At a glance
- Shadow doctors in a hospital as they consult with and treat patients and teach you how to diagnose and treat different illnesses.
- You can rotate around a number of departments, learning directly from medical staff, which may help you to pick a specialty for the future.
- Learn basic medical skills such as monitoring heart rates and measuring blood sugar and blood pressure and put them into practice during outreaches.
18 or over
You should have completed at least one year of medical related studies or training.
Is a Medicine internship in Cambodia right for me?
If you’re studying towards a career in medicine and looking for clinical work experience, this Medicine internship in Cambodia is for you.
The experience of shadowing doctors and doing outreach work will add a lot of value to your CV. It will also give you great points to talk about in interviews. You can talk about what you saw, the skills you learned, and how you overcame any challenges you faced. The outreach work you do will also show your commitment to helping others.
The project runs throughout the year, and you can join at any time. The longer you stay, the more you learn.
What will you do during your medical internship in Cambodia?
During your medical internship in Cambodia, you’ll be involved in the following activities:
- Shadow medical staff as they consult and treat patients in a state hospital
- Provide free basic healthcare in underprivileged areas of Phnom Penh
- Raise awareness about the prevention and treatment of common illnesses
Your work will be split in the following main areas:
Shadow doctors at the hospital
During your internship, you’ll observe experienced doctors during their hospital rounds. You’ll also sit in on their consultations as they talk with and assess their patients. This will help give you insight into the types of illnesses prevalent in Cambodia. From the doctor, you’ll learn how to diagnose and treat the diseases you see. We encourage you to ask questions and take notes.
Throughout your stay, you will have the chance to work in different medical departments. Your level of involvement within the hospital will also depend on your initiative and the trust you build with the medical staff.
Many of the disadvantaged communities in Cambodia cannot afford access to healthcare. As part of your internship, you’ll participate in community outreaches. Most of our outreaches take place in childcare centres. You’ll do health checks, and monitor heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and temperature. All of your work is done under supervision.
Run awareness and prevention campaigns
Due to the conditions in disadvantaged communities and the lack of education, many of the locals are susceptible to disease and illness. You’ll help us raise awareness on how to prevent diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, and parasitic infections. You’ll also share knowledge about how to spot the signs and symptoms.
What departments can I work in during my medical placement?
You can shadow doctors and other medical staff in a variety of departments at the hospital. Use this opportunity to learn more about the different specialisations available to you. Here are a few of the departments you can intern in:
- Emergency Department (can include night shifts)
- ICU Medicine
- Surgery/Traumatology (Abdomen, Pediatric, Urology, ICU)
- Ears Nose Throat (ENT)
- Stomatology / Dentistry
- Infectious Diseases
You’ll have the chance to work in different departments throughout your internship. However, you need to spend a minimum of four weeks in each one before you can switch. The longer you stay, the more departments you can work in.
Where in Cambodia will I be working?
Situated along the Mekong riverside is the charming capital city of Phnom Penh. The city offers a host of attractions, including historical museums in the city centre, the famous Royal Palace situated along the riverside promenade, and modern malls or local marketplaces.
As a medical intern, you’ll work in one of the hospitals in this rapidly modernising city. Most interns work at a large state hospital, but there is also an opportunity to work with children in a paediatric hospital.
The state hospital is the largest hospital in the city and the facilities are basic. With over 17,000 patients being admitted to the hospital every year, there will always be work for you to observe. There’s no need for a translator as most of the doctors speak English. Many of them also speak French.
A typical day as a Medicine intern in Cambodia
You’ll wake up each morning in your shared apartment before tucking into egg fried rice, banana pancakes and fresh fruit with the other volunteers. You’ll hop onto the tuk tuk waiting at your door that will take you to your internship at one of the city hospitals.
A typical day will vary depending on which department you work with. Sometimes you may even have night shifts, however it is possible to go back to the volunteer house for lunch or even take a packed lunch with you for your day ahead.
You’ll begin each day by shadowing a doctor as they check on their patients during rounds. After rounds, you can sit in on consultations. Some days, you may assist the doctors on outreaches, where they treat patients who cannot afford basic healthcare. You can help them measure blood pressure, glucose levels, heart rates, and temperatures.
At the end of the day, you can go back to the apartment for dinner or head out to experience local cuisine at one of the many side street restaurants. The nightlife in Cambodia is something you cannot miss!
You can explore more of the stunning city of Phnom Penh during your free time. You should make time to visit the Royal Palace, the Killing Fields and S21 museum. Over the weekends, you can expand your exploration and visit ancient temples in Siem Reap, or soak up the sun at the beach.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of our medical internship in Cambodia is to expand your medical knowledge and promote cultural exchange. We want you to learn from practising doctors, get insight into a developing country, and share experiences with one another.
Cambodia is a country with a complex history, and it is still recovering from the devastating effects of the Khmer Rouge era. Although the war has long since ended, you will see the effects as you drive through the more rural areas. Poverty still affects many communities and the locals often cannot afford healthcare. This is why you’ll assist qualified medical staff in providing these communities with free basic health checks.
We are working towards the achievement of four goals that we have laid out in our Medical Management Plan:
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
- Improve the quality of specialised or alternative healthcare provided
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge
- Improve hygiene standards
Gain medical work experience and help us work towards these goals by joining our Medicine Internship in Cambodia.
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.
Food and accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in Phnom Penh. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
Explore Cambodia and you will be amazed by the juxtaposition of vibrant cities, achingly beautiful scenery, and famous historical landmarks. This country has a lot to offer during your free time.
The world-famous gathering of temples near Siem Reap is a must for all visitors, especially the magnificent Angkor Wat. Climbing over huge tree roots to temple doorways shrouded by vines is guaranteed to bring out the Indiana Jones in you!
However, Cambodia offers far more than ancient temples. You can go trekking in the jungles or try snorkelling and dolphin-spotting in the seas surrounding Sihanoukville. For a more relaxed afternoon, you can spend time on one of the beautiful beaches.
What’s more, with a network of international volunteers in Cambodia with you, you can decide if you want to spend your free time exploring independently or in 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.
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