Your Guide To Medical Volunteering Abroad

So your heart is as big as your brain. You’ve chosen a calling focused on health, and you would like to volunteer! You want to save lives. You also want to see the world. Now for the sixty-four thousand dollar question: can you sync the two goals?

The winning response varies considerably. No one route exists that can lead every internationally-minded health professional across the Pond and beyond. Yet the smarts and drive needed to earn a medically related education comes in handy for achieving the aim of aid abroad. Those looking to assist overseas should know that, ultimately, the potential paths for satisfaction are as countless as they are priceless. This guide endeavors to catapult your idea of healthcare-focused volunteering to victory.

Quick Facts Guides All Healthcare Doctors Nurses Dentists

Quick Facts about Professional Healthcare Abroad

  • Interested in schooling yourself abroad, American citizen? The American Medical Association requires you to earn special certification should you wish to return and practice in the States. (AMA)
  • Non-U.S. citizens reportedly own an earnest and popular interest in American medical practice, with up to 28 percent of physicians in the States being graduates from abroad. (American Dental Association )
  • Please consider Africa as a potential destination for your volunteer efforts. In Ethiopia, for example, it has been reported that every 35,000 denizens are only served by, proportionally, one physician.  (World Press )
  • The American fervor for international healthcare education has raged recently; in 2008, governmentally-sponsored financial aid for such programs totaled more than $630 million. (CBS)
  • The urge to give back is growing, and has come through the young. The population of teenaged Americans and older who have volunteered has recently neared 30 percent. (Global Poverty)

Guides for Volunteering Abroad

  • Currency: How much is the U.S. dollar worth where you are going? Click to find out with the latest exchange rates.
  • Embassies or consulates: Know the location of your American ‘home base’ well in advance of your departure.
  • Immunizations: Do not allow the threat of foreign illness completely preclude your thoughts on volunteering; simply inform yourself of all you need to know via the link.
  • Is travel barred there?: To have purchased a one-way ticket to a destination advised against by the US may put your volunteer efforts at risk.
  • Passports: Surpassing the visa in terms of priority is this document. Ensure that you have one that will be recognized wherever you may travel.
  • STA Travel: One of air travel’s most customer-friendly companies can offer enormous discounts to students and those under 25, for whom a stint as a volunteer may prove quite enticing.
  • Visas: The most important authorization of your travel frequently comes in the form of stamp that is tiny yet often tricky to earn.
  • What to Pack?: This site will help you on your quest to decipher what stays, and what goes.
  • Where to Volunteer?: This link will direct you to Amnesty International, where you can determine any country’s human rights information “ knowledge which may suggest an ideal environment for you to lend your services and time.

Resources for All Healthcare Professionals

  • A Broader View. This U.S.-based non-profit organization provides volunteers opportunities to serve in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
  • Idealist. This site provides an excellent network of volunteer positions and notifications worldwide.
  • InterExchange. This program advertises a savvy team to help expedite any accepted volunteer’s required passage through red tape.
  • International Career Employment Weekly. Advanced healthcare positions of leadership, throughout the world, find a hub and an ad on this site.
  • International Health Opportunities Directory. Entering such data as the desired country and “opportunity type” allows you to search through a compiled database of prime prospects overseas.
  • International Recruitment Code of Practice. Thinking of volunteering, maybe one day working in the UK as a healthcare professional? See this site first to know your rights, and what will be expected of your demeanor while serving.
  • MediSend. This program specializes in the support of under-resourced medical facilities in countries with the direst need.
  • Peace Corps. Presidents and philanthropists galore have all volunteered through this classic organization. Those in health-care should gravitate to this offering.
  • Projects Abroad. “The two way process” between healthcare volunteers and organizations is highlighted and celebrated in this program.
  • Rally International. Physiotherapy and midwifery are two of the unique areas that Rally caters to in selected potential volunteers.
  • Red Cross. The world’s flagship organization for relief in time of need provides health-minded individuals with opportunities to volunteer both in America and abroad.
  • United Planet. An application for U.P.’s program asks you to decide beforehand on the length of your quest: short-term (1-12 weeks) or long-term (up to one year).
  • Village Reach. This remarkable program concentrates on direct care to addressed regions, primarily in Africa.

Resources for Doctors

  • Child Family Health International. This organization truly appeals to those looking to focus on a combination of international medicine and community-based medicinal aid.
  • Doctors of the World. HealthRight International fuses medical excellence with an emphasis on human rights.
  • Doctors Without Borders. An extremely rigorous application process tempts potential DWB’s with selection to this prestigious, important, and internationally essential organization.
  • UN Jobs. Find a unique assemblage of health-focused careers on an international scale on this convenient site.
  • U.S. Navy. Supporting the well-being of our armed forces meets the chance to see the world in this traditional, still worthwhile option.
  • Vista. Terms of up to two years in internationally focused medical aid comprise the primary, yet ever appealing, attraction to this opportunity.
  • Wavelength International. This organization specifically recruits medical doctors to serve in posts around the world.

Resources for Nurses

  • Helen Zeigler and Associates. Nursing posts, and even executive positions, in the Middle East can be found with this site’s support.
  • Mercy Volunteers. Serve as a nurse in French Guiana through this program.
  • Nurses2Canada. Interested in serving for our neighbors to the North? Check out this opportunity and figure how it can happen for you sooner than later.
  • O’Grady Peyton.  A longstanding organization, this site functions as a conduit between medical facilities and nurses, with both parties equally internationally-minded.
  • PFCC. Pediatricians for Central America’s Children enables nurses to head to countries such as Panama and Ecuador and render life-changing service to a needy population.
  • ViaMonde. This company is looking to field high-quality nurses to serve as support during the ski season in Switzerland, each winter.
  • VillageCare. The organization goes out of its way to funnel volunteer efforts to the neediest locations in Africa.

Resources for Dentists

  • AMHENY. Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad may soon be advertising for dentistry-focused individuals; bookmark this site to be informed as quickly as possible.
  • Dental Internships. Projects Abroad offers unique volunteer-internship hybrid programs for interested parties.
  • FAO. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations looks for individuals who are willing to volunteer and make profound differences in the world’s neediest communities.
  • International Smile Power. Dentists and dental hygienists can volunteer for this opportunity and be relocated throughout needy development countries.
  • Jubilee Ventures. High-quality interships overseas are provided for dental specialists in a volunteer effort focused on Tanzania.
  • UNESCO. The United Nations frequently enlist young medical professionals to lend their services for needed aid. Check in for additional info.
  • WHO. The World Health Organization offers internships to qualified candidates and places them in months-long positions of service around the world.