Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Medical Internship – Additional Info

Medical Intern Project Additional Information

The basic project calls for interns to work from 8am – 4pm, Monday – Friday. Depending upon the working schedule of the paired doctor and area of the hospital an intern is placed, the times and days of work may fluctuate. Your patience and flexibility with these schedule and time shifts is greatly appreciated. The depth and amount of “hands on” involvement an intern will have during their internship will normally be very little. Hospitals in Thailand can not ethically allow individuals without the proper experience, education and certifications to actively participate in medical procedures they are not able to conduct. The willingness of the paired physician(s) will also have a large stake in the amount of hands on work that an intern will have during their internship. With this being said, obviously the more education and knowledge an individual has in medical science, the more hands on work he/she will be able to experience. Most interns only observe or help out with very minor tasks.

Medical Internship Video 1

You may have viewed this on the project page already. This video gives a pretty good impression of what the project is all about. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do so.

Medical Intern code of conduct

All participants in Friends for Asia Projects, Medical Interns are not allowed to:

  • Smoke while on hospital grounds
  • Consume or be under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances while at the hospital
  • Conduct inappropriate or romantic relationships with hospital staff or patients
  • Share personal information or photos of hospital patients with others
  • Dress inappropriately during work hours.

Normally lunch is provided for interns at the hospital. In other cases, interns may have to cover the cost of their own lunch and meals. All interns are welcome to breakfast at the Friends For Asia House each day of their internship.

Clothes and Appearances

Thais put a lot of emphasis on appearances. This is especially true for hospital professionals, as they hold a very important and high ranking position in Thai society. Appropriate clothes for participating in this project are:

  • Khaki or dress slacks/pants.
  • Button up shirts with a collar for men
  • Polite, button up blouses for women
  • Knee length, or below, skirts/dresses for women.

Things that are considered inappropriate and could be offensive:

  • Visible tattoos (especially on women). If you have a tattoo, bring something that will cover it.
  • Visible piercings for men anywhere.
  • Visible piercings for women anywhere outside of their ears.
  • Women’s tops that reveal shoulders or part of chest
  • Short skirts or dresses (above the knee)
  • All black clothes (black top complimented with black pants or skirt), especially shirts or blouses. Thais only wear all black if they are going to a funeral or are in mourning.
  • Jeans
  • Shorts/Capris
  • Tight or revealing clothes for women especially

It’s understandable that interns may enjoy expressing themselves with tattoos and lip/nose and other facial piercings. It is, however, considered highly inappropriate for hospital employees and interns in Thailand to have such things. For this reason, you will be asked to remove all facial piercings prior to your first day at the hospital of your placement and to cover all visible tattoos to try to not offend the people you work with. Thank you for your flexibility and patience regarding this issue in advance.

Medical Internship Video 2

This second video is also on the main project page for the Medical Internship. It was taken by an Australian film crew, that were making a program about volunteering in Thailand.


Airport pick up, the city tour and the transportation to and from the cultural show and dinner are covered in the project fee. Friends For Asia staff also sends volunteers and interns to seek medical assistance in non-emergency situations. Obviously, in the case of an emergency a proper ambulance would be called and used. An intern will have to cover the cost of their own transportation if they make multiple appointments to see a doctor or dentist.

Interns in the Medical Intern Project are responsible for their daily commute to and from the Friends For Asia House and their school. More details are listed below, but expect to pay anywhere between $1.50 – $3.00 per day for transportation. Although all the schools where volunteers work are a decent walk from the house, many volunteers take this on foot option to take in more of Chiang Mai during their service.

Transportation by SongThaews (Thai style mini-busses) are normally 20 Baht (roughly 70 U.S. cents) per ride. Therefore, most volunteers spend around $1.50 a day on transportation to and from work. Tuktuks (three wheeled, motorized rickshaws) are more expensive, but faster. A regular priced ride in a tuktuk is about 50 Baht ($1.60 USD). On your first day of your project, the coordinator will escort you to your school and introduce you to the administration at the school. Interns travel with the coordinator on that day by local transportation in an attempt to teach volunteers how to get to the school and back by themselves on the following days of their volunteer service.

Visit the Medical Internship Project Page

Read advice written by previous Medical Interns