MEDICAL INTERNSHIPS IN ZIMBABWE

With us, you can can gain real-life global health experience. Complete your internship or clinical rotation in Zimbabwe and learn how to apply your skills in a setting where you can really make a difference. The unique experiential learning programmes we offer will allow you to become part of a dynamic healthcare team. Doctors, nurses and physician assistants will rely heavily on the medical history and physical examination results you record as there are limited resources available in Zimbabwe for extensive testing or imaging studies. Therefore, the knowledge you’ve gained at home will help result in more comprehensive analysis and diagnosis.

You will be participating in the provision of healthcare to a patient population that is quite unique. Each new person you meet will be very different from the individuals you have worked with in your home country, as their needs are shaped by their daily struggles and ability to overcome local challenges.

If you’re interested in tropical medicine, you’ll learn about the prevention and treatment of malaria, tuberculosis and schistosomiasis. We do absolutely take precautionary measures when it comes to preparing programme participants though – so your own risk exposure will be minimised. If you’re a medical, nursing or physician assistant student, you’ll be involved as both an observer and an active participant in the diagnosis and treatment of infections that present challenges to Zimbabwe’s people and health care system. Zimbabwe’s medical professionals are, however, cost conscious and well-versed in adequately treating their patients’ conditions despite the developing conditions within their institutions. You’ll see their knowledge, resilience and strength under pressure at work first-hand if you participate in one of our programmes.

Programme Background

The global health programme takes place at four different hospitals across the country. Students will experience the facilities provided by a private boutique hospital in the leafy Harare suburbs, two of the largest public hospitals in the country as well as rural hospitals run by religious missions. This rotation is designed to enable participants to holistically experience the Zimbabwe healthcare system. What you gain at the four hospitals in terms of your learning and observational experience will be vastly different. The rotation encompasses surgical specialties, laboratory analysis, pharmacological and radiological services, as well as rehabilitation and integrative medicine.

You can choose from the following available clinical rotations:

  • Departments: Neurosurgery – Urology – Dermatology – Physiotherapy – General Internal Medicine – Neurology: including the clinic and psychiatry unit – Obstetrics – Gynaecology – Paediatrics – Pathology
  • Clinics: Endocrinology – Internal Medicine – Infectious Diseases – HIV
  • Units: Stroke – Renal – Burns – Intensive Care – Leprosy Centre – Opportunistic Infections
  • Schools: Nursing

Some of the hospitals have a 24/7 casualty department that caters to all emergencies. There are also outpatient departments that review patients status and admit or discharge them.

 

PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS
  • Work alongside healthcare professionals in a developing country with its own unique strengths and challenges.
  • Experience public and private medical facilities.
  • Participate in treating patients in urban and rural healthcare settings.
  • Learn how the Zimbabwe healthcare system functions and how different or similar the system is compared to your own.
  • Learn from people who overcome barriers and create solutions without overly relying on a developed system.
  • Learn about the cultural limitations of practicing medicine in Zimbabwe.
  • Strengthen your resume and the competitiveness of applications for continuing education. Gaining unique global experience by putting what you’ve learned to good use in a practical setting outside of the framework of your local environment.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS AN INTERN?
  • Practice taking a comprehensive or focused medical history based on the symptoms and reasons why the patient is at the facility
  • Complete clinical examinations of the patient(s) and screen for signs of illness
  • Prepare differential diagnosis reports
  • Present assessment and treatment management plans
  • Practice cost-conscious medicine
  • Attend weekly grand rounds and interact with local Zimbabwean healthcare students
  • Work at least 150 hours in total throughout the duration of your global health internship experience

they came, they EXPERIENCED, they loved it!

Tiritose is amazing, and as for Zimbabwe, I have no words. I have really enjoyed my time here, from going to Pari (largest public hospital), and Ecosurgica (upmarket specialty private clinic), and then our in Magunje in the rural areas, and awww! the excursions. Best internship ever.

JESSICA HIPPOLYTE

It is a good programme for experiencing real Zimbabwean life and local culture. Especially for people who enjoy educating and playing with kids, as well as someone who intend to expand their knowledge on floras and faunas

GAVIN LAU

"Harare may not be the first gap year destination on your mind, but I have been blown away during my time here. It is a beautiful country, with the best climate I've experienced yet and the friendliest people"

KATIE HEYWOOD

"Zimbabwe has given me so much more than a volunteering exercise, its broadened my horizons and taught me so much about the human spirit and … oh! along the way I’ve worked with some inspirational people with a vision to have addiction treatment delivered in this country. So I have to come back, again and again to see this vision and dream realised"

AMANDA J THOMAS

"My time with the children? Well, where can I start? Number 1, they defintiely changed my life, I saw life from their own eyes, so innocent and full of hope. I was just happy to play big brother to them all. Remembering my third grade vocabulary wasn't as easy as I thought it would be haha!"

