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Top Medical Mission Trips

Posted by: Alisa N.
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Whether you are a medical professional seeking to get international experience, a pre-med or nursing student wanting to enhance their CV or just wondering if the field of medicine is for you, a healthcare internship may be just what you are looking for. 

What are medical mission trips?

Volunteer in Peru - Cuzco Health and Medical Care

Medical mission trips are a way for college students to get direct experience in the field through real life interactions, usually in developing countries. By combining volunteering, travelling and interning, students and professionals alike are able to both benefit from the program career wise, as well as make a meaningful contribution to the community that they are working with.


Are medical mission trips and internships just for medical students?

There are a vast variety of programs available that are suitable for students at all stages of their degree, as well as for people who are just starting out on the path, and those that have been on it for a while, i.e. qualified doctors. Your ability to practice will depend on your experience as well as the location that you choose to volunteer in, as hospitals must operate according to local laws and licenses.


In which fields can a medical internship take place?

Volunteer in Vietnam - Medical Placement in Ho Chi Minh

GoEco has projects all over the world that are looking for medical interns, with the majority being involved in hospitals, community education and rural, home-based care. There are also projects that concentrate on infectious disease and wound care, HIV/AIDS, public health and hygiene education, as well as dentistry, physiotherapy, obstetrics and oncology.

How long are the projects?

A short term medical mission trip is perfect for a summer vacation getaway, with some projects having a minimum requirement of as little as one week. Others request a commitment of weeks months or you can even find a project where you can intern for a year.


How will going on a medical mission trip enhance your career?

Volunteer in Peru - Cuzco Health and Medical Care

As you set your sight on graduating, it is both comforting and disconcerting that there will be many others standing by your side. Everyone has gone through the same trials and tribulations of medical school and is now looking to get a residency at a top institution. Let’s be honest, it’s going to be hard to stand out! 

An international internship may just do the trick as you highlight your initiative to travel to a foreign country (which is never without its challenges), your ability to communicate in a multicultural environment and share your experience in witnessing health crises that are often no longer found in western hospitals. The project will also allow you to walk in the shoes of a medical professional, something you may not have had a chance to experience yet, and to learn through direct contact with the patients. 

Moreover, you will be able to create meaningful relationships with health professionals all over the world, including your project supervisors and other interns. Having an international letter of recommendation is sure to give you a leg up in the application process and the friendships made on a mission trip today, could prove to be an opportunity for collaboration in the future. 


What will you be doing on the project?

Depending on the project, your tasks can range from assisting triage nurses, to administering tests and assessments, and developing outreach programs teaching communities about hygiene and health issues that are of most concern to them. The majority of projects involve the intern shadowing doctors throughout the day and learning through direct perception.

Most projects also allow the interns to finish their shift in the early afternoon and to have the weekend off, allowing you to further explore the city or town and get involved with the community in a different way.


GoEco’s top medical mission trips for 2019

Volunteer in South Africa - Children's Hospital Play Therapy

No experience

If you are interested in seeing the impact that proper health and hygiene education has on a community, while living on the paradise like island of Bali, then the Education and Community Work in Bali program is for you. This program aims to help the local community members in Ubud learn about health and hygiene through informative, live sessions and practical workshops for children. No experience required. Minimum two week commitment.


Pre-med or nursing student minimum

The Medical and Healthcare Support program in Malawi is perfect for students wanting experience in working within impoverished communities and encountering such health issues as HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases. Students will conduct workshops that will empower locals to perform life-saving home based care, clean and dress wounds, assist in a rural community hospital and more. Must be a pre-med, medical or nursing student. Minimum four week commitment. 


Suitable for qualified doctors and nurses

The Medical Placement in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam allows students and professionals to witness surgeries, participate in wound cleaning after severe trauma, learn about the healing powers of acupuncture and more. The interns will also have the opportunity to gain experience in the rehabilitation department and the X-ray room. Must be a medical or nursing student, or a licensed medical professional. Minimum one week commitment.

Students and licensed medical professionals looking to gain experience working with a Spanish speaking community, will be perfectly suited for the Health and Medical Care in Cuzco program in Peru. Dental and physiotherapy placements are available on this project, as well as hospital and clinic work. Must be a medical or nursing student, or a licensed medical professional. Minimum one week commitment.

Contact us for more information on medical mission trips.