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Electives in Bolivia for Medical Students


If you're interested in volunteering in this destination, please contact us first before applying.

  • ROLE: To gain experience from local staff and add to your previous medical training
  • REQUIREMENTS: You must be a student studying medicine and you must speak intermediate Spanish. If you are not an elective student, please go to our standard Medicine in Bolivia project page
  • TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Hospitals and health centres
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 4 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

International Medical Electives in Bolivia with Projects Abroad

If you choose to do your Medical Elective in Bolivia, you will most likely be working in a hospital or health centre in Cochabamba. There are placements for elective students at various “Centros de Salud,” which are public health clinics that offer free medical care to everyone in Cochabamba.

With very basic facilities, the health clinics serve mostly minor emergencies, accidents and routine visits. There is insufficient funding to maintain the facilities in complete working order and provide the hospital with sufficient staff or materials. For this reason, Elective students and interns are needed to help and your work will be greatly appreciated.

You must be a student in medical school to do an Elective placement. At the Centros de Salud you have the opportunity to work in a variety of departments such as pediatrics and gynecology. You can also get involved in community work such as vaccination programs which the clinics organize throughout the year. You will spend time shadowing and learning from the qualified staff in the clinics. You can take part in basic medical tasks such as bandaging, taking blood pressure, and dressing wounds.

The doctor may also need help in the surgery room, passing equipment and monitoring patients. The exact nature of work you do will depend on your chosen specialty. This will be organized before you depart. Projects Abroad will coordinate with your university to ensure your Elective requirements are met.

Medical Student Electives in Bolivia with Projects Abroad

You will be given a supervisor who will coordinate your placement. They will be eager to test your knowledge and give you the benefit of their training and experience. The more enthusiasm you show, and more trust you build up with the staff, the more responsibility you will be given. By working hard, you will get a truly rewarding experience in these medical clinics.

Elective students in Bolivia should be 18 years or older and will need intermediate Spanish in order to communicate directly with the majority of doctors and patients. If you lack confidence in your Spanish language ability, take a Spanish Language course or join a Teaching or Care project before joining your Medicine & Healthcare program. This gives you the opportunity to improve your language skills before starting the medical part of your placement.

You will live with a host family while carrying out your Elective in Bolivia. In your free time you can experience the vibrant city of Cochabamba and take part in various Projects Abroad activities.

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