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Internship in Nepal: Medical Electives

Project Overview
Project Medical Electives
Start Dates: 1st and 15th of each month
Language Requirements: English (Basic Nepali is provided)
Food and Accommodation: Nepali standard with host family in the working community, Jitpurphedi.
Key Activities: facilitating health camps, improving health literacy, shadowing doctors and treating patients as deemed appropriate
Beneficiaries: Disadvantaged community members, with an emphasis on women and children.
Working Hours: 4 to 5 hours a day, 6 days a week
Required Qualifications and Skills: Medical interns need to be either currently studying or practicing in the medical field, which includes doctors, nurses, medical students, and nursing students. This is not required for Health interns, but is an added benefit. The stay must be for a minimum of 4 weeks.


Health / Medicine Overview

Volunteering on a Medicine & Healthcare project in Nepal is a unique experience. As a Medicine and Healthcare intern you will gain a great deal of valuable work-experience alongside some of the most skilled practitioners in the country.

Volunteer Medicine and Healthcare placements in Nepal are based in and around Kathmandu. You will be working on social and health development projects focusing on providing medicine and healthcare to the underprivileged. This is a particularly important service in a country such as Nepal where the National Health System provides for only 15% of the population, with facilities being quite basic compared to those in the West.

VIN also aims to mobilize volunteers with health backgrounds in rural Communities where people do not have access to any health facilities, as the government is not able to provide adequate health services in the rural communities. Further, rural Nepali people are often unwilling to go to the hospital or make use of other contemporary health services because of orthodox and superstitious thinking and other cultural influences. Some Nepali people may visit a dhami / Jhakri (witchdoctor) when they are suffering from a disease, with the resulting being most of them dying without getting the benefit of modern medication.

VIN currently plays an active role in linking those rural people with local and international volunteers who are eager to serve the many needy people in Nepal’s rural areas and as such welcomes all the interested medical students, individuals, professionals, organizations, associations and other groups to join the health program.

Health Internship

Below is a description of the threefold approach of the Health Internship program. While we prefer medical students or doctors for the program we do accept other volunteers who have some experience in the area.

Health Camps

Health Volunteers will be mobilized to work in health camps for a prearranged schedule, 1 day to a week. Volunteers will work with their Nepali counterparts, who assist both Nepali and foreign volunteers. Volunteers’ responsibilities are to distribute medicine and consult with citizens about health care, thereby raising the awareness of health and sanitation throughout the rural communities.

Health Institute

Volunteers will be assigned to health posts, hospitals, and other health institutions, either run by the government or a local community, in both rural and urban settings. Volunteers will work with health assistants, doctors, nurses, or some combination there within. Here, they will work daily, 3 to 5 hours, for 5 days a week.

Teaching Health and Sanitation

Many Nepali people are unaware of health and sanitation-related issues. We therefore mobilize volunteers mainly to work with the youth clubs, women’s groups and other local organizations to teach them about proper health and sanitation habits. In addition, volunteers will provide First-Aid information to the local people in rural villages, thereby providing them with a practical and sustainable health and sanitation skills. At the mean time, volunteers will give health education classes to children clubs in government schools that may last from a week to several days. Clubs community groups pass this information to other Clubs, groups and communities at large.

Medicine Internship

For a significant number of Nepali people, it is very difficult to receive proper health care. Many of the state’s established health centers are understaffed in rural areas. Our medical internship program allows medical students the opportunity to practice what they have learned in their universities for the ultimate benefit to the disadvantaged community people to improve their community health care system.

The internship program places doctors, nurses, and medical school students at hospitals and clinics. We have standing requests from local facilities for Internists, Urologists, Surgeons, Oncologists, Ophthalmologists, Nurses, and Dentists.

Volunteers have the option of working in either an urban or rural setting and as a medical school student, you will participate in a wide range of activities, including:

  • Accompanying doctors on their rounds
  • Exploring different treatments for simple ailments
  • Providing physical therapy
  • Taking part in vaccination programs
  • Assisting local doctors and medical staffs in the treatment of patients
  • Record keeping
  • Educating community members regarding sanitation, nutrition, treatment of minor injuries, etc.

Depending on the timing of your visit, you will have the opportunity to visit large general hospitals, maternity clinics, children’s hospitals, HIV/AIDS wards, and alternative-medicine clinics. Your visits will be given some context by local doctors and nurses who will discuss issues such as typical illnesses/treatments and the general state of health care in Nepal.

Interested volunteers must have certification or proof of experience in a medical field, such as a medical student ID, EMT or paramedic certification, or nursing or physician’s credentials. Due to the health risks involved, volunteers who are not properly trained in health care cannot work on this project.

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