Anyone know of any medical volunteering/experience trips abroad?

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DropkickMurphy

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Yes, it is called medical tourism. Yes, premeds can go. No, it isn't that big of a deal, unless you get your picture taken with lots of DABs.
 
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premeder

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unite for sight is grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!!

http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer

the greatest experiences of my life. ive done two so far. third time this summer.

you dont just take photos. you do a lot every day. there are journals and stuff on the web site from hundreds of volunteers who have volunteered. theres also videos.
 

BNSN

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unite for sight is grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!!

http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer

the greatest experiences of my life. ive done two so far. third time this summer.

you dont just take photos. you do a lot every day. there are journals and stuff on the web site from hundreds of volunteers who have volunteered. theres also videos.

Question: would it not be easier to take the money that transports self-aggrandizing pre-meds to Zambia and use it to train locals to do the jobs volunteers do? That way, they improve eyesight + help out with local economy. That's what Doctors without Borders do -- they train locals to do everything except actual medicine, which is what volunteers do.

I realize that means less fodder for personal statements, but it might be a better investment.
 

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Yes, it is called medical tourism. Yes, premeds can go. No, it isn't that big of a deal, unless you get your picture taken with lots of DABs.

That is not medical tourism. Im pretty sure medical tourism is when people from one country seek medical care in another country because of lower prices, better care, etc...
 

DropkickMurphy

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That is not medical tourism. Im pretty sure medical tourism is when people from one country seek medical care in another country because of lower prices, better care, etc...
Well, it's the term used most frequently on SDN to describe it. Just like how "gunner" has another definition to most people.
 

DropkickMurphy

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Question: would it not be easier to take the money that transports self-aggrandizing pre-meds to Zambia and use it to train locals to do the jobs volunteers do? That way, they improve eyesight + help out with local economy. That's what Doctors without Borders do -- they train locals to do everything except actual medicine, which is what volunteers do.

I realize that means less fodder for personal statements, but it might be a better investment.
But then how would everyone meet the DAB quotient?! I was planning on going over and stacking them like cordwood and posing for a picture so I could claim to be more altruistic and more dedicated to helping my fellow man than any other premed; I could point to the pictures and say "SEE! I very carefully stacked 45 DABs into a very neat and tidy pyramid! How dare you question my motivations for practicing medicine!". :laugh:
 

notdeadyet

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That is not medical tourism. Im pretty sure medical tourism is when people from one country seek medical care in another country because of lower prices, better care, etc...
You're correct.
 
D

Dr. Josh

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Yes, it is called medical tourism. Yes, premeds can go. No, it isn't that big of a deal, unless you get your picture taken with lots of DABs.

hey there,

i read your posts often and they are great, not sure sometimes what's serious and what's not. Can you please seriously tell me what this photo is about. i am desperately looking for a volunteer (or paid) international project to do if i decide to take yet another year off. Please either post serious info or PM me.
 

premeder

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Question: would it not be easier to take the money that transports self-aggrandizing pre-meds to Zambia and use it to train locals to do the jobs volunteers do? That's what Doctors without Borders do -- they train locals to do everything except actual medicine, which is what volunteers do.

I realize that means less fodder for personal statements, but it might be a better investment.

doctors without borders could really be training locals to be the doctors staffing their clinics. unite for sight clinics are staffed by the local docs and local staff...and volunteers come to help with what they need. and its not just premeds either...

volunteers help th e eye clinics. locals are trained too and already work at the eye clinics. these eye clinics are staffed and were there long before an organization ever came to help . the clinics need more support then the trained paid staff can provide. and once staff are trained usually they dont want to stay in these poor places. they head for the capital or leave the country completely. there are few trained staff that stay. the staff that stay are already paid and at the clinics

well if youre worried about the local economy then having premed visitors spend money for food and guest houses and buying local stuff is going to help the economy.

and um they dont send premeds to zambia...

premeds pay their own way anyway. thats how it is with all volunteers in any organization. organizations dont pay for premeds to travel. that would be an irresponsible use of resources. premeds can travel to europe or to africa. in europe they can take pictures of the eiffel tower. in africa they can make a difference. premeds can choose whatever they want. i choose to travel to africa to make a difference
 

premeder

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hey there,

i read your posts often and they are great, not sure sometimes what's serious and what's not. Can you please seriously tell me what this photo is about. i am desperately looking for a volunteer (or paid) international project to do if i decide to take yet another year off. Please either post serious info or PM me.

