Our base in Phnom Penh is home to Southeast Asian culture at its most striking. Brightly painted wooden boats adorn the banks of the Mekong River, Buddhist monks in saffron robes offer prayers, and the aromas of local cuisines provide an intoxicating feast for the senses. Outside the capital, discover ancient Hindu temples nestled deep in the jungle, beautiful coastline, and lush national parks.

The Work the World House

The Work the World house is the central hub of activity while you’re with us in Phnom Penh. It’s your home from home. Living with healthcare students and graduates from all over the world lends the house a friendly, social atmosphere.

The house is based a short tuk tuk ride from the banks of Cambodia’s famous Mekong River. In fact, you can get from the Work the World house to the centre of the city in a matter of minutes. After placement, hop on a dragon boat tour along the river, visit a temple or two, explore the night markets to find the best street food, and then hit the bars and clubs in the nightlife district.

You’ll find the house in a peaceful residential area, so after a busy day on placement it offers the perfect escape from the bustle of the city.

Read more about our accommodation

In-Country Team

Management team: Based in the house, they oversee your entire Work the World experience — 24/7 — from the moment you land to the moment you leaveCatering team: Cook a variety of both local cuisine and familiar home comforts, accommodating all dietary requirementsHousekeeper: Keeps the house clean and tidy from top to bottom, making sure you're comfortableLanguage teacher: Visits the house twice per-week. During their lessons, you’ll learn everyday phrases and clinical terminology to help you get more from your placementSecurity team: Monitor the house 24/7 for your peace of mind

Support in the Hospital

The team in Phnom Penh will take you on an informal visit to your placement hospital before it officially starts. You’ll meet key department staff and your assigned supervisors, helping you get used to the environment before you jump into your placement. You’ll often see the Phnom Penh team around the hospital. They’ll visit you regularly, making sure everything is running smoothly.

Your in-country supervisors will be expecting your arrival — we assign them before you’ve even arrived in-country. If you make an honest effort to get to know them, they’ll offer up insights into the Cambodian healthcare system that only a local practitioner can offer.

When it comes to support, we’ve got everything covered. Our teams are there for you right the way through your clinical placement if and when you need them.

Medical Electives in Cambodia

Book with confidence

Plans can change. And today, that's more apparent than ever. So now when you register for your overseas placement with Work the World, you can make unlimited changes to your travel dates, or your choice of destination.

Find out how

Placements in Phnom Penh

Medical Electives, Cambodia (Phnom Penh)

Medical Electives

A medical elective in Cambodia offers you the chance to learn how local staff treat unfamiliar communicable diseases like malaria, dengue fever and typhoid. More familiar areas like A&E, gynaecology, ENT, and traumatology are also open for you to gain experience. The surgery department offers insight into how staff in a low-resource healthcare system perform complex procedures. There is still stigma attached to mental health in Cambodia, so you will notice differences in the approach to treatment. What’s more, there’s every possibility that you’ll come across cases of attempted suicide. If you want to undertake your medical elective in Asia, Phnom Penh will prove eye opening.

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Nursing Placements

Cambodia is an excellent choice if you’re a nursing student. You’ll have the chance to assist across departments, helping to treat unfamiliar conditions like malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV. Learning from local nurses will enable you to learn local approaches to care, whilst growing both personally and professionally. The local healthcare system is, compared to the Australian system, underfunded. So a placement here offers real insight into how staff in a low-resource healthcare system get by.

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Midwifery Electives,Cambodia (Phnom Penh)

Midwifery Placements

A midwifery placement here will help immerse you in the world of developing healthcare, while developing your skills and cultural awareness. We’re based in the capital city, so our partner hospital often sees a high number of births. You’ll see local staff get creative with limited resources, handle birthing complications, and gain experience with HIV positive mothers. You’ll also find out the challenges posed by a lack of modern equipment, which will give you real insight into the realities of practicing midwifery in the developing world.

