SensesFail

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I'm thinking about volunteering internationally this summer. Does anyone know of any reputable volunteer organizations that do these sorts of things? And, if applicable, could you describe your personal experience volunteering abroad.

Also, I'm re-writing the MCAT this August so I'd only be able to go for about a month and be back to start studying by June 1st at the latest. Do you think it's a good idea? Or am I trying to squeeze too much into one summer?

Thanks in advance
 

dopaminophile

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SensesFail said:
I'm thinking about volunteering internationally this summer. Does anyone know of any reputable volunteer organizations that do these sorts of things? And, if applicable, could you describe your personal experience volunteering abroad.

Also, I'm re-writing the MCAT this August so I'd only be able to go for about a month and be back to start studying by June 1st at the latest. Do you think it's a good idea? Or am I trying to squeeze too much into one summer?

Thanks in advance
Go to www.imva.org. It's a very comprehensive website with about every combination and permutation of medical volunteer organization. Write to the given contacts of a few of them and see what interests you and if you fit their needs.

My advice is to take the MCAT in April. For your application, it will put you into the adcoms offices a few very important months earlier and you won't have to be worrying about the MCAT over the summer or while you're overseas. That way, while you're overseas, you can write a few drafts of your personal statement while the critical memories are still fresh in your head. Polish off the PS when you get back in June and fire off the AMCAS by July. Then you have the rest of the summer to do secondaries and prepare for interviews.

There are quite a few threads on this topic. Do a search and you'll get a lot more information than waiting for us to respond.

cheers and good luck,

-dope-
 

bbaek

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dopaminophile said:
Go to www.imva.org. It's a very comprehensive website with about every combination and permutation of medical volunteer organization. Write to the given contacts of a few of them and see what interests you and if you fit their needs.

My advice is to take the MCAT in April. For your application, it will put you into the adcoms offices a few very important months earlier and you won't have to be worrying about the MCAT over the summer or while you're overseas. That way, while you're overseas, you can write a few drafts of your personal statement while the critical memories are still fresh in your head. Polish off the PS when you get back in June and fire off the AMCAS by July. Then you have the rest of the summer to do secondaries and prepare for interviews.

There are quite a few threads on this topic. Do a search and you'll get a lot more information than waiting for us to respond.

cheers and good luck,

-dope-
since i'm booked in the summer with summer school, would you know any presitigous and/or respectable international organizations that offer short term (possibly 1-2 weeks) of volunteer service in a underdeveloped country during the winter break or spring break? this is keeping in mind that i am a 2nd year undergrad student with no speciality or technical skills. and as i am looking around, these organizations are looking for doctors, med students, and technicians. but there must be one's that allow undergrads to go, right?

thanks anyone who can reply to this!!
 

dopaminophile

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Go to that website. It tells you briefly about the organization, the types of people they are looking for, how long you can go, and just about everything you need. Almost all have email addresses and the types of things you're looking for have websites. There are a lot out there that take people with no training and have varying amounts of structure. I can't tell you what you're looking for or where you want to go. You have to take an afternoon and thoroughly go through that list and identify programs that fit you with the amount of structure that you want.

I didn't go through an organized "trip" at all. I just wrote the director of a clinic and asked if I could come. At the time I didn't have any training either and I was up front about that. He was more than enthusiastic and said "just come, I look forward to seeing you." I made all my own arrangements and showed up there a few months later. However you decide to do it, it'll be a trip of a lifetime. I'm going back again this summer before I start med school.
 

CocoMD

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i can personally recommend Global Medical Training: www.gmtonline.org
they have trips set up throughout the year for about that length of time.
 

shantster

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bbaek said:
since i'm booked in the summer with summer school, would you know any presitigous and/or respectable international organizations that offer short term (possibly 1-2 weeks) of volunteer service in a underdeveloped country during the winter break or spring break? this is keeping in mind that i am a 2nd year undergrad student with no speciality or technical skills. and as i am looking around, these organizations are looking for doctors, med students, and technicians. but there must be one's that allow undergrads to go, right?

thanks anyone who can reply to this!!
I am going to Costa Rica and Nicaragua this Spring Break (2 weeks) through International Service Learning (islonline.org). The trip is just under $2000 but that includes all travel expenses with only 2 meals a day. I'm leaving this Friday night and I could give you more information when I return.
 

mango6110

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for those looking for one-two week experiences, you can do work camps which cost like 300 dollars plus airfare....go to www.vfp.org or www.ciee.org

I went to Kenya for a 7 week program through Operations Crossroads Africa, I really recommend the program and had an amazing experience....I got a lot of hands on experience in a rural village....it cost 3500 total including airfar
 

Skeptrix

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i was just wondering in response to this thread, does having a knowledge of a certain language (i.e. Spanish) required?? also, as far as clinical work goes, do we have to know to do clinical procedures (i.e. history, take BP, etc..) or will they train us to do so there?

thanks ^__^
 

dopaminophile

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Skeptrix said:
i was just wondering in response to this thread, does having a knowledge of a certain language (i.e. Spanish) required?? also, as far as clinical work goes, do we have to know to do clinical procedures (i.e. history, take BP, etc..) or will they train us to do so there?

thanks ^__^
These are all things that you would have to ask the contact people for whatever organizations you are interested in. Go to www.imva.org. They that information on thier list as well. It is really well done.

Some require you to know the local language, others operate in English and expect you to pick up some of the language by immersion.

As far as clinical procedures go, some organizations have strict rules, others will let you do anything that you're comfortable with. Remember, though, that your patients aren't there for you to play doctor. A lot of untrained volunteers are tempted to do things they have no business trying because there is little or no oversight. Be adventurous, test your own boundaries, but don't put your patients to unnecessary risk. I saw some pre-meds with no training do some really stupid stuff to good people that didn't need it done. Just use your head.

Happy hunting and all the best.

-dope-