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WHO are you?

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/sbmj.0411421 (Published 01 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0411421
  1. Darshan Sudarshi, final year medical student1
  1. 1Guy's, King's, and St Thomas' Medical School, London

An internship at the World Health Organization might conjure up different images--a glamorous way of enhancing your CV and networking or boring bureaucratic office work. Darshan Sudarshi explains

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the specialised United Nations agency for health. Set up in 1948, it is currently governed by 192 member states. Representatives of each member state meet once a year at the World Health Assembly, where they approve WHO's programme and budget. The headquarters of WHO is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and there are five regional offices and 140 country offices. In the headquarters, the work of WHO has been divided into nine clusters (box).

What can interns do?

Any student over the age of 18, with an interest in public health, can apply to join WHO as an intern. Interns can apply to work at a number of regional and country offices or at the headquarters in Geneva. Interns are not paid for their work and on average spend about six weeks to three months at WHO.

As an intern, the work given to you maybe quite varied, depending on the cluster that you are working in, your background and experience, …

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