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Physiotherapy Electives, Cambodia (Phnom Penh)

Physiotherapy Placements

A placement here will open your eyes to how your overseas peers treat patients with severely limited resources. Often using equipment that is handmade or outdated, you can observe and assist in the treatment of patients presenting an extraordinary range of conditions, including cases of meningitis and cerebral palsy. You’ll spend time in a close-knit team of professionals who have highly specialised local knowledge, affording you deep insight into how staff get around a lack of resources.

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Medical Electives, Cambodia (Phnom Penh)

Paramedic Science Placements

The emergency department in our partner hospital offers a fast-paced placement. The department is understaffed with high patient volumes, so is busy as a result. Staff face an even greater disadvantage than being short staffed — the department has a stark lack of equipment. Doctors and nurses have become skilled at improvising treatments, but space is limited. You may even see mattresses on the floor being used as hospital beds. Cases are varied, and you can see everything from COPD to attempted suicides coming through the doors.

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Radiography Electives, Cambodia (Phnom Penh)

Radiography Placements

On a radiography placement in Cambodia you’ll see how local professionals grapple with the realities of healthcare in the developing world. You’ll learn how your field has grown in recent years, working with outdated equipment and even spending time in the darkroom learning to manually process film. Assisting in the diagnostic imaging of a range of cases — from road traffic accidents to injuries sustained via manual labor — will hone your skills and help you on the way to fulfilling your potential.

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Pharmacy Electives, Cambodia (Phnom Penh)

Pharmacy Placements

A placement in Phnom Penh will open your eyes to the realities of practicing pharmacy in the developing world in a way that staying at home simply can’t. You’ll encounter a range of unfamiliar medications and prescriptions, and rotating through different hospital dispensaries, the personal and professional skills you will gain on placement here are indispensable. You can shadow doctors on ward rounds, where you’ll gain insight into the medication plans of patients.

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To complement your main placement in the city, we highly recommend undertaking this optional, additional week in a rural Cambodian village. In the morning, you’ll go to a local health outpost where you can see how local staff treat patients from the surrounding areas. In the afternoons, you can learn all about rural Cambodian life — you’ll learn local silk weaving techniques, cook Khmer dishes, receive blessings from the local buddhist monk, visit vast rice paddies, see the local wildlife rescue centre and the Chisor Mountain Temple dedicated to the Hindu divinities Shiva and Vishnu.

"It was a lovely tradition to be involved with and the family were always very appreciative."

Stephanie Marsh, Bournemouth University 2020

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"The patients’ family members would often sleep on the floor under the beds!"

Niamh Temple, University of Hertfordshire 2019

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"This trip has been the most life-changing experience and it has taught me so much."

Millie Cronin, University of Brighton 2019

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"I chose Cambodia due to its diverse culture and how different the healthcare system is."

Alice Hardisty, University of Gloucestershire 2019

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"Gloves were used as tourniquets rather than wearing them during tasks to prevent infection."

Niamh Butler, University of Manchester 2019

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Work the World organise supervised healthcare electives and placements for the following disciplines: - 1. Medical  2. Nursing 3. Midwifery 4. Physiotherapy 5. Radiography 6. Pharmacy 7. Dentistry 8. Occupational Therapy 9. Paramedic Science


Work the World provides a huge variety of flexible placement opportunities throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. These include 1. Tanzania 2. Zambia  3. Vietnam 4. Indonesia  5. Mexico 6. Ghana 7. The Philippines 8. Nepal 9. Sri Lanka


Our house in Phnom Penh is based only a short ride from the banks of Cambodia’s famous Mekong River, you can get to the centre of the city in minutes.The house itself is situated in a residential area, so it’s perfect after a busy day on placement when you want to escape the bustle of the city.


Our base in Phnom Penh is home to Southeast Asian culture at its most striking. Brightly painted wooden boats adorn the banks of the Mekong River, Buddhist monks in saffron robes offer prayers, and the aromas of local cuisines provide an intoxicating feast for the senses.