Medical Elective Volunteer

Volunteer World Nepal offers affordable medical elective volunteer opportunities designed to meet the requirements of students studying to be doctors, nurses, dentists, pre-medical, midwives, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other healthcare-related professionals or qualified professionals. Medical elective volunteer placement that meets your elective requirements, while offering you a rewarding travel experience, as you are immersed in the local culture and have the opportunity to spend your weekends travelling with like-minded students.

Volunteers can participate in various medical settings, from urban hospitals to rural clinics, gaining exposure to a wide spectrum of healthcare scenarios. In hospitals, assisting healthcare professionals in diagnosis, treatment, and patient care provides invaluable learning experiences. Medical elective volunteer involvement ranges from shadowing doctors during surgeries to conducting health education workshops for communities.

The unique healthcare challenges in Nepal, such as limited access to healthcare in remote areas and prevalent health issues like infectious diseases and malnutrition, offer a chance to learn about resourcefulness and adaptability in medical practice. Medical elective volunteers often collaborate with local healthcare providers, exchanging knowledge and practices while offering support where it is needed most.

Medical Elective Volunteer Highlights:

  • Intern under professionals in local hospitals/clinics in Kathmandu and get practical experience in the healthcare industry
  • Responsibilities at the project include assisting the doctors, shadowing/observing everyday treatment
  • Depending on skills, assist with procedures like suturing wounds, giving vaccinations, checking blood pressure and maintaining records
  • Work with fellow interns/medical care professionals who come down from different parts of the worlds
  • Work during weekdays. Weekends are free to explore the Himalayan country and neighbouring famous sights

How does a medical elective volunteer help?

A medical elective volunteer can contribute to healthcare in various ways, depending on their skills, background, and the specific needs of the community or healthcare facility. A medical elective volunteer serves as a bridge between healthcare resources and the communities in need. By offering their time, skills, and dedication, these volunteers play a vital role in improving healthcare outcomes, enhancing local capacity, and fostering sustainable health practices.

1. Medical elective volunteer programs for nurses, dentists and doctors:

If you are studying to become a medical professional, then this program is perfect for you. As a volunteer on this placement, you will have the opportunity to carry out basic health checks in clinics, observe Nepali doctors in hospitals, and practice in your chosen field. For most of this placement, you will shadow Nepali doctors, who will have good spoken English. Additionally, on this placement, you may also get the chance to participate in Volunteer World Nepal’s health camp, which moves between needy communities and offers basic medical care.

2. Medical elective volunteer for professional placements:

If you are a qualified medical professional, you have the opportunity to work in hospitals, medical clinics, and health camps in Nepal. However, please note that working in the medical field in Nepal can be very different from your experiences in your home country. Medicine names and practices may differ here, and as a volunteer, you will have to adapt to these changes. Although Volunteer World Nepal provides the service of an interpreter where necessary, communication can sometimes limit the actions of our volunteers. Nevertheless, volunteers often find that these factors enhance their experience in Nepal and force them to learn quickly on the job.

3. Medical elective volunteer for pre-medical placements:

There are volunteer placements available for those who are interested in working in the medical profession but are not yet qualified or studying medicine. As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to observe doctors in clinics and organize health awareness programs in schools, women’s groups, disability centres, and other community organizations. These awareness groups will provide the local communities with knowledge about sanitation and first aid training.

4. Do I need any specific qualifications or skills for this volunteering placement?

For pre-medic placements, you must have a keen interest or be planning to study medicine in some capacity. With medical care student placements, you must be currently studying at or have graduated from medical school. For our professional placements, you must be practising in the medical profession.
On applying for these placements please let us know your level of experience and field of expertise. We will do our best to find you a suitable placement.

