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International Medical Internships in Vietnam

Project Overview
  • ROLE: To work alongside highly skilled doctors and nurses in a variety of different departments
  • MAIN DEPARTMENTS: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Oncology, Surgery, Vitality Preservation, Acupuncture.
  • REQUIREMENTS: Interns must have completed at least 1 year of pre-medical or other healthcare related studies
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family or shared volunteer apartments
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

Interning on a Medicine Project in Vietnam with Projects Abroad is a challenging experience that will allow you to gain new skills and knowledge in a medical setting. You will be based in Hanoi at one of several different hospitals where you will shadow and work alongside some of the most skilled doctors in the country.

The hospitals we are partnered with are generally of a high standard and are equipped with the modern technology that you would find in hospitals in your own country. At each hospital you will be able to observe differences in general healthcare practices, such as traditional medicine or family members caring for patients instead of nurses.

We offer a placement in a hospital which specializes in traditional medicine and has a variety of departments such as internal medicine, pediatrics, oncology, surgery, and vitality preservation. Another placement specializes in acupuncture, where  doctors provide treatment to underprivileged autistic children from different parts of Northern Vietnam. The analgesia acupuncture department covers many types of surgery such as neck tumors, breast cancer, liver, urology, gynecology (uterus-constituents), gastroenterology, trauma, and orthopedics. Interning at this placement is a great opportunity to develop practical skills in the field of acupuncture. You can get involved in the following tasks: filling a syringe with medication, removing needles, attaching electrodes, and giving massages to patients.

We can also place you at the biggest hospital in terms of surgery in Northern Vietnam. This hospital has various surgical departments, including cardiovascular, pediatric, gastroenterology, orthopedic, radiology, urology, and plastic surgery. You also have the option to work in the emergency, plastic surgery, or dialysis departments. As an intern here, you will be able to shadow doctors on their ward rounds, spend time in different departments, and observe surgeries. Variations of surgery at this placement can be broken down into the following: 

  • General surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Maxillo-facial surgery
  • Spinal surgery
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Digestive surgery
  • Emergency abdominal surgery
  • Hepato-biliary surgery

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

All Medicine & Healthcare interns in Vietnam must have completed at least one year of pre-medical or other healthcare related studies by the time they join this project.

Interning Abroad in Medicine in Vietnam with Projects Abroad

A Vietnamese doctor is assisted by a Projects Abroad medical intern at a hospital in Hanoi.

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 internship. 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.

Did you know? The use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War caused many deformities and even deaths—almost ¼ of the current population faces difficulties due to its aftereffects.

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

You will usually work from Monday to Friday with the weekends free. Depending on the location of your placement, you will stay with a local host family or in a Projects Abroad rented volunteer house. In your free time, you can explore the area with other Projects Abroad volunteers.

Medicine internships in Vietnam are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable medical experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local medical system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.

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