If you’re a pre-health student interested in international travel and one of a kind clinical experiences, this is the show for you!
Meet Ricky Persson of Gap Medics [1:40]
Gap Medics overview [2:16]
Gap Medics coordinates short term shadowing placements in the health professions for high school and college students. The placements are in 1-week blocks; most students sign up for 1-8 weeks.
How does it work? [3:40]
Students apply on the Gap Medics website—choose the destination they want to go to, the type of health professional they want to shadow, and when they want to go and for how long. The program assigns mentors based on students’ interests.
Where in the world? [4:48]
Currently there are programs in Africa (Tanzania), Europe (Poland and Croatia), America (Dominican Republic), and Thailand.
Who are the participants? [5:45]
Most participants are from the US, UK, and Canada, but there are increasing numbers from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The language of instruction is English (mentors will translate for students).
How much does it cost? [6:37]
A 1-week placement in Tanzania or the Dominican Republic is $1740 (though if you stay longer than a week, the average weekly cost generally goes down).
What do the placements involve? [7:30]
It’s a hands-off shadowing experience—an observational learning experience, in accordance with AAMC guidelines. Students may attend meetings, rounds, observe procedures, etc.
Any opportunities for cultural exploration or touring/travel? [8:45]
Some students may stay longer to travel. There are often opportunities to attend cultural performances, explore restaurants, etc.
A typical week on a placement [10:15]
Students are met at the airport and taken to the Gap Medics house to settle in. They’re given an orientation and intro to the area. The shadowing week is M-F—generally 23 hours. If they stay longer than 1 week, they can shadow a new specialty each week. Each day, they’ll have the opportunity to go out to dinner, explore cultural offerings, etc.
Security issues [11:33]
The destinations are vetted carefully, and they monitor all travel alerts/warnings. The houses where students stay are secure and in safe neighborhoods. And the program adheres to AAMC guidelines for time spent in the hospital, to protect students and patients.
Feedback from alumni who are in med school [13:22]
There’s an involved alumni community, and they keep in touch with their stories about applying to med school.
What about people who decide—after shadowing—that med school’s not for them? [14:30]
Shadowing helps people make an educated decision, so this is a good thing. Some students also decide to pursue a different type of health career (than their original goal) after shadowing.
Where is Gap Medics going in the future? [15:42]
Just added new specialties and some new locations—including a program in the Dominican Republic on medical Spanish.
How will this experience help pre-meds’ applications? [16:45]
It helps people understand and articulate their motivation for pursuing a health career. People also gain experiences in medical education, crossing cultural barriers, and patient care, which are often meaningful experiences to draw on for essays and interviews.
• Gap Medics
• Gap Medics on Facebook
• Gap Medics on Twitter
• Student Success Stories
• Get Accepted to Med School in 2017 (On Demand Webinar)
• What I Learned From My Shadowing Experiences
• Meaningful Experiences for Medical School Applicants
• The Unbelievable Story of an Orthopedic Surgeon
• Insight from a Successful, Non-Traditional Premed and now M2
• Exploring Yale’s Top-Rated Physician Assistant Program
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions