No matter what other resources are lacking, by far the biggest problem we see causing health problems everywhere we have worked is lack of health knowledge among patients, and the best way to increases local health care capacity is through professional training. Every individual patient consult is an opportunity for the caring clinician to impart health knowledge, but we also recognize the need to extend health education into communities. Addressing community-level knowledge gaps and assisting local health workers to improve their professional training creates long-lasting increases in health care capacity and encourages greater trust and better outcomes from the interactions of patients and local health services.
Education can be held and passed on in communities and the daily practice of health workers, saving lives many miles and
Training Community Health Promotors
many years from where it was first given. Our mission to improve access to care has included providing health education and professional development to hospital and clinic personnel, EMS workers, teachers and community health workers like midwives (parteras) or “Promotores de Salud” in remote villages. Education puts the power for better health into patients’ hands and training local health workers creates sustained improvements in care, creating better access for patients.
We have published articles on management of snakebite and of parasites in the local newspaper, conducted nutrition education sessions for moms and pregnant women, clinical training and ultrasound training for community midwives, CPR and first aid to the police department, sex education for local schools, family planning education, and a wide variety of other initiatives.
Our education initiatives also focus not only on affecting outcomes in Panama, but also in the home countries of our volunteers by encouraging patient-centered, clinical skill-based practice and making exposure to ultrasound and the resource-limited approach to the health issues we encounter an integral part of the mentorship our medical leadership provides to our short-term volunteers. We want to send our volunteers home with many new tools in their repertoire to be of better service to patients at home.
Dental Education in Schools
Our best partners for health are patients with knowledge and health workers at the peak of professionalism. Whether conducting handwashing or dental hygiene education with waiting patients in a remote clinic, working with MINSA to explore creating a non-doctor health worker position to meet the primary care shortage, we are always looking for new ways to try and ensure our services won’t be needed!
Visit our volunteer page for more information about joining our teams in the field.
Continuing Medical Education
Are you a health professional or an educator with an interest in participating in mission trips?
Are you prepared to travel to a foreign setting where you will face language and cultural barriers, and where the health landscape and appropriate managements may be very different from your home practice?
Do you want to avoid making a well-meant mistake that costs a patient their life or health?
Floating Doctors is partnered with Remote Care Education and the University of Minnesota to offer an accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) conference designed to train clinicians in the effective approach to resource-limited health care. This is a very different CME than you may ever have experienced before, and one that we believe is critical before traveling overseas anywhere to provide charitable service.
Get up to 33.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits for this one-week conference held at the Floating Doctors base on Isla San Cristobal. This CME includes lectures, ultrasound training, and live deployments to remote indigenous villages with the Floating Doctors team. For more information about upcoming CME conferences, please visit Remote Care Education