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 hospitals, mentored by our outstanding staff of dedicated physicians and other healthcare professionals. We collaborate with an extensive network of public and private hospitals to provide rewarding hands-on programs tailored to the specific skill sets and educational background of each volunteer. IMA strives to improve the health of undeserved individuals in these regions through mobile medical clinics, public health education programs and first responder training. We take a holistic approach to care, collaborating with local leaders to develop ethical and sustainable community-led initiatives that address the root causes of disease and illness.
Unlike many health care volunteer programs, IMA is a not-for-profit organization that reinvests at least five percent of profits back into the communities in which we operate. While some programs merely transport participants to their hospital placements and offer little oversight or guidance, we provide a structured environment with multiple sources of local support. IMA oversees every aspect of our volunteers’ overseas experience, including extensive training on safety and infection control procedures.
Programs Developed at Johns Hopkins: Gain clinical experience in an immersive, structured hospital shadowing experience in the developing world.
Socially Responsible Model: Meaningfully contribute to the communities that we work with through our on-going, sustainable medical outreach programs.
Safety and Security: Every measure is taken to assure the safety of our interns. Interns will have 24/7 U.S.-based and in-country support teams. All programs include basic accident + travel insuranc
Graduate/Medical School Support: Participation in our competitive healthcare internship programs will distinguish your application. Successful alumni have access to admissions consulting services.
Explore the World: Our programs allow volunteers to use weekends to go on safaris. Through partnerships with reputable guides, IMA can help simplify travel arrangements for our interns.
It was an amazing experience with a lot of support! I will 100% recommend this program to other and hope that they get the same experience I have! The most valuable aspect was the education received by the doctors in the hospital. I learned so much in the 5 weeks I’ve been here and experience more medicine then the 4 years I’ve been study as a pre med. I loved the safari experience. We were able to see all of the big 5 and several others. I experiences the Masai Mara village and would recommend going. I am glad I went and hope to experience it again someday.
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.
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.
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.
This was my third trip to Haiti. This was an amazing tip! I am so thankful for the opportunities from IMA to make these three trips. I would not want to make one of these mission trips without IMA. All the preparations were again made by IMA. This year we stayed in a bed and breakfast. It was my home away from home. We had beds and more than one bathroom and showers. We also had breakfast and diner each night cooked for us. We even had my favorite food, pizza!! The hosts really catered to us. They even made arrangements to get ice. Having ice was wonderful!! We had great reliable safe transportation!!
This trip was a little more difficult for me personally. I had a hospital stay for several days, a month before we were supposed to leave. My doctor wasn't too excited to let me go but she gave in. I was not 100% healthy yet and probably should not have went. The thought of not returning was horrible. I could not imagine not going. I was very determined to go. So I made the trip. The clinic days were long and tiring but very successful. The last clinic day I got pretty ill. I was close to passing out and had to have an IV in the field. The great nurses that I was working with, Tiffany, Dustin, and Sharon were right there with me and got my IV started and meds going. My translator went to praying for me. I didn't want to leave but Homayon insisted that I go back to the house and rest. He made the call and got me transported back to the house and took over my job. He was awesome. We were there to treat the Haitians but when one of his own was down, then that was what was most important. I was taken great care of. From the nurses in the field, to Homayon, to the transportation, to the host of the bed and breakfast, everyone took care to make sure I was ok and on the mend. I hated to miss the last half of the day but I am forever greatfull for the awesome care I received!! As we prep for our next trip, which is just a few months away, I am so looking forward to returning with IMA. I have thought of Haiti and the people there every single day since my first trip. Each and everyday I think of how blessed we are here in the United States. I love being able to go there and know that I am making a difference in the lives that we touch in the clinics. Can't wait for my fourth trip to Haiti!
This was my second year to Haiti. All of the planning and preparations were done again by IMA. This was another awesome trip. This year we stayed in a house that was right in the middle of a community. We had running water and cold showers! We were better prepared this trip as we knew more of what we should pack and bring with us. Clinic days were long, emotional, and very tiring. But each day was a success. As I got to work with an amazing translator, who by now is an awesome friend, I learned so much about the people of this country. One thing that rang true this year as it did the first year, was that these people have amazing faith. Looking around and seeing the conditions that they live in and the conditions of their health but yet they still have an amazing strong faith! We had an extra person join us this year and it was a lot of fun. I went to nursing school with her and I would never have thought that all these years later we would be working side by side in a third world country. WOW
Safety was never an issue. We had reliable transportation and a safe place to stay and always plenty of water. This trip was an amazing trip as was the first one. I made new friends and spent time with the old ones. It was a successful trip to Haiti again this year and am greatfull for Homayon and IMA.
This was my first trip to Haiti. Needless to say I was so nervous and scared and excited all at the same time. The planning of the trip was very easy to do with the help of Homayon. Because of his planning and preparedness, I never once worried about our safety. IMA took care of all the planning making sure to speak with us as we were just a part of the team. We all stayed in the same house together which was really nice. Each evening after a long day at clinic we were able to meet together and relax and talk about our day and the patients and situations we encountered. Homayon made it known that we were important and we were part of this group. We immediately started setting goals for our next trip. At the time I kept thinking to myself, "will I return to Haiti?" By the end of the trip I was certain that I would return. I knew that traveling with IMA was the only way I would return. I am very greatfull for all of the hard work and dedication that Homayon put forth.
As a medical school applicant, this experience was worthwhile. As a volunteer at Mt. Meru Regional Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, I got a chance to further my medical knowledge all while making a lasting impact within the local community. The doctors were so welcoming and went out of their way to explain unique clinical cases in depth. Following my volunteer experience, I can truly say I have a greater appreciation for medicine. The IMA staff were really friendly and ensured everything I needed was taken care of. I have done multiple volunteer trips in East Africa and I can say without hesitation that IMA is top tier when it comes to providing students a seamless experience. In the future, I would strongly consider doing an elective with IMA again.