My elective was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life. I travelled extensively, I met friends for life and most importantly, I expanded my medical knowledge beyond my wildest expectations.
I split my time between two countries and two different medical departments. In Tanzania, I was in the Emergency Department while in Ghana I spent my time in paediatrics.
I saw things routinely you only dream about seeing in Australia. Have you ever seen an enlarged liver and been able to palpate it? I did it over 20 times a day!"
Tropical diseases were disturbingly common. So too were patients presenting when their disease was already really well advanced. You will see things here you won’t see in Australia. You also see a lot of death. Be prepared.
Working in these hospitals made me simultaneously angry and passionate. I was angry at the lack of resources available and passionate about wanting to make a difference in peoples lives.
One of the highlights was actually an experience that is unique to electives organised by Work the World. I had the opportunity to live in a beautiful village with a local tribal family for one week. In the mornings, I would help out with diagnosis and treatment in local clinics, and in the afternoons I spent time with my own personal guide who helped me familiarise with the local customs, culture and area.
When I wasn’t working, I was travelling. I actually did a large portion of my travel before my elective. Although not recommended, it all turned out ok for me! I started in South Africa and travelled all the way up to Tanzania. I saw lions being introduced back into the wild in Zimbabwe, tracked wild rhinos in Matobo National Park and white water rafted in the Victoria Falls National Park and so much more!
Having Work the World plan my elective was great. They help you work out all the details - your visa, your itinerary and your accommodation. This was perfect for me because even though I went alone, it meant that I was never alone.