Thank you for your interest in working with Partners In Health. We are grateful to benefit from an extended network of volunteer advocates and supporters who not only spread the word about our work, but also cultivate a concerted movement of people and communities dedicated to fighting poverty, social injustices, and health inequities.
Generally PIH does not operate its clinical work within a volunteer system – our teams in ten countries are staffed almost exclusively by local national physicians, nurses, and other clinical and ancillary workers.
However, clinical volunteer positions can play a critical role in our work when structured around 3 main goals:
To raise the standard of care —most expat clinicians have a skill set that is not available locally (they have done a residency, advanced practice training or worked in a functioning hospital or another PIH site)— and the SHARING of that experience through direct teaching or role modeling will help to raise the standard of care whether by bringing in new protocols, systems.
To build solidarity with the team —local clinicians feel isolated and have been socialized to fail by constant scarcity of drugs, supplies, diagnostics and by poor working conditions. Seeing that a person from elsewhere is willing to stick with them (kore’y as the Haitians say) is a way to keep people motivated, it is a way of looking at our job so as not to blame the clinician but rather blame the system and work together to get the system to work for the patients
To model a pro-poor and solidarity agenda —respect for patients, direct communication with and learning FROM accompagnateurs, home visits, constant attention to social determinants (even if we can’t fix them)—all of these are important ways to demonstrate a solidarity, minimally hierarchical approach to improve health. Most health professionals in any country aren’t from poor families, so as our clinicians learn to work with, respect and learn from patients and community members they become models for others to break down barriers of class.
With this in mind, we typically find that a long-term commitment of three months or more, along with the relevant language skills and experience, are crucial to integrating medical volunteers at our sites. In cases where an expat volunteer brings a very unique and transferable skill-set—such as orthopedic techniques, ultrasound, echocardiography, etc.—we will accept shorter-term volunteers even without fluency in the local or secondary language.
If you feel that your interest, skills, and availability are a fit, please take a moment to complete the form below. This information will be sent directly to our clinical leads in the field for their review. A PIH staff-member will be in touch with you directly only if opportunities arise that fit your background and availability. Thank you again for reaching out to Partners In Health to offer your services. Our entire team is very grateful for your commitment and interest.