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Medical Volunteer Programs For Doctors, Nurses, Pre-Med Students Abroad

If you are a pre-med volunteer interested in serving abroad — as a way to enhance your skill and/or gain experience in another community across the globe — well hop aboard.  Pre-med volunteering is a great opportunity to take part in the effort to bring top of the line health care to people who normally don’t have the opportunity to see a doctor or other health care provider on a regular basis.  Medical volunteering can be the ideal chance for you to volunteer abroad while also putting your specialized skills to use for people who do’t have reliable access to advanced medical care.

The fact is that when most people consider volunteering, they picture going to a foreign country and doing something they’ve never done before, like teaching English or helping build new schools.  Naturally, these projects are of great use to any community, but some volunteers don’t always realize that they might be able to play a different role as a specialized volunteer, like a medical (pre-med volunteer)or a general health care volunteer.  This is the ideal opportunity to serve an at-need community in a way that most volunteers cannot.


Medical volunteer abroad trips can be very rewarding, and are a fantastic chance for people with specialized skills to participate in a volunteer project, such as pre-med volunteering, that can only accept people with very specific qualifications.


In order to take part in a medical volunteer abroad program, you don’t necessarily have to have a medical degree, as requirements vary depending on the program.  Some programs, depending on how they work, are able to accept volunteers who are merely interested in medical volunteering, while others necessitate a degree and clinical experience.

In these roles, volunteers have the chance to shadow licensed practitioners while supplying administrative, lingual, or logistical assistance.  There are even pre-med volunteer abroad programs specifically for undergraduate and graduate medical student volunteers.

For example, Volunteering Solutions offers participants in its Tanzania program various placements depending on whether they are pre-med volunteering, in medical school, or in dental school.  Furthermore, may programs specialize in the types of programs they provide.  What this means is that one program may have medical, nursing, dental, and physical therapy volunteer abroad projects while others only specialize in a certain area.

Most likely you have heard about long term medical volunteer abroad projects, like Doctors Without Borders (the best known doctor volunteering abroad program) or the Peace Corps.  But there are also many volunteer programs targeted towards medical professionals and students looking to serve in short term projects perhaps from just a few weeks to a few months.  Pre-med volunteers and other medical volunteers are needed the world over.

Program Costs

When selecting which project you wish to volunteer with, there several things you must consider, such as the actual program costs, which can be lowered significantly by selecting a high quality, affordable organization such as Volunteering Solutions or Agape Volunteers or by fundraising for your trip on Volunteer Forever.

Volunteering Solutions medical volunteer projects are especially affordable, with many placements available at less than $300 for one week (it should be noted, however, that there is also a $225 application fee).

To begin with, create a general list of countries where you’d be interested in doing pre-med volunteering, or whatever other medical volunteer work you’d like to do.  While making this list, you should do some research into the costs of living or visiting the country, the costs and availability of a visa for the length of time you wish to stay, and why that country in particular interests you.

Next, make a list of the qualities that are required or desired in a volunteer abroad project, such as the ability to work with local medical professionals or the ability to work on your own medical specialty.  Then, as you check out the various medical and health care volunteer projects,  you can highlight projects that fit best with what you want to get out of a volunteer program.

While you are doing this, however, make an effort to keep an open mind.  Sometimes the projects that you wouldn’t consider at first wind up being the best fit for you and the most enjoyable too.

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