Hands-On Medical Volunteer Abroad Experience
Are you a doctor, a medical student, a nurse, or a health care professional? Are you looking for a real hands-on medical volunteer abroad opportunity, where you will serve impoverished communities and will share your passion for and expertise in healthcare?
Then, look no further. Unlike other medical volunteer abroad programs where you only shadow local doctors, with Global Crossroad’s hands on medical volunteer program, you will have ample opportunities to get involved directly with the treatment of local patients.
Global Crossroad’s hands-on medical volunteer overseas programs are part of exceptional initiatives around the world that work to provide healthcare services to people in places where they might not have the means to access the care that they need and deserve otherwise.
As part of one of Global Crossroad's hands-on medical volunteer abroad opportunities, you will work to provide comprehensive healthcare services to those who are struggling. Your commitment to one of these hands-on healthcare volunteer abroad programs has the power to change and improve lives!
Available Hands-On Medical Volunteer Abroad Programs
Why Choose a Hands-On Medical Volunteer Abroad Experience?
In many developing countries such as Nepal, India, Ghana, Kenya, Peru, Guatemala, and Sri Lanka millions of people are living below the poverty line. They are so destitute that they struggle with the basic needs of daily life such as food, shelter, clothing, and even medical care.
As a result, millions of people suffer from different kinds of aliments and diseases, along with malnutrition. Sadly, many of these people die every year from treatable diseases and conditions. Unfortunately, the governments of these third world countries do not have enough resources or programs to help so many impoverished people.
Everyone deserves to receive basic healthcare. Global Crossroad's hands-on medical volunteer overseas programs aim to help provide that care. While you are working alongside likeminded volunteers and medical professionals, you will be gaining valuable hands-on medical experience in a number of different fields and situations. This experience will be great for your resume and/or medical career. Your compassion, energy, skills, and devotion to one of Global Crossroad's hands-on healthcare volunteer abroad programs will vastly improve the lives of people who are suffering. This is your chance to make a grand difference in the lives of others while also having a culturally eye-opening, heart growing, and educational experience overseas.
Currently, we offer international medical camps in Nepal, India, Ghana, Kenya, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. We are mostly working in rural villages, slums, nursing homes, orphanages, schools, and local community centers.
Global Crossroad's international medical camps are always led by a local doctor(s). A local doctor(s) will be your team leader throughout the project duration.
The main responsibilities of the local team leader is to coordinate the camp, to help you understand the local health issues, and to supervise or guide you throughout the program so that you can use your experience/expertise efficiently to serve those in need.
The local team leader will be your main professional point of contact and will be there to help you throughout your project. Your team leader will be a highly qualified medical professional. Depending on the number of volunteers, there might be more than one doctor. Local translators and nurses will also be working with you and your team leader in the camp.
Global Crossroad's hands-on medical volunteer overseas programs are typically one to two weeks long. Medical camp itineraries will vary depending on the country, community and local needs, and the interest of individuals and the group. However, every program follows the same basic structure and is made up of three distinct parts: orientation, volunteering, and free time.
Day 1: Orientation
One the first day of the program, the team leader will give you a thorough orientation of your medical volunteer abroad program. The orientation begins with an introduction to the country, which includes its culture, history, geography, politics, people and related issues.
Then, you will receive all pertinent information regarding our specific medical camp program, including the camp goals, location, common health issues, daily activities, your responsibilities, safety guidelines, rules, your accommodations, meals, and transportation.
During orientation, there will be a question and answer session and an explanation of the daily itinerary. The orientation will provide you with all of the information that you need in order to best serve the local communities and have a great medical volunteer abroad experience.
Time permitted, you will also visit the site of the camp and meet the local people and leaders. You may even be lucky enough to start working on your first day!
Day 2-5: Hands-On Medical Volunteer Abroad Experience
You will eat breakfast around 7 am and depart shortly after to start working on the project. You should arrive before 8 am.
8 - 9 am: Set Up
When you arrive at the camp, your first task will be to set up for the day. You will make sure that everything is properly set up in order to run the camp effectively. The set-up activities will vary and may include cleaning, organizing supplies, setting up the check-in and check-out desks.