medical tourism is people from the us who go to india to get back surgery or plastic surgery or whatever. it's a lot cheaper in india and they are tourists lying on the beach. medical tourism is not overseas volunteering.....duh. it's tourists getting medical care for themselves
 

premeder

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hey droprick

if you go with a quality organization then you dont do medical care if youre not a doctor. you bring up a good point that youve got to research what organization you go with. because if youre the one pretending to be a doc then youre ethically in big trouble. youd better make sure that youre working with medical professionals and not expected to be the medical professional because you took intro biology.

things to look for are

do you work with docs?

do you work with docs native to the country? (youd better be going with an org and working with native docs. otherwise "missionary" docs are taking away patients from the native docs and making people distrust the natives thinking that the americans are better)

do you get trained to do whatever youre going to help with?

does the org tell you what youre going to do before you go? if the org doesnt know what youre going to do now then theyre not going to know what youre going to do when you get there.

do you have to pay program fees to pay for US staff to answer your phone calls? this is a big no no to me. why are US staff being paid from your fees? that money needs to go to the patients in need. lets get rid of program fees and do donations for medical costs.

do you have to apply? if you just need to "book" your trip and dont have to apply then there is something lacking. how do they know you are going to help the local docs? they dont know anything about you. youve got to go with orgs that make you apply. then you know that you are going to be a good fit with their org

so a plug for my organization of choice that i write about time and time again. they do all of the above and more. working with them twice and again in a few months i am awestruck with how efficient and effective the organization is.

go unite for sight:love:

hey heres one of their application questions. you should watch these videos. i was in the audience at the 20 minute discussion.

""Please watch Unite For Sight's 13-Minute Ghana Film and/or 20-Minute Discussion with Indian and Ghanaian Ophthalmologists. Please discuss how one or both of these films have influenced your interest in volunteering with Unite For Sight.""
 
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Dr. Josh

medical tourism is people from the us who go to india to get back surgery or plastic surgery or whatever. it's a lot cheaper in india and they are tourists lying on the beach. medical tourism is not overseas volunteering.....duh. it's tourists getting medical care for themselves

ah, so that's what he's talking about, and here i just thought all businesses did their transactions out of India because it's cheaper. i don't think i'd ever go over there for surgery. isn't that what insurance is for?
 

premeder

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ah, so that's what he's talking about, and here i just thought all businesses did their transactions out of India because it's cheaper. i don't think i'd ever go over there for surgery. isn't that what insurance is for?

some things arent covered by insurance :oops:(

i dont know. it does seem like a big trip to just get a medical procedure. just the cost of a flight. i guess its really expensive procedures that people go to india for
 

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There are a bunch of programs. I volunteered with Israel's EMS serivce ( the Red Magen David ) for a few months.
 

lsk87

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hey, i was actually thinking about doing unite for sight! how cool! i was actually wondering how you raised the money and got all the glasses?
 

DropkickMurphy

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hey there,

i read your posts often and they are great, not sure sometimes what's serious and what's not. Can you please seriously tell me what this photo is about. i am desperately looking for a volunteer (or paid) international project to do if i decide to take yet another year off. Please either post serious info or PM me.
Do you have any medical training that would make you useful other than as a gofer? If yes, I can recommend a couple of groups that I know people who are affiliated with them. If no, may I recommend you find a free clinic in the states to become affiliated with as you will get far more out of it and learn much more.
 

DropkickMurphy

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if you go with a quality organization then you dont do medical care if youre not a doctor.

