Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Doctor Follows Week

International School Student Medical Group Internship Program

2023 Summer Program Dates are as follows:

Early Summer: 24th of June – 1st of July, 2023 (One last Spot Available for a Female student)
Late Summer: 5th – 12th of August, 2023

__This project is in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Make the most of your summer break and shadow doctors treating patients at some of Northern Thailand’s most prestigious hospitals. Learn more about medical practices in Thailand, what it’s like to be a medical professional and boost your resume of experiences at the same time. This program is conducted in English.

The Doctor Follows Program offers 20 hours of clinical observation in different hospital departments at three hospitals in Chiang Mai, perfect for eager students willing to learn more about the medical world first-hand.

All observation hours are recorded and provided in written form at the end of the program, signed by both the director of the Friends for Asia Foundation and the directors, or assistant directors of each hospital. Find our Application Form at the bottom of this page.

*Group Maximum: 16 students – To ensure a well organized and supervised program, we keep the number of interns in our projects to a maximum of 16 students for each session. This ensures high-quality experiences for students and the highest standard of safety for all.

Student to Staff Ratio: 4 to 1

Our Doctor Follows Group Medical Internship is designed for international high school students and offers unparalleled access to hospital facilities, doctors and the patients they work with.

Each day, explore the workings of different international-standard hospitals in Chiang Mai, shadowing doctors and nurses with supervision and translation provided by Friends for Asia coordinating staff.

Expand your medical knowledge as you learn from the best, most highly qualified doctors in the Northern Thai region, many of which have qualifications from international medical institutions in the United States or United Kingdom.

In every case, students will only be grouped with a healthcare professional that possesses a high command of the English language. This course allows students to rotate through departments and hospital venues with ease, spending two hour blocks in each department in small groups.

Departments include:

  • General Surgery
  • Dental
  • Emergency Room
  • Hemodialysis
  • Out-patient
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Therapy
  • OBGYN (Female Students only)
  • Thai Traditional Medicine

Groups will always be accompanied by Friends for Asia staff who will help supervise the course and translate where necessary. This program is conducted in English, and complete participation is necessary for all students.

We try hard to place students in departments that align most with their interests. Just let us know what you’re most interested in and we’ll try our best to keep you in that area.

This Doctors Follows Week Program is a first-hand observation experience, focused on following professionals in the hospital setting such as daily rounds, consultations, treatment administration and surgery.

Each stage of observation is carefully monitored and regulated to ensure the safety and comfort of both the patients and students involved.

General Program Outline Plan

Saturday – 8am to 6pm – Arrive at Chiang Mai. Pick-up and check-in at a resort accommodation destination and enjoy a welcome dinner.

Sunday – Morning Orientation and an afternoon tour of the ancient city of Chiang Mai.

Monday – Morning and afternoon hospital rounds at a private hospital, followed by a late afternoon Thai cooking course.

Tuesday – Morning and afternoon hospital rounds at a large public hospital, followed by a late afternoon tour of Warorot Market – Chiang Mai’s largest market.

Wednesday – Morning and afternoon hospital rounds at a large public hospital, followed by an online Session with current medical students in the UK. This session is designed to offer advice and recommendations for attendees looking to follow a university pathway in medicine.

Thursday – Morning and afternoon hospital rounds at a large public hospital, followed by a late afternoon visit to a natural hot spring (bring your bathing suit!).

Friday – Morning and afternoon hospital rounds at a small rural hospital, followed by a delicious farewell dinner.

Saturday – Goodbyes and departure from Chiang Mai between 8am and 6pm. Staff will escort students to the airport, help them check-in for their flights and see them through to security.

*Program Plan may vary and change slightly depending on scheduled availability and unforeseen changes.

Student Intern Qualifications

  • Participation age for this program is 14-18, male, female, non-binary students are all welcome.

  • All participating students will need a reference letter (or email) from a current or previous teacher or school representative.

  • Students need to speak and understand English fluently (English is the language of communication for the program).

  • Students should have an interest in following medicine as a career in the future and be able to deal with various medical scenarios they may encounter.

Student Resort Accommodation

Students will stay two to a room at the Away Resort, a lovely hotel resort inspired by Northern Thai architecture and just a few minutes from Tha Pae Gate – one of the city’s major landmarks which is also where you’ll find our coordination office.

