It is very possible to do health-related volunteer work in foreign countries�particularly in underdeveloped areas�though finding the right position will require a good deal of research on your part. Keep in mind that while volunteering abroad can be very exciting and rewarding, it also may come with certain health and safety risks. Be very careful as you begin to investigate international volunteer opportunities�both in terms of the sponsoring organization's legitimacy and reputation, as well as the potential hazards of spending time living and working in these particular areas.
There are numerous search engines to explore health-related volunteer opportunities globally, including:
- AMSA International Health Opportunities Directory
- International Medical Volunteers Association
- International Volunteer Programs Association
In addition, some organizations that have their own programs abroad are:
- Amigos de las Americas
- Child Family Health International
- Cross-Cultural Solutions
- Global Development Collaborative, Inc.
- Global Health Corps
- Global Medical Brigades
- Global Service Corps
- International Service Learning
- Medicine, Education and Development to Low Income Families Everywhere (MEDLIFE)
- Operation Crossroads Africa
- Penn Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)
- Power Up Gambia
- Pratit International
- Somos Hermanos
- Unite for Sight
- Visions in Action
For additional information about the field of global health, including a list of international health organizations, please feel free to visit the Global Health Section of the Penn Medical School web site.