Professional Diploma/Service Learning FAQs
What is the difference between the three Professional Diplomas INMED offers?
The INMED Professional Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health Program is designed to provide physicians, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists and learners of these professions with both academic skills and supervised clinical experience. This program includes participation in the INMED Professional Certificate Course in International Medicine & Public Health.
The INMED Professional Diploma in International Nursing & Public Health Program is designed to provide nurses, midwives, advanced practice nurