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Medical Mission Trips, Help!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by benfolds21, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. benfolds21

    benfolds21 Senior Member
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    So I am graduating in a few weeks and I would LOVE to devote some of my next few months to a service project. Any recommend anything? I would love to do some HIV/AIDS mission work in Africa but I don't want to spend alot of money.

    Any thoughts/recommendations on cheap mission trips?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. DropkickMurphy

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    I'd recommend some more originality, just for the sake of your application. :thumbup: But honestly just do whatever feels best to you. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
     
  4. benfolds21

    benfolds21 Senior Member
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    O...i am in med school so it really doesn't matter. I just want to do it out of the "kindness of my heart"...
     
  5. MedicineBird

    MedicineBird Senior Member
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    kindness begins at home. You don't need to fly to another continent to find people in need. :thumbup:
     
  6. DropkickMurphy

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    Exactly. We have plenty of junkies, crackheads and prostitutes with AIDS you can render care to right here in the US.
     
  7. I have been accepted and now looking to do something similar. Any recommendations?

    To those that replied earlier...I know US has its share of problems (I see it everyday...). But I would love to travel international and hence I am looking for a medical mission trip.

    Any suggestions will be helpful.
     
  8. jammin06

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    www.idealist.org --------> the unofficial holy grail of all possible volunteer opportunities. I worked with a group in Kenya this past summer. www.volunteerkenya.org. PM me if u have questions
     
  9. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I'm pretty sure the OP wasn't asking for a lecture. I'd like to leave the country some time and do medical missions work (when I actually have an MD and would be useful :p). I don't see the problem in going elsewhere - it's no better or worse than doing it here, but some people (including myself) would like to see other parts of the world at some point in their life.
     
  10. jammin06

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    this is actually very true. Obviously, the more you know, the more you can offer. But, that being said, there's still a lot of places that need help that don't require the knowledge of a physician.
     
  11. cHocoBo 118

    cHocoBo 118 Senior Member
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    the way I see it is homeless and crackheads here in the US have the option to go see physicians in various free clinics... and for life-threatening situations, they can always go to a county hospital. From what I know (pretty little), county hospitals can not turn down anyone in the ER (correct me if i'm wrong).

    To the contrary, many people in developing countries have absolutely no options to see physicains or anyone for that matter that is willing to provide any medical care. From my last medical mission trip, it was the first time the natives had EVER seen a physician in their life. Not only that but the people (at least the ones i have encountered) overseas are so much more grateful for the little you do for them, making the entire experience much nicer.

    please dont take this the wrong way in that homeless people and drugees here dont need any help. These clinics are vastly understaffed from waht I know and could use all the help they can receive. But this is just my personal opinion of why I would choose to go overseas if I had the free time to help out where I can.
     
  12. dr4ku

    dr4ku Member
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    Get a hold of the director for international medicine/missions/or whatever their title is at the school u will be attending. They have one and sounds like you will get to know them anyway. They are usually super nice and willing to sit down and go over options. They will give you a plethora of info, contacts, fundraising opportunties, etc.

    Or, find a church. If large enough, they will have docs doing missions to Africa or South America or Mexico or somewhere really cool. I did a mission to Africa with a group from my church and it wil change you and you will help. it will be scary and cool to do things you really shouldn't/couldn't do in the U.S.

    Mk3:34
     
  13. MedicineBird

    MedicineBird Senior Member
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    PROWLER: FYI I wasn't lecturing -- just pointing out that there's a lot the OP could do in the states if going out of the country wasn't plausible. He said he doesn't want to spend a lot of money.

    I'm taken aback by some of the comments here. Not everyone w/HIV is a junkie or homeless. Way to be a naive future doc, kids. :rolleyes:

    DR4KU: great suggestions! :thumbup: We have a few programs at my school - we go to Ghana, Peru, and Ecuador.
     
  14. dasta

    dasta Member
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    Where do you live? If you live near within a few hours of the border or closer, perhaps you can just go over there to do work.

    I work with an NGO that does medical missionary work in Mexico. Living in this U.S. "border city" allows me to go across to do medical work on the weekends, but also allows me to continue taking my prereqs for med school here in the U.S., since my original prereqs are low (B's and C's) and out of date.

    What about the "Good Samaritans" groups?

    Or, if you can't go abroad to help others, have them come to you: i.e. work with ex-patriate refugees here in the U.S.

    Try: www.craigslist.org or www.idealist.org, or do a www.Dogpile.com metasearch for "medical missions volunteer"
     
  15. benfolds21

    benfolds21 Senior Member
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    hey dasta

    thanks for the advice. I have done work with ex-refugees in Pittsburgh (thats where I am now) known as "the lost boys of sudan". I even traveled to their refugee camp for a while to deliver messages.