You do if you're not your average premed and have skills the doctors rely upon- i.e. respiratory care, etc. I'm going to try to head to Peru sometime within the next year or so (I was supposed to go in April but there was a scheduling conflict due to a friend's wedding) and the reason I was invited to go along was because they want an RT for post-op and emergency cases.
 

premeder

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You do if you're not your average premed and have skills the doctors rely upon- i.e. respiratory care, etc. I'm going to try to head to Peru sometime within the next year or so (I was supposed to go in April but there was a scheduling conflict due to a friend's wedding) and the reason I was invited to go along was because they want an RT for post-op and emergency cases.

are you a trained rt in the us? i hope so because otherwise its irresponsible to be an rt in peru if youre not trained to do it in the us

if you are an rt thats really good. but dont put down other people as "average premeds" because you think you have skills better than them. how do you know what skills other peopel have on this board?
 

premeder

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hey lsk

awesome!

i cant tell you what an awesome time youll have with unite for sight

fund raising and eyeglasses are really easy to do. prvail mails you a box of glasses to your doorstep. fund raising is just a matter of emailing people with your website. unite for sight makes a fund raising website for you. you dont spend more than five minutes emailing it out to people and youll reach the fund raising goal pretty soon

heres the stuff from the unite for sight website. http://uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer/faq.php
# Contact PRVAIL or an eye doctor office to request 300-500 eyeglasses that you will bring for donation to the partner eye clinic in the destination country.
# All volunteers raise at least $1,375 for Unite For Sight's international eye care programs, except fully licensed and practicing optometrists and ophthalmologists, who fund raise at least $100 for the eye care programs. Our volunteers have been very successful raising funds by asking family and friends, holding bakesales, running marathons, creating fundraising websites, and even bungee jumping! To help with fundraising efforts, Unite For Sight creates a personal donation fundraising page for all of its volunteers (Please see Example 1 and Example 2). Volunteers are usually able to fundraise the full amount within 1 month.

* Why will I be fundraising?
o The fundraising efforts of Unite For Sight's volunteers provide poor patients worldwide with free eye care and sight-restoring surgeries. Each cataract surgery costs $50 on average, so every dollar that you fundraise makes a tremendous impact on the lives of children and adults. Additionally, your fundraising efforts help to create public awareness about global eye care needs. Your pre-departure fundraising therefore allows you to make a huge impact before you even arrive in the developing country.

hey, i was actually thinking about doing unite for sight! how cool! i was actually wondering how you raised the money and got all the glasses?
 

DropkickMurphy

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I wasn't speaking strictly of the membership of SDN, but rather the "average" college student premed I've met. I know there are several RN's, at least two RT's, more than a few paramedics, at least one SLP, and a couple of PT's in the premed forums....but they are exceptions to the rule.

And yes, I'm a fully credentialed and licensed RT in the US and have been in that field since 2001. I'm also qualified as an echocardiographer and have been in EMS since 1996.
 
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premeder

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good to hear about your qualifications

but dont put down the "average" college student premed. anyone with passion and dedication can do a lot to help many people. you dont need RT licenses to be able to make a difference. so please dont discourage people from involving themselves in some way to do something good.

I wasn't speaking strictly of the membership of SDN, but rather the "average" college student premed I've met. I know there are several RN's, at least two RT's, more than a few paramedics, at least one SLP, and a couple of PT's in the premed forums....but they are exceptions to the rule.

And yes, I'm a fully credentialed and licensed RT in the US and have been in that field since 2001. I'm also qualified as an echocardiographer and have been in EMS since 1996.
 

DropkickMurphy

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anyone with passion and dedication can do a lot to help many people.

True....you can dig wells, you can run and get supplies for those of us who can actually treat patients beyond taking vitals and burying DAB's, and making sure we have coffee when we need it. :laugh: ;)

involving themselves in some way to do something good
It's not that they are involving themselves, it's that they think if they go on a medical mission they will be improving their application and therefore it is their reasons for going that I take issue with.
 

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I sense a new DKM/Genetics type of relationship here beginning to form :laugh:
 

premeder

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True....you can dig wells, you can run and get supplies for those of us who can actually treat patients beyond taking vitals and burying DAB's, and making sure we have coffee when we need it. :laugh: ;)

i have an mph and know a lot about international health. international health does not involve getting coffee for respiratory therapists. i hope you learn more when you go to peru. and i hope you dont treat people in peru like youre better than them and that they should run your errands.

