Medical Student / Pre-Med Volunteers

MED STUDENT VOLUNTEER PAGEWe welcome pre-med and medical students on our medical mission trips, as well as at our Memphis-based headquarters to help us with research and awareness-building projects.

Pre-med and medical students who qualify to be an ICHF volunteer have an opportunity to work and learn through:

  • Research and awareness building projects
  • Non-profit operations and management
  • Mission trip with an ICHF medical team

Research and awareness-building projects

An important part of ICHF’s mission is to conduct research and raise awareness on the global burden of congenital heart disease. ICHF tries to match the student volunteer’s areas of interest with the current projects. Volunteers participate in one or more of one-time and ongoing projects such as:

  • Creating a survey that will help ICHF collect data on the situation of pediatric cardiac care in developing countries
  • Documenting the deficiencies in pediatric cardiac services in the developing world
  • Documenting the effects of Sildenafil on pulmonary hypertension
  • Exploring alternative conduits for RV outflow tract reconstruction
  • Exploring the use of inhaled prostacyclin in managing post-operative pulmonary hypertension

Non-profit operations and management

ICHF student volunteers are involved in assisting with the day-to-day requirements of running a nonprofit organization. Volunteers learn the ins-and-outs of an organization that focuses on international health. Topics include:

  • Federal and state regulations for nonprofits
  • Budget preparation and adherence
  • Fundraising strategies
  • Grant compliance and reporting
  • The planning and execution of fundraising events

Medical Mission Trips

To prepare for medical mission trips, student volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Obtaining necessary donations for operating on children with congenital heart defects
  • Packing medical supplies for trips
  • Maintaining a data base of medical supplies received through donations and being shipped out on medical trips
  • Keeping a log of medical supplies received

Role of Students on an ICHF Mission Trip

As a student on a medical trip, you will be provided the opportunity to learn and participate in a health care system that is part of a culture other than your own, while also gaining an in-depth look into the field of cardiothoracic surgery.  You will be challenged, learning to work with limited resources while gaining knowledge and also awareness of the culture’s impact on its medical practice.  While traveling on a mission with ICHF, your role will be to learn and to help the team.

As a member of the medical team, student volunteer responsibilities will vary depending on your level of education and skills, and include:

  • Spending time with each medical team specialist (intensive care, cardiology, anesthesia and surgery) to learn about pediatric care from his/her perspective
  • Participating in daily patient rounds
  • Helping with consults
  • Assisting in the ICU and OR as needed
  • Collecting patient data to be kept in the ICHF statistical database and used for research purposes
  • Taking pictures of patients and documenting their stories by talking with parents and children. These are used to support communications with potential and current donors and grant reporting.
Financial and Personal Responsibilities

As a student intern traveling on a medical trip, your expenses are not paid.  Expenses encountered during a medical trip may include:  airfare, hotel, visa, personal expenses, etc.  Costs will vary depending on the country to which you travel.  Along with being self-funded, interns are expected to be self-motivated, interested, and willing to take the initiative to seek out opportunities to enhance their learning.

Application Process

Apply as a Medical Student / Pre-Med Volunteers

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Please complete the application above, which will be evaluated by our medical trip coordinator.  Applications can take several weeks to be processed since our medical team travels frequently.  If you can’t complete the online version please contact the medical trip coordinator.

When applicable, we can also work with eligible schools to ensure this volunteer service meets internship criteria.