Volunteers In Medical Missions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does the trip cost cover?

    The cost covers the airfare, lodging, meals (breakfast & dinner), transportation incountry, and airport taxes. You may need to bring snacks for your lunch since most of the clinics are in remote areas. You will want to bring a little money for souvenirs

  • When is the trip cost due?

    $10 is due with the application which is applied to the trip cost. A deposit of approximately $100 is due approximately 5 months prior to the trip and the final payment is due about 2 months before the trip.

  • Is my connecting flight included in the cost?

    No. There is an additional charge for the connecting flight to meet the team at the point of departure from the US. Most trip costs are based on departure from Atlanta and the cost for departing from another airport is adjusted for each team member.

  • If I have to cancel, can I get a refund?

    We cannot give refunds but we can hold the funds for your trip for up to two years for you to use on another trip.

  • When will I know if I’m accepted for the team?

    Once we receive an application, a copy is sent to the team leader and he/she will select the team from all apps received. We will then notify you if you are selected or not. Some team members may be selected as early as 5 months prior to the trip and most teams are finalized within 3 months of the trip. We encourage you to apply at least 6 months prior to the trip.

  • How safe is it to travel?

    VIMM will review information from the US State Dept., news articles, and our host in the country to which the team plans to go. While there is danger in any travel, international travel provides more risks. Each team member must decide if he is willing to accept possible dangers.

  • What will I do on the trip?

    An overview of a VIMM clinic:
    Clinic Description
    VIMM teams are generally made up of primary care physicians (family practice, pediatrics, and internists), nurses (RN, LPN), a pharmacist, non-medical lay people for evangelism, and dentists. Most teams have 3-5 physicians/nurse practitioners, 3-5 nurses, 1-2 dentists, 1-2 pharmacists, and 3-6 lay people. We operate in remote locations and do not require electricity other than for lights if working after sunset. Most clinics are located in church buildings, existing health care facilities, or even local homes. In hot climates, we often will work outside. Team members work in the following stations: registration, vital signs, exam area/minor surgery, pharmacy, de-worming, and evangelism stations. Translators are needed in registration to record the patient's name, age, chief complaint, allergies and any other pertinent information. Nurses will take vital signs when necessary (patients with fever, history of hypertension, etc.). The physicians examine the patients; determine medication or minor surgery needs, record medication prescriptions on the paper from registration, then send the patient to the pharmacy. The pharmacy is the beehive of the operation! We will fill 1,000 plus prescriptions per day (approximately 500 patients seen per day). While patients are waiting at the pharmacy, our evangelism team members can often pray with the patients, perform a Gospel puppet show, or share Scripture with the patients. The De-worming station is next to the pharmacy -- Albendazole or Piperazine is given to all non-pregnant women, children, and adult males. We need to have at least two doors in the facility so that patients can be registered at one door, then move smoothly through the clinic and exit through a back door (near pharmacy). Translators are essential in the Pharmacy area and to ask additional questions the physicians may need to ask. Our teams frequently sleep in one location, then travel each day to a "clinic" site. We try to have team members to be reasonably comfortable. We do not require 4 or 5 star accommodations. Ideally, if the accommodations provide a bed and mattress, shower or bath facilities, and a toilet, most people will be very happy. Air conditioning is nice in very hot climates but not always available.

    Dental Clinic Description
    Due to the remote locations most VIMM teams travel to, dental treatment is usually limited to extractions and treatment of periodontal infections. The dental team usually works in a room in a small church or community building - we have even worked in a pastor's kitchen. Usually the patients sit in a straight-backed chair and an assistant provides light with a flashlight. Instruments are cold sterilized. The dentist must bring all instruments and supplies. Analgesics and antibiotics are available at the VIMM pharmacy.

    Decay and periodontal disease are quite common in the populations seen by VIMM teams, and multiple extractions per patient are common. We have begun to incorporate educational and preventive programs in our work, although this is difficult because most of the time is required for dental clinical treatment. Dental hygiene supplies are in need and are usually distributed to patients after treatment. The people have been very appreciative and receptive to our efforts.

  • Where will we stay?

    Lodging will likely be in a local hotel. Some teams stay in dormitory style lodging. You might have running hot water. Do not expect the standards of a US hotel.

  • My passport expires shortly after the trip. Can I still use it for this trip?

    No, you will need to update your passport. There should be at least 6 months left for travel at the time of the trip.

  • What vaccines are required?

    Recommended vaccines vary for by country. The Center for Disease Control website's "Travel" section is used to determine what type of vaccines or medicine are required for the area where you will be traveling.

  • How Old Must I be to apply?

    Applicants must be at least 13 years old to apply and if you are less than 18 years of age, you must be accompanied by a parent.

  • Are Scholarship funds available?

    We have limited scholarship funds available for resident physicians, last minute medical professionals, translators, clergy, and support personnel who are recommended by the team leader. Please Contact us for more information.