DOCARE offers global health rotation opportunities for medical students and residents at partner clinics in Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Participants will find these rotations a valuable learning opportunity unlike those found in most American hospitals and clinics. Participants will encounter medical conditions unique to rural, low-income populations and will gain an understanding of how primary care can be delivered with limited equipment and resources. Participants will be encouraged to rely on their minds and hands to evaluate patients and will be immersed in a rich cultural experience of rural daily life.
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Location information and details can be found below. Please note a $1,000 DOCARE Rotation Fee is required upon acceptance. This fee is in addition to the associated costs listed for each rotation site.
Although DOCARE has been leading medical outreach trips to serve the men, women and children in isolated and medically neglected areas of the world for over 50 years, it had long been a dream of the DOCARE Board members to address the great need for continuity of medical care in these isolated and impoverished communities. By partnering with local organizations, this dream is becoming a reality!
In 2011 DOCARE partnered with local non-profit, ASSADE, in San Andrés Itzapa, Guatemala to support them in establishing a brick-and-mortar clinic that is open year-round. Two years later we helped JustHope International open a permanent clinic for the farming community of Chacraseca, Nicaragua. In 2015 we supported Fundacion Educa Pueblo Viejo in Tecpan, Guatemala, to build their clinic and, true to form, two years later, in 2017, we partnered with New Frontiers Health Force to offer rotational opportunities to osteopathic medical students and residents at their clinic in Ngoswani, Kenya. The clinics in Guatemala serve both as hubs for our yearly short-term outreach trips and also offer rotational opportunities to osteopathic medical students and residents.
We continue to explore partnerships to provide affordable and quality health care in other medically underserved areas of the world.
- Provide a fundamental knowledge base in family medicine and assist students in applying this knowledge. (Competency: Medical Knowledge and Application of Medical Knowledge)
- Introduce the student to basic procedures relevant to the practice of family medicine.
- Facilitate an understanding of the approach to clinical problem-solving in family medicine, including the appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence. (Competency: Practice-Based Learning and Improvement)
- Promote the acquisition of basic skills for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of a variety of chronic and acute conditions. (Competency: Patient Care)
- Encourage the continued development of the student’s professional attitude and behavior, including adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to diverse populations. (Competency: Professionalism)
- Introduce available healthcare resources as well as barriers to coordination of care and expose them to strategies the family physician uses as coordinator of care. (Competency: Systems-Based Practice)
- Encourage the further development of effective, respectful communication between the student, patient, families, staff, and other healthcare professionals. (Competency: Interpersonal and Communication Skills)
- Promote the use of a holistic approach to patients that encompasses the psychosocial, biomedical, and biomechanical aspects of health and disease, including the use of manual medicine techniques when appropriate. (Competency: Osteopathic Philosophy and OMT)
2024 International Health & Wilderness Medicine Schedule
Himalayan Health Exchange and DOCARE will jointly organize the following medical camps in the remote Trans-Himalayan regions of north India and Indo-Tibetan Borderlands in '24. Participation is open to residents and medical students. Each camp is designed to provide care to approximately 1,500 underserved patients and an opportunity for hands-on clinical experience for participants. Student participation is limited to 25 on each trip.
Note: Participants are responsible for arranging their own funding to meet expedition costs and must be willing to put in a minimum of 6-8 hours of clinical work each day for the duration of each clinical period. Additional clinical work periods for longer electives can be arranged on either side of the regularly scheduled camp dates given below.
DHARAMSALA: A 4-week medical expedition to Dharamsala (north India), home to The 14th Dalai Lama and Tibetans in Exile. April 1-April 28, 2024
TUAN (Wilderness Medicine and Survival Expedition): A 3-week ‘Wilderness Medicine and Survival’ expedition to the Greater Himalayan region of north India. June 8-June 28, 2024
PANGI: Medical and dental expedition to the remote Pangi valley located in the western Himalayan region of north India. June 26–July 16, 2024
SPITI: Medical expedition to the ancient Tibetan kingdom of ‘Guge’ along Indo-Tibetan Borderlands. July 14 –August 4, 2024
KARGIAKH (Medical and Wilderness Medicine): High-altitude medical and Wilderness Medicine trek to a remote Trans-Himalayan tribal village located in southern Zanskar.August 2-August 30, 2024
$3,180 + flights to/from primary destination & leisure expenses
For details contact:
Denton Shanks DO MPH
Assistant Professor & Family Medicine Physician | Department of Family Medicine
Merida, Mexico is the capital of the state of Yucatan and currently represents one of the most rapidly growing metropolitan areas in the Americas with around one million inhabitants. Much of this is owed to its extremely safe environment recently being named the 2nd safest city in the Americas and by far the safest in Mexico. Yucatecans are known for being extremely friendly, and, traditionally, their physicians are known to be the best in the southeast region of the country.
Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad (HRAE)
Rotations focus on more advanced specialties such as cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, pain medicine, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, and neurology in addition to urology for which Yucatan has historically had an epidemic of kidney stones.
Timeframe & Rotations
2- to 4-weeks with 4-weeks being preferred; participants would rotate in either hospital depending on specialties or be given the opportunity for a research rotation.
$3,450 + flights to/from primary destination & leisure expenses
San Andres Itzapa, Guatemala is a rural community about 45 minutes outside the major tourist destination of Antigua, Guatemala. The clinic site has a local nurse and physician who serve the surrounding communities. Many patients who seek care at the clinic are indigenous Mayan. You will work directly with the physician one on one and learn about the common ailments of the surrounding communities as well as the significant social determinants of health that come in to play.
Rotations can be set up as either 2 weeks or 4 weeks. Rotations may be full time at the clinic. There is also the option to set up a Medical Spanish hybrid rotation where you spend part of your time at the clinic and part of your time at a local Spanish school learning Spanish. Although a baseline level of Spanish is helpful during the rotation, it is not required.
During the rotation you will stay in Antigua, Guatemala and will have transportation to and from the clinic each day. Staying in Antigua allows the flexibility of plenty to do in your free time and a major starting hub for weekend exploration.
Estimated Budget is approximately $1,500-2,000 for one month if you are full time at the clinic. Price will increase if choosing to do the Medical Spanish hybrid elective due to the cost of Spanish classes (contact DOCARE for further details).
Trujillo, Peru is the capital of the state of La Libertad and the second largest city in the country with around one and a half million inhabitants. Trujillo is known as the city of the everlasting spring, and its people are friendly & warm with visitors. Trujillo currently offers three options for student or resident rotations. Programs here also entail laboratory point of care technology training for the detection of pathogens such as “nanoparticle-based biosensors.”
Hospital Victor Lazarte Echegaray (HVLE)
Rotations offered include inpatient specialties such as internal medicine, infectious diseases & tropical medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, neonatology, general & peds surgery, neurosurgery orthopedics, rheumatology, psychiatry, endocrinology, pneumology, and neurology.
Hospital de Alta Complejjidad Virgen de la Puerta (HACVP)
This location cares for highly-complex patients and is equipped with the newest technology in imaging, cardiovascular, neurosurgery, and a robust, brand-new emergency department unit.
Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas y Tropicales (Research)
An international, accredited facility for research clinical trials (RCT) focused on multidisciplinary approaches with several global companies conducting their RCT’s for new drugs, vaccines, or treatments.
Timeframe & Rotations
2- to 4-weeks with 4-weeks being preferred; participants would be in morning clinical rotations followed by midday lab work & comprehensive meetings with an evening wrap-up entailing medical case presentations.
$1,700 + flights to/from primary destination & leisure expenses