It's not that they are involving themselves, it's that they think if they go on a medical mission they will be improving their application and therefore it is their reasons for going that I take issue with.

how do you know everyone's reasons? if you have friends who did something to improve their application, well thats their problem. you have made it apparant that youre going to peru for coffee breaks and the feeling of power. i think we should all take issue with your stated reasons for going.

there are a lot of med students , mph students and interns who do work abroad and they arent applying to medical school.

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DropkickMurphy

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I think so....I just get tired of the kids on here thinking they are hot **** because they went to Timbuktu and saw poor people and maybe did something that borders on healthcare. :thumbdown:
 
D

Dr. Josh

I think so....I just get tired of the kids on here thinking they are hot **** because they went to Timbuktu and saw poor people and maybe did something that borders on healthcare. :thumbdown:

maybe some of us would actually like to learn more and help out in whatever way we can. we have to start somewhere and learn and advance. i'm sure you weren't born with your rt certification nor your experience and training in electrocardiography or whatever it is. Please be a bit more humble and not put down those of us looking for experience and for the opportunity to help out others.
 

premeder

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i agree:thumbup:

you need think about what skills youve got and how you can help. and youd better have right intentions. no one should go because they want to take pictures and improve their application. its hard living in developing world conditions. if theyre going for the wrong reasons theyre going to have a rough time. because youre not just going to be sitting at the pool and then going outside to take some pictures.

well that brings us back to why youve got to find responsible orgs where youve got to go through a lot in order to even go. like send an application and not just book a trip and pay money. those organizations that do that are irresponsible and are promoting a totally inappropriate view of volunteering.

unite for sight :love: makes you apply so they know youre going to have the right attitude. and youve got to do training before you go. i highl recommend unite for sight. if you go with another organization youve got to do your research and be assured that they are responsible and that youre really going to be helping. otherwise theyre eating your money and sitting back laughing. unite for sight doesnt make you pay program fees for their staff salaries. i think thats how all orgs should be. the money need to go to the people living in poverty

I think so....I just get tired of the kids on here thinking they are hot **** because they went to Timbuktu and saw poor people and maybe did something that borders on healthcare. :thumbdown:

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Dr. Josh

i agree:thumbup:

you need think about what skills youve got and how you can help. and youd better have right intentions. no one should go because they want to take pictures and improve their application. its hard living in developing world conditions. if theyre going for the wrong reasons theyre going to have a rough time. because youre not just going to be sitting at the pool and then going outside to take some pictures.

well that brings us back to why youve got to find responsible orgs where youve got to go through a lot in order to even go. like send an application and not just book a trip and pay money. those organizations that do that are irresponsible and are promoting a totally inappropriate view of volunteering.


what's all this business about taking pictures?

and that's why i keep asking; i want legitimate organizations who actually need help and do good for underserved or needy people.
 
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premeder

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what's all this business about taking pictures?

and that's why i keep asking; i want legitimate organizations who actually need help and do good for underserved or needy people.

hey dr josh, DropkickMurphy posted that dumb picture to show that people go overseas to take pictures to show on their application. thats a small group of people who have these romantic ideas that they can go abroad and take pictures so they get into medical school. there are nonlegitimate organizations where you do that. you book a trip and go for 5 days to do nothing but pay money to the staff. theyre tourist businesses. its sad stuff

hey dr josh im happy that you are wanting a legitimate org where you actually help. the best organization is unite for sight. go to http://www.uniteforsight.org/intl_volunteer

its awesome awesome and youre totally needed by the docs you work with. you make a big difference

i think ive become the spokesperson for unite for sight on sdn. send me questions if youve got any.

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DropkickMurphy

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maybe some of us would actually like to learn more and help out in whatever way we can. we have to start somewhere and learn and advance.

So basically it is basically what was portrayed in the picture I posted previously. How about actually going to school for an allied healthcare profession if you're so eager to learn, rather than learning something you would not be able to use once you get back in the states after your vacation is over? Good thinking there chief. :thumbup: :laugh: ;)

Inky_disco.jpg


Please be a bit more humble and not put down those of us looking for experience and for the opportunity to help out others

Can you kindly stop stroking yourself while posting? I know you think it makes it appear bigger and closer to the lower end of the normal size range, just like you think going overseas make your application look more like you have altruistic reasoning for your desire to go to medical school, but it's apparently diverting too much of the bloodflow from your brain where it is needed.
dancehall_goldfish.jpg
 

DropkickMurphy

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what's all this business about taking pictures?

