Service Learning FAQs
What is the difference between the INMED Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health Program and the INMED Diploma in International Public Health Program?
The INMED Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health Program is designed for those healthcare professionals and learners in the clinical fields who wish to complement their education with both academic skills and clinical experience in international medicine. The INMED service-learning experience will include as much “hands-on” time and experience as possible in a clinical setting with proper supervision. This program includes participation in the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Course.
INMED Diploma in International Public Health Program is designed for those healthcare professionals who wish to complement their education with both academic skills and field experience in international public health. The INMED service-learning experience will include as much “hands-on” time and experience as possible in a public health setting. This program includes participation in the INMED International Public Health Hybrid Course.
Why should I do an INMED service-learning experience?
Today’s healthcare educators readily acknowledge the importance of learners acquiring facility in global health issues, cross-cultural skills and volunteer service. Thus, international training has become an expectation in healthcare profession schools. In addition, many learners are fascinated with images of low-resource, cross-cultural healthcare, and would dearly like to taste such an experience. It is also these very learners who will be most likely to integrate service to low-income persons into their professional careers.
What is the process of setting up an INMED service-learning experience through your organization?
INMED has a network of over 40 Training Sites in the United States and abroad. To begin the process of setting up an INMED service-learning experience with INMED, you need to submit an online application for the appropriate diploma program you are interested in. Once INMED receives this application, we will work with our training sites to find a good match. If you are accepted to do an INMED service-learning experience through INMED, we will then issue you an acceptance package with information about your INMED service-learning experience.
Are the INMED service-learning experiences a hands-on clinical experience or observational?
INMED’s model is for our participants to have as much “hands-on” time and experience as possible with proper supervision. However, clinical responsibilities are determined by the level of training and skill you possess, as assessed by your Training Site supervisor.
How can I obtain Academic Credit for this program?
Due to the educational structure of INMED’s service-learning programs, few participants encounter any difficulty with credit approval from their schools. INMED is willing and able to provide the necessary documentation to assist INMED participants in receiving academic credit.
Who should write my letter of recommendation? What is required?
INMED requires a letter of recommendation from a learner’s faculty who has supervised experience with the learner. For graduates, INMED requires a letter of recommendation from a professional colleague. The letter of recommendation should include:
- Description of relationship with the applicant
- Reasons why the applicant should be considered for an INMED Diploma
- Any reservations about the applicant’s ability to perform and adapt in the context of an international service-learning experience
How does INMED choose who is accepted?
INMED uses the information provided in the online application and the letter of recommendation to determine who will be eligible candidates for an INMED service-learning experience at an INMED Training Site. In addition, INMED works closely with each of our training sites to find an opportunity for our participants that matches their values, availability and healthcare interests.
What types of accommodation are available doing INMED Service-Learning?
Most of INMED Training Sites have accommodations arranged for INMED participants. Often these accommodations are within the facility complex. However, there are a few locations that require outside accommodations. INMED assists participants in this process. Please review the accommodations listed in each INMED Training Site description.
I’m concerned about safety and security issues. Are the program locations safe? What precautions are taken to ensure my safety?
INMED takes safety issues very seriously. While there are inherent risks in traveling internationally and nothing can absolutely guarantee a participant’s safety and security, there are certain precautions that can be taken to lower the risk of international travelers.
Each INMED participant will be registered with the US State Department prior to their departure. They will also be equipped with emergency contact information of their destination in the event of a travel mishap. In addition, INMED participants will be provided with International Medical & Evacuation Travel Insurance.
Participants are placed at training sites that have hosted other learners in the past, and all have been properly screened by INMED. Upon acceptance, INMED provides our participants with other site-specific safety.
Can individuals with little or no Spanish apply to programs in Spanish speaking countries?
Most of INMED’s Training Sites in Central and South America require fluency in Spanish. Please review the language requirements in each INMED Training Site description to learn more about what language competency is required.
If I want to do an INMED service-learning experience, do I have to take an INMED Hybrid Course first?
Yes, you are required to complete the appropriate INMED Hybrid Course as part of the INMED Diploma Programs. To participate in an INMED Diploma Program, please submit an application for the INMED Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health Diploma or the INMED Diploma in International Public Health, depending upon which one you are interested in and qualify for.
