Community Development

Medical Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

As happy as we are to be able to provide acute care and one-on-one preventive health to such a large area, the best consults are those where a well patient comes to say hello and get acheckup. In addition to treating our patients when they are ill, we want them to never need our assistance in the future.

As a result, we must address the underlying causes of the conditions we encounter. Through our years of continuous presence over such a large area and our patient database, we have developed a unique understanding of the ‘health microclimates’ and the public health priorities that may differ in different communities. These are just a few examples of specific top priorities in communities that seem very similar at first glance:

  • Lack of clean water –> Epidemic diarrheal disease
  • People walking on unlit paths at night –> Snakebites
  • No adequate birthing space –> More infant/maternal/birth issues
  • No library for the school –> Illiteracy
  • High sugar diet in the chocolate-growing community –> Diabetes & Dental Issues
  • Remote mountain community has no access to treatment –> TB epidemic
  • Many community members work seasonally on plantations –> STDs returning to community

The causes of these issues are often complex and multifactorial. Knowing what needs to be done is one thing, but knowing how to do it and successfully make it last is another. As a result of our long-term commitment, Floating Doctors is uniquely positioned to impact systemic change:

  • Our detailed health data pinpoints key issues in each community
  • We target projects at priority health issues
  • Trust of the population we serve lets us tackle ambitious projects
  • Years of experience in the region ensure practical and successful projects

If projects in developing regions are to be successful, they almost always require many partnerships, follow-through, and follow-up. Because we are connected to so many great people and groups, and because we stand by our projects long-term (instead of coming in, doing aproject, and leaving), our interventions are effective and lasting. As part of our commitment to real change, we welcome partnerships and are happy to facilitate other groups’ projects that benefit our patients. For service groups who wish to implement a community development project for our patients, we provide guidance and logistical support.

Please contact us if you or your organization are interested in implementing a successful project.

So far, we have taken on the following projects, sometimes alone (but usually with other trusted partners):

  • Birthing Center: Shark Hole
  • Community Water Supply Bladder: Quebrada Sal
  • La Solución: Walkway
  • Police/Fireman/Partera Training
  • Solar Microgrid: Valle Escondido
  • Telecommunications Access Project: Valle Escondido
  • Library Project: Playa Verde
  • Community Raincatcher Systems: Multiple Villages
  • Ethnomedicine (Botanic Medicine) Cultural Archive: Regionwide