Volunteer Opportunities for Health Care Providers

Patient with an IV If you are an avid reader of our blog, you know that we have written about several studies that have shown that physicians would not recommend their career choice to others. Many physicians say that the reason that they went into medicine, to care for patients, is no longer the main duty of a physician –that they often spend more time performing administrative duties than actually providing care, or that they are forced to provide care in 15 minute appointments which leaves little room for relationship building and many of the other intangible aspects of care.

A little bit of good news is that many physicians have said that they “rediscovered” their love of medicine through volunteer work. Today we are going to profile a few organizations that provide volunteer opportunities for health care providers. Each of them provides very different opportunities and different levels of commitment.

1. Do you love to teach? If so, and you are looking to take some time off and are willing to travel, you’ll want to check out Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO). This large-scale organization is focused on educating and training physicians around the world.

2. Are you a retired physician or are you looking for a larger opportunity to serve a local community? Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) is an organization dedicated to developing free clinics in the U.S., one community at a time, to serve uninsured patients. The clinics provide primary care and patient education. There are currently 96 VIM clinics in 29 states.

3. If you’d like a less time-consuming or more part-time volunteer experience, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) might be for you! The MRC is a government organization that mobilizes health care volunteers both in times of emergency and for general public health initiatives. The organization was started by the government in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks; the government saw thousands of health care providers respond to volunteer, but realized that there was no organized channel to support their efforts.

And, of course, no matter where or how you choose to volunteer, make sure that you check with your organization about medical malpractice insurance coverage. Don’t assume that just because you’re volunteering, that they are covering you for any liabilities. Contact us if you have questions or need coverage for your volunteer activities.

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