All shared room assignments will be made based on gender, with two students of the same gender per room. Due to two students per room, the program will need to have an even number of male and female students.

After the day’s programming is complete, students are free to enjoy time at the resort swimming pool. Although only 1.2m deep, we do require students to show proficiency in swimming and water safety before using the pool, as no lifeguard is present. Students will only be able to use the pool in pairs, groups, or under staff supervision. Individual use, with no staff or other students present is not allowed.

A vegetarian breakfast buffet is provided daily. Lunch and dinner will be held at the different program sites and other local restaurants and cafes. Special dietary needs are easily accommodated during the course of the project.

Program Coordination and Supervision

Friends for Asia has been hosting students and international volunteers and interns in our Chiang Mai programs since 2007. Our bilingual coordinating staff will be on hand to translate for student groups at the hospitals when needed and will accompany the group 24 hours a day.

During the program, the group will visit open air markets and shopping centers. At these times students will be free to walk and shop in small groups without programming staff directly at their side. During these moments students will be required to follow our rules of conduct, outlined in our terms and conditions agreement.

Meals and Dining

We eat at good places, because food in Thailand is plentiful and delicious! A vegan breakfast buffet is provided daily to students at the resort. As the program is health-care related, we highly encourage students to engage in a healthy diet and overall physical well-being to fit this narrative.

All students can enjoy a two hour break midday during observations. We like to take students to a variety of different restaurants and cafes to allow them to relax, talk about what they observed in the morning, and enjoy the lovely ambiance of the unique restaurants we take them. We want to make sure that all students eat well, sleep well, and are prepared well for the program.

Vegetarian, vegan, and students with other special dietary needs can be accommodated during the program. let us know about any dietary requirements when signing up.

Our farewell dinner is always something special. Our two late 2022 groups enjoyed their farewell dinner on the Riverside Dinner Cruise boat!

Afternoon Activities

AAside from medical and health care related time, our Doctor Follows Groups also engage in other fun activities, including a cooking course, visit to a local hot springs, visit to Doi Suthep Temple, market visits, and much more depending on season and interest.

These activities help provide students with other activities to better get to know their surroundings while also having fun together as a group. Not everything in a medical program has to be about medicine. Sometimes teenagers just need to relax and have fun.

Visit to Doi Suthep – Northern Thailand’s most iconic temple, with panoramic views of the city below.

Strict Rules of Student Engagement

SWe have a strictly enforced set of rules for all attendees, outlined in our terms and conditions agreement. These include regulations against student possession and usage of tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis products, along with rules banning male and female students from visiting each other’s rooms.

Breaking our terms and conditions rules will result in immediate administrative separation from the program. These items are reviewed and discussed during orientation. We want all students to have a successful program.

Participation Fees

Participation in the Doctor Follows Week (2023 Summer Programs) for both local and international school students is 29,950 Thai Baht per student.

Project Fee Includes

  • Airport pick up and drop off (if applicable)
  • Shared Resort Accommodation at Away Resort, Chiang Mai
  • All transportation during program in safe, professionally driven vans
  • All meals
  • Orientation Day (including half day city tour)
  • 24 hour Onsite Bilingual Coordinator Support
  • Use of two of our FFA lab coats.
  • Written record of program completion and total number of hours of observation at hospitals, along with signed certificates of observation participation from each hospital director of program placements.

Project Fee Does Not Include

  • Travel to/from Home and Chiang Mai (airfare, train tickets, etc.)
  • International Medical Insurance

*Program fee increase (from previous sessions) is due to our own volunteer and intern accommodation being unavailable, as it will be full with our international adult volunteers and interns during that time.

Doctor Follows Program Application Form

Please complete the application form below or contact us for questions.

Student Full Name (first and last)
Nickname (if applicable)
Date of Birth
Confirm E-mail
Student Phone Number
Address in Thailand
Program Dates
Parent Contact Info (Name and Phone Number)
Parent Email Address
What are your department and areas of interest in medicine?
What is your motivation to take part in this program?
Resume / CV - Please provide a brief list of your education and experience. This includes school(s) you have attended, extra-curricular activities, etc..
Comments / Questions / Special Dietary or Other needs?
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