Medical Program

 

Vida offers Medical Program participants a chance to acquire a valuable experience and be apart of a change to create a sustainable healthcare system in underserved communities through education and mobile clinics that provide free basic health care.

This volunteer abroad program has inspired past volunteers to pursue some of the following career paths: Nursing, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Physician (MD/ DO/ DPM).

If you are a student who is considering applying to health-related fields and desire a unique Service-Learning opportunity to gain relevant skills, this is the perfect program for you!

 

Why should you join?

Be a part of the impact!

The Medical Program allows pre-health students to gain hands-on, culturally, and clinically immersive training. Students are provided the opportunity to work side by side with local physicians in diagnosing, treating, and educating patients.

This program allows international volunteers to observe diverse cases; from diseases that specifically manifest in Central American communities, to general conditions that occur worldwide. Most importantly, the medical program improves students’ cross-cultural communication skills and fosters respect for others of different backgrounds.

Let this be the volunteer abroad opportunity that defines your career goals while opening your mind to a whole new world embedded in service.

Components for a successful trip

Field Clinics

Our clinics are held in community centers, churches, or schools. We offer general consultation and medications to support rural communities with little to no access to healthcare. Regardless of the location, we set the highest level of professionalism for our volunteers and staff.

Our goal is to improve health conditions, not only with medications, but through education that will help prevent diseases, increase health literacy, and create sustainability.

Family Visits

Family Visits* enable us to reach the most vulnerable people in our communities. Our team of doctors, health promoters, nurses, and interpreters analyze the current living conditions and habits that affect the well-being of our patients. The information gathered is transferred to local health authorities, that is then used to educate our patients and give lifestyle recommendations to the families.

*Family Visits depend on itinerary and group size

Homestays

A home away from home!

Homestays* promise a whole-hearted and culturally immersive experience. You’ll get a chance to learn about local family values and enjoy delicious, authentic, home-cooked meals​ ​while forming life-long bonds with our world-famous host families.

*Homestays depend on itinerary and group size

As a Medical program participant you will:

  • Learn how to ask “directed” and purposeful diagnostic questions
  • Take vital signs
  • Observe procedures and assist in physical exams
  • Have the opportunity to provide advice and general health/hygienic education to underserved populations
  • Define career goals
  • Gain knowledge about the disparity and inequity that exists in different parts of the world and using it to fuel a passion to pursue a career in healthcare

Clinic set up

1. Waiting Area

This is where patients wait to be seen.

Their names are added to the list of patients we will see each day. Lists are usually handled on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, we prioritize seniors, pregnant women, and patients with conditions that might require immediate assistance.

The patients will await their turn and are escorted by the group’s interpreter to their workstation.

2. Intake

Working with a medical interpreter, students will conduct patient interviews to get a thorough patient history and understanding of the patient’s main complaint.

Students will also gather the patient’s vital signs, which include, but not limited to; blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature, among other facets that may be relevant to the patients’ main complaint. Group members will record all information on provided intake forms.

3. Consultation Area

Students will present this information to the physician, along with a differential diagnosis, proposed treatment plan, and recommendations. The physician will work with the students to explain the case and diagnosis more in-depth and may ask for additional information from the patient. The physician will make the official diagnosis, treatment plan, and prescribe the appropriate medications.

4. Examination Room

This room is used when the physician needs to examine the patient in private. Students may be asked to observe. The doctor will explain any findings to the students and the patient.

5. Pharmacy

Students will collect the prescription given by the doctor. Once the medication is ready, volunteers will explain the following information to the patient (with the help of an interpreter):

  • types of medications
  • dosage amounts
  • instructions for medication usage

What's included?

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off.
  • All ground transportation between sites.
  • Accommodations
  • 2 meals during clinic days and 1 meal during recreation days
  • In-country orientation.
  • Program Manual.
  • 24-hour staff assistance.
  • All medicine, equipment, supplies, and professionals needed to successfully perform on clinic days.
  • Evening group activities.
  • All recreation activities listed in trip itinerary.
  • Border and customs fees (when applicable)
  • Statement of Service Hours
  • Certificate of Participation.  (Letters of recommendation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis).

Sample Itineraries

*Order of clinic, family visit and/or recreation days may change depending on country and route.

Questions?

Feel free to contact us! Fill out this form and one of our Student Engagement Representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.

Inquiries? Fill out this form so we can answer them properly!

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sun08augAll Dayfri20Medical and Veterinary Trip to GuatemalaECGT080821Guatemala Duration: 13 days Date: Aug 8th, 2021 - Aug 20th, 2021

sun12decAll Daymon20Medical, Dental and Veterinary Trip to GuatemalaOTGT121221Guatemala Duration: 9 days Date: Dec 12th, 2021 - Dec 20th, 2021

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