My name is Adriana Miranda and I am currently a student of the Pre-Dental Program here at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). I am writing to you on behalf of the Global Medical Brigade Organization- MTSU to request your help on our student volunteer search. Global Medical Brigades has provided me with so many incredible opportunities. My experiences abroad have reaffirmed my passion for humanitarianism, and, dentistry. Not only have I grown as a person, but the skills I have acquired as a Global Brigades’ volunteer are priceless and I believe many of the pre-health students would appreciate being part of such an incredible experience. As the Pre-Health advisor, you have a far more reach to those pre-health students, specially the Pre-Med and Pre-Dental students, that which to have experience and travel abroad at the same time.
Global Medical Brigades is an international organization of students and medical professionals that work alongside local communities and staff to implement and produce sustainable health systems in countries abroad. This organization works in remote, rural, and under resourced communities in Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Ghana who would otherwise have limited to no access to health care. Volunteers will be able to shadow a licensed healthcare professional as they consult with patients. The licensed doctor will ask the patient additional questions and then diagnosis the patient and prescribe any necessary medications. During shadowing, the volunteer will have the opportunity to ask the doctor questions as well as assist the doctor in transcribing the information into the electronic medical records system and any sort of basic assisting, whether it be medical or dental. These type of volunteer work can help many of the pre-med students that want to have a shadowing experience before going into graduate school, as it gives them a preview of their future profession as well as to those students that wish to help and travel abroad at the same time.
Shadowing a doctor is a great way to find out if a career in medicine or dentistry might be right for you. It will give the students a better understanding of what a doctor’s typical day is like, and gives a good experience to talk about in your applications and interviews for graduate school. It’s also a great way to gain familiarity with different specialties and medical environments.
Global Brigades coordinates their trip for a duration between 1-3 weeks to Honduras, Panama, and Ghana. Each of these programs meet an aspect of our holistic model to strengthen the health and economic development of communities. Volunteers can join a brigade through a Global Brigades chapter on their university campus, start their own chapter, or participate as a small group. Volunteers do not pay to participate in a Medical Brigade. Instead, volunteers do many fundraising activities to meet a set Donation Goal, that once is reached makes the student organization eligible to join the on-the-ground to see their fundraising efforts put into action by participating in a Medical Brigade abroad.
When a volunteer participates in a Medical Brigade, the volunteer’s ground transportation, food, lodging, and emergency insurance are all covered. The funding that the volunteer raised also supports all the necessary costs for program implementation, such as medications, equipment, local doctors, pharmacists, translators, and support staff. The volunteers safety is always an absolute priority. Global Brigades has recently engaged Askari International Security, an industry leader in international risk assessment, to complete a comprehensive risk/safety assessment of all brigade operations reassuring our volunteers and their families of their safety.
Global Brigades does an annual safety review of all lodging facility partners each year. Lodging facilities provide regular amenities such as running water as well as filtered clean drinking water dispensers onsite, wifi and 24-hour security is provided at all facilities. Most conditions are similar to a summer camp, with dormitory-style sleeping and shared bathrooms. Medical Brigades are assigned to lodging facilities based on proximity to the partner community they will be working with. On the first day after arriving to their mission destination, volunteers will learn about rural healthcare needs by meeting with Community Health Workers who are trained to provide basic healthcare year-round in their communities. Then volunteers will prepare for the mobile clinic and pack supplies and medications into appropriate doses.
For the next three days, volunteers will work with healthcare professionals during mobile medical clinics, providing assistance to hundreds of patients. Clinics consist of intake, triage, consultations, dental stations, educational workshops, potentially a vision station, and a pharmacy station. Volunteers will provide clinics for two days in a larger community and one day in a smaller community, so that they can experience the difference in health needs and behaviors among diverse cultures. On the final day volunteers organize a Health & Wellness Fair where they, the volunteers, will facilitate educational workshops on preventative healthcare topics for the community. Finally, volunteers will participate in a cultural exchange activity to end their Brigade volunteer mission .
Volunteers will have translators to help record patient's vitals, allergies, family history and chief complaints information for each patient, which will assist the healthcare professionals in diagnosis.
I sincerely hope that you could help us reach out by letting us place flyers on the department, as well as sending flyers via email, to the pre-health student body so that they might want to join and be part of this wonderful experience. I attached said flyer where it indicates where the students need to go to find out more information about the organization.