YUSUF IYA

A DAY IN THE LIFE…

07h30

Devotions / Prayers

08h00

A chat with supervisors in the office – game plan for the day

08h30

Hospital rounds

11h00

Tea Break

11h30

Outpatient Department 

13h30

Lunch

14h30

Outreach Immunisation and Antiretroviral Therapy Clinic

16h30

Departure from work to your accommodation

ACCOMMODATION

We offer flexible accommodation arrangements depending on your budget. Our basic packages include accommodation such as homestays with local families, shared rooms or single occupancy rooms in student dormitories or backpackers’ lodges. We can also discuss custom packages that can house you or your group in hotels, private apartments or homes booked just for you. As part of your application, please advise us of the type of accommodation you prefer. Some of the options available are listed below and you can browse through the photos to get a sense of the ambiance.

MORE DETAILS: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

We strive for the internship experience we provide to be beneficial to both participants and the institutions, medical professionals and patients our interns work with. We want to ensure a win-win situation for all. Therefore, because we thoroughly screen our institutional partners and programme facilitators, we also need to do some screening and preparation work when it comes to selecting participants.

Proof of your:

  • education, skills and work experience in the form of a CV, documentation from your school and reference letters
  • current enrollment in a professional, accredited, medical or healthcare programme of education

We’ll also need:

  • a list of references we can contact to confirm your experience, organisational skills and reading and writing ability – especially when it comes to interacting with patients and taking histories
  • to have an initial online interview with you to determine your communication skills

The process is really quite simple.

  1. Make sure you have the required supporting documentation available, such as your CV, your educational transcripts and proof of active study at an accredited institution, and reference letters.
  2. Fill out the application form by clicking here
  3. One of our team members will contact you to schedule an interview by phone or Skype. We will then verify and confirm the supporting documentation you provide us with. Once that process is complete, you will make your deposit and start planning your adventure!

Please start your application at least three (3) months before your preferred start date.

Pre-departure support

We are available on-demand, around the clock to assist you with the application and preparation process from your initial enquiry and application to confirmation of your placement and accomodation. You will receive information on your exact destination city, town or rural village, and details about the project and placement. You will be introduced to a placement advisor who will be your point of contact throughout the process. He or she will personally help you prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!

Orientation

From the moment of your arrival, starting at the airport, you will be welcomed by our staff and assisted with settling in to your accommodation. We’ll gladly answer any questions that may come up and guide you to local amenities.

You’ll then participate in a comprehensive orientation aimed at preparing you for your stay in Zimbabwe. We’ll focus on specific considerations regarding the city, town or rural area you will be staying in. The volunteer or internship activity schedule and expectations will be further confirmed and provided to you in an organised manner. These aspects are all intended to adequately follow-up on an initial online orientation that you will complete prior to heading out to Zimbabwe from your home country.

The two orientations will explain the local transportation system, how to rent vehicles, appropriate dress in the local communities and during your work. We’ll also address cultural sensitivity, emphasise the proper expression of mutual respect and appropriate public conduct.

You’ll be introduced to the history of the specific area where you’ll be staying and guest stars from the Zimbabwe Republic Police will appear for further safety talks. Similarly to other countries that are home to buzzing big cities and lively towns, some common sense and following the local rules and cultural norms will further help ensure your safety.

You will also receive your placement schedule during the initial orientation. We do, however, also value your input and so we are open to amending the schedule according to your feedback. We want to work collaboratively with you to create the greatest, most responsible and meaningful impact that is beneficial for both the people we are helping and you, too!

Our staff member(s) will accompany you as you travel together to the location of your first placement.You’ll also be taught the basics of some of the local languages: Shona, Ndebele, Tonga. Especially if you’re working with kids, being able to string a sentence together in the native language will go a long way to helping you genuinely connect with people.

Rest assured that we’ll take care of all the details! We provide airport pick up, take you to your initial accommodation and provide some refreshments and snacks. After a good night’s rest, we will start your in-country orientation, which will be conducted with the goal of preparing you for the specific programme placement you are participating in. It’s not all paperwork though, we will make sure to show you some amazing places and turn your African experience into a true adventure! From your in-country orientation, we will transport you to your placement site and introduce you to your supervisor. We’ll guide you through settling in and preparing to start your placement.

Tiritose also operates a shuttle service at a small additional cost. You can book this service if you want to venture out to see the sights either during the week or on weekends.

You’ll have your late afternoons and weekends free to explore. Whether you want to socialise with fellow interns and programme guests, or sightsee, you’ll have time for both. You can see the sights in the city, and head out on excursions around your project area. There’s a lot to do, and we’re around to help you plan and get organised, as well as arrange transportation. We can help you plan adventures in surrounding countries, too. If you’re looking to trek out further, we can arrange discounted packages with our various partners within Zimbabwe and its surrounds such as South Africa, Botswana, Zambia – or even beyond if you choose to go! Have a look at the variety of tours on offer. If you don’t see a destination that speaks to your soul – let us know what does, and we’ll work with you to make a custom tour happen!

