NSU-COM coordinates and participates in medical outreach events that provide health care to local, state, and international communities that are underserved. The exposure to varied cultures and the unique concerns that each presents provides participants with unparalleled real-world education that serves to enrich us all. The events include the REACH Fair, and international medical outreach trips to various countries.
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-COM) coordinates and participates in international medical outreach programs that provide health care to underserved international communities. The mission of the outreach programs is to provide access to medical care in underserved and vulnerable countries to improve the health and wellness of those populations most in need. Our goal is to establish long-term relationships that allow us to revisit each community multiple times over several years until the community can maintain its medical status independently. Moreover, volunteers experience and share in a new culture. Each visit brings progress and success in community wellness.
In addition to attending to the health needs of those who do not usually have access to care, theses rewarding experiences also offer our students, faculty members, and volunteers the chance to use their clinical skills in settings that may have medical and public health challenges different from their own. The exposure to varied cultures and the unique concerns that each presents provides participants with unparalleled real-world education that serves to enrich us all.
NSU-COM offers one and two week medical outreach trips for volunteer physicians, nurses, medical students, and other medical and non-medical individuals. Students of other disciplines are also allowed to participate, as each outreach trip allows. We provide medical assistance in areas where health care is limited or difficult to obtain and establish partnerships with the local clinics.
NSU-COM provides all arrangements for its medical volunteers, including transportation, food, government permits, and in-country housing. Activities begin with team members‚ introduction to community leaders and members, community hospitals, clinics, and health posts. At these locations, team members provide a wide range of medical care to meet local needs. Clinic days are long and demanding, but immeasurably productive and rewarding, with numerous patients treated each day.
Currently our host countries include: Vietnam, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, and Jamaica, but we are always in the process of developing new outreach programs, so check with us periodically.
Once your application has been approved, you will be given a comprehensive briefing packet that contains a packing list specific to the location you will be visiting as well as information regarding lodging, clinic sites, local climate, etc. NSU-COM provides the supplies for medical clinic; however, we do accept all non-expired, non-narcotic medications. Medical volunteers are asked to bring their own diagnostics for use in the clinic (otoscope, ophthalmoscope, stethoscope, sphygmomanometer, knee hammer, thermometer, scissors, etc.).
International medical outreach trips are all inclusive. We take care of all of the logistics for your trip as well as the organization of the clinics in each area. As a member of our medical outreach team, we value the time you have already taken to participate in this opportunity. Your donation for participation covers international transportation from Fort Lauderdale or Miami, ground transportation, lodging, meals, and permit requirements. This fee varies between approximately $1000 - $3,500 depending on the location and time of year of travel.
A deposit of approximately 1/3 to 1/2 the trip cost is due approximately three months prior to the trip. Full payment will be due approximately 1-2 months prior to the trip. Please note all fees are approximate and subject to change according to fluctuations in airfare, etc.
Not included in the registration for this trip are fees for obtaining your passport (and visa if necessary), vaccinations necessary for international travel, international health insurance, telephone calling cards, costs for social activities, and souvenirs to remember your journey.
A PASSPORT IS REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL TO ALL COUNTRIES WE VISIT. Note that your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date you enter the host country. If you do not have a passport, please make sure you go to the nearest passport agency and complete the application in a timely manner. IT MAY TAKE SIX to EIGHT WEEKS (sometimes longer) to receive a new passport. If you do not have a passport by the travel time allotted, you will not be able to participate in the medical outreach trip.
Health Care Professionals and Students
We encourage qualified health care professionals to apply to join one of our trips. For each trip, clinic days are designed and patients selected, based in part on the specialties of team members. We provide all arrangements for our overseas medical volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, and other health care workers. If you do not have a current license, you can apply as a non-licensed professional.
NSU-COM students are given propriety assignment. We take two students per health care provider. If you are a student from another program or school, your likelihood of acceptance is greatly enhanced by recruiting a physician to accompany you.
We also encourage volunteers other than health care professionals to join our trips to assist our overseas medical clinic teams and to support a variety of trip-related activities. Non-medical volunteers contribute by helping with the community and the existing medical staff. As always, if you speak the native language of the host county, your skills are at a premium and you will be asked to also serve as a translator. We will do our best to match your job with your skills, so please be specific on your application.
A large number of activities are planned for family members who choose to go on the trip. Please note again, all who travel with us are expected to serve. We will be presenting the “What’s in a Doctor’s Bag?” program, an interactive program designed by doctors to teach children what’s in a doctor’s bag and educate them about health care (information on the Doctor’s Bag can be found at osteopathic.nova.edu/aboutus/doctors_bag.html). It is a rewarding and exciting educational opportunity.
There is great interest in outreach programs, but we do have a limit on how many participants can go on each trip. We will try our best to take as many as we can, but we recommend you submit your application and deposit as soon as possible, as the trip will be first come, first served.
During the trips we take time to engage in social activities, such as sightseeing, visiting local markets, cultural events, and nature activities. Each outreach country offers different places of interest and types of recreation. Social activities to visit areas of the outreach country are provided but are voluntary and are not provided in the fee.
We suggest that each traveler have emergency medical insurance. In the event of an emergency, you will have the option to be evacuated out of country and back to the United States to receive your care. If you are currently covered under the NSU BCBS Insurance Plan, this coverage is included. Outreach participants not covered under the NSU BCBS Insurance Plan should determine in advance what international coverage, if any, their health plan offers, how to seek prior authorization for international care, and how to make a claim after an emergency. Travel health insurance, including insurance for emergency evacuation, is available through many commercial agencies, travel services, and credit card companies. Elements of care for which travelers might want to purchase insurance include emergency care, transportation for care within foreign countries, transportation back to the United States for care, medical equipment and personnel during transport, dental care, prenatal or postnatal care, lost or stolen prescription drugs, and medical translators.
For travel recommendations, safety tips, immunizations and vaccines please visit the CDC Web site at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/.