Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), is a nonprofit organization that exists to help individuals around the world where the need is at a high point. It was founded in 1971 by a group of 13 French doctors and journalists who were displeased with the Red Cross’s neutral stance. They believed that all individuals had the right to receive medical care – regardless of their age, gender, race, or work status. In 1972, Doctors without Borders carried out its first relief mission by helping victims of an earthquake disaster in Nicaragua. Other missions that followed included those in Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Russian republic of Chechnya, and more. In 1999, Doctors without Borders was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition for its efforts and worldwide accomplishments.
In 2003, Doctors without Borders became a founding partner in the organization “Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi). DNDi works to create medications for diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV or AIDS. To this day, Doctors without Borders has played a significant role in the health of victims of disease outbreaks. The organization strives to deliver medical aid to victims affected by natural disasters, conflict, epidemics, or inadequate health care. Doctors without Borders has offices in several countries and has helped more than 80 countries worldwide.
When most individuals think about volunteering, they think of traveling to a foreign country to do something that they have never done before. While this is generally what a volunteer experience entails, there are also several specialized volunteer opportunities to participate in, such as in underdeveloped countries. What most volunteers or for that matter doctors, such as you, don’t realize is that you can use your specialized skills to serve in a community where most volunteers cannot. Participating in medical volunteer trips abroad, such as Doctors without Borders, can be extremely rewarding. Due to the nature of their projects, they only accept individuals with very specific qualifications and interests. When it comes to participating in a mission-driven project, you have the power to change individuals’ lives for the better.
Philanthropy is important for any business organization, especially medical practices. After all, how can millennials be persuaded to follow a career in medicine? Recent studies show that young American adults say they are more likely to purchase from, recommend, and work for organizations that donate to charity. They care greatly about issues such as education, healthcare, and the environment. So if you are volunteering your time and actively advocating for a cause, you can help attract future generations of doctors.
The need for medical volunteers exists almost anywhere around the globe. However, what makes volunteering such a rewarding experience? How can it help you to reach your career goals?
- Volunteering helps you to develop your skills
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to learn new skills and build on the ones that you already possess. Some organizations, such as Doctors without Borders or the Peace Corps, require skills levels that are far more advanced. If you believe that you qualify, volunteering can help you to develop your skills and use them to benefit the greater community.
- Volunteering helps you to gain valuable experiences
Volunteer experiences show the world that you are able to manage your time, execute tasks, and commit yourself to a cause. Both the individuals you are helping and your fellow volunteers can help broaden your horizons. During the same time, you can also explore your career interests by doing hands-on work and experiencing life in the real world.
- Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet new individuals
Volunteering is a great opportunity to expand your network and meet new individuals No matter the groups of individuals you are working with; you have the chance to gain new insights by committing to a shared project together. After all, you never know who might help you and how in the long run.
- Volunteering lets you explore a career change or a different career direction
Volunteering allows you the chance to get to know the rewards and hardships that come with a particular experience and gain a better understanding of your role. Even if you are not planning on changing careers, you may be surprised to learn more about yourself and your passion for your work. Volunteering lets you practice important skills such as communication, task management, teamwork, and project planning,
- Volunteering helps boost your confidence
As a doctor, maintaining your confidence is important because you have individuals who constantly look up to you for guidance and support. Volunteering can give you a great sense of pride and identity. It is a great way to stay active, be productive, and feel useful.
- Volunteering helps to improve your health and overall well-being
Recent studies reveal that those who volunteer experience better health and greater life satisfaction. What’s more, volunteers show signs of positive health changes, such as an increased ability to deal with stress and greater resilience to recovering from health-related problems. The positive impact on your health contributes to the overall positive impact on your quality of life.
- Volunteering allows you to get to know yourself
The foundation of a successful career is recognizing your skills, knowing your interests and values, as well as striving for accomplishments. Volunteer experience is a helpful approach in learning more about yourself and your strengths. It gives you the oppurtunity to view your potential and strive for betterment.
- Volunteering allows you to make a difference in the world
Volunteer experiences can open your eyes and give you a greater perspective on life. It is about doing small things that can have a great impact on others around you. Volunteering is a win-win situation - those who give reap the benefits of knowing they are making a difference in the world.
Volunteer doctors play a significant role in the work of local and international nonprofit organizations. They help to promote the positive values of volunteering within the medical field, as well as embed voluntary efforts that contribute to individuals’ health and overall well-being. What’s more, they recognize the deeper understanding of volunteer experiences across countries where public health and social care are needed. Healthcare volunteer projects are ideal for recent graduates, healthcare professionals, and those interested in a career break. If you are considering applying for a volunteer project, such as Doctors without Borders, you should examine the qualities that you possess and those that are essential for the project. Highlight the areas that fit most closely with what you want to get out of a volunteer experience. However, always keep an open mind. Sometimes, a project may not seem like the ideal fit for you but it may surprise you in the end.
The best type of volunteer work is one that involves commitment and focus. By helping others, you have the opportunity to boost your reputation, your career, and your overall well-being. FindaTopDoc’s Expert Blog allows you to host your own blog by sharing fulfilling philanthropic experiences with other doctors. What’s more, you can read up on the experiences of other top doctors and learn more about the areas you believe best relate to your field and drive. As a doctor, no matter the knowledge you possess, you can always learn a great deal from other individuals as well.
Great advantages can be seen from volunteering by doctors at any phase in their medical careers. Doctors without Borders is merely an example of an organization that helps to bridge the gap between developed and underdeveloped countries. It consists of countless volunteers who promote teamwork and encourage open communication – all deserving of genuine gratitude and support. Volunteering can prepare a medical student for a future career in medicine or it can restore a retired doctor’s passion for medicine. Either way, when you volunteer for a role that is fit for you, only amazing outcomes can be achieved.