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Medical and Nursing Internship Programs in Ghana

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Want to challenge yourself and see what real medicine is all about? OGVO makes it happen.

My experience in Kumasi was instrumental in my successful application to medical school in Australia. Based in a small, hands-on clinic in Kumasi, I was actively learning from day one.

It was hot, humid and the small waiting room was full of prenatal women, patiently waiting their turn with the doctor. Staff were busily attending to patients with barely time to raise their eyes to notice the awkward Obruni half-cocked and hesitating in the doorway. "Alex!" Frank gestured in his direction, "come and meet the team". I needn't have worried: within five minutes, I realised that I had just made 10 new friends. And I realised that I didn't have time to be nervous!

Primarily a maternity clinic - and given the high fertility rate in Kumasi - you are going to be busy. You are given as much or as little responsibility as your experience will allow. However, it must be said: you will be permitted to be involved in procedures that would otherwise be impossible back home. This is an unparalleled opportunity to observe, learn and even practice the messy, chaotic and REAL side of primary care medicine in a developing country. That kind of hands-on experience was indispensable and is a driving factor of my recommendation for OGVO.

I began simply shadowing a GP while he went about doing consultations. During this time I learned about all the prevalent maladies affecting Kumasi's many residents: malaria, typhoid and more malaria. After some time just observing, the GP got me consulting with patients, before I went into the lab to learn how to identify different pathogens under the microscope and make a proper diagnosis. You get to check for malaria, sickle cell anemia - the list goes on. I also weighed and immunised infants, helped deliver two babies, and gave talks to antenatal women on how to stay healthy during pregnancy. This educational role saw me head out into (very) regional villages to give out medication and give more talks on primary healthcare. It was challenging and daunting at first, but entirely awesome and a hugely important experience for me.

Undertaking a medical internship through OGVO is a life-changing experience and something that I would recommend without hesitation. Frank and the organisation will ensure that you are happy and well looked-after, from the moment he meets you at the airport to the time you say a difficult goodbye. At times you will need to draw on your inner-strength and the new friends around you, but I promise that you will leave a different, more-resilient person with a better-developed global outlook. Not to mention an impressive set of skills to aid you as you begin or continue your medical training.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Good times in Ghana

I chose this program because I was immediately taken by the personalized responses I received from the program director. I had contacted multiple organizations and felt like a little fish in a big pond. Also, most of the larger organizations I contacted were outside of Ghana and I really wanted a local program.

For 3 or 4 months before, I exchanged emails with the director. I had many many questions and Frank always responded within 48 hours and never made me feel like I was a hassle. He also developed the program to meet my very specific needs.

I did this program on my own accord, so I was not part of a school or work program. I wanted to challenge myself in a new country and help as well. I was concerned about traveling alone, since this was my first solo trip abroad. But I can honestly say, I never once felt unsafe the entire time I was in Ghana. Although, I was rarely alone.

I decided to volunteer in a rural area of Ghana, about 30 minutes outside of Kumasi. I'm glad I did, because Kumasi was a little bit more polluted so I had to have my inhaler handy a few times as I passed through. Onwe was a terrific little town and very friendly. I was placed at the Onwe Government Hospital. I arrived at a challenging time, the pharmacies were on strike, so there were less patients than usual. I rotated around the different wards and helped when I could. I specialize in dermatology, so I got to help with a lot of the dermatology cases. Overall, I didn't get to do as much as I wanted, but like I mentioned I came at a trying time.

I highly recommend doing the cultural immersion portion that is offered. Those were some of my favorite moments of my time here. I learned lots of Twi (local language spoken) and cultural traditions. It's definitely worth the extra money. I also signed up for the weekend tour to Cape Coast which was amazing.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Ghana. I'm glad I did the cultural immersion and weekend tour, I learned a lot about the country through those activities. I would've liked to have gotten more from my time at the hospital, but that wasn't really anyone's fault. The selling point of this program though is director Frank's individualized attention and sincere care to make a program that meets your needs as well as the local coordinators and Twi tutor that are part of the organization. The people really made this whole experience memorable. I definitely will return to Ghana and I highly recommend this program.