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Pre-Med Volunteering Abroad

by Terry Jhon

If you are interested in becoming a pre-med volunteer abroad, you should know that your skills will be highly in demand.  Billions of people globally at present lack access to proper medical care or preventative education; donating your time through pre-med volunteering or any other type of medical volunteering abroad may seem like a mere small step, but the effects of this experience are huge and far-reaching.

Those with a medical degree, or even pre-med volunteers, working their way toward a medical degree, have much to offer the international community by volunteering abroad in medicine.  Medical volunteers can put their knowledge to use to aid those with limited access to medical care while also exploring new parts of the world, and return home with a fresh appreciation of the importance of medicine and a new passion for their chosen profession.

Why Volunteer Abroad In Medicine


If you’re a student presently working toward your degree in nursing, medicine, or a related medical field, becoming a pre-med volunteer abroad can be a fabulous addition to your resume.  For those who have just finished their undergraduate degree and are seeking admission to a graduate school in medicine, volunteering abroad can vastly increase your attractiveness as a potential graduate student.  Furthermore, international work experience will show your dedication to the medical profession and willingness to help others by volunteering your time and skills.

Many of those in the medical profession are driven by altruism, and desire to help those less fortunate live happier, healthier lives.  Pre-med volunteering abroad can all volunteers to gain a greater insight into what health care looks like in various areas of the world.  Frequently, hospitals in urban areas abroad are understaffed, while rural clinics in developing countries operate greatly differently and usually with limited supplies and resources, such as medicines and essential medical technology like vaccines and MRI machines.

On the whole, becoming a pre-med volunteer abroad in a hospital, cliic, or another type of community facility can increase your knowledge of the medical profession and provide you with a new perspective on modern medicine, and the true availability of health care around the world.


Since there are people in need in virtually every country in the world, you can work as a pre-med volunteer in any area that you choose.  Poor nations are the more popular options for pre-med volunteering abroad, but underserved areas exist in every country, including modern cities.

Numerous countries in Africa eagerly welcome international medical volunteers.  South Africa, even though most areas of the country are modern, still battles one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world.  Kenya, location of hundreds of national parks and reserves, has many citizens with malaria, yellow fever, and cholera.  In most instances these diseases are easily treated in modern facilities, or by physicians with sufficient medical background and experience.

Asia is a lure for international medical volunteers, because many of its coastal cities experience frequent natural disasters and poorer regions generally do not have even basic health care.  The Philippines, Nepal, and Thailand all stun volunteers with their incredible natural beauty.  Yet these nations lack availability of vaccines for locals as well as proper sanitation and public health and safety in crowded inner cities, thus pre-med volunteering in these countries can be very rewarding.

Then there are Latin American countries like Guatemala and Ecuador which may appear to be perfect tourist destinations, but locals in Latin America frequently do battle with medical issues associated with poverty, including lack of sanitation, limited availability of healthy foods, and lack of proper dental care.  Local hospitals are usually understaffed and depend upon volunteers and donations to make ends meet and provide adequate care.

Pre-Med Volunteering Abroad Duties

The daily duties of a medical volunteer abroad can differ greatly due to many factors related to each volunteer’s level of education, certificates, and completed degrees.  In practically every medical volunteer placement, a nursing certificate or a medical degree makes people highly in demand, but pre-med volunteers are also welcomed.

Medical volunteering abroad for those having a medical, dental, or nursing degree will probably be in a hospital or clinic, helping the facility operate akin to hospitals and clinics at home.  Experienced medical volunteers can help local medical professionals administer vaccinations, diagnose patients, and prescribe medications.  General medical volunteers, will have the chance to help with more administrative duties.

Also, pre-med volunteers are always needed in centers which provide medical care to physically or mentally disabled children.  Helping this vulnerable population can give volunteers the chance to teach and provide treatment in greatly understaffed facilities.

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