    I am looking for something in South Africa preferably.

    I will keep my eyes open but I DEFINITELY can't spend lots of money.
     
  16. DropkickMurphy

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    By the way, I'm no naive kid. I've probably had more health care experience than most people here. I do realize that not all HIV patients are homeless or junkies (but those groups experience infection at much higher rates than the general population).

    In fact one of my former EMT coworkers is positive as a matter of fact (he got it from a former boyfriend), so I am pointedly aware of the universal nature of the risk. But at the same time, I was trying to make a point that these groups (junkies, crackheads and prostitutes) are often in similar economic straights as HIV patients in other nations.

    I don't see why premeds seem hell bent on taking their time and efforts overseas, when we have so many persons here in the US that are in need of care that we can assist in providing. Is it some desire to give the appearance of going the extra mile (frequent flier mile?) to the ADCOM's? I think it is.

    Some like to write it off as "just wanting to see other countries" but I believe (as a well traveled- 20+ countries at last count- person) that there are far better ways to fully experience other countries than "medical tourism".
     
  17. beavers03

    beavers03 Junior Member
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    I've been looking for free clinics around where I live. Most of the local ones I've found already have plenty of volunteers. One even has a waiting list of over 100 people. It's wonderful that these organizations have more volunteers than they can handle.
     
  18. DropkickMurphy

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    :thumbup: That's good to hear. Very few of the clinics or other outreach programs around here are able to find enough volunteers. :( I think this is probably closer to reality in many places, unfortunately.
     
  19. MedicineBird

    MedicineBird Senior Member
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    GREAT catch phrase! :thumbup: I really like it.
     
  20. DropkickMurphy

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    Sadly, I can not take credit for it. But it is an apt description of many of the "activities" people take part in overseas in an attempt to pad their applications.
     
  21. MedicineBird

    MedicineBird Senior Member
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    well I'll give you credit in my book. It was apt usage. I love a good wordsmith. so hot :love: :laugh:
     
  22. DropkickMurphy

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    I'm hot, eh? :laugh: My fiancee will be glad to hear that. :smuggrin:
     
  23. MedicineBird

    MedicineBird Senior Member
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    She'll value you more. It's all about the demand for a monopolized product, baby! ;)
     
  24. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    Got that right!! :laugh: :laugh: MB
     
  25. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    I don't know if you are interested in a Christian medical team, but there is a team leaving for Awassa, Ethiopia on Jan 28 for 2 weeks. It is through the Global Health Organization ala the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. Info for the trip and others can be found at:

    CMDA-GHO Ethiopia Team

    I served as an EMT with Dr. Molind (this team's leader) in Inner Mongolia, China last summer. It was a good experience.

    I hope you find something you like. Good luck!
     
  26. This seems like very credible source....but, what about the cost? Is this the norm? Or is there something cheaper? (I need to save every penny possible).

    fyi....I did look at the trips to other nations on this site that were reletively cheaper.

    Any other sites or organizations?

    Thanks
     
  27. DropkickMurphy

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    Any suggestions for those of our colleagues who are atheists or severe agnostics? It seems that the religious groups have a major portion of the market share and some might be repelled by the mandate to go along with a group sponsored by a religion with which they at very least have no affiliation or at worst strongly disagree with their stances.
     
  28. ms1finally

    ms1finally Senior Member
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    I would look for some research money if you can, or try to find an academic program. I went through my university. We did stay in a mission house and we all attended prayer in the morning and church on Sundays, but it wasn't a requirement.
     
  29. DropkickMurphy

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    I'm trying to find a way to get myself to the Himalayas to do high altitude research. It's an excuse to combine an area of medical interest to me (environmental medicine) and the chance to do some really great climbing. Granted it has nothing to do with the natives- since they have a resistance to the conditions which interest me- but I hope to find some source of funding for it.
     
  30. uniteforsight

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  31. Vista04

    Vista04 Member
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    BenFolds21, if you're looking to work with HIV/AIDS patients in Africa, you mentioned South Africa, I suggest researching any hospital in the area you wish to travel and seeing if they'll accept volunteers. I have seen this work out for a friend of mine.

    The other option that I know works is to just take a chance and travel to the country you would like to go to and show up at the hospital and ask to speak to an administrator. Tell them you are interested in volunteering, particularly in infectious disease and that you are trying to go to medical school in the future. You would be amazed at the opportunities you can create once you are in country. I know this sounds risky, but it can work if you're flexible and willing to seek out your own experience.
     

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