Volunteering. I’m sure you’re well aware that to volunteer often is absolutely critical for your medical school application. But has the thought of volunteering while traveling internationally ever crossed your mind? Well, thanks to Global Brigades, it can be done.
What Is Global Brigades?
Global Brigades is a non-profit initiative that utilizes a holistic model to meet the needs of impoverished communities across the globe. Global Brigades helps poverty-stricken communities receive access to healthcare. They also help international communities with reaching economic stability.
Currently, Global Brigades is active in six countries. Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Five of these countries offer a medical brigade. This means you’ll be able to volunteer while crossing off some extracurriculars on your medical school application. You’ll also meet like-minded students like you, and enjoy a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Below you’ll find an example description of what is done at a medical brigade, although each one in unique.
Students can expect to aid in providing primary health care services to small under-resourced rural communities with limited access to medical care. Physicians will provide patient consults and prescribe treatment for acute illnesses. Students work in triage, shadow physicians, provide education workshops, and help to distribute medicine in the pharmacy.
Students aid in providing preventative health care services to small rural communities in partnership with the Department of Health. Volunteers build capacity of community health workers (CHWs) on chronic illness screening techniques. During clinic days, patients are screened for chronic diseases while physicians provide consults and prescribe treatments for those diagnosed with a chronic illness. Volunteers and CHWs also do home visits for patients unable to attend clinic.
Students aid in providing primary health care services to small under-resourced rural communities with limited to no access to medical care. Physicians provide patient consults and prescribe treatment for acute illnesses. Students work in triage, shadow physicians, provide education workshops, and help to distribute medicine in the pharmacy. Students also help to build capacity of community health workers (CHWs) on chronic illness screening techniques.
Students work alongside local doctors to aid in providing primary health care for asylum seekers, refugees, and other vulnerable populations in the GB Athens Clinic. Volunteer participation ensures asylum seekers and refugees have access to regular medical care and consults with the pediatricians, gynecologists, and ophthalmologists of the GB Athens Clinic. Volunteers work in intake, shadow physicians, provide health education workshops, and make sure our patient’s medical records are updated in our databases. Medical referrals are provided to specialists and the public health system for needs beyond the scope of the brigade.
Students aid in providing primary health care services to small under-resourced rural communities with limited to no access to medical care. Physicians provide patient consults and prescribe treatment for acute illnesses. Volunteers work in triage, shadow physicians, provide education workshops, and help to distribute medicine in the pharmacy.
Why Global Brigades Is for You
Become Inspired Through New Cultural Experiences
If you’re currently navigating college as a pre-med, I’m certain you can attest to the seriousness of burnout. Having to study for multiple exams at once, be involved in extracurricular activities, and having to prepare for the MCAT may all be creeping in your mind. These stress factors have major implications for your mental health. When your mental health suffers so does your motivation.
Why is it important to travel and get away?
Motivation is a pivotal force that’ll get you to your dream of becoming a practicing physician one day. Luckily at Global Bridges, they take an exciting and unconventional approach to rekindling that initial motivation that’s been suppressed by the stresses of undergrad – by offering brigades for pre-meds to participate in. In participating in a medical brigade, you’ll volunteer at one of our global communities they work with. You’ll also be able to connect with like-minded pre-meds and become inspired to continue on your journey of becoming a physician.
Explore the World and Its Melting Pot of Cultures
A truly competent physician is one who’s always eager to learn. The field of medicine is constantly changing, especially as we move onwards to the future with technological advances. In addition, a competent physician is one who’s culturally aware. It’s inevitable as a physician that you’ll be caring for patients from a wide array of populations/demographics. A physician who’s culturally aware can navigate complex patient-physician scenarios when the patient is uncomfortable due to cultural reasons. The amount to learn from traveling and expanding your horizons is endless, further reason to participate in a global brigade.
Be Different From Other Medical School Applicants
Unfortunately, having a stellar MCAT score, outstanding grades, and great letters of rec aren’t enough to get you into medical school. Your med school application needs substance, something to differentiate you from other applicants. And there’s no better way to stand out than by volunteering globally. Not only will you be making a sustainable impact in a Global Brigades partner community, but you’ll also be able to voice your unique experiences with an interviewer from a medical school.
The saying goes “traveling is good for the soul.” At Global Brigades they say, volunteering abroad expands your horizons and makes the world a better place. Your future global brigades trip awaits you, learn more today!