There are several threads on SDN in which pics have been posted of peoples' overseas experiences.

and that's why i keep asking; i want legitimate organizations who actually need help and do good for underserved or needy people
Then why do you have to go overseas? We have more than sufficient numbers of those here. Is there something about having to get a stamp on your passport and enduring a transoceanic flight that makes it more meaningful? :laugh:
 

DropkickMurphy

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there are 6 billion people on earth. theyre all humans. we should help everyone we can.

True......basic rule of triage: greatest good for the greatest number. Imagine how many people you can help in the time a premed spends flying from America to Bangothedrumsofdarknessia Africa! ;)
 

premeder

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imagine how many people you could help instead of adding "funny" lines to photos with photoshop

True......basic rule of triage: greatest good for the greatest number. Imagine how many people you can help in the time one spends flying from America to Bangothedrumsofdarknessia Africa! ;)

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DropkickMurphy

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imagine how many people you could help instead of adding "funny" lines to photos with photoshop
Imagine I'm passing my time while on call for a fire department *gasp!* and I don't make the pics myself.

BTW, when was the last time you treated a patient? The last time you intubated someone? Last time you did CPR? Last time you delivered a baby? Defibrillated someone? Had a doctor ask you what "we" should do to keep a patient alive? As a matter of fact....when was the last time you put yourself as serious risk to help your fellow man?
 

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Honestly, donate the money you were going to spend on your premed "vacation" and give it to a local free clinic or to a physician's group that goes on these trips. They can make a real difference, you can't since you don't have the medical training yet. All pre-meds are going to do is attempt to practice medicine without a license. Instead, try volunteering in your own community.
 

DropkickMurphy

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Honestly, donate the money you were going to spend on your premed "vacation" and give it to a local free clinic or to a physician's group that goes on these trips. They can make a real difference, you can't since you don't have the medical training yet. All pre-meds are going to do is attempt to practice medicine without a license. Instead, try volunteering in your own community.
:thumbup:
 

premeder

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Honestly, donate the money you were going to spend on your premed "vacation" and give it to a local free clinic or to a physician's group that goes on these trips. They can make a real difference, you can't since you don't have the medical training yet. All pre-meds are going to do is attempt to practice medicine without a license. Instead, try volunteering in your own community.

thats not true at all if you go with a responsible and legitimate organization.

volunteering is not a vacation. if its a relaxing vacation then youre not working hard or going with a good organization
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DropkickMurphy

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Swing and a miss.......

LifetimeDoc is pointing out that for the cost of the plane ticket alone you could fund several dozen surgeries (I believe you said that it's about $50 per procedure correct?)

I can't find ticket prices for Ghana, but to go to India (the other place your group operates in), it's between $1071 and $4330 for me to get a plane ticket from either of the two closest international airports. That's between 21 and 86 procedures you could fund just for the amount of money you're spending on your tickets.
 

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I wasn't speaking strictly of the membership of SDN, but rather the "average" college student premed I've met. I know there are several RN's, at least two RT's, more than a few paramedics, at least one SLP, and a couple of PT's in the premed forums....but they are exceptions to the rule.

And yes, I'm a fully credentialed and licensed RT in the US and have been in that field since 2001. I'm also qualified as an echocardiographer and have been in EMS since 1996.

Greetings Dropkick:

I hate to interrupt this battle about pre-meds going to Africa (I have an opinion about that, but lets save it for another post), but I noticed that you really want to go to Lima and use your RT skills and I am aware of your neonatal skills and interest.:D

So, lets merge these and give you something really great to write about on SDN instead of having this useless battle.

In Lima, there is an incredible hospital, nicknamed "La Maternidad", more formally known as the "Instituto Nacional Materno Perinatal"

http://www.iemp.gob.pe/

They deliver a lot of babies each year and I do mean a lot....Most of them the highest risk babies in all of Peru.

