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Volunteers' Stories



Medical Work Experience Internship in Accra, Ghana



This placement has been rewarding work experience for me and it has made me determined to get a qualification so that next time I can truly work, rather that observe. For anybody wanting a career in medicine this is an excellent opportunity and I would recommend it.

My first impression of the hospital was shock. I was surprised by how nice it seemed, expecting something far more run-down. By the sound of it, this is quite largely because it is a private clinic. The hospital itself is more of a large doctors-surgery, just with a few specialists, a lab and an X-ray machine.I spent the first week both in the main pharmacy and in the lab.

Although the pharmacy was interesting, I am pleased now to have moved onto something new. In the lab I learnt a lot and was able to help in a number of the tests being done. It was also whilst working in these areas that I realised how different things are run from hospitals and clinics in the UK.

Everyone at the hospital has been really friendly and has made us feel welcomed. We have been invited around to one colleague’s house and other has suggested doing something on the weekends.

I have spent the last three weeks observing the general practitioner in the consultation rooms. I began doing this after only one day with the nurses doing ward rounds. As there was nothing for me to do or see, the nurses had suggested and organised it. Sitting with the doctors has been excellent; I’ve found it really interesting for my future. The consultation is spoken either in English, Ga or Twi, but the GPs have been good at explaining any non-English speaking cases.

I have also learnt a lot watching the doctors, not only about how to take a patient history and make diagnosis but also about the common illnesses in Ghana. I am quite confident that I could recognise all the symptoms and even know what medicines to prescribe for some. The doctors have been more that willing to explain everything to me and along with everybody else, have been friendly and welcoming.

After spending some time with various specialists we have spent the final 2 weeks of the placements with GPs again. Everyone has been willing to have us observe and have been keen to explain to us.

The ENT specialist also invited us to Korle Bu (the Government Teaching Hospital) where we observed consultations and sat with medical students as they practised their clinical skills both in consultation rooms and the wards.

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