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Medical Internships in Sri Lanka - Kandy

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement


  • Program Administration


  • Living Situation


  • Cultural Immersion


  • Health and Safety


  • Social Life


The general hospital was unlike any hospital back home.

Before I began my elective I had spent three weeks travelling so my arrival in Sri Lanka was a welcome relief from the craziness that is India.

The Work the World Program Manager in Sri Lanka, is the perfect person to welcome anyone to Sri Lanka. He is friendly, enthusiastic and was able to provide all the information I needed to make my six week stay so easy. During the time I was in Sri Lanka he helped us all organize trips and activities, solved any problems we may have had, and more importantly became a great friend.

The Work the World house was great with fantastic views from our balcony over Hill Country. The housekeeper kept the place spotless which spared many a row in a house with so many people! The cook made lovely food, varying between Western dishes, traditional Sri Lankan food and the weekly barbecue. Staying in the Work the World house was the perfect opportunity to meet other medical students and hear about their medical school experiences.


The general hospital was unlike any hospital back home – everything appeared much more basic and lacking in resources. Infection control barely existed and there was no such thing as patient consent. However, it soon became evident though that although there were these differences, the basic medicine was all the same; patients generally received all the same treatments as they would do at home.

I spent half my time attached to the Pediatric Ward and the other half attached to General Medicine. The language barrier posed a problem; very few of the patients spoke English, so history taking was virtually impossible. However, all the doctors and medical students spoke in English all the time and all the patient notes were in English so we were not at a disadvantage.

Every day in hospital generally began at 8am with a ward round conducted by the consultant. This provided excellent teaching opportunities, I was able to see conditions that I would never see in at home and identify many clinical signs that I had never seen before. After ward rounds there were formal teaching sessions alongside the Sri Lankan medical students, which was quite similar to the teaching we receive at home. After lunch we had the option to revisit the wards or attend any lectures that were on. All the medical staff were very welcoming, keen to teach and intrigued to hear about any differences between healthcare in Sri Lanka and healthcare in the UK.

Kandy, although one of Sri Lanka’s larger cities, was easy to navigate and had everything we needed. Here, there was plenty to do including boat trips across Kandy Lake, watching traditional Kandy dancing and visiting the world famous Temple of the Tooth. During my stay I was lucky to experience the Buddhist festival of Esala Perahera. Lasting nearly two weeks it included fire displays, dancing, music and an amazing nightly elephant procession.

From Kandy, we took daytrips to go whitewater rafting, visited world heritage sites, tea plantations and different temples. At the weekends there was plenty of opportunity to see the rest of Sri Lanka. It is quite a small country so generally anywhere could be reached within a day. I visited Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka, and although it has some amazing hotels and good shops it isn't somewhere I would be keen on staying in for too long. Visiting Unawatuna was definitely the highlight of my trip. It is a little village down in the south of the country and is truly paradise; clear sea, blue sky and white sand. The locals were laid back and welcoming, there were lots of opportunities for water sports and was the perfect place for meeting others who were traveling.

My Sri Lankan experience was fantastic; excellent learning experiences, friendly locals, lovely weather, great beaches... I could go on forever, but needless to say I'll definitely be back!