We cannot overestimate the importance of ensuring that your choice of clothing is culturally-appropriate.

Medical practitioners in Zimbabwe attend work in business-casual clothing that’s also elegant:
Men wear shirts, ties and long trousers. Women are expected to wear skirts or dresses that extend below the knee, and it’s important that tops don’t show too much skin and are not skin tight, either. Think of the dress code followed by the Queen of England, Elizabeth II: no knees, no sleeveless tops, no plunging necklines. It might feel like stepping back in time; however, we trust that you’ll enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere.

Zimbabwe is a culturally-sensitive place. We urge our interns to be mindful of this fact and avoid clothing that may be deemed inappropriate for the workplace. Interns need to be aware that they’ll be asked to cover up tattoos as they may have different meanings or significance in Zimbabwe. We also ask men not to wear earrings or any excessive jewelry beyond a watch or wedding band during their time at the hospitals. For the ladies, a simple stud earring is considered professional, while any jewelry that draws too much attention or may interfere with work duties by getting caught in the hair isn’t – so please no dangling earrings, bracelets or fancy necklaces. This is a place to really let your inner self shine and impress others with your knowledge and kindness.

DATES & RATES

The programmes we offer operate on a monthly basis starting on the first Monday of each month. Participation costs are calculated per month in American dollars.

If one month is either too long or too short for you, please let us know, we’re here to create a unique and customised schedule for you.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE COST?
  • The application process
  • A pre-departure information package
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • In-country orientation including a tour of the local area
  • Shared accommodation that offers laundry facilities, WiFi, and all utilities ¹
  • Transportation for work related travel
  • All meals at your rural placement
  • 24/7 on-ground support
  • A local SIM card

¹ – please contact us regarding private accommodation or customized options for you or your group

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
  • Flights
  • In-country transportation (we offer a shuttle service upon request at an extra cost)
  • Meals in the City ¹
  • Travel and medical insurance ²
  • Visas where applicable
  • Any other items of a personal nature

¹ – We only provide participants with meals at their rural placements

² – Tiritose does maintain comprehensive insurance for the organisation; however, you still need to obtain your own private insurance

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

Tiritose channels the revenue from our programmes and tours to:

  • Contributing to local community development initiatives
  • Wildlife and environmental conservation programmes
  • Development partnerships with educational and medical institutions
  • Rural development projects, including our unique village resource centre initiative
  • Tiritose operates & runs ethical programmes, ensuring responsible travellers who want to enjoy a holiday, whilst contributing to the local communities, environment & wildlife conservation efforts, do so in a safe & sustainable way.

We maintain a commitment to the highest standards of purpose, transparency and accountability. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our Impact Report for the year 2018.

With regards to fee distribution, the following is an introductory allocation structure:

  • 75% of the programme fee is channelled directly towards the operative costs. These funds help support local development initiatives and living-wage employment for programme facilitators representing our partners in realising the organisation’s social and environmental impact goals, including healthcare institutions, educational institutions, as well as, secondarily, the contractors we work with such as tour guides and tour programme operators.
  • 25% is utilised to ensure that we adequately prepare for your orientation, ensure health and safety, as well as pay our own staff living wages.

We operate a lean model of social enterprise development in order to ensure that contributions to our organisation’s mission and purpose, as well as the realisation of our development goals, social and environmental impact, is maximised to the fullest possible extent.

DIDN’T FIND WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR?

Feel free to contact us for further information about our educational and practical, experiential learning programmes available at any of our locations of work. Even if you have already found your own internship placement or volunteer opportunity in Zimbabwe, we can still assist you with accommodation arrangements, airport pickups and leisure tours to help make your free time more meaningful. We have a friendly and energetic hive of worker and queen bees who are passionate about Zimbabwe. Our “team bees” will answer all of your questions and will be available to take you to all the unique gems to be discovered in Zimbabwe that might have stirred your passion and spoken to your soul while you’ve been exploring this shared digital space!

TALES FROM THE ZIMBABWE EXPERIENCE

Getting in contact – Making a Change

My friend, Helene and I arrived in Harare in September 2018, working on an international project concerning reduction of the prevalence of HIV among adolescents in Zimbabwe. We want to get a broad perspective on the issues of HIV, and how it affect the society and the...

MY 4 WEEK CLINICAL ROTATION IN ZIMBABWE

The Beginning Fourth-year medical students at Ohio State University can spend 4-weeks completing a global health elective. With an MPH degree in Global Health, I knew ahead of time that I wanted to travel abroad. After hearing about Tiritose through a colleague of...

GLOBAL HEALTH INTERNSHIP IN ZIMBABWE: NECRISHA’S EXPERIENCE

Meet Necrisha - a medical student who came to Zimbabwe to do a global health internship. She spent 4 weeks in Harare and she shares her experience of Zimbabwe with us. Here is what she had to say: What made you choose Zimbabwe? During the 4th and last year of medical...

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