Orientation begins on the morning of next day your arrival and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Nepal – an introduction to Nepal, Nepalese customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Nepal, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to visit local temples, sample authentic Nepali food, meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing. The program may vary depending on your time of arrival. We will manage to include all below mentioned activities in you introduction program.
• Arrival and introduction host family
• Survival Nepali lessons and cultural discussion
• Local amenities and sightseeing and project start

On arrival in Nepal, volunteers stay in a host family in Kathmandu for their orientation.

Volunteers are then accommodated together in homestays and hosted by local families who have been approved by our program staff. We give your host family a fee for your support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a host family, providing you with a unique opportunity to learn about the Nepalese way of life, meet local people, try traditional food and speak the local language – especially when host families in Nepal tend to have limited English.

Living is basic but comfortable and most homestays have electricity and running water, with the exception of some rural homestays which are without these conveniences during the dry season. Squat toilets are the norm in Nepal and you will not come across many western toilets. Volunteers can also expect low-pressure showers that are generally not heated; however, this is refreshing after a day in the heat.

You can expect to share a room with one to three other volunteers and bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. It is recommended volunteers bring their own sleeping bags and mosquito nets for any trips away.

WiFi is available in most of the volunteer homestays. If you would like to keep connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Nepal.

The staple meal for most Nepali families is dal bhat, which consists of lentil soup (dal), rice (bhat) and vegetables in curry (tarkari) and/or meat (masu) with a side of pickle/sauce (achar). Volunteers are served two meals per day at their homestay and can purchase additional food to supplement this if they wish.

Volunteers can have a meaningful impact on Nepalese communities by providing assistance with a wide range of activities that help make life, and the future, better for local people. Volunteer World Nepal has a number of volunteer projects in Nepal. Some are located on the outskirts of the capital city of Kathmandu in rural and urban areas, while others are in Pokhara and Salleri. Pokhara is located in mid-western Nepal and is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its amazing mountain views. Salleri is the Everest Mountain region: beautiful landscapes, hillsides dotted with villages, a lively weekend bazaar, a Tibetan camp, and many spectacular Buddhist monasteries. In Salleri you can teach in Schools, teach English in a monastery, work in a Health Clinic or work in Construction. Salleri is a small Himalayan Region town that serves as the headquarters of the Solukhumbu District.

Low-cost, fully hosted volunteer abroad programs in Nepal.
Your registration fee and your program fee provide access to a fully hosted volunteer experience with Volunteer World Nepal. In order to apply to join Volunteer World Nepal you are required to make your registration fee payment of 100 dollars.

Key Information:

Improve access to quality education
Various locations in Nepal
Homestay accommodation
Based in schools across Nepal
Up to 4 - 5 hours volunteers a day
Fully hosted experience from 200 dollar for 1 week
Base Camp treks and other tours available
Durations from 1 - 4 weeks
Volunteer's Choice
Program fee for two weeks: 350 USD
  • Most Affordable Program Fee
  • Best Price Gurantee
  • No booking or Credit Card Fee
  • Free Cancellation

What's included:

  • Two meals (breakfast and dinner)
  • Accommodation
  • Orientation and survival Nepali language lesson
  • Cultural sightseeing in Kathmandu
  • 24/7 email and telephone support
  • Volunteer handbook
  • 24/7 hours emergency support
  • Dedicated VWN program and travel co-ordinator
  • Regular program inspection
  • Scholarships for low income students

What's Excluded:

  • Flights to Kathmandu
  • Visa cost
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Domestic flight costs
  • Transportation costs for the volunteers who want to work outside the Kathmandu Valley
  • Personal items, extra beverages and entertainment expenses
  • Personal travel and sightseeing
  • Transportation service during weekends travel
Volunteer's Choice

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Read reviews of our optimistic volunteers.

"It is George and Anna. We had the best medical elective in Nepal. We are two medical students from the UK studying at the University of Warwick, and we decided to join Volunteer World Nepal's medical elective volunteer program for our medical elective volunteering placement in Nepal. We are both in our final year of being students and will start working as doctors this summer...."

Anna and George, England

Best Medical Elective in Nepal