International Medical Aid
International Medical Aid Programs
International Medical Aid (IMA) offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for doctors, medical residents, medical students, and pre-med undergraduates to work in busy international...
International Medical Aid Reviews
An amazing catalyst to view Kenya and gain experience working in an international medical field
Submitted by Caitlin M. - Marymount Manhattan College | November 20, 2017
International Medical Aid could not have been a better catalyst to view Kenya and gain experience working in an international medical field while feeling truly immersed in the culture. I was placed in the Gender Based Violence Recovery Center working with survivors of sexual violence, and rather than simply observing the care that these men and women were given, I was allowed to provide counseling and medical attention to them, feeling as though I was getting real hands on experience. I learned empathy, compassion, how to have humor in the face of tragedy and trauma, and of course, a lot of Swahili. My supervisors at the hospital were supportive and encouraging, and at times, had more confidence in my abilities than I did myself. They taught me more than I could have anticipated, and I have made lasting mentorships with these people.
As compelling and inspirational as my time in the hospital was, I was just as motivated to make the most of my time in Kenya by my program mentors. Even though it was hard to leave the hospital out of our minds after we left for the day, they allowed us to feel good about experiencing the culture and seeing the true beauties of Kenya while not working. I was always taken care of by the housing staff, the security guards, our driver, Yusuf, and the locals in Kenya. I always felt safe in my surroundings, and just as important, I always felt cared for and supported emotionally by the IMA team. If I had witnessed something that was heartbreaking, which I did, I always had support through the emotional ups and downs. By the end of the trip, I felt as though the program mentors had blossomed into real friends, and I will take that with me through life.
I am aware of the new term 'voluntourism' as something negative that happens to the community when volunteers come in to an underdeveloped nation and offer limited support for a short amount of time, and leave thinking they made a truly massive impact on the community. In reality, though the intentions might have been true, the limited help cannot offer lasting support to the community. With the knowledge of this, I was very particular in selecting the group I wanted to volunteer through, making sure that if I were to offer my service to a community, it would be received well and actually help the people I was working with in a sustainable way. I could not be more pleased with my choice of serving with International Medical Aid. I got to witness first hand how revered IMA is within Mombasa, and how the locals truly admire the work the program is doing. We got to do outreach programs, medical clinics, visit schools and orphanages, and meet with locals in the hospitals who all were highly appreciative of the service we could give them. I know that I am forever impacted by their help and time spent with me, and I feel confident that the work IMA is doing is providing lasting change and benefit to the community in Mombasa.
One of the hardest things about the program was knowing that it had to come to an end in Kenya, and myself and several of the other volunteers were trying to think of ways that we could carry on the lifestyle and positive change we were trying to evoke even when we were back home. This is where Homayon came in and gave us inspiration to take the knowledge and skills we had gained while serving in Kenya, and translate those into meaningful continuations in our daily lives. Through writing, advocacy, sharing stories, continuous research, and keeping up to date with the happenings in Kenya, my fellow volunteers and I feel as though we are working to make an impact even after the program was completed, and I feel like that is the true change that happened within me. I now feel compelled to take my experience in Kenya and use my privilege of being there and getting to witness its power, and translate that into something good. I will forever cherish my time spent with International Medical Aid.
Stellar in-country support, safety, and accommodations
Submitted by Michelle Zhou - Austin College | November 20, 2017
International Medical Aid provided stellar in-country support, safety, and accommodations. The food was prepared by a top chef and is hands down, some of the best food I've ever had! Our oral hygiene clinics that we held in the slums were beneficial to the local community as we were able to educate the locals on hygiene habits, something that isn't commonly available. The hygiene clinics were some of my favorite aspects of this program. This program also was very safe and necessary precautions were taken in this program to ensure our safety.
Excellent mentors, meaningful clinical exposure, and very safe experience
Submitted by Tyler Hostetler - Ball State University | November 20, 2017
I remember the time leading up to my medical internship in Kenya being full of excitement and anticipation. As the time grew closer, I became more worried and anxious. I worried about my safety, enjoyment, health, and if I was going to gain more knowledge from my experience. Soon after arriving in Kenya, my anxieties quickly disappeared.
The staff that International Medical Aid provided for us was incredible. Our mentors were very knowledgeable and were always there for us when we needed something. Our chef cooked us delicious food that was both safe and stayed true to common African dishes. Our housekeeper was very friendly and always made sure our residence was a homey place to live. On top of the excellent staff that was taking care of us, our place of residence was very nice, clean, and safe place to live.
After a few days of being immersed in the culture of Kenya, my concern about gaining knowledge from this experience disappeared quickly. I began to learn about the people and their lifestyle as soon as I stepped off the plane. I have a complete new appreciation for the life I live in the United States. My worries, complaints, and hardships seem minuscule after seeing what some of the people of Kenya go through every day. I had the opportunity help in hospitals, play with orphaned children, teach children how to wash their hands and brush their teeth, help hold a medical clinic for a primary school, and most rewarding of all, I now sponsor a first grader so that he can attend school.
I can't say thank you enough to International Medical Aid and its staff for the incredible experience. I am a completely changed person after my time spent in Kenya. This was a special trip. I not only made friends, but I made friends that I want to continue to stay in touch with and see again. This is a big deal since they are on the other side of the world. Because of this trip, I plan to go back to Mombasa, Kenya to volunteer more, go back to connect with old friends, and hopefully be an ambassador for IMA. I encourage those I talk to about this experience to try it out themselves or support the organization. Mombasa, Kenya will always be my second home.
Great insight into Kenyan healthcare system, extremely organised placement
Submitted by Joshua O - James Cook University | March 22, 2017
Extremely well organised placement with no hassles. Gained a good insight into healthcare and the challenges faced in a hospital setting in Kenya, with the support and supervision of welcoming and dedicated doctors.
Learn, Experience and Contribute in A Meaningful Way
Submitted by Kassie - Charlotte United States | March 22, 2017
My experience in Kenya was indescribable. From a medical standpoint, I was able to learn, experience and contribute in such a meaningful manner that these memories will remain with me for the rest of my life and professional career. My mentor was a great source of comfort for me while in Kenya. He was always checking in on me and ensuring my safety, comfort and well being and assisting wherever necessary in helping me to become accustomed to life in Kenya. IMA's cook was a dear friend and a phenomenal chef preparing courses that could have easily been offered in a 5 star restaurant on a daily basis. The accommodations were safe and comfortable. I was in walking distance to the beach and any resource I might have required. I have made dear friends from my experience in Kenya that I will keep in close touch with. I look forward to completing another trip with International Medical Aid and will recommend this agency to any of my contacts in the medical community who are interested in contributing abroad in a meaningful way.