Apr 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Medical Volunteering Throughout the World

This post was originally written for the Travel column on SCJ; however, we believe it has appeal for senior citizens beyond travel interests.  So we wanted to feature it here on Senior Moments.  It is written by SCJ Travel Editor, Jim Becker.

I have had the opportunity to serve a medical group called Christian Medical and Dental Association.  We served first in the Dominican Republic, then moved on in another summer to Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador.  Each experience was very rewarding.  I was a Biology/French major in undergraduate college and wanted to be a dentist.  I ended up being a French teacher for over 35 years.  With each group above I served as a dental assistant to some great volunteer dentists and, as I speak Spanish, it worked very well for me and the dentists who benefited from our experience more than any of our patients. CMDA provides free service to the needy throughout the world. Here’s how we travel and work to bring joy to those in dire need of medical and dental attention.

Many Opportunities for Volunteers

There is a wide variety of opportunities for seniors volunteers to serve on similar trips. I invite seniors to investigate each of the following to see if it might be one that you and your “significant other” might enjoy serving in a poor country, serving the poorest of the poor. International mission service is an integral part of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. Cross-cultural work breaks down barriers that would otherwise obstruct the Gospel from reaching many around the world, and changes lives forever, both of the person who gives and the person who receives. Their international efforts reach out to those who rarely, if ever, have access to medical or dental health services, and they  partner with national organizations to provide educational training so that local healthcare providers can deliver improved care after a team leaves. is a web-based service providing opportunity for mission organizations to post their volunteer needs and for volunteers to search for the perfect service opportunity. All mission trip opportunities have a medical focus but you do not have to be a doctor, nurse or any other medical provider to serve. Although the missions and the mission teams do have professional medical providers as their mainstay, there are many roles to be filled by general volunteers that bring their own unique skills to the team. To consider more possibilities, The International Medical Volunteers Association Directory lists dozens of organizations that seek medical or medical support personnel to help carry out humanitarian missions.

International Volunteering

International volunteering provides a more reciprocal form of travel, in which both volunteers and host communities are able to benefit from the experience.  I leave you with a catch all link that provides seniors with a listing and challenge to join one of these worthwhile endeavors. I can assure you from my experiences abroad that any and all will create an indelible memory and force on your life. jeb

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  1. […] spent two weeks in Ecuador on a Medical Group Mission trip and was very impressed with the people, the scenery and the economic condition of the country. I […]

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