Public Health Program Interview!

By Jess Wills

UPDATE:  We’re proud to announce that the Connect-123 Public Health Internship Program in Cape Town has been selected as a finalist for the Innovative New Program – Internship Abroad Award from GoAbroad!  We’re thrilled to be recognized by this outstanding organization.

Last year, Connect-123 launched a brand new clinical Public Health internship program in Cape Town with Victoria Hospital – and it’s quickly become a favorite for international interns interested in medicine, nursing and public health. We interviewed program expert Jess to find out what makes this program so unique: 

How does this program differ from other programs that Connect-123 offers?

Connect-123 offers some great medical internships in Cape Town– they have flexible start and end dates (typically a two month minimum) and they get to shadow doctors and typically stay in one department within the hospital for the duration of their internship.

The new public health program is unique in that it is 4 weeks long – perfect for those students and graduates that want an enriching internship experience but have less time available to spend abroad. These four weeks are specifically designed for maximum exposure – so that the interns rotate through various departments within the hospital, and get to work from clinics and even do home visits.

What are some of the highlights?

Everyone will have their own personal favorite part of the program, but some clear highlights are:

Tell us a bit about Victoria Hospital…

Victoria Hospital is a secondary, state-funded hospital based in Wynberg, one of Cape Town’s surrounding suburbs. Victoria provides a wide range of both medical and surgical services to the general population that surround the hospital.

With 150 beds, it’s a relatively small hospital, but there is an outpatient department attached to it as well.

There is a lot of collaboration between the different departments within the hospital, providing patient care. It is known for the high standard of care it provides to its patients.

Do interns spend all four weeks at the hospital?

Well, the majority of this clinical program is spent inside the hospital, rotating through different departments such as: paediatrics, neurology, palliative care Abundant Life program, orthopaedics and medical/surgical.

A typical week can include going on ward rounds, observing surgeries, and attending lectures. Interns are also given the opportunity to partake in research projects that are taking place at the time of their program.

But for one week of this program the interns are given the opportunity to go and visit neighborhood-based health clinics located in some of Cape Town’s marginalized communities. Home visits also comprise part of this program, with students being able to accompany some of the staff when going to visit patients from lower income communities in their homes.

In your expert opinion, who would you say is the ideal candidate for this program?

This program is perfect for pre-med, medical and nursing students wanting to gain great clinical exposure! It is also suitable for candidates wanting to gain insight into the running of a hospital, and the interaction between the multidisciplinary team. As interns rotate between different departments, this opportunity allows students to explore various aspects and fields of medicine.

The ideal candidate should be enthusiastic, pro-active and eager to learn and participate! If that describes you – get in touch with us!

To learn more about our clinical Public Health program in Cape Town, click here!


Jess Wills

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