Medicine Jobs Abroad

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A Guide to Medical Jobs Abroad

Let’s be honest, working in the medical field is possibly one of the most rewarding and meaningful careers anyone can choose. International medical jobs open up a world of opportunities for assisting with global development. After all, health is an important issue around the world, not only for the obvious reasons of increasing life expectancy and reducing infant mortality, but also for its impact on the global population. Medical jobs abroad can encompass a broad range of activities, from skill-sharing your medical expertise in another country to educating people on the importance of hygiene and preventative health measures in developing nations, so don’t waste anytime!

Why Jobs Abroad in Medicine

It’d be wrong to suggest that medical professionals don’t have an impact on people’s lives through their work in their home countries, but medical jobs abroad open up further options for experiences and contributions unique to their setting and the needs of that geographical region. As well as making a lasting impact upon the community in which you choose to serve, working in medicine abroad will leave it’s own mark on you as you take home with you memories and experiences that will stay with you forever.

Health is an important contributing field for international development and in areas where access to healthcare is limited, and medical professionals have the power to expand the reach of facilities to those who need them most. Working to target long-term health issues through the implementation of sustainable initiatives to reduce preventable disease can further leave a lasting impact on communities. Getting a medical job abroad can allow you to help target important health outcomes, such as increasing life expectancy, reducing infant mortality rates, and enhancing nutrition.

International medical jobs are not only about supporting less developed regions, however; there is a great scope of jobs focused on knowledge and skill sharing within the medical field in more developed regions as well. These medical jobs abroad will offer you a chance to learn from experts in your field, whose experiences contrast with your own, and to share your knowledge with them as well. In other areas, particularly those frequented by foreign tourists, medical professionals who speak different languages are welcomed to provide care to visitors who do not speak the local lingo. Regardless of your medical job overseas, you will be contributing valuable skills to an important field and experiencing a new country and culture at the same time!


Depending on which areas you’d like to target while working abroad, there are a wealth of medical job opportunities around the globe. Of course it is important to do your research first; if you are really interested in supporting work to tackle malaria, then you need to focus on countries where the prevalence is highest (yes, this might be the first time you’ve researched traveling to a country because it plays host to a disease rather than for means of avoiding it!). Equally, if you’re a nutrition expert, look into areas where malnutrition or obesity is high.

When choosing where to work abroad in medicine, think about the recent history of the locations. What are the potential influences on the current status of the country’s health? In Haiti, capacity building is huge, as the country continues to struggle with the devastating effects of the earthquake in 2010 followed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, offering you opportunities to utilize your skills to help develop a workforce that will take the country forward toward a brighter future.

If the exotic cultures of the far east intrigue you, China, one of the fastest-developing countries in the world will offer you an interesting chance to learn in a rapidly changing environment. China is unique in its confronting contrast between rich and poor, rural and urban. Living in such a diverse country also opens opportunities for you to explore further at the weekends too, like trekking along the great wall of china, visiting the Forbidden city in Beijing or meeting the Giant Panda’s in Chengdu!

The interesting mixture of cultures, languages, and private vs. national healthcare systems in Europe also offers interesting learning opportunities for medical professionals. Those who seek out medical jobs abroad in Italy, for example, could assist in the provision of English-spoken healthcare whilst learning Italian and sampling the hundreds of different kinds of pizza and pasta available.

Medical Jobs Abroad

It’s no secret that the medical field stretches far beyond the provision of care in the position of a doctor or nurse. That being said, many of international medical jobs you’ll find will mimic the job descriptions of roles back home, and so it should be, as your skills and qualifications will still need to reflect the tasks that you will undertake. Therefore, most medical professionals should seek out medical jobs abroad that will utilize their expertise, whether in more traditional medical jobs or wider-reaching health fields, such as pharmaceuticals, nutrition, or physiotherapy.

On the other hand, there are international medical jobs available for those without several years of university training. Roles which focus on health outreach through education, particularly working with nonprofits and charitable organizations, will require a degree of knowledge and understanding of the field, but may not warrant formal medical training certifications. Similarly, roles such as a first aider or lifeguard may allow training to be completed quickly and locally.

Regardless of the similarities between medical jobs abroad, there will be some vast differences in working conditions. You might want to prepare yourself for working with limited or different types of resources, and in a more challenging environment, which might entail limited space and possibly even providing treatment outdoors. Generally, however, overcoming these challenges will enhance your experience even further and allow you to develop both personally and professionally!

Benefits & Challenges

Working abroad in medicine offers an opportunity for you to learn from medical professionals whose training may have differed vastly from your own, and also to share what experience you have with them. Plus, health problems have both stark differences and commonalities around the world, so exploring areas you would never have otherwise encountered, while also seeing differences in the approach to commonalities, will broaden your perspective of the field (and the world).

With all of these fantastic benefits in mind, it is also worth considering the challenge of international medical jobs. Not all qualifications are easily transferred to a new country, and it may take time to have your transcripts and certifications approved for medical jobs abroad. You probably won’t be able to participate in activities abroad that you would not be qualified to complete back home, regardless of the level of local development.

It’s also important to consider the language and culture of the country you choose to work in, as this could enhance or hinder your medical work considerably. The opportunity to explore a new part of the world and learn about local beliefs, history, and language is fascinating and can provide a real bonus to your career on top of the experience. That being said, navigating a new job in a new culture, where norms and expectations differ, can be challenging, so be mindful of these considerations as you form your plans to work abroad in medicine.

Overall, medical jobs abroad will offer you huge opportunities. With a wide range of medical jobs available around the world, there is a wealth of opportunity for making a meaningful impact that could also save lives and greatly impact the development of an area. The possibilities for personal development and growth are also sky high, and you will almost certainly learn as much from the role as you contribute to it!

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