A medical mission trip can be one of the most rewarding experiences for any medical or dental student or professional. You will be granted the opportunity to learn about different cultures, expand your horizons, and pick up various new medical skills as you serve the community. You have to make several considerations when planning your mission trip, however. If you really want to make a difference, make sure you honor your intentions by taking the time to plan carefully. You should even be sure to consider all of your expenses, complete with a detailed list to ensure you have what you need. Crafting the most detailed plan early on is essential for the success of your trip.
Preparing For Your Mission Trip
First of all, you need to find a medical mission trip that suits your interests. Some basic research will help you determine exactly where you’d like to help out. You can find a lot of pertinent information through International Medical Relief, including upcoming trips. A number of areas of focus are included, even dental and surgical. Healthcare professionals such as nurses and physicians may also have success by looking at the current list of Foundation of Peace trips. Many trips have a particular application process, so be sure to read carefully.
You should also consider the need for immunizations and specific forms of travel documentation. Make sure to research vaccinations on the Center for Disease Control & Prevention website. They can provide exacting details regarding the immunizations you’ll need for the particular area you’re hoping to serve during your mission. You should also seek out the nearest embassy for the country to determine which travel documents you’ll need.
You should also consider the supplies that you’ll need when putting together your medical mission trip. Many programs have specific requirements, such as a limit of two bags that separate your personal belongings and clothing from your medical supplies. The materials you’ll need to bring along will depend largely upon the nature of the work you’ll be doing. It’s in your best interest to have full clarification on what you’ll need on hand as far in advance as possible.
How Much Can You Expect To Spend During A Mission Trip?
According to the Catholic Health Association of the United States, you can expect the following from your medical mission trip:
- The cost of international trips along will make up nearly half of your total expenses.
- Nearly half of all program participants spend anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 dollars.
- Around 25 percent of the participants in the study spent even more than $2,000.
- In some cases, you may be able to spend less (and even nothing at all).
Each trip’s expenses will vary depending on where you’re going and what the program is able to provide on your behalf. Make sure that you’re well aware of everything expected of you through your program’s guidelines, and ask as many clarifying questions as you need. At the very least, you should prepare to cover your own transportation, food, supplies, and lodging.
Raising Funds For Your Mission Trip
All of the early planning above may only be one aspect of the overall process. In some cases, you could need help raising the funds needed. Once you have a good idea of the medical mission trip that you’d like to participate in, it’s time to start thinking about establishing a fundraising effort. You may be able to crowdfund a significant portion of your expenses if not all of them! There are many online options such as YouCaring that will allow you to share your passion for the trip and receive donations from people all over the world. This can allow you to finally bring your hopes of helping others through a medical mission trip to fruition.