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The Doctor Student

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I am wondering if you are aware of any volunteer or paid programs that allow you to travel outside the US and gain experience working in a healthcare setting.

(Some background if you are wondering):​

This question comes as I am about to graduate undergrad and have never had the opportunity to study abroad (causing me to have a serious travel bug after hearing about all of my friends' "life-changing" experiences in other countries); as well as a need for patient contact hours, which will serve me irrespective of which healthcare profession I end up choosing. I do not hold any noteworthy certifications, but have spent significant time working in a sports rehab facility and recently volunteering in a hospital emergency dept.​



I have found this website but it is a little pricey for just a couple weeks, and doesn't include airfare.
http://www.goabroad.com/volunteer-abroad/search/medicine/volunteer-abroad-1

I would prefer an experience similar to WWOOF (an almost nomadic, organic farming initiative <-- note that nutrition is by FAR my biggest interest in medicine), only if it were to somehow include patient work as well. See link here: http://www.wwoof.net/

So what do you think? Do you know of anything that might satisfy a desire for travel, patient contact, and possibly nutrition?

Thanks for your help! Happy to clarify
 
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The Doctor Student

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Reading that article gave me some perspective, so thank you.

I've come across that headline before actually, and agree with much of its sentiment.
I should be clear though: I understand I can't contribute much with the training I currently have, but in NO WAY would I enroll in a program that puts an extra burden on an already distressed community/does more harm than good. I will now be sure to research whatever organizations I find on their local impact, on top of the experience I can expect on my end.

With these considerations in mind, my original question still stands. Are you aware of any experiences that will allow me to (goal #1) travel, while also (goal #2) doing something medically inclined?
 

TallPreMed

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No. Refer to the entire thread I posted, not just the article.
 
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The Doctor Student

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No first hand experience, but I have had Pop Wuj recommended to me.
Apparently there are medical students who take the same trip.

http://www.pop-wuj.org/medical-spanish/medical-spanish.html


Great find @BluMist. Thank you. This is the sort of thing I'm looking for. Again, not cheap, but their mission does seem to have the right focus. I'll have to look into this some more. My spanish is only so-so, but second to english it's the only language I know.

@TallPreMed, I took the time to read through the thread. Lots of different perspectives to draw from. I'm not sure if you meant to dissuade me from going on such a trip, but I now see that all programs are not created equal...and it takes intention to weed through the lot. Thank you to @babybluepremed and @mehc012 in particular for sharing your experiences.


Global Brigades seems legit, but my school does not have a chapter established and I only have one semester left before I graduate. I have still contacted a company rep. to see what's possible in that timeframe.

@mehc012 — is the Pop Wuj program one that you have heard of? I'm curious to know what others you came across before landing on the one in Guatemala you spoke about. You and I share a very similar mindset in approaching this type of experience, even if your spanish is probably worlds ahead of mine (elementary).
 
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