Doctors without borders and others

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bruinmojo, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. bruinmojo

    bruinmojo Senior Member

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    Recently,

    I've been wondering about the great experiences one would have as a physician going to places where basic health needs have not been met.

    At times, I feel it might be a depressive one, especially when you're there and realize that there are other problems, not health related which will always curse these people's lives (from government, to just horrible living conditions).

    I guess you would also be able to fulfill one of your basic duties as a physican: treating and curing the very needy. However, I'm trying to figure out when would you have time to be able to participate in such things? Right after you graduate from medical school, would you able to get some kind of "leave" from the hospital you're working at to do such a thing? Or will doctors who work at a private level, which have control over their own hours, be the only ones that would be possible candidates.

    If any of you have any input, i'd like to hear it

    :)
     
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  3. pbehzad

    pbehzad Faddayy

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    my best friends dad is an ophthalmologist and often goes to baja,mexico, and also went to china last summer. he is private practice, but he does go on these medical missions (no religious connection) at least once a year. when he goes to mexico, he flied down with a lot of other dr.s in other fields which im assuming are also private practice. im sure physicians in clinics can also go to other countries and help the less fortunate.
    hope that helps.
     
  4. Cydney Foote

    Cydney Foote Senior Member

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    Doctors Without Borders is an awesome group! A friend of mine has gone on several assignments to Latin America and has found it incredibly rewarding. He believe he did it for the first 9 months after residency (they require a 6-9 month commitment for your first volunteer experience). After that, you can do shorter assignments. He's in a private medical group now and spends some of his vacation time each year as a volunteer.

    I do think it could take its toll mentally and emotionally in that you can't make the sort of substantive changes that many of these populations need. I think that's one reason why the first time you have to commit a longer period -- it's easier to see changes during this time than just over a weekend. But my friend has shared some of the most amazing stories about his travels, and I know he feels like he is benefitting from it every bit as much as he is benefitting others.

    If you feel motivated, I hope you do it. I believe it does make a difference.
     
  5. none

    none 1K Member

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    You could always just set up a practice is an underserved area of the U.S. and you might make enough to stay there full time. Then there wouldn't be a time issue.
     
  6. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    Since when is it a "basic duty" of a physician to be a missionary? :rolleyes:

    I think Doctors without borders is a great bunch of people and I hope to join them someday... but don't be telling be it's a "duty" like it's something I have to do... that takes all the fun out of it. :(
     
  7. exigente chica

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    Doctors Without borders rock! Also check out Medical missions. They have some programs where they accept undergrads as well as people in all years of med school. The trips are usually from one week or can last for a whole summer. They are very expensive, but very worth it:love: They have specail weekend juants for busy doctors.
    I am going on a trip in March. I wil tell you how it went. I plan on going on a trip or two each year!

    pm me for me info.
     
  8. bruinmojo

    bruinmojo Senior Member

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    I guess I didnt mean that it is a written duty of a physician to become a missionary, but it's just those general pictures you have of that doctor treating a patient who would have been very sick, even fatally, if he wasnt around to save him/her.

    hey exigente chica, it does all sound very interesting. Let me know how it goes, I'm very interested in knowing.

    thanks
     
  9. julez

    julez New Member

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    Hey, regarding that medical missions......how could i get involved in that? do they do them everywhere? i really wanna go to africa for a few months and do some work wit a doctor....u think this could be a good opportunity???? let me know!
    thanks!
     
  10. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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  11. kerplunk112

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    does mentioning that you want to do doctors w/o border during your interview hurt you....in that sense that i get the feeling in texas many schools want you to stay here and serve the underprivilged community instead. what about out of state.

    b/c honestly while my current amount of volunteering work doesnt reflect my desire to do something like that...i think it would be an awsome opportunity to practice a differ type of medicine while helped ppl who truely need it.
     
  12. SpeakLittleB

    SpeakLittleB Member

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    I just got back this week from a medical service trip in Africa. You should try www.volunteerkenya.org. It's an NGO with ties to some American organizations, but it's amazing because it is completely run on volunteer fundraising and participation. You can spend an amount of time that you decide, so you won't need to take out a year or so just to do a trip. The director of the organization is so welcoming, and can set you up with shadowing experiences if you just ask. I personally found serving in mobile clinics really rewarding... actually got to take part in diagnosis and treatment plans... for these people that have just about every disease imaginable. It's really eye-opening, not to mention extremely rewarding. Feel free to PM me w/any questions.
     
  13. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    it must be hard to do doctors without borders if you are married or haev a family. Id like to do it one day, but 6-9 months away from your family must be excruciatingly difficult. Especially if you are surrounded by disparity and poverty while your own personal comfort lies thousands of miles away. Props to those who make such a selfless sacrifice.
     
  14. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    You might want to keep it a bit more general in interviews. Folks always seem to bring up Doctors Without Borders, but they're only one of LOTS of great groups out there for which doctors can volunteer.

    Talking up volunteering to the needy abroad? Great. But there's CARE, CRS, and dozens of other great groups that just don't get the sexy press that MSF gets.

    MSF is to international medical development work as burritos are to Mexican food. Great and all, but there's a lot more out there.
     
  15. NapeSpikes

    NapeSpikes Believe, hon.

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    Logistical question--how do young physicians pay their med school loans while they're doing these programs? Excused for economic hardship?
     
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  17. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    I don't know about all the programs, but for Doctors without Borders, they'll write a letter of support for loan deferrment. Not sure how much good that actually does though.

    Also, for Doctors without Borders, they pay you about $1,000 per month (in addition to living expenses) so with some frugal living for a while before your contract, you should be able to float them, no?
     

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