Is gaining dentistry work experience in Ghana right for me?
If you are a student looking for dentistry work experience in another country, then our Dentistry internship in Ghana is for you.
You’ll have the opportunity to shadow dentists and work with patients who have a culture different to your own. The skills you’ll learn during this internship are a great addition to any CV. This can put you a step ahead of the rest in future job interviews.
Even if you’re not a dental student but are considering a career in this direction, you are welcome to sign up. The focus of this internship is on learning, and we’ll teach you everything you need to know for outreach work. You’ll also have a supervisor who will be there when you need them. They are there to teach you, guide you and support you throughout your time in Ghana.
This internship is open throughout the year. You can join from two weeks, but we encourage you to stay longer. The longer you stay, the more you’ll learn.
Your work will focus on these three areas:
Shadow and assist local dentists as they complete their day-to-day tasks in a local hospital
To give you a better idea of dental practices in a developing country, you’ll spend your time observing dentists at your dentistry placement in Ghana. You’ll assist with patient and equipment preparation, and provide patients with support if they feel they need it. Use this opportunity to ask the dentist questions about the conditions of different patients and how they are being treated.
Complete basic dental checks alongside a qualified dentist during community outreaches
Many locals living in rural areas cannot afford basic healthcare and are unable to travel to the hospitals and clinics. To improve their access to basic healthcare, you’ll assist dentists with free basic dental checks in the community. You’ll assist with examinations and the dentist will advise or refer patients after discussing their cases with you.
Conduct oral hygiene presentations in the community and at schools
Education is key to preventing dental issues. You’ll talk to the community and children at local schools about the importance of good oral hygiene. You’ll also create posters and informative materials to distribute in the community and run teeth brushing demonstrations for the children.
Where in Ghana will I be working?
Your Dentistry placement in Ghana will be based in the fishing town of Cape Coast.
Although quiet and peaceful, Cape Coast has a difficult history as one of the largest slave-trading centres in West Africa. You can see the colonial influence in this town, specifically with art and in the many buildings that dot the main streets and beaches.
You’ll work in one of the most modern hospitals in Ghana. Since it serves as a teaching hospital for medical students, the local medical and dental staff will be happy to assist you throughout your internship.
A typical day on the Dentistry internship in Ghana
You’ll wake up each morning to the call of your host mother. Before making your way to the hospital, you can get ready and grab something to eat. Most host families live close to the hospital so you’ll either take a 10-minute walk or grab a quick taxi ride. On your first day, our staff will accompany you to show you the way.
On your first day, your supervisor will be there to show you around. You can expect to work from 8am to 2pm, Monday to Friday. However, you are welcome to stay longer, provided there is a supervisor available. Lunch time is typically at 12pm, but this is not compulsory. Some interns prefer to eat lunch back at their host family after finishing for the day.
You’ll start each day at the hospital by assisting with preparations before they start receiving patients. You’ll then be able to sit in on patient consultations. Once or twice a week you’ll be able to assist local dentists as they examine children at a dental outreach in the community. These will include visits to schools where you will have the opportunity to educate children on the importance of dental hygiene.
Over the weekends, explore more of the beautiful Ghanaian countryside. Hike through one of the many national parks, visit historical museums, or spend the day relaxing on the beach.
What are the aims and impact of this Dentistry internship?
The aim of our Dentistry internship in Ghana is to give you a chance to observe and learn from qualified dentists working in a local hospital.
You will gain plenty of work experience hours to add to your CV. In addition, you’ll leave with a deeper insight into the challenges people face with dental care in developing countries. This will give you interesting points to talk about in interviews or applications.
As well as providing you with the opportunity to learn, we also want to include you in our efforts to provide healthcare in disadvantaged, rural areas. We host regular medical outreaches in these communities that you can take part in.
All the work you do helps us move closer towards achieving the four goals in our Medical Management Plan:
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promoting an exchange of medical knowledge
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups through outreach work
- Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases
- Improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients
Help us work towards these goals and gain dental work experience in the process by joining our Dentistry internship in Ghana.
Medical electives for students
This project is also perfect for university medical and healthcare elective students. The real-world insight and knowledge you gain will help shape you as a future medical professional. You will also learn to work with different people and get a broader perspective of global healthcare systems and issues. This benefits your career for years to come. We can organise a placement that meets all of your university's requirements.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Volunteering in Ghana is an ideal way to explore this colourful West African country. There’s a huge variety of different activities to do while you’re there, giving you plenty of exciting ways to spend your free time.
Music is a central part of Ghanaian culture. In the bigger towns, especially Accra, you will hear some great live bands and have some memorable nights out. Evenings spent at buzzing restaurants will also give you a taste of some of the delicious local cuisine.
For a look into Ghana’s history, you can tour the slave forts of Cape Coast and visit museums. Nature lovers will relish trekking through the rainforests of Kakum National Park or Mole National Park.
We run a wide range of projects in Ghana so there’s sure to be other volunteers there during your trip. This means you can explore the country solo or connect with other volunteers and travel as a group.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Ghana
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