Medical mission trips with International Volunteer HQ provide short-term medical volunteer opportunities abroad for medical professionals, nurses, dentists, college students and pre-med students. Medical missions are available year-round in a wide range of destinations, including Costa Rica, Peru, Guatemala, Argentina, Bali, India, Vietnam and Tanzania.
International Volunteer HQ has more than 13 years of experience in organizing medical missions trips for students, pre-medical students or undergraduates and medical professionals, as well as medical mission trips for nurses in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America.
What are medical mission trips?
On a medical mission trip with IVHQ, you will have the opportunity to provide medical care and healthcare education to communities where healthcare is limited or difficult to access. By shadowing local doctors and nurses and working under instruction, you play an important role in providing essential care within under-resourced clinics and hospitals.
Whether you are travelling solo or want to organise a medical mission trip for a group of college students or professionals, IVHQ makes planning a medical mission easy and affordable with 16 different destinations to choose from. This gives you the opportunity to travel abroad and work alongside local medical professionals, engaging in mutually-beneficial learning exchanges while providing valuable support to hospitals and clinics within the local communities. With your airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support all included in your program fee, you can leave home feeling confident that you’ll be well supported in your new home away from home. Plus, you’ll be in the company of like-minded international medical students and professionals who share your passion for developing your skills and global medical perspective.
- What are the requirements to join a medical mission trip?
- Where can I go on a medical mission trip in 2020 / 2021?
- How long can I go on a medical mission trip for?
- What opportunities are available for groups that want to join medical or nursing mission trips?
- What kind of 2020 & 2021 medical volunteer opportunities are available?
- Why go on a medical mission trip?
- How do I apply for a medical mission trip?
- Best medical mission trips for 2020 & 2021
What are the requirements to join a medical mission trip?
IVHQ offers affordable medical mission trips for nursing students and medical students, as well as trips for qualified healthcare professionals. If you’re an aspiring healthcare professional, we also organise medical mission trips for pre-medical students and pre-nursing students.
All volunteers are supervised by local staff and under instruction from qualified doctors during a medical mission trip with IVHQ, so regardless of your level of qualification or experience, you can feel confident that you will be well supported to make a valuable contribution on your mission trip.
Where can I go on a medical mission trip in 2020 / 2021?
If you’re a pre-med student or pre-nursing student, you have the opportunity to volunteer in a variety of healthcare volunteer settings as part of a medical mission. You can join IVHQ’s medical volunteer projects in Argentina, Bali, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India (Delhi), Peru (Cusco) Tanzania and Vietnam.
If you have completed your second year of medical or nursing school, or if you are a qualified healthcare professional, you are are eligible to join IVHQ in Argentina, Bali, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India (Delhi and Kerala), Nepal, Tanzania and Vietnam.
On a medical mission in these destinations, nursing and medical students can expect to support a range of tasks, working across a variety of healthcare settings. This can include providing basic patient care, taking vitals, dressing wounds, triage nursing, and helping to prepare medical equipment. There are also opportunities to observe local doctors and nurses in operating rooms, as well as shadow their daily routines.
Our IVHQ Program Managers will offer guidance as to which destination would be best suited to your interests and experience, as some of our medical volunteer programs offer opportunities specific to certain skills and medical specialties. We are committed to aligning your qualifications and interests with the needs of the local community.
How long can I go on a medical mission trip for?
IVHQ runs medical volunteer programs year-round and you can choose to volunteer abroad on short-term medical mission trips ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks, so it’s easy to find a medical volunteer opportunity that suits your schedule.
What kind of 2020 & 2021 medical volunteer opportunities are available?
- Dentistry - Peru (Cusco), Guatemala, India (Delhi and Kerala), Ghana
- Pharmacy - Peru (Cusco), Guatemala, India (Delhi), Zambia, Tanzania
- Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy - Guatemala, Peru (Cusco), Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia (Bogota), Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, India (Delhi), Nepal, Kenya, Romania
- Gynecology - Peru (Cusco), Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Tanzania, Zambia
- HIV/AIDS - Costa Rica, Kenya, Zambia
- Lab Technology - Peru (Cusco), India (Delhi and Kerala), Nepal, Tanzania, Zambia
- Midwifery - Peru (Cusco), Nepal, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania
- Nutritionist - Peru (Cusco and Lima), Guatemala
- Optometry - Peru (Cusco), Tanzania
- Orthopedics - Sri Lanka, Vietnam
- Occupational Therapy - Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru (Cusco), Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nepal
- Paramedics - Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru (Cusco), Tanzania
- Pediatrics - Peru (Cusco), Guatemala, Costa Rica, India (Delhi), Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Tanzania, Zambia
- Radiology - Peru (Cusco), Nepal, India (Delhi), Vietnam
- Sonography - Peru (Cusco), Tanzania
What opportunities are available for groups that want to join medical or nursing mission trips?
