About Us

Medical Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

A volunteer doctor wearing scrubs and stethoscope treats a young child patient, while her mother and friend watch

Over 80% of the world’s population lives within 5 miles of a coast, but far too many communities still live in remote poverty without access to basic health care.  Poorly charted waters and rugged terrain, political factors, social disenfranchisement, poor health knowledge, poverty and lack of infrastructure separate these communities from care.  The Floating Doctors medical team was formed to answer these challenges to accessing health care.

In 2010, Floating Doctors sailed to Haiti for our first mission- assisting in the earthquake relief efforts- aboard Southern Wind, a donated and rebuilt ship filled with 20,000 pounds of aid supplies. This experience helped form the foundational pillars of our mission: improved health at the individual level, capacity building at the community level, and improved healthcare delivery and commitment to service worldwide.

A doctor wearing scrubs injects a patient in her arm with a syringe

Since 2011, we have been building a permanent, sustainable rural health service and community development assistance program in Panama. We deploy our mobile clinics by boat, packhorse or on foot to remote underserved areas, where we conduct ongoing health services and community development projects. Our programs cover thousands of square miles of jungle-covered mountain and mangrove mazes in which we are often the only medical, dental, or veterinary service available. 

A group of about 15 medical volunteers wearing life jackets sit in a small red boat traveling through the blue Caribbean sea on a sunny day.

With challenges affecting health at every level, Floating Doctors utilizes a highly versatile approach to a dynamic health environment.  Our programs address individual and community health—not only do we provide acute and ongoing medical care, but also include education, training, community projects, supply donation, and preventive health interventions to create sustainable improvements in health.  Our programs are continuously evaluated in partnership with the individual communities to ensure our services are tailored to each community’s self-identified health needs.