How do I know this? Well, about twice a year for the last 6 years I've gone there to teach neonatology including neonatal respiratory management. I have pictures to prove it but won't post them here. :D

I happen to know that they would benefit from more formal training in neonatal respiratory management such as a well-trained group of RT's from the US could provide. For example, the use of sIMV, pressure support, tidal-volume ventilation, etc. They have a reasonable supply of half-way decent neonatal ventilators there although they could use more that do some of these new modes of ventilation.

There are several other hospitals in Lima that are part of the "social security" system that have advanced ventilatory capacity in neonatology that I'm sure would similarly benefit.

So, why not get together some of your amigos, preferably including one who "habla Espanol" a poco and do some real good! If you can bring along some equipment (even neonatal ambu bags, old pulse ox's, etc are always useful), then all the better. I'll give you the contacts if you can find the route there.

Wouldn't that be more fun to write about than this endless useless discussion? And it would definitely make for a great pre-med essay!

Regards

OBP
 

DropkickMurphy

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Greetings Dropkick:

I hate to interrupt this battle about pre-meds going to Africa (I have an opinion about that, but lets save it for another post), but I noticed that you really want to go to Lima and use your RT skills and I am aware of your neonatal skills and interest.:D

So, lets merge these and give you something really great to write about on SDN instead of having this useless battle.

In Lima, there is an incredible hospital, nicknamed "La Maternidad", more formally known as the "Institute Nacional Materno Perinatal"

http://www.iemp.gob.pe/

They deliver a lot of babies each year and I do mean a lot....Most of them the highest risk babies in all of Peru.

How do I know this? Well, about twice a year for the last 6 years I've gone there to teach neonatology including neonatal respiratory management. I have pictures to prove it but won't post them here. :D

I happen to know that they would benefit from more formal training in neonatal respiratory management such as a well-trained group of RT's from the US could provide. For example, the use of sIMV, pressure support, tidal-volume ventilation, etc. They have a reasonable supply of half-way decent neonatal ventilators there although they could use more that do some of these new modes of ventilation.

There are several other hospitals in Lima that are part of the "social security" system that have advanced ventilatory capacity in neonatology that I'm sure would similarly benefit.

So, why not get together some of your amigos, preferably including one who "habla Espanol" a poco and do some real good! If you can bring along some equipment (even neonatal ambu bags, old pulse ox's, etc are always useful), then all the better. I'll give you the contacts if you can find the route there.

Wouldn't that be more fun to write about than this endless useless discussion? And it would definitely make for a great pre-med essay!

Regards

OBP
I'll PM you.
 

Karina 07

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I've got to agree, you're becoming a little annoying, premeder. I liked hearing of unite for sight at first. Now I'm getting my doubts. Quit while you're ahead, you're not helping your case right now.
 

premeder

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I've got to agree, you're becoming a little annoying, premeder. I liked hearing of unite for sight at first.

well sorry to know that you find me a little annoying. i get lots of pms from people thanking me for posting and asking more questions about my abroad experience. i just got 3 pms in the last hour. this means that people interested in volunteering want to hear about awesome organizations

every week there is a new thread with the same question about volunteering trips abroad. there are thousands of people who read these boards but every person doesnt see every thread. the people who didnt see the thread a week ago are on here now and asking the same question that someone asked a week ago. its always the same starting question. 'what are good volunteering trips abroad?' so i answer and answer again the nex week and again the week after. its always weekends when people have time to think about what theyre doing in the summer. the same question again and again. so you see the same answer again and again.

i think a way to solve this is to make a sticky or something with a list of volunteering abroad trips so we dont see the same question every week. thats the only reason you keep seeing me saying the same thing. its because you read the threads every week but the people who started the thread never saw my other answers. i guess thats the inherent problem of a message board. every week the same questions are posted with the same answers.

how many depressing threads have i seen about sdners arrested for dui? the same questions and answers every week. week after week. the weird thing is that all i see is sympathy for the people who choose to drink and drive and risk killing people. but when meeft asked a legitimate question all you get is people jumping at the chance to bash him saying that all he wanted was to take pictures. i think thats what people should find annoying. why is it that people give sympathy to people breaking the law to drink and drive but discourage volunteering and criticize someone asking for advice about volunteering? i think we should all find this disturbing.

why cant everyone just get along
 
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