9–1 pm: Medical Tasks and Check-Ups
Your hands on medical volunteering work will start around 9 am when local people start to arrive at the camp. The camp will be set up in rural villages and communities, slum areas, orphanages, public schools, old houses, local churches and local clubs. Prior to the start of the camp, we will inform the local community. Therefore, it is expected that local people will start heading to the camp after 8:30 am.
You will be extremely busy treating local people and helping out with many different tasks. Working with and for local people will be a fantastic and life changing opportunity for you though!
11 – 11:30 am: Break
1 pm: Closing the Camp.
The medical camp will close around 1 pm. After 1 pm, you will be transferred to your accommodations where you will have lunch and have a chance to rest and recharge. During your free time, you can discuss what is on the table for next camp day or explore the local area. The local staff will be available to help you at any time.
Day 6-7: Free Time
The camp runs from Monday to Friday, so Saturday and Sunday will be free time. In your free time, you can explore the cities and local markets, meet local people, and visit major tourist attractions. We have been running medical volunteer abroad programs for the last ten years, and we have assisted thousands of volunteers in making the most of their weekend by providing them with travel information or helping them to organize short day trips. We will be glad to help you in any way that you need. We want you to truly enjoy your free time!
Travel and Extended Stay
You can extend your stay! We are happy to help you organize an extended stay, whether to just travel or join another hands-on medical volunteer abroad trip. Global Crossroad has a strong partnership with affordable and reputed partners that make it possible for you to join any trip that you want.
Your new program would start again the following week.
Important notice: This is just a sample itinerary to give you a general idea of what it is like to be part of an international medical camp. As we operate in different countries, in different seasons, and on different locations, the itinerary will vary accordingly. A customized itinerary will be available to you before your departure.
Skills and Qualifications
The medical volunteer abroad program in Costa Rica is available to medical volunteers of any age and educational or professional backgrounds.
Our primary goal is to provide basic health care to impoverished local communities in developing countries. There are opportunities to lend a healing and helping hand for all different niches of healthcare. These include medical students, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, nurse midwives, gynecologists, dentists, paramedics, EMTs, physical therapists, nutritionists, and among many others.
If you are an ophthalmologist, a dermatologist, a pediatrician, a member of the dentist family practice, an acupuncturist, an osteopathic doctor, an internist, or a similar professional, we can definitely put your specialty to good use and find patients within your specialty that need your care and expertise.
Fee & Dates
Global Crossroad's medical camp programs start on the first Monday of each month. However, if you have a small group of more than three volunteers who want to join the program, we can create a customized program to allow your group to start at the date that is more convenient for your group.
Important notice: You can join Global Crossroad's international medical camp individually or in a group. We need a minimum of 3 volunteers to run the camp. Therefore, we request that you invite others to make a small group. Or, if this is not possible, please apply at least 2 or 3 months in advance so we can inform you - at least a month in advance - in case we have to cancel the camp setup for those dates if we fail to meet the minimum number of volunteers required.
Global Crossroad offers the most affordable medical volunteer abroad programs. In comparison to our competition, our cost is extremely affordable.
The fee covers your expenses (room, food, daily transportation, services of local team leaders and staffs) and also expenses related to camp (food, water, medicine).
The Global Crossroad's registration fee is $299.
What does the fee cover?
- Airport pick up and drop off
- Daily transportation
- Comprehensive travel insurance
- Food (3 local meals a day)
- Support & supervision from local doctors and team
- Medicines that are distributed freely to local people through your participation in this program.
What's not included?
- Personal expenses
Where are the medical camps located?
Most of the camps will be located in the poor rural areas and slums outside the cities, villages, nursing homes, orphanages, local clubs, etc. The camp may move from one location to next depending on the needs of the community.
Who will benefit from the camp?
The main goal of international medical camps is to give free health care services to poor people and communities. Only poor people, women, and children who cannot afford health care will be served in the camp to ensure that the camp benefits those in need.
Do you charge any fees to the local people?
