planning your medical mission
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How to Start Planning Your Medical Mission Travel

The humanitarian sector always needs medical professionals. In many countries, hospitals and healthcare centers are understaffed and underfunded. Some rural areas lack any professional medical services. Meanwhile, some places require more knowledge of new medical techniques. If you would like to contribute your medical skills in a meaningful way, then a medical mission is the right choice. But, if it’s your first time providing humanitarian medical services, you might be wondering how to get started. Here is a step-by-step guide on planning your medical mission trip.

Step 1. Choose your organization

When planning your medical mission trip, the first thing to do is to choose whom you want to deploy with. You can’t just show up in a country that needs medical professionals and start helping. You need to go with an organization that has licenses and experience in the local area.

To make sure it’s a good fit, do some research on the places where the organization works and the services that they provide. Is there something that is interesting for you? Do you think that you have the right skills to contribute? Are the location and medical mission duration a good option?

Step 2. Prepare in advance

You’ve made the decision to deploy! Ideally, you’ll have some time to prepare for your mission. This includes housekeeping items such as documents, health checks, contracts, and other life organizing. For example, you might need to get an updated passport and have visas and permits sorted out.

But, there is also mental preparation. You should get yourself ready for a new experience and a different culture.

Step 3. Do your research when planning your medical mission

It’s a good idea to get informed before you go. Start with the basics to learn about your destination. What’s the country’s and region’s history? What is the culture like? What are the climate, customs, and conditions? Here are two articles with travel tips for traveling to Africa or the Middle East.

Specifically for planning your medical mission, you should also research the medical structure and culture. Learn what kind of facilities and services are available. What are the biggest needs where you are going?

Step 4. Get vaccines

Next step is to take care of yourself. A sick doctor is not very helpful. So, make sure that you get a health check and any necessary vaccines before you go. You should always consult with a healthcare professional on what those should be.

Typically, you can get sound advice at your travel health clinic. Additionally, the organization that you are deploying with may have some advice. Keep in mind that in some countries there are mandatory vaccines. For example, a yellow fever vaccine certificate may be a requirement to enter the country.

Step 5. Pack smart

When preparing for the medical mission trip, make sure that you have everything you need and pack smart. Of course, bring all of the necessary personal items. Consider the climate and the culture of the place where you are going to deploy. Additionally, bring some essential humanitarian extras from this list.

For a medical mission, it is also important that you bring certain supplies. Your organization should be able to advise you on the conditions at your destination. But sometimes, basic medicine and tools may be missing. So, it’s best to carry at least the most common necessities with you just in case!

Step 6. Stay open-minded

On a medical mission, you’ll need to adapt in a few ways. Just like any deployment, there will be a need for cultural adaptation. You will learn about new ways of thinking, acting, and doing. Maybe you’ll need to get used to a different language and level of personal comfort. You can find more on this on  this blog about local customs in Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines, Nepal, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Haiti.

You will also have to understand how things work at the medical level. Treatments and habits may be different. The medicines and procedures could also vary from what you are used to. Take time to understand what is used and why.

Planning your Medical Mission

Step 7. Go to learn and not to teach

Last, but not least, it’s important to remember that you will be new to the place. It can be a shock at first to see the way things are done especially in the medical field. But, it’s important to go with an open mind and be prepared to learn.

Many people arrive on missions to teach others, and they absolutely do. But your first goal should be to learn and understand. This way, your mission can be successful in the long-term because you will be able to propose sustainable solutions that work locally. Plus, you’ll likely discover new things about yourself—both personally and professionally! Now we discussed planning your medical mission trip, we offer you our help.

We Want to Help You Planning Your Medical Mission Trip

We believe our world is a better place when compassion can travel where it is needed most. As a global humanitarian travel organization, we devote ourselves to serving those who serve the world. Our experienced staff can be reached at any given time. Please use our quick address locator to contact your nearest Raptim office should you have any questions. You can also follow our blog for more stories and travel information.