Many underprivileged communities all over the world are in need of basic medicare. People in such areas are suffering thereby increasing the need for immediate medical attention. A medical mission by aspiring and practicing medical professionals can alleviate this problem. Therefore, learn about the most educative medical mission trips for college students.
Healthcare professionals who embark on medical missions to provide healthcare services to the less-privileged in local communities always feel fulfilled. This is because volunteering gives a sense of belonging to people offering their time and resources for free.
The benefits of medical mission trips are endless. Through medical mission trips, you will gain more hands-on clinical experience to deliver adequate medicare with limited resources. It will also boost your resume for better opportunities.
Before we delve into the medical mission trips for college students, let us get to know what a medical mission trip means.
What is a medical mission trip?
A medical mission trip is a structured journey that medical students or professionals make to another country in order to offer medical services to underprivileged/local communities over a period of time.
While some medical mission trips are organized by religious bodies, others are secular in nature. Medical mission trips can last anywhere from one week to several months.
Not all medical trips are the same. Sponsors of every medical mission trip usually require a mix of healthcare personnel and students such as doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, EMTs, etc.
What should I expect from a medical mission trip?
If you are selected for a medical mission trip, the sponsoring organization will give you a proper orientation on the mission’s details. The mission’s details include travel logistics, accommodation, daily work schedules, specific duties, clothing & hygiene requirements, personal & group security protocols, required inoculations, food & water safety protocols, emergency contingency plans, the use of interpreters, etc.
Many medical mission trips do not last for a long time as they last from one (1) to two (2) weeks. So, try and put in your best whenever the program starts.
Keep in mind that the major aim of embarking on a medical mission trip is to provide patient care to underprivileged communities. You will be provided meals and accommodation at no costs, however, additional expenses may come up along the line. So, you may want to find out from the trip organizer.
How much do medical mission trips cost?
For long-term medical mission trips, volunteers usually receive some compensation. However, short-term medical missions only cover some of your expenses. Short medical missions also come with program fees that range between a few hundred dollars.
The program fees usually cover certain expenses including airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, feeding, and constant in-country support.
On the other hand, some sponsoring organizations may cover your expenses while others may require you to pay for travel, meals while on transit, accommodation, etc.
13 Medical Mission Trips For College Students
The most educative medical mission trips for college students include:
- Tanzania medical mission volunteer program
- Guatemala medical mission volunteer program
- Peru medical mission volunteer program
- Nepal medical mission volunteer program
- India medical mission volunteer program
- Healthcare volunteer program in Costa Rica
- Medical volunteer program in Cambodia
- Healthcare volunteer program in Kenya
- Medical volunteer program in Uganda
- Zambia medical volunteer program
- Medical volunteer program in Ghana
- Healthcare & Medical Volunteer Program in Argentina
1. Tanzania Medical Mission Volunteer Program
Many people in the rural communities in Tanzania do not have access to healthcare. Hence, the medical mission volunteer program aims to alleviate this problem.
In the program, volunteers will be placed in a variety of medical settings including local clinics and small hospitals. Volunteers will work to serve vulnerable people. They will also shadow doctors to assist in administering basic patient care.
The volunteer program requires volunteers to observe more rather than be involved in operations or other independent medical duties.
Tanzania medical mission volunteer program seeks students who have at least 3 years of medical/nursing school education, qualified doctors, nurses, CNAs, EMTs, paramedics, and public health workers.
The program takes twenty-four (24) weeks to complete and it costs $320. Tanzania’s medical mission volunteer program is one of the best medical mission trips for college students.
2. Guatemala Medical Mission Volunteer Program
Guatemala’s healthcare system is poorly-funded and is lacking adequate manpower. For this reason, medical volunteers are needed to assist the local doctors and nurses there.
The program is open to volunteers at all levels of medical training and experience such as medical/nursing students, pre-med nursing/medical students, qualified doctors, nurses, CNAs, EMTs, paramedics, and public health workers.
Volunteers will gain more hands-on experience while working alongside doctors in local clinics, hospitals, and elderly homes. Independent tasks will depend on the volunteer’s qualification, experience, and Spanish language skills.
The program lasts no more than 24 weeks and costs $405 per week. Fees cover airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, feeding, and constant in-country support
3. Peru Medical Mission Volunteer Program
Peru’s healthcare system welcomes medical and nursing students who can speak the Spanish language. Here, medical volunteers will assist local doctors in mobile clinics to offer healthcare services to underprivileged areas of Lima.
Medical volunteers may also assist in initial assessments and procedures including vaccinations & wound care, triage, or helping with the operational setup on daily basis. The above-mentioned can only be possible if the volunteer has some years of medical experience and can speak Spanish.
It takes between 1 to 24 weeks to complete the volunteer program. The program fee is $220 per week and it covers airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals, and constant in-country support.
Peru’s medical mission volunteer program is one of the most educative medical mission trips for college students.
4. Nepal Medical Mission Volunteer Program
Medical volunteers are in-demand in Nepal especially in the cities of Kathmandu, Chitwan, or Pokhara. These volunteers will work in hospitals and medical schools shadowing qualified physicians and nurses.
