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Pre-Medical, Pre-Health and Post Bacc Programs

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

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Pre-Psychiatry in Mombasa

I wouldn't trade my time in Kenya, Mombasa specifically, for anything in the world. I was very nervous going into it, and the culture was certainly hard to get used to at first. But I cannot praise the program (Elective Africa) enough for going above and beyond for the participants. You are not just another volunteer to them, they get to know you personally and do whatever it takes to make sure you get the best experience and the experience that you want. I had no medical experience going into it, so I was comfortable with just learning and absorbing as much as I could while I was there. There is no pressure to do something outside of your comfort zone, but if you want to, you fully can. The experience can be whatever you want to get out of it. We did some other community activities, we went to an orphanage and a school. We had Swahili lessons although most people in Mombasa are fairly fluent in English. I went on safari at Masai Mara, I cannot stress how important it is to take advantage and do these. The safari was easily one of the best weekends of my life. Overall, my experience was amazing, I would recommend anyone to book a volunteer/medical trip with Elective Africa, I made incredible friends from around the world and I'm already planning where I'd like to go next with them.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

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Once in a Lifetime

Just a couple years ago, I spent four weeks in Mombasa, Kenya, volunteering through the Elective Africa (EA) Pre-Medical program. I didn't know what to expect, coming from South Florida in the United States, so it's hard to say if the program met any expectations. However, I can confidently say that the program was incredible, and altogether a "once in a lifetime" experience. I stayed in a converted home that housed bunk beds, couches, a television, kitchen, pool, and an overall feeling of comfort and friendliness. Each morning, we were met by a driver who would take us to Coast Provincial General Hospital, just a 10-15 minute ride away. We were given the opportunity to rotate in three different wards during our volunteer stay. I chose Accident & Emergency (U.S. equivalent to an Emergency Room), Surgery, and Maternity. I was able to shadow the various physicians, and was even given a chance to assist in some procedures, such as incision & drainage, labor and delivery, etc. I learned so many things and gained a few friendships along the way. We were a mere 10 minutes walk from the Indian Ocean, and on weekends we would braze the coast or take a short trip into town to see a movie. I never felt unsafe or unwelcome during my stay in Mombasa, and left with a feeling of reward and renewal. In just a few months, I will be starting my third year clinical rotations in medical school, and look forward to the possibility of another medical trip as I so enjoyed my first experience with EA.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

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Pre-Physician Assistant Internship

My experience in Kenya was absolutely amazing and I would go back in a heart beat. I went to Mombasa and worked in Coast Provincial General Hospital. It is a larger hospital and you have a lot more opportunity. I was worried when I first found the program that I would maybe just be observing or something. That was definitely not the case at all. As a Pre-PA I was paired with a Clinical Officer there, which is our equivalent to a PA pretty much. I spent my four weeks going around the different wards seeing and doing a bunch of things I could never do here in the States. When I was there there were 4 English, 4 Australians, 6 Norwegians, and 2 American interns. Most of them were studying to be doctors. Having them around and in the hospital really helped as well because I would go with them some days to minor theater (where minor surgeries are done) and would first show and then teach me how to do it and then I was able to do it. I was able to do Catheters, injections, IVs, sutures, resuscitate a baby, watch C sections, watch a major surgery, and examine women in the AnteNatal ward. I found that for the first week I was just getting used to the hospital and doing a lot of observing and learning. It took me just a bit to get comfortable actually touching and physically examining patients because I had never really got to do that in the States. So the first week was a lot of observing but also getting to learn how to examine patients. The weeks following were when I got to do minor surgeries and other exams.
Besides the hospital though you do so much with the program. We volunteered at two schools and one we went 2x a week and taught in their classrooms (just simple math or something) and then played sports with them after or sang and danced. Then on Wednesdays they would come to our residence and we would teach them how to swim. This is where I found I learned the most about the people there, the culture, and a lot about myself was during this time with the children and adults. You also get a chance to go on safari which I definitely recommend. It will give you a break and is so amazing. I found that I enjoyed the hospital even more after my safari.