Lead a Trip

Apply to Lead a Trip

DOCARE seeks to increase access to primary healthcare to underserved communities in low- and middle-income nations worldwide. As part of achieving this goal, we undertake short-term global health outreach trips to destinations in low- and middle-income countries.

Short-term global health outreach trips are typically one- to three-week group excursions that

  • provide primary healthcare directly to people in the destination community,
  • complete public health campaigns aimed at improving community health,
  • assist underserved communities in improving local healthcare or establishing mechanisms for long-term local continuity of care,
  • offer a unique educational experience for traveling students and other volunteers, and
  • offer a challenging but deeply satisfying way for US clinicians to improve the lives of others.

DOCARE accepts proposals from physicians for physician-led short-term global health outreach trips to destinations worldwide.

DOCARE Support

DOCARE offers support to trip leaders to recruit participants.  Trip Leaders may also be reimbursed for up to $400 of medicine/supplies for a trip (see Trip Leader job description and checklist).

Who can apply to lead a trip?

While DOCARE welcomes a broad range of trip volunteers (osteopathic and allopathic medical professionals, students, and laypeople), applying to lead a trip requires more specific qualifications.

In specific, all trips must include at least one US-trained, fully licensed physician as trip director. Additional doctors and other clinicians, such as nurse practitioners, can help co-lead a trip.

In addition, all trip directors are required to have participated in two or more previous global health outreach trips. Additional global health experience is desirable, but not required.

Partnerships

As a first step to initiating a trip, we ask interested groups and individuals to establish a plan with a physician, healthcare facility, or health- or development-related NGO in the country you plan to serve. This connection will help establish a clear understanding of needs in the destination communities, provide firsthand knowledge of the area(s) to be visited, and ensure that the visiting group can have a positive impact.

In the process of devising trip plans, many trip leaders also engage their DOCARE university chapter, university department, residency program, or US-based healthcare nonprofit. This ensures that the trip can recruit physicians, students, residents, and other health care providers as volunteers, offer course credit or CME (if desired), and possibly access institutional funding or material support.

How to Apply

After establishing a destination, institutional connections, and a basic plan, we advise walking through our trip application to ensure each piece is in place.  Note that you’ll also be asked to upload a resume or CV noting your international global health experience.  DOCARE will review the application and return a response to you within three months.

Upon approval, DOCARE will advise trip leadership and post the trip announcement on our website. All applications received will be forwarded to Trip Leadership to approve/decline.  Note that if you have already recruited some or all of your trip participants, they will need to complete the DOCARE waiver, a link for which will be sent to you to share with your participants.  Upon completion of your trip, DOCARE will send a post-trip survey to your participants and share the results with you.