need to Force a Specialty, But It Helps Exploring Your Options 

While international medical internships are an excellent way to gain experience in a foreign healthcare system and practice your language skills, it’s important to remember that although you can tailor your chosen program to fit your goals, you don’t have to force a specific speciality.

For example, if you’re looking to become a paediatrician, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply to a hospital in a different speciality if it’s your dream to live in the UK someday. While the speciality you’ve chosen might not be appropriate, there is a good chance that the hospital is training programs in the speciality you hope to one day work in or a closely related one.

If you’re looking to get involved in outreach work or medical diplomacy, you might not be able to find an appropriate medical internship program, but you will be able to get involved in other ways and find opportunities in that area.

3. Identify the Kind of Work Setting You Want to Be in before You Apply

When looking into a program that is right for you, it’s important to try and identify what kind of work setting you hope to find yourself in after your medical internship. Your mentality and goals will help you choose the best program to give you the most valuable experience while getting paid to live abroad.

If you want to gain experience in a small hospital, a large one, or in a hospital outside of a big city, you need to make sure that you are applying to the right kind of program.

The Bottom Line: Gaining New Opportunities Beyond Books and Borders through International Medical Internships

International medical internships can provide you with the new opportunities and experiences you need to gain exposure to new techniques, medical practices, and language skills to help you be a truly well-rounded candidate for residency.

Are You Planning to Volunteer Abroad?

For more information on volunteering abroad and how it can benefit your career goals, check out our website and explore our wide range of volunteering solutions for you.

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