Medical Volunteers

The following information is specific to medical volunteers who will be working at the hospital.

** Please print a copy of these documents and bring them along on your trip **

Hospital Schedule

7:00-7:30 AM: Chapel service at OPD Monday-Friday for missionaries and hospital staff
7:30-done Monday-Friday: hospital rounds on all wards, with exception of TB ward… Tuesdays only unless pt has a problem
8:00-done Sat/Sun: hospital rounds on all wards, with exception of TB ward… as above

OPD (Clinic): Monday-Friday 10:00AM until done (usually 5:00-6:00PM)
Take a lunch break sometime between 12 and 1-coordinate with other doctors so someone is at OPD during lunch time in case of emergencies.
9:30-10:00AM Mon-Wed-Fri: chapel for patients

Go to theatre to perform minor procedures listed on board… some may be out patient, some may be inpatient
Please do not leave the hospital until all of these have been attended to.

Non Clinic days:
After morning rounds: go to theatre to perform minor procedures listed on board…
Please do not leave the hospital until all of these have been attended to.

Elective Surgery Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Emergencies will be done any time needed

What to Wear

NO white coats… it’s too hot! Scrubs are typically worn only if actually operating or doing dirty procedure in minor theatre rooms.

Please dress modestly and professionally – especially when working at the hospital. In this region, men do not typically wear shorts in public unless doing physical labor or sports. Women also do not wear shorts in public unless doing sports.

Equipment to Bring

For work at the hospital, we suggest that you have a small daypack to carry all the following:

  • Stethoscope/BP cuff with sphygmomanometer
  • Diagnostic set-otoscope and ophthalmoscope
    bring ear tips, there may be some but not in all clinic rooms
  • Penlight/Headlamp
    Daylight in Nalerigu is 6 AM to 6 PM – dark before and after, so you WILL need a light with you at all times!
    A Petzl Zipka has tiny elastic straps and fits on the stethoscope, so you always have a light.
  • Pens/pencils/sharpies
  • Small notepad(s)
  • Exam gloves and sterile gloves, your size (powdered work best because of the heat and humidity)
  • Caps/Masks/Booties – If you are going to be in theatre, bring extra and leave for theatre folks
  • Surgical Gloves
    If you will be operating, it’s best to bring your own surgical gloves. Note that we cannot provide enough gloves for you to double-glove; if you feel that you must do this then you definitely need to bring your own supply.
  • Closed toe crocs – If you are going to be in theatre
  • Phone
    A SIM card can be purchased in Accra or Nalerigu and phone credit for it… you will need it for call. If your phone does not support dual SIM and you do not wish to remove your US SIM, a “burner phone” can be purchased for around $20 in Nalerigu.
  • a water bottle (or two)
    Some like to keep one in fridge or freezer and rotate them, so you have cold water at the hospital: NO CLEAN WATER OUTSIDE THE HOUSES ON THE COMPOUND!!!

Doctors on Call


  • Call runs from 8AM to 8AM. Medical assistants are on first call and can do minor suturing and admissions.
  • You will be expected to share call with others who are here, probably 2-3 times per week, depending on the number of volunteers.
  • You will be expected to make rounds at night to check on patients admitted by the medical assistants, see OB cases that the midwife needs help with, and evaluate patients who may need treatment beyond what the medical assistants can do.

7:30 AM Monday-Friday
8:00 AM Sat and Sunday
8:30 PM every night

There will be many new admissions to round on each time you make rounds. There are medical assistants seeing walk-ins 24/7, they admit and write for MD to see on rounds, or for MD to see immediately if an emergency (usually trauma, bleeding, uncontrolled seizures, respiratory distress, psychosis)


Thankfully, AIDS is not a major problem in Ghana, unlike certain other African nations (HIV statistics) An exact incidence rate is difficult to determine; the government’s Ministry of Health cannot afford to provide enough HIV testing kits to determine this information.

We are currently seeing between 200 and 300 AIDS patients each year (out of an average of about 30,000 individual patients seen annually). We do have enough testing kits so that you may test any patient that you suspect of having AIDS.

Ghana Temporary Medical License

If you are a doctor or dentist volunteering to work at BMC for the first time you must fill out an application form, pay a $660 fee, and submit certain documents and references to the Medical Dental Council of Ghana to obtain a temporary license to be able to work (practice) while you are here in the country. Residents and medical students do not need a license as they practice as students under our physicians’ permanent Ghanaian medical licenses.

The Ghana Medical Dental Council does now recognize D.O. Diplomas.

It is critical that visiting physicians contact us ([email protected]) about the licensing process & fees ($660+). We would like to have your application in order 1-2 months before your planned arrival.