If you are travelling with a group of medical students or colleagues and would like to participate on a 1-week medical mission or nurse mission trip, you can volunteer abroad as a group on a Medical Campaign in the following locations:
Why go on a medical mission trip?
Embarking on a medical mission trip offers an opportunity to be immersed in a new culture and enhance your global perspective of medicine while assisting communities with limited access to healthcare resources. By working closely with medical professionals in your host community, you will gain invaluable clinical experience, a deeper understanding of how foreign healthcare systems function and the everyday challenges that they have to overcome.
How do I apply for a medical mission trip?
- Browse our medical mission opportunities and choose a destination and the medical volunteer program you wish to join, as well as the dates you wish to volunteer.
- Complete the free online application form with the details of your chosen medical volunteer program and dates, as well as details of your qualifications, skills and experience in the medical field. You will then receive an email from IVHQ to confirm that we have received your application. Within 48 hours (2 working days), you will receive an email from your IVHQ Program Manager acknowledging your application and confirming the destination, project and dates of your volunteer program. In this email, you will receive instructions on how to pay the Registration Fee in order to reserve your place to volunteer with IVHQ.
- Log in to your MyIVHQ profile to pay your Registration Fee. As soon as your Registration Fee has been received by IVHQ, you will be provided with all the information and support you need to prepare for your upcoming medical mission trip. Your IVHQ Program Manager will be your point of contact throughout your preparations up until you finish your volunteer program.
- Contact the IVHQ Groups Team if you are looking to volunteer abroad as a group, so we can customise a medical mission trip for you.
Best Medical Mission Trips For 2020 & 2021
As the world’s leading provider of affordable medical volunteer programs and mission trips, IVHQ makes it easy to customise a program to match your qualifications and travel plans. Discover these top program recommendations from IVHQ’s team of Medical Mission Specialists.
Tanzania Medical Mission Volunteer Program
- Qualifications required: Students who have complete at least 3 years at medical/nursing school, qualified doctors, nurses, CNAs, EMTs, paramedics and public health workers on the HIV/AIDS Support project
- Placement settings: Volunteers are based in variety of local Clinics and small Hospitals
- Program duration: Volunteer for 1 to 24 weeks, programs start on the 1st and 15th of each month
- Program fees: Start from US$270 (+ a one off placement fee of US$80). Fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
Medical volunteers in Tanzania are greatly received, especially those who come with initiative, enthusiasm and readiness to work in very basic facilities with limited resources available. Volunteers work in a variety of settings, including medical clinics and hospitals, with the location depending on the volunteers previous experience and training. To comply with the Tanzania Healthcare System, volunteers will shadow local doctors and assist in performing basic patient care, and it’s important to note that this project focuses more on observation, than getting involved in operations or independent medical tasks. This project is ideal for those who have completed at least 2 years of medical or nursing school, or those wanting to broaden their experience and knowledge of healthcare systems around the world.
Experiencing medicine in a third world hospital was amazing and eye opening. The doctors were extremely welcoming and grateful. Exploring Arusha and Moshi with the other volunteers and seeing the African culture first hand were some of my favorite moments. Amy Freeman (IVHQ Volunteer in Tanzania)
Guatemala Medical Mission Volunteer Program
- Qualifications required: Medical/nursing students, pre med nursing/medical students, qualified doctors, nurses, CNAs, EMTs, paramedics and public health workers
- Placement settings: Volunteers are based in local clinics, hospitals and elderly homes
- Program duration: Volunteer for 1 to 24 weeks, programs start every Monday
- Program fees: From US$330 for 1 week (+US$75 per week medical surcharge for supervision, materials and the logistics involved in this project). Fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
Volunteers working on the Medical project in Guatemala can get hands-on experience working with local doctors and nurses in small local clinics, providing check-ups and basic medical care in low income communities. Work is available for volunteers of all experience levels, but assigned tasks and the level of independence a volunteer will have depends on their qualifications and experience, as well as Spanish language skills. Activities for students vary but can involve participating in taking weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate and temperature measurements, making beds, cleaning, speaking with patients, preparing materials and sterilizing equipment. More qualified volunteers can help with procedures, basic assessments, triage and treatment alongside local healthcare providers.
The project was a perfect integration of basic sciences and clinical medicine, and it also allowed for the group to see preventative and diagnostic medicine. It was exactly what we were looking for as 1st/2nd year medical students. The fact that we got to see a rural village as well as the schools was a great asset to this trip. It really allowed the group to contrast what underserved areas are really like when outside of the U.S. The hands on experiences that we were able to participate in are priceless and will be held dear to everyone on the trip. Madison Bangert (IVHQ Volunteer in Guatemala)
Peru Medical Mission Volunteer Program
- Qualifications required: Medical/nursing students, qualified doctors, nurses and CNAs with an intermediate level of Spanish
- Placement settings: A mobile “clini-bus”
- Program duration: Volunteer for 1 to 24 weeks, programs start on the 1st and 15th of each month
- Program fees: From US$180 for 1 week which includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
Medical and nursing students who speak at least intermediate Spanish can help a mobile clinic provide healthcare access to underprivileged areas of Lima, while working alongside Peruvian healthcare professionals. Medical volunteers in Lima as well as cater to a range of patient needs, as the clinic is operated in a bus that reaches neighborhoods where people cannot always afford even basic healthcare. Depending on your level of experience and Spanish skill level, you may provide assistance with initial assessments, essential procedures like vaccinations and wound care, triage or helping with the operational set up each day.
