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Electives in Tanzania for Medical Students

  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Moshi and Arusha
  • ROLE: To gain experience from local staff and add to your previous medical training
  • REQUIREMENTS: You must be a student studying medicine. If you are not an elective student, please go to our standard Medicine in Tanzania project page
  • TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Hospitals and health clinics
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

Medical Student Electives in Tanzania with Projects Abroad

If you are considering choosing Tanzania for your Medicine Elective you will help people in some of the poorest medical institutions in the developing world while also gaining the experience required for your studies.

You must be a medical student to do an Elective placement. Projects Abroad is experienced in coordinating Elective students and will organize with your university to make sure your placement fulfills the objectives of your Elective. Our in-country staff will be on hand to support you pre-departure and while you are on your placement. They can help with inquiries and with paperwork you may need to complete.

In Tanzania you will be assigned a supervisor. They will be a qualified doctor who will mentor you while you are carrying out your Elective. They will spend time with you discussing various case studies and answering your questions.

Medical Electives in Tanzania

Projects Abroad works with both small health clinics and large government hospitals in Tanzania, giving students the unique opportunity to work in a variety of different departments and to work closely alongside local doctors and nurses. Medicine Elective students can be placed in one of a variety of medical institutions in and around the town of Arusha in northern Tanzania and in the Kilimanjaro region in a town called Moshi.

Where you are placed will depend upon your chosen specialty. This will be arranged by our local staff before you arrive. There are many different departments in the majority of the hospitals we work with including maternity, general medicine, surgery, pediatrics, palliative care, working with HIV patients and in the laboratory.

You will start by observing the doctors and nurses. However, you may find more practical opportunities arise once you get to know the local staff and if you can demonstrate a good understanding of local medical conditions. It is important to build up trust and a good relationship with the local doctors.

Facilities within the hospitals and clinics are basic and treatments are sometimes not of the standard we would expect in North America and Europe. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients. Your working hours will usually be decided on a weekly basis, however most interns work from Monday to Friday and have the weekends free.

Projects Abroad also organizes regular medical outreach work and workshops for our medical students and interns in both Moshi and Arusha. These provide you with the opportunity to carry out valuable work in a community-based environment and will give you a greater understanding of the medical system in Tanzania. You will be serving communities who would otherwise not have access to medical care.

You will stay with a local Tanzanian host family. They will welcome you into their family and you will experience the real day-to-day life of the community. You can spend your free time exploring the area with the Projects Abroad volunteer community.

Volunteer Profile Riti Desai
Riti Desai
The doctors were fantastic and were willing to teach us, as well as share their experiences. Being a final year medical student, I was able to examine patients and write in the notes, actively manage and write discharge summaries. I truly felt I was contributing to the system. Read more...

Medical Student Electives in Tanzania are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable medical experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local medical system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.

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