Surgery Electives Abroad

Surgery Electives Abroad

Undertaking a surgery elective in Africa will provide you with early and unequaled exposure to basic and complex surgical procedures in operating rooms. You will have the opportunity to get insight into the day-to-day routines of surgeons in busy hospitals with limited resources.  

Elective Africa's surgery elective programs are suitable for medical students, senior medical students, surgery residents, and medical volunteers. The programs are tailored to our customized and structured to meet medical school requirements and personal clinical rotation objectives. 

As a medical/surgery student you will be integrated into the local healthcare team delivering care within the surgery department. You will work under a surgeon, who will be your mentor and go-to person while on placement. 

Our surgery electives abroad expose you to a health system different from what you are accustomed to. You will garner global health insight and the impact of poverty and socio-cultural traditions on healthcare.

Participants in the surgery elective/ surgery shadowing program will get a chance to volunteer in our community outreach programs as a way of giving back to the communities that we operate in. The activities include visiting local orphanages, schools, and community health education and sensitization programs.

It is also a chance to travel, unwind and explore the placement destinations through excursions, experiencing an African safari, or hiking the tallest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro; (take a look at this Youtube video to see if it is worth the trip).

Elective Africa follows AAMC’s Guidelines for premedical and medical students providing patient care during clinical experiences abroad. 


Program Specialties

Shadowing surgery in a real-life hospital is a very valuable experience. Under mentorships and supervision, participants in the program are mentored to enhance their skills and to learn the factors affecting the delivery of surgical care in developing countries.


The specialties include:

  1. Orthopedic Surgery
  2. Surgical Critical Care
  3. Pediatric Surgery
  4. Burn Surgery
  5. Trauma and Emergency Surgery
  6. Surgical Critical Care and 
  7. General Surgery.

You not only see what is involved in preoperative, intra-operative, and postoperative patient care but also: 

  • Suturing skills enhancement
  • Introduction to invasive techniques such as endoscopy and broadening trauma assessment acumen, especially in the emergency (casualty) department minor and the main theatres. 


Shadowing in the Operating Room

Ask questions but only at appropriate moments. Prior to your surgery shadowing, remember to research common procedures in the surgical specialty that you’ll be observing. This will help you to understand better what’s going on and allow you to ask the physician more educated questions. 

Some other useful insights to help you through include asking where to stand, observing the strict staff rules, avoiding touching anything, punctuality, and wearing professional attire. 

However, your mentor will always guide you on the dos and don'ts in the operating room. For this reason, it is important to cultivate a good relationship with your mentor. 

Elective Africa also organizes biweekly insightful global healthcare tutorials at the participants' residences These are insightful sessions attended by local healthcare professionals to discuss the healthcare system in the country and beyond.


Why Undertake Your Surgery Elective Abroad

Medical schools like to create all-rounded healthcare providers with an insight into global health; medics who are conscious of different cultures and environments. A surgery shadowing/ elective with us will help gain an in-depth surgical work experience than what you might get in your home country. You will also be expected to:  

  1. Enhance your soft skills like communication, confidence, teamwork, endurance, empathy, resilience, and time management.
  2. Interact with different cultures thus developing a global health mindset & cultural intelligence.
  3. Boost your confidence as a result of meeting patients and working in a team.
  4. A chance to travel and unwind.


Program Duration 

Typical surgery elective  ranges between 2 to 12 weeks per location 

Spending more time on the programs gives you a scope to become better integrated over time, gaining increased insight into culture and understanding of international healthcare. 


Do you want to Come with a Group of Friends?

You may opt to travel alone and join a group of participants or travel as a group and make memories together.

Elective Africa’s surgery electives can be tailored to accommodate groups. You may also have the opportunity to get a group discount if you tag along with your friend(s) or classmate(s). For more information on groups, contact our placements advisors at or inquire here!


What Is Included in the Surgery Elective Abroad

Our aim has always been to provide you with a memorable, adventurous, and hassle-free program in Kenya or Tanzania.

Applicants pick the desired destinations and departments they want to rotate through. We guarantee your department choices well in advance of your trip. We provide you with detailed pre-departure information such that you can plan your elective abroad down to the finest detail.


The program includes:

  1. A surgery elective customized to your medical school elective requirements and individual clinical interests.
  2. A comprehensive pre-departure guide.
  3. Airport transfers as per different location guidelines.
  4. Designated mentors and support from local staff.
  5. Gated, safe and comfortable houses complete with in-house catering, Wi-Fi access, and support staff.
  6. Biweekly global health tutorials.
  7. Two-way transport to your clinical site.
  8. Basic Swahili lessons twice a week.
  9. Certificate of participation on program completion.
  10. Volunteer activities as per schedule by local staff.
  11. A chance to explore and travel: safaris, excursions, and mountaineering as optional add-on activities.


With this diversified surgical elective delivered under supervision and mentorship, we are confident that you will have a rewarding, enlightening, and adventurous learning experience. For more information, download a free brochure for our medical internships abroad in 2023 & summer 2024.


Click Here to APPLY and Start your Journey of Joining us for a Valuable Surgery Elective Abroad!


Grounding, Humbling, Heartfelt

The health care system itself is very different than what I was accustomed to, but it was a huge learning opportunity to experience a third-world health care system. I was fortunate enough to work with a great surgeon for my four weeks here. Yes, I learned applicable medical and surgical knowledge. Was that the highlight of my trip? No…The hospital experience in Arusha was grounding, eye-opening, humbling and heart-felt. Not only do you see diagnoses that you won’t see in America, but you realize how much our future profession can be of service worldwide and how many people really need it. I think this experience is a great one, especially for anyone planning a future in the medical field.

Laura Teisch , University of Miami

The Experience
The Experience
Key Aspects

Key aspects of Surgery Electives Abroad

Your placement customized

Your placement is customized to suit both your specific individual interests and school requirements. This may include your desire to rotate in preferred hospital surgical departments, choice of supervision or more clinical hours.

Proficient supervision and Mentoring

You will work hand in hand with qualified surgeon to mentor you at the health facilities of placement and ensure that you experience real life practical supervised surgery rotation in a unique healthcare setting.

Differentiated Healthcare System

Interacting with multiple and overwhelming surgical cases while utilizing limited resources; both human capital and infrastructure is a life-changing opportunity for your professional growth.

Split Program

We pride ourselves in being one of the few organizations that offer split placements. You can placed in two different hospitals in the same location, within two different cities or countries to enhance your experience!

Interactive Global Health Tutorials

An opportunity to learn and share on different health care perspectives with other students and local surgeons is always rewarding. We organize interactive sessions that provide you with the opportunity to discuss and ask pertinent questions regarding the healthcare system in your placement location as well as share on the distinguishing healthcare characteristics unique to your home country and other places across the globe.


Book your Placement

Book your spot today by paying a reservation deposit of $350. This is a one-off fee that allows us to plan for your mentorship, prepare for accommodation, and create your MyElective account and facilitating pre-departure support.


Or call us at +1 (609) 375 8912 to learn more.

Destination Focus

Unique healthcare systems, beautiful sceneries, enriched culture and towns that are in developmental stage are what describes our destinations! Choose our exciting locations in Kenya; coastal locations of Mombasa or Malindi, the urban setting in Nairobi; the capital city of Kenya or a rural setting in Migori. In Tanzania we have placements in Moshi and Arusha.

Mombasa, Kenya

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Malindi, Kenya

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Migori, Kenya

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Nairobi, Kenya

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Kisumu, Kenya

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Arusha, Tanzania

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Moshi, Tanzania

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Interested in Travelling with us? Inquire Now!