When asked why they decided to practice medicine, many doctors say “to help people.” Volunteering or working overseas with a humanitarian organization is a great way for medical professionals to offer help the people who need it most.
Organizations like Doctors Without Borders allow medical students, doctors, and other medical professionals to hone their clinical skills and provide medical care to people in impoverished areas and or with limited access to it.
The unpredictability of natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or civil unrest creates an almost constant need for qualified medical professionals to volunteer their services or work for humanitarian missions.
If you are interested in volunteering or working overseas for a humanitarian effort, here are some of the best options out there.
Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) has been around since 1971. This humanitarian organization provides emergency medical assistance to people caught in crisis situations all over the world. Doctors Without Borders also works to bring publicity to their patients’ plights. The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.
Doctors Without Borders has more than 33,000 staff in more than 70 countries. In 2015 alone, the organization provided more than 8.6 million medical consultations to people in need.
Doctors Without Borders needs the following medical professionals:
- Registered nurses
- Licensed mental health professionals
You can apply for Doctors Without Borders on their website, but you’ll need to complete an application. Make sure that you have all of your medical licenses, certifications, and proof of continuing education requirements handy. Intiva Health can help you manage all of your documents and medical credentials conveniently in one place.
Project HOPE provides global health education and humanitarian assistance to those who need it all around the world. Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is named after the first peacetime hospital ship, the SS HOPE.
The organization now empowers health providers to deliver excellent care to those in crisis. Project HOPE works to combat infectious diseases, health crises, and chronic disease in more than 35 countries. The organization also provides maternal and child health care.
Project HOPE has a variety of volunteer opportunities for health professionals and they regularly update their openings. Click here to search for the latest opportunities through Project HOPE. You can search by skill set, location or keyword.
International Medical Corps is a private non-profit humanitarian organization that is dedicated to relieving the suffering of people in crisis. International Medical Corps provides lifesaving treatments, healthcare training, and relief in underserved communities worldwide. They provide training and health care to local populations so that they can respond to emergency situations.
International Medical Corps serves as a “first responder” to man-made and natural disasters and often work in remote locations. According to International Medical Corps, volunteers must have the willingness to travel and work in harsh conditions and unstable situations. They must also be resilient, be able to move fast, and have sound judgment. If you’re interested, check out the list of openings here.
Volunteering with a humanitarian organization can provide you with valuable clinical skills. It can teach you resilience and cultural competence. Lastly, helping others whose survival is threatened by catastrophe, violence, or medical epidemics can be extremely rewarding.
Intiva Health can make it easy to follow your passion by helping you find opportunities, connect with other providers, earn CME’s and manage your credentials all in one place.