Social Engagement: High
What’s What: Whatever your specialty-eyes, bones, teeth or something else-you’ve built a life out of taking care of others. You can use what you know and make a meaningful difference all over the world.
Amava Take: People who are drawn to caring professions have so much to give the world. Just because you may have left or are thinking about leaving a full-time practice of some kind doesn’t mean caring for people is over for you (unless you want it to be). Fortunately, there are many terrific organizations ready to harness the power of what you can do to benefit people who need help. Dentists, doctors, nurses, physical therapists–this could be the flexible experience you’ve been looking for.
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions?
People with medical or dental experience who are open to traveling and want to provide care for people in need.
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
Every country and community is different. Try to connect with local leaders to get the best sense of cultural norms and what people actually need.
What’s a typical daily schedule like?
That will depend greatly on where you go.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the job/experience?
Using my years of training to provide care to someone who otherwise might not get it was quite uplifting.
How would you describe the hard parts?
It’s always difficult to witness poverty and disease, but also empowering to try to do something concrete to help.
What lesson did you learn from the experience?
Community is not a commodity that can be bought or sold.
Special Requirements: Each organization has different requirements, but in general you should be licensed in your field.
Finding a Position: This organization has clinics around the world with three basic components: acute medical care, acute dental care, and community health education. Doctors, dentists, medical assistants, hygienists, pharmacists and nurses are all needed. This well-known organization has opportunities for people willing to make 9-12 month commitments. The American Dental Foundation keeps a calendar of mission trips for dentists. If you’re more interested in volunteering your time in the US, check out this organization, which has 90 clinics in 29 states.