Medical Missions is a 501©3 organization that connects medical volunteers and other volunteers with organizations sponsoring medical missions all over the world: medical mission.org.
Its goal is to connect healthcare providers with organizations sponsoring medical missions by offering a free, searchable database of health-related volunteer opportunities and medical mission trips. These include short and long-term medical volunteer opportunities, both domestic and international.
- Services are 100 percent free for both medical volunteers who register, and mission organizations posting their opportunities.
- Individuals from more than 217 countries use MedicalMissions.org
- More than 4,200 medical professionals have registered
- More than 180 organizations have posted thousands of mission opportunities
Click here to read about a recent mission: A Day in Cure International’s OR in Ethiopia, by Elizabeth Drum
International Honoree: Wael Hakmeh, D.O., Emergency Medicine, West Bloomfield, Michigan
From the moment he arrived at the hospital for his first mission trip in Alleppo, Syria, Dr. Wael Hakmeh was surprised by the sheer violence and trauma the people there faced, and the bravery in which they went about their lives with war raging all around them.
This hospital, known as M10, is the largest trauma hospital in northern Syria. It has been bombed eight times by the Syrian government over the past two years. As a Michigan-based Emergency Medicine physician, he was there to serve as part of a mission trip with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), an organization of Syrian-American healthcare workers who do relief work around the world. Before arriving in Alleppo, he had been teaching an Emergency Medicine/Critical Care course to Syrian healthcare workers in Turkey, preparing them to treat the traumatic injuries commonly seen there.
En route to start work at the hospital, a massacre had just been committed, and dozens of patients had just arrived. He noticed dead bodies, including children, laying on benches outside. The injured were being brought in by pick-up trucks which serve as ambulances in the battered city. The staff learned that a barrel bomb—crudely composed from oil drums, shrapnel and explosives— had been dropped on an open-air market busy with shoppers. Dr. Hakmeh immediately began to help the badly-injured patients, working alongside the staff using the limited resources available. His first patient was a diabetic man in his 70s with a severe blunt abdominal injury with intra-abdominal bleeding and a low blood pressure.
“In the U.S. this man almost certainly goes to the operating room, immediately after a CT if he is hemodynamically stable. But here there was no CT and his surgery was slated for the next morning because of several more severely-injured patients triaged ahead of him.”
Domestic Honoree: Dr. Roy Blank, Retired, Internal Medicine, Charlotte, North Carolina
Dr. Roy Blank was admittedly late getting started in medical missions work. But you can say he’s done a lot in just a few short years to make up for lost time by being a dependable volunteer, leader and teacher, both overseas and in his own backyard.
After spending his 40-year career in private practice, with his final years in the Charlotte, N.C. area, his first foray into medical missions work was the result of a hallway conversation with a colleague.
It was January 2010, and a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake had just happened in Haiti, an event that killed more than 250,000 people. A local physician assistant student, George Collins, was recruiting a team of healthcare workers to travel there. He asked Dr. Blank, his professor at Wingate University, to go. After discussing it with his wife, he joined the team of 22 people.
“It was an amazing experience. We didn’t know where we were going or how to find out where we were most needed,” he said. “We all took a leap of faith. One of the moments I’ll never forget was as we were driving through Port-Au-Prince, people were out in the streets, dancing in the rain. They were celebrating being alive.”
Get involved: medicalmissions.org