The holidays are upon us and this is a common time for people to think about giving back to their communities. Whether it be by donating resources and money or by offering services, there are many ways to help people in need. Those working locum tenens physician jobs have an exceptional opportunity to give back because they have flexible schedules and are often times not tied down to one location. Plus, many different communities in this country, as well as in other countries, have a great need for healthcare. Are you a traveling physician who wants to take a break from your paid gigs and find out where volunteer physicians are needed this winter? If so, check out this list of things to consider when looking for volunteer work for physicians and some possible opportunities that are available to you!
Four Things to Consider Before Selecting Volunteer Work for Physicians
There are neglected communities across the world that need access to healthcare year-round. Therefore, first and foremost, don’t limit your volunteer work to only this time of year. With that said, here are some things to consider when looking for volunteer work for physicians.
1. Experience requirements
Volunteer work for physicians can have a variety of requirements such as education, specialty, and years of work experience. Although this is a volunteer gig, charities still need to assign someone who is able to perform the duties of the position. When you’re looking for charity work, make sure you are qualified for the task at hand before signing up.
2. Length of stay
Another thing to consider is how long you’re going to be volunteering and how frequently. If you’re traveling to a destination to volunteer, you will need to think about how long you’ll be staying there and rearrange your volunteer and work schedule accordingly.
If you’re traveling out of the country, inquire about where you will be staying and what travel arrangements need to be made for the trip. Also, consider what health risks you face as a traveler to that location and make sure you are up to date on any vaccines you need.
4. Legal Aspects
Keep in mind that there could be legal concerns regarding volunteer work for physicians. The last thing you want to do is harm your own career while trying to helping others. For example, even if you have malpractice insurance, it may only cover you when practicing medicine at your place of employment. You may need a special kind of liability protection in order to volunteer your services elsewhere. Although lawsuits are uncommon, they are something to be aware of when volunteering as a physician.
Volunteer Work for Physicians
International Travel Opportunities
There are many international travel opportunities available for locum tenens physicians who want to volunteer their medical services. For example, several organizations exist such as Doctors Without Borders, which is a program that assists physicians who are willing to travel and provide emergency medical aid to people during natural disasters, armed conflict, or epidemics. There are also several, smaller ministries you could travel with to help provide healthcare.
Volunteer Physicians Needed in the U.S.
Don’t forget that you don’t have to travel far away to find people who are in need of medical services. There are people right here in the United States who are in need. You can find volunteer work for physicians through organizations such as the American Red Cross. They look for both physical and mental healthcare providers to assist during natural disasters such as a recent disaster, Hurricane Irma. There are also various volunteer opportunities available to physicians and dentists at clinics throughout the United States.
Have you volunteered as a physician in the past? Share your tips and experiences with us in the comments below!