Testimonials – other volunteers’ experience
Experiences of our volunteers – here are testimonials from some of our previous medical students and medical volunteers:
“We are settling in wonderfully! Having a ball here in Tonga! Liz and mark are making us very comfortable and we have been welcomed into the ED team and are learning lots. Thank you for checking in, we are both very happy and well.”
Ms N.A. Med Stu, USyd (Tonga)
“I love my two weeks here and wish I had more time to volunteer. The people of Cambodia are wonderful and the local hospital staff were very welcoming and I was glad to be able to help in some small way.”
Dr R.H. (Cambodia)
“I arrived safely in Hanoi last night after what has been an amazing 4 weeks in Battambang. I really appreciate the organisation that went into the great experience and being able to be part of the teams working at the referral hospital.
Thank you for organising everything as well as helping us sort out the accommodation in Siem reap.”
Mr D.T. Med Stu, USyd (Cambodia)
“Honestly this will be such an amazing experience I can already tell.
Thank you so much for all the effort you have put in to organise this.
It’s been great to have your support and you’ve made everything easy, which is saying a lot since most of the paperwork I was doing during exams last year!
I had a great time; all the hospital personnel were extremely welcoming. I felt I got the most I could out of the experience in the short time I had, my time in the Diabetes Wound Clinic and the Communicable Diseases unit was valuable for my own learning and I saw many conditions that I may have never (or will ever) encounter in Australia (Leprosy, Measles etc.). The Accommodation was great and made even better by our house manager who was fantastic and extremely helpful throughout. Only improvement would be to have working Wi-Fi at the house. Thanks for the awesome experience.”
Ms E.B. Med Stu, UoN (Tonga)
“Thank you for touching base. Everything is going very well here. The lodge and Isi have been wonderful. We are all ready for the incoming cyclone, hopefully it remains a category 2.”
Ms K.H. Med Stu, ANU (Tonga)
“All is well really enjoying the experience so far! Will get in touch if we need anything but so far so good.”
“Accommodation was amazing – very close to the hospital with great staff. Medical experiences went above my expectations – was able to scrub up and help in surgeries practicing suturing. Greatest challenge was probably the language barrier but even with this I felt I was able to achieve everything I wanted from the program and many doctors tried their best to help include me.
Thank you for all your help in planning this volunteering trip it’s been an amazing experience!”
Ms T.T. Med Stu, UNSW, (Vietnam)
“We are so grateful for our placement in Vietnam, it was an amazing experience. Being able to be included as part of the medical team and gain surgical exposure in Vietnam was an unforgettable experience for us.
Also, would we be able to receive a certificate of our participation for the placement and could the certificate say our respective departments we were attached to? (Eg orthopaedics/orthopaedic trauma)
Thank you again Karin for all your help in the organisation of the trip and being available to support us throughout preparation. You’re amazing!
We look forward to working with you and DocTours in the future!”
Mr S.M. Med Stu, UNSW (Vietnam)
“I’ve had such an awesome time. How does 3 weeks go by so quick?
Thank you for your hospitality from afar and helping me through the process – I couldn’t have done it without you and DocTours.”
Mr K.K., Med Stu, UniMelb, Tonga
“I hope this email finds both you and Derek well. Callem and I had such a lovely time in Banepa with Sunita and Bijuli – they really make the experience special. I would consider them my family. The doctors at the hospital were all also so very kind and made us feel part of the team from day one. As I mentioned previously- we had a very interesting time and were able to see some cases that would be much rarer in Australia such as many Organophosphate poisonings and limb trauma cases resulting from vehicle accidents. I have no doubt that I will be back to Banepa once I am a registered physician. I look forward to it.
I look forward to working within you again in the near future – both times I have been with DocTours it has been an absolute pleasure so thank you for all that you do to organise this.”
Ms GK, Med Stu, JCU (Nepal)
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Sri Lanka. I had an absolutely incredible experience, thank you so much for the opportunity. Look forward to future adventures.”
“Overall the program was great! For the most part the hospital was great and most staff were very eager to help us learn. The hostel was also great in terms of location and general living. Easily the best hostel I’ve stayed in.
I want to reiterate that this was an incredible program and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mr B.D. Med Stu, UQ (Vietnam)
“I really enjoyed my time in Fiji organized by Doctours. getting my documents and the attachment were done very professionally and quickly and communication was excellent. Information on what to expect was timely and accurate. The accommodation was well organized, I preferred my own room in the [guesthouse], but the family stay for a week gave me a good insight into local life in Fiji. Lautoka Hospital was a well-run hospital with very friendly staff, without exception I was welcomed by all from Doctors, Nurses, administrators to orderlies and security staff. The ED was very well run. I saw interesting medicine not unlike remote Australia with the impact of lifestyle diseases, but with the addition of different infections such as Leptospirosis, typhoid, Dengue and TB. It was good to see them managing with a limited range of medications, and regularly running out of basic equipment and drugs such as antibiotics, Xray film, the ability to test for HIV and do blood gas measurements. In my spare time I travelled locally, particularly I enjoyed staying at Mana Island at the RatuKini backpackers, in the cottage on the beachfront. I did some very good diving there, as well as at Beqa shark dive at Pacific Harbour. Thanks to all at DocTours especially Karin for helping me arrange this trip.”
