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RCOG/VSO Partnership

The RCOG and VSO have a long standing relationship providing overseas volunteering opportunities to members of the RCOG. The previous fellowship scheme offered to trainees to improve obstetric care in developing countries continues through our re-launched partnership for both trainees and consultants.

What does the experience involve?

Specialist trainees and consultants from the UK are recruited for 6 - 12 month placements to improve maternal health in developing countries. 

You'll combine teaching, training and management with clinical work, supporting colleagues to strengthen essential obstetric care in a rural, district, or teaching hospital. You'll share your skills to improve outcomes for some of the poorest women in the world, whilst gaining personal and professional development. 

As a VSO volunteer, you'll encounter new pathology, review care provision and assess learning needs. You'll gain unique opportunities to enhance your managerial and teaching skills, as well as develop your independent clinical practice.

You could be working in countries such as Kenya or Cambodia.

How does it work for trainees?

If you are a trainee you’ll have the mentorship of a UK obstetrician and in-country senior doctor. You will be given structured support to evidence the clinical, teaching and management experience you gain.

Your placement will be an out of programme (OOP) clinical experience, undertaken with RCOG support. This experience does not normally count towards Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or Certificate of Eligibilty for Specialist Registration (CESR) and therefore does not require GMC approval. However,you will still require approval of the local Deanery STC (or School) and the Postgraduate Dean before undertaking such training. 

Who can apply?

  • UK obstetricians or gynaecologists from ST5 (SpR year 3) and upwards - both consultants and trainees

Feedback from previous VSO volunteers is that the best time to go is post-MRCOG, with some registrar or middle grade experience. At this point trainees are in a position to continue building on their competences, and offer wider managerial, teaching, and clinical skills. It can take six months from applying to departing on your placement.

How can I apply?

If you are available to go overseas within the next 6 - 12 months, please visit our opportunities page of the VSO website to search and apply for current vacancies. 

Find out more

For more information about placements, please visit the VSO website.

If you have any questions, please email the VSO or call +44 20 8780 7500.

Elsewhere on the site

Volunteers' experiences
Find out what previous VSO volunteers have to say about their volunteering placements
Volunteering opportunities
See all current volunteering opportunities via the RCOG