No, everything in the camp is absolutely free. We even distribute basic medicine and food to local communities. We also encourage volunteers to bring medicine and supplies to distribute to the communities.
What is the duration of the camp?
The camps usually run for one or two weeks. You can join the program for one or two weeks depending on your time and availability.
Where will I live? What about my meals?
Depending upon the situation and country, you will be living in a volunteer house, in a guest house, with a host family, or in the camp itself. Wherever you stay, you will be provided with safe and comfortable accommodations and local meals three times a day. Once you apply, we can give you more information about your accommodations in the location chosen.
Early in the morning, you will eat breakfast and go to the camp. You will receive a snack in the camp. You will eat lunch and dinner at your accommodations.
Who will support or supervise me?
International medical camps will be supervised and led by a local doctor(s). The local doctor(s) will be the main person to seek for advice, translation, and consultation. Beside the local doctor, you will also be supported by a local team member who will arrange your accommodations, food, and transportation.
How far will be the camp be from my accommodations?
Depending on the country and situation, the location of the medical camp will be approximately a 10 to 45 minutes drive away.
How will I get to the medical camp?
Depending on the size of the group, we will be using bus, train, taxi, tuk-tuk, or any other form of transportation available. As this is a group program, someone will accompany you.
After each day of daily work in the camp, you will return to your accommodations.
What kind of activities can I do in the international medical camp?
The main goal of the medical camps is to give basic general health services or to meet the immediate health care needs of the local people. So depending on your experience, you can get involved in activities such as:
- Providing basic care, checking patients and giving prescriptions
- If you are a specialized doctor, you can also use your experience in others areas
- Stitching and dressing wounds
- Help patients with physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Carry out first aid services
- Administer medication
- Record patient details and take vital statistics (height, blood pressure, weight, etc)
- Give immunizations
- Promote health education
- Help with personal hygiene
- Due to liability issues and our inability to follow up, we do not get involved in any surgical operation
What treatments do we provide in the clinic?
Most of our international medical camps are designed to provide basic medical services. As we are working in different developing countries around the world, the nature of the medical conditions and its treatments will be different depending on the location. However, when you join our international medical trips abroad, you will have the opportunity to see and provide varying levels of care – from definitive to supportive – for a wide variety of medical conditions. In the medical camp, you will see patients that suffer from minor fevers and simple wounds/brushes to serious health problems.
These are some of the conditions that we treat at our medical camps:
- In developing communities, people often suffer from diseases resulting from lack of clean water and sanitary conditions. In such places diarrhea, commonly related to waterborne parasites, viruses and E.coli are frequent complaints.
- Many young children in developing countries suffer from sore throats and ear infections. Acute and chronic otitis media are common problems. You can help to remedy this pain and prevent future hearing loss.
- Many people in the poor communities mostly older men/women and children suffer from a wide variety of severe gingival and dental problems. You can help by cleaning or uprooting loose teeth.
- Many poor children in developing countries suffer from stomach pain caused by worms or bad nutritional habits to severe disease and infection.
- You can treat patients with dermatological infections and conducted minor surgical procedures on abscesses.
I am a specialized medical doctor or professional. How can I use my expertise?
The main goal of medical camps is to offer basic health care services. However, depending on the needs at the time, you can also use your expertise. We do not perform surgical operations due to limitations and liability issues.
Do I need to bring equipment and supplies?
This medical trip abroad is designed for individuals, as well as groups. If you are coming in a group, we appreciate if you can bring some medical supplies and equipment. It really helps.
If you are joining this medical volunteer abroad program as an individual, we encourage you to bring supplies and medicines too. We will be happy to provide you with the list of medicines and supplies that are urgently needed in the community.
What do I need to take with me?
First of all, we request that all volunteers bring medicines and medical supplies, which can be given to patients in the medical camp. We will also buy medicines locally and distribute them to the local communities.
- Medical and other items to bring (samples)
- Basic medicine for fever and painkillers
- Cold, cough medicine
- Latex gloves
- Insect repellent
- Professional dressing
- Other personal items of hygiene