Volunteers will be tasked with carrying out procedures in the theatre, offering support in the physical therapy and burns units, learning immunizations & family planning, and assisting new mothers.
If you are a qualified physician or nurse, you can choose to work in your area of specialty. The areas of expertise include ICU, radiology, oncology, emergency, surgery, burns unit, gynecology, pediatrics, and pharmacy.
NOTE: Local regulations prevent volunteers from offering unsupervised hands-on care to patients.
The program duration ranges between two (2) to twelve (12) weeks. Nepal medical mission volunteer program is one of the most educative medical mission trips for college students.
5. India Medical Mission Volunteer Program
India’s healthcare system requires medical volunteers that will work in the mobile clinics and hospitals in Delhi shadowing qualified physicians.
Medical volunteers will be tasked with providing routine medical checks like taking vitals, providing advice regarding health, nutrition and sanitation during routine check-ups, or treating minor injuries and wounds.
Your level of experience in the field of healthcare will determine the amount of work that you will do as a volunteer. Volunteers with more experience can stay for three (3) months or more and may request to work in their area of specialty.
India’s medical mission volunteer program is one of the best medical mission trips for college students.
The program fee is $250 and it covers airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals, and constant in-country support.
6. Vietnam Medical Mission Volunteer Program
In Vietnam, medical and nursing students will experience a new culture while helping to develop the nation’s healthcare system.
Vietnam’s healthcare system requires volunteers who are studying medicine or nursing at any level like Pre-medical/nursing students, qualified doctors, nurses, CNAs, and EMTs. These volunteers will work closely with doctors and nurses in an orthopedic and rehabilitation hospital. They will focus on physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
Medical volunteers will also offer support to patients suffering from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, congenital motor system deformity, and other disabilities.
The duration of the medical mission program takes between two (2) to twenty-four (24) weeks to complete. Participants will have to pay $485 for two weeks and it covers airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals, and constant in-country support.
NOTE: Local regulations prevent volunteers from offering unsupervised hands-on care to patients.
7. Health Care Volunteer Program in Costa Rica
While Costa Rica is not considered a developing country, the nation’s healthcare system needs more workforce.
Costa Rica welcomes medical and nursing students to act as volunteers in assisting qualified physicians in local clinics and hospitals. Volunteers will work by organizing health campaigns in order to raise more awareness on the prevention and control of common diseases.
8. Medical Volunteer Program in Cambodia
Cambodia’s healthcare system is poorly-funded and is in dire need of adequate manpower. Medical volunteers are welcome to Cambodia to assist qualified doctors and nurses in administering medicare to patients in the clinics and smaller hospitals in local communities.
9. Healthcare Volunteer Program in Kenya
Kenya is a fast developing country in East Africa. Over the past couple of years, the nation has experienced numerous technological improvements in several fields like healthcare.
The health sector of Kenya needs medical volunteers that will work alongside doctors and other healthcare personnel to fight common diseases. Volunteers will also help in educating local communities in Kenya to maintain good personal hygiene.
The healthcare volunteer program in Kenya is one of the most educative medical mission trips for college students.
10. Medical Volunteer Program in Uganda
Uganda is one of the developing countries in Africa. The nation’s healthcare system needs medical volunteers who are studying medicine or nursing at any level like Pre-medical/nursing students, qualified doctors, nurses, CNAs, and EMTs.
Volunteers will assist doctors and nurses in clinics and hospitals especially in rural communities to administer patient care. They will also help to create health campaigns for locals in the host community.
11. Zambia Medical Volunteer Program
Presently, more clinics are being set up in many disadvantaged communities in Zambia. For this reason, there is a need for more workforce.
Medical volunteers are in-demand to shadow and assist local medical professionals in Zambia in order to understand the local healthcare system while providing healthcare. The major duties of volunteers include checking and updating patient files, taking & recording vitals, pre & post-natal work, and wound care.
Local regulations and language barriers prevent volunteers from offering unsupervised hands-on care to patients. Your level of experience and expertise will determine the clinic you will work in.
12. Medical Volunteer Program in Ghana
Ghana has a fairly adequate healthcare system, unlike other African countries. However, there is a need for adequate healthcare in most of the under-resourced rural communities in Ghana. This is the reason why medical volunteers are needed to offer support to patients.
As a medical volunteer, you will assist and shadow local medical professionals in small clinics for two days a week and be involved in a mobile wound care outreach service for the remaining three days.
Your level of experience and expertise will determine the tasks you will carry out. At first, your major tasks may likely be observational or administrative.
13. Healthcare & Medical Volunteer Program in Argentina
A healthcare volunteer program in Buenos Aires is an opportunity for medical students and professionals to experience medical practices in a different cultural setting.
As a medical volunteer, you will work and shadow doctors and nurses at one of Buenos Aires’ biggest teaching clinics or any of the smaller world-class clinics in a local community.
Generally, your duties will be observational. These include conducting check-ups and basic medical care and taking patient details and measurements.
Local laws do not permit medical students to treat patients without the supervision of a local professional.