Dr D.C, (Fiji)
“Things are going well over here. After a really worthwhile and enjoyable orientation, we have been placed in Banepa, a town about an hour away from Kathmandu. I’m spending my days in the outpatients clinic treating patients, and I’m getting along okay – still getting the hang of the language and the local diseases and the different drug names. It’s pretty challenging but I’m feeling useful which is great. Our homestay couple are lovely and have been feeding us well. Internet access is very limited and we’re learning to cope with cold showers, but then again we have a sit-down toilet in the bathroom so we’re happy. I’ll try to update you as we settle in more.”
“Thanks for the message. No issues at all. I am really enjoying my time in Tanzania. The placement is fantastic and I am staying with a lovely host family. I’d be happy to forward you some photos when I get a chance to upload them.”
“We both really enjoyed the experience. Thank you very much for assisting us in being able to do that.”
“I am settling in well and have had a good range of experiences at the hospital in the first week already. Everyone is very welcoming and willing to teach and the patients are also very understanding.”
Ms S.T., Med Stu, UniWA, Fiji
“I had a lovely time volunteering at Banepa Hospital – an eye-opening and fulfilling one. I would love to write an article about it which I will work on as soon as I can. Also, I would like to commend my hosts who were very hospitable and went out of their way to make me feel at home. Thank you for such a wonderful experience!”
“I can’t wait, getting butterflies. Two month ago this was just a “one day” dream. Gosh this has really come around quickly! I am so excited and so humbled to be able to do this placement. It has attracted the interest of quite a few people. I am in the middle of trying to arrange a few of the items requested by the clinic.”
“Greetings to you both. Just letting u know we have had a great time so far. Have spoken and promoted ur tours to some other doctors! I think I have another trip in me next year as I would like to go to Nepal in February then to Bhutan. Cheers.”
“I had a fantastic time in Nepal, sorry for the late reply with this email! Thanks.”
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising such a fantastic trip to Fiji. It was an amazing experience, surpassing all expectations! We were so well looked after and I couldn’t have asked for a better week!! I hope you had a lovely Christmas, and Happy New Year! Thanks again.”
“Yes – great experience and thanks for your work on sourcing the hospital – perfect. Accommodation – great. Safari and Dubai – excellent.”
“Firstly let me thank you for a well organised and enjoyable holiday. Overall we had a wonderful time. We particularly enjoyed Bhutan and would return there in the future. It was serene, interesting and thought provoking to visit a third world country that has got it together so well in just about every aspect. I would love to go and work there in the future if the opportunity arose. I had an enjoyable day teaching Nepalese medical students at a mountain outreach clinic and enjoyed the visits to Piple health centre. Geoff was able to give lectures to medical students at the hospital. It is always a fine line to tread when visiting health facilities in another country not to be critical of their system but I must confess I was shocked that no one seemed to bother with hand washing between patients. Having said that I found it an interesting experience and our home stay family were lovely. Overall though it was a great experience and once again from your perspective thank you for organising it so well.”
“Thank you for sending me the write-up regarding my placement in Jamaica. It was very flattering. I am glad that I could help the people in Mandeville, and their appreciation is very much appreciated.”
“Landed safely in Siem Reap and really enjoying my placement at the medical clinic. Am learning lots – Jody is a great manager and supervisor and I have had a chance to tour the slum area that we service as well as visit the provincial hospital in Siem Reap and to the Angkor Hospital for Children. Once again, many thanks for all of your help with logistics and support – will keep in touch. Take care.”
“Overall it was an amazing experience but there were a few hiccups at the hospital. Thanks for organising everything, I will be in touch.”
“I am all settled in nicely here in my guesthouse in Battambang! The Tuk Tuk driver in Siem Reap was really nice and friendly and I shall be using his services whenever I pop down to Siem Reap! Thank you.”
“I have been having a blast in Nepal with both my volunteering experience and trekking!”
“Hi Karin, thanks again for sending such a fabulous trio of staff. The doctors have been amazing looking after our patients and teaching our doctor and the nurse is brilliant. They have all instantly become such important parts of the team and I feel quite sad that they have left. Thanks again for recruiting such high calibre staff for us. Enjoy your weekend.”
“Thankyou so much Karin. Our placement is going really well, the staff at the hospital are very friendly and we’ve seen some amazing things. The volunteer house is good, and Moshi is fun, so very enjoyable :). Sorry it’s taken us a while to get feedback to you, overall we had an amazing time in Africa and we wanted to thank you for the opportunity you gave us. In relation to the project, the staff were fantastic and very welcoming, however there was little direction given to us when we arrived and we were left on our own to choose where to work each day (this was fine with us because we could explore different wards). We borrowed some scrubs and we found that we were much more readily accepted by staff and patients as part of the medical team. Also for medical students encourage them to gain some practical clinical skills beforehand so they can be more hands on, because we found that most of our training so far has been in the area of communication and history taking, and with the language barrier this was hard to put to use. We were lucky enough to watch some amazing surgeries and sit in on clinical consultations with doctors which was incredibly rewarding for us and we learned so much. Overall, Moshi is a beautiful town and the people, especially children, are really friendly. We met so many fantastic people, ate all the local food, and discovered the Moshi nightlife. We strongly recommend that volunteers go on safari and climb Kilimanjaro, we didn’t have time or money for the latter but everyone who did raved about it. Zanzibar was also beautiful and well worth the visit especially to wind down after some eye-opening experiences. Staying at the volunteer house also allowed us to go to other projects like schools and orphanages on our time off from the hospital. We will send some photos soon too! Thanks again.”