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Medicine Volunteer Projects in Vietnam

Volunteering on a Medicine project in Vietnam is a challenging and unique experience. As a medicine volunteer you will gain a great deal of valuable work experience alongside some of the most skilled doctors in the country.

All Medicine volunteers in Vietnam must have completed at least one year of medicine related studies or training by the time they join this project.

Our medical placements are in Hanoi and are based at five hospitals. One specialises in traditional medicine and has a variety of departments such as - internal medicine, paediatrics, intensive care, geriatrics, acupuncture and surgery. Another hospital specialises in acupuncture. The analgesia acupuncture department covers many types of surgery such as neck tumours, breast cancer, liver, urology, gynaecology (uterus-constituents), gastroenterology, trauma and orthopaedics. The third is a Western hospital and is the biggest hospital in terms of surgery in Northern Vietnam. It has various surgical departments, including cardiovascular, paediatric, gastroenterology, orthopaedic and urology. There is also the option to work in the emergency, plastic surgery or dialysis department. The Hospitals are generally of a high standard and are equipped with Western technology. 

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Vietnam Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.

Please let us know if you would like to work in one particular hospital when you apply.

Your Role as a Medicine Volunteer in Vietnam

Medicine in Vietnam

On arrival you will be introduced to your supervisor, their role is to ensure that you have the opportunity to learn as much as possible during your placement. Your role at the hospital will usually start by being observational as you shadow the local staff. If you show enthusiasm and initiative and develop a good relationship with the medical staff, you may find that you gain enough trust to be given more to do. As with any job – and especially in the field of medicine - you must prove yourself to be trustworthy before you are given responsibilities!

Although English is increasingly spoken in Vietnam, not all of the doctors will speak English; Projects Abroad will therefore provide you with a translator for your first couple of weeks to help you settle in and you can ask lots of questions.

Most hospitals in Vietnam provide treatment to the patients in the morning. Hospital staff work on paperwork in the afternoons. During the afternoons volunteers can therefore continue to provide treatment to patients if needed, research cases or help by teaching conversational English to some of the doctors and nurses.

You will usually work from Monday to Friday with the weekends free. Volunteers will stay with a local host family or in a Projects Abroad rented volunteer house based on the location of their placement.

It is possible to join the medical project at the hospitals and rehabilitation centres for just two weeks, if you don’t have time to join us for a longer period, however, please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.

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