Many Postbac Premed students are eager to volunteer in health care settings outside of the United States, where access to medical care is often extremely limited. Although service abroad does not necessarily make an applicant to medical, dental, or veterinary school more competitive, many Postbac Premed students will undertake such work to supplement the clinical and research work they complete domestically.
Students who pursue opportunities abroad should ensure that the tasks they assume are commensurate with their experience and training and the work is conducted under the supervision of a health care professional. Students should be advised that the School of General Studies has not vetted or endorsed any of the programs listed on our website under Clinical and Research Opportunities; they therefore must investigate any program before joining it.
Students who arrange work abroad during their enrollment in the Postbac Premed Program should notify their advisor beforehand and register with International SOS, an emergency services insurance program that provides worldwide assistance in the event of an emergency
Prior to volunteering abroad, students are also encouraged to review the AAMC reference Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad. Predents should review Guidelines for Predental Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad. The information in these documents is general enough in nature that prevets and allied health preprofessionals are also encouraged to consult them.
Disclaimer: The School of General Studies does not screen the health care positions, paid or volunteer, listed below. This listing is not an endorsement or recommendation. Students are advised to investigate all opportunities before committing to one.
CFHI Programs offer first-hand experiences alongside local physicians and public health experts in developing countries. Programs combine instruction, experience, service, and reflection to create a model that supports physicians, clinical sites, and communities abroad, addresses the healthcare needs of the underserved, and adds a unique experiential element to each participant's professional development. Programs last between four and eight weeks.
The EcoMed Project offers students two to three weeks of experience with tropical medicine in Sioma, Zambia. Students work in volunteer teams, making ward rounds and working in outpatient clinics, operating rooms, and labs for HIV and TB testing, among other tests. The EcoMed Project’s goals are to encourage pre-medical students and medical students to volunteer in clinics and operating rooms, to understand how a rural medical clinic functions, and to be exposed to the ways medicine is practiced in Zambia. Positions are full-time and unpaid.
Gap Medics offers pre-health experience programs to students in Tanzania, the Czech Republic, and Thailand, and students are placed in hospitals according to their interests. Participants gain clinical experience and attend lectures given by student mentors on a variety of healthcare issues. Programs last between two weeks and several months.
Global Health Corps offers fellowships for college graduates with domestic and international NGOs and government organizations that are working to improve healthcare access and health outcomes for the poor. The program does not require clinical experience and offers fellowships in a range of areas including project management, monitoring and evaluation, engineering, communications, and more. Participants also receive mentorship and professional development training. Positions include a stipend, housing, medical insurance, and transportation, and require a commitment of one year.
IFHAP allows students to participate in one to three month clinical rotations at providing HIV-related care and general medical care throughout New York City and at the Clinica de Familia La Romana in the Dominican Republic. Students interested in family health, maternal health, reproductive health, adolescents, pediatrics, and quality improvement have the opportunity to assist in the training of clinical staff, work with quality improvement teams, and provide care at various health clinics. The rotation sites are located at an NGO that provides medical services and health education.
The Mabelle Arole Fellowship provides one student per year with the opportunity to work at the Comprehensive Rural Health Project in India for ten months. Fellows will learn about community-driven programming, women's health, under-fives care, family planning, control of chronic illnesses, prevention of infectious diseases, and integrated rural development. Fellows also gain out-patient, in-patient, and field experience with the hospital. To apply, students must have already applied and been accepted to medical school. If awarded the fellowship, the awardee will defer entrance to medical school for one year. The fellowship is full-time and includes a stipend.
The Global Health Fellowship sends students to St. Joseph's Clinic in Thomassique, Haiti to provide health care to underserved communities. Fellows assist with coordinating the clinic's operations and managing several health outreach programs involving community health workers, traditional birth assistants, mobile clinics, water purification, malnutrition, salt iodization, and education. Fellows also have the opportunity to develop new initiatives to address needs in Thomassique or outlying villages. The fellowship lasts 13 months and transportation including flight costs, housing, food, and emergency evacuation insurance are covered by the program.
MIHRT is for students from underrepresented groups who seek an international research opportunity in global health. The program is a fully-funded 11-week summer program during which fellows will receive training in New York City, and will carry out a research project in one of five countries (Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, or Swaziland).
Operation Wallacea, which runs biological and conservation management research programs in remote areas, offers students the opportunity to learn about expeditionary medicine. The Expedition Medicine Experiential Course provides experience in providing medical support to teams working on expeditions in remote areas. Participants receive formal teaching in the form of interactive lectures coupled with mentorship by doctors working out in the field to gain experience in clinical diagnosis and treatment. The program lasts four weeks.
The Princeton in Africa Fellowship provides participants opportunities with a variety of organizations that work across the African continent. Experiences vary, but effort is made to place fellows with organizations based on their interest. Previous fellows have worked in the fields of humanitarian aid, public health, education, conservation, post-conflict reconstruction, and social entrepreneurship. The fellowship lasts twelve months.
The Somos Hermanos program provides an opportunity for gap-year, pre-medical students to become fluent in Spanish. The program takes place in Guatemala and entails a mix of one-on-one language instruction, community volunteering, cultural activities and lectures, and daytrips to nearby areas. The program lasts six months.
At Unite for Sight, Global Impact Fellows provide eye care to people living in extreme poverty. Volunteers interact with patients, conduct visual acuity screenings, learn about glasses and medication distribution, and have the opportunity to observe surgeries. Positions last between one week and several months.
VIDA offers pre-medical students the opportunity to practice rural medicine in field clinics serving isolated populations in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Students will interview patients, record vitals, administer physical exams and primary care under the supervision of licensed physicians. A variety of programs are offered and Spanish is not a prerequisite. Programs last between nine and fifteen days.
The Whitaker International Fellowship provides students with the opportunity to pursue biomedical engineering or a closely related subject – such biomedical advances’ policy implications – abroad. Students need not be bioengineers, but must have a demonstrated commitment to the field. The position is full-time, paid, and may be pursued in the summer or for a full year.
For global health opportunities in the summer, visit the summer programs page.