When can I do an INMED service-learning experience? Are there set starting dates? What is the duration of the program?
The INMED academic calendar runs from July of each year through June of the following year. Service-learning can begin at any time and must last for a minimum of four weeks. Applications are considered and accepted on a continuous basis. However, to be considered applications must be received a minimum of three months prior to desired departure date. Because many INMED training sites fill up quickly, we recommend submitting your application up to one year in advance to increase the likelihood of securing your desired location.
Can I do an INMED service-learning experience for less than 4 weeks?
Unless you are a practicing healthcare professional or a 3rd year resident physician, INMED requires all service-learning experiences to be a minimum of 4 weeks. Exceptions are given to practicing healthcare professionals and 3rd year resident physicians due to the limited amount of vacation time they may have available. Practicing healthcare professionals must commit at least two weeks.
What is the deadline for an application?
Because many INMED courses and training sites fill up quickly, we recommend submitting your application up to one year in advance to increased probability of securing your desired course dates and INMED service-learning location.
I only have a specific time frame available for an INMED service-learning experience. Can you tell me if you have an opening at the training site I’m interested in before I submit my application?
INMED is unable to release information about openings at Training Sites prior to receiving your application. The information you submit in your application is the information we communicate to our Training Sites. Upon receiving this information, each Training Site informs INMED whether they have an opening for you.
I want to do an INMED service-learning experience, but I don’t want to complete INMED’s educational requirements. Can I do this?
If you are accepted to do an INMED service-learning experience, you must complete all the educational requirements set forth by INMED. As an educational organization, INMED specializes in providing education and training, not simply volunteer opportunities.
I want to do an INMED service-learning experience with my boyfriend/girlfriend. Is this allowed?
In an effort to respect cultural norms of host nations, INMED does not send learners who are dating or engaged to the same training site simultaneously. Couples must be married to go to the same training site together.
Do I have to be a certain religion to participate in an INMED service-learning experience?
INMED is an educational organization, and we encourage people of all faiths and religious backgrounds to participate in our programs, courses, and events. Regarding an INMED service-learning experience, some of our partnering training sites are faith-based and are only able to accept participants who align themselves with the values of their mission efforts.
Can I go to a training site that is not listed on the INMED website?
Yes, INMED will consider crediting alternate service-learning experience beyond those at INMED Training Sites. Please review the criteria for INMED Diploma Via Equivalency for upcoming experience, or INMED Diploma Via Equivalency Service-Learning Completed for previous experience.
I’m a beginning medical student. Can I do an INMED service-learning experience?
Beginning medical students, such as those between their first and second year, are invited to participate in the INMED Diploma in International Public Health – which does not require clinical skills. As part of this Diploma, however, beginning medical students are encouraged to complete the full International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Course.
Prior to completing the service-learning portion of the INMED Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health, medical students must complete their core clinical training in internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, and surgery.
What is the cost for an INMED service-learning experience?
The greatest cost associated with a one-month INMED service-learning experience is usually airfare. When considering all costs, including international flight, room & board, visa, vaccines, enrollment fee, and other logistical expenses, the total cost is usually on the order of $3000-$4,000 per participant. INMED will provide a full cost estimate to individuals once learner’s Training Site has been approved.
This cost estimate does not include the required course and final exam costs associated with completing the INMED Diploma Program.
Does INMED offer any financial aid to help offset the costs?
Upon being accepted to an INMED Diploma program, INMED equips participants with three effective means of raising financial support:
- Personal Fund Raising Suggestions
- Civic Organization Support Solicitation
- Scholarships Sources
- INMED Alumni Scholarship Fund
Why am I charged an enrollment fee?
A significant portion of the enrollment fee provides each INMED Diploma Program participant with International Medical Professional Liability Coverage (for clinical participants only), a Traveler’s Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance policy, and free admission to the annual INMED Humanitarian Health Conference.
In addition to these benefits, INMED incurs significant cost associated with scheduling at well-established Training site, assistance with arranging airline tickets, visa, accommodations, and coordination with educational institutions to assure academic credit. While INMED’s fee is well below similar organizations, the enrollment fee helps INMED offset some of these costs.