Everything was above and beyond what I had hoped for. The house had everything we needed, and the food was AMAZING. IVHQ are the best. I had the most fulfilling trip, and am already planning on returning next summer. Thanks so much for making volunteering affordable and fun. Olivia Gissing (IVHQ Volunteer in Lima, Peru)
Nepal Medical Mission Volunteer Program
- Qualifications required: Medical/nursing students, qualified doctors, nurses and paramedics
- Placement settings: Hospitals or medical schools
- Program duration: Volunteer for 2 to 12 weeks, programs start on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month
- Program fees: From $250USD (+$50USD per week medical surcharge to cover training and resources used). Fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
Third-year nursing or medical students have the opportunity to join IVHQ’s Medical volunteer project in Nepal, volunteering in hospitals in Kathmandu, Chitwan or Pokhara. By shadowing qualified physicians and nurses, you can have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with procedures in the operating surgery ward, provide support in the physical therapy and burns units, learn about immunizations and family planning, and provide support to new mothers. Qualified nurses and medical professionals can request to work in their area of expertise, including ICU, radiology, oncology, emergency, surgery, burns unit, gynecology, pediatrics and pharmacy.
I would recommend this program to anybody. As a recent medical graduate, I found that I was able to give and take as much as I could from the program. The two week rural placement gave me experience and an opportunity to observe diseases, management strategies, and patient interaction. I was also able to help diagnose and treat certain conditions which may have otherwise been missed or misdiagnosed. I have indeed grown to be more independent and appreciate things we take for granted back home. I am extremely grateful for having this opportunity to interact with and serve a very beautiful community in rural Nepal. This is an experience I will never forget. Sumudu Welikumbura (IVHQ Volunteer in Nepal)
India Medical Mission Volunteer Program
- Qualifications required: Pre-medical/nursing students, medical/nursing students, qualified doctors, nurses and CNAs
- Placement settings: In Delhi volunteers work in a hospital and mobile clinic
- Program duration: Volunteer for 1 to 24 weeks, programs start on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month
- Program fees: From $250USD which includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
Delhi provides opportunities for both medical/nursing students, as well as qualified professionals to gain a first-hand insight to the medical systems in one of the world’s fast-growing countries. Volunteers in India work in hospitals and clinics in Delhi, shadowing experienced physicians who are enthusiastic about exchanging their knowledge and experience with international volunteers. Here, volunteers assist with routine jobs, such as taking vitals, providing advice regarding health, nutrition and sanitation during routine check-ups, or treating minor injuries and wounds. Longer-term volunteers (staying 3 months or more) will have more scope to assist with hands-on tasks, and qualified professionals may request to work in their area of expertise.
It was such a good experience! My host family was the best I have ever stayed with so sweet, kind and helpful. They treated me like family and were always looking out for me. We were provided all we needed at the wonderful apartment and three delicious meals a day. On the health project we were given a chance to see many sides of Indian healthcare system and all of our questions were answered. I was so impressed with each placement and learned so much. It was very good that as a brand new nurse with so little clinical experience I was given a chance to learn so much. Katelyn Rowland (IVHQ Volunteer in Delhi, India)
Vietnam Medical Mission Volunteer Program
- Qualifications required: Pre-medical/nursing students, qualified doctors, nurses, CNAs and EMTs
- Placement settings: Volunteers are based in a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City
- Program duration: Volunteer for 2 to 24 weeks, programs start every Monday
- Program fees: From $295USD (+$25USD per week for training provided and resources used on this project). Fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
Both students and skilled medical professionals have the opportunity to experience a new working environment and the Vietnamese culture, while developing their global medical perspective as medical volunteers in Vietnam. Volunteers here provide support to an orthopedic and rehabilitation hospital, working alongside and local doctors or nurses in the areas of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Here, volunteers work with children and adults who suffer from cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, congenital motor system deformity and other disabilities. Depending on your level of experience, you may observe operations, provide assistance in basic procedures and visit patients before and after surgery.
The medical placement was the perfect combination of challenging, rewarding and eye-opening. I continue to be inspired by all the hard-working staff and medical team at the hospital, who do so much but with so little. Amazing! Phuong Dinh (IVHQ Volunteer in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)
Want to learn more about IVHQ’s full range of Medical and Healthcare volunteer abroad projects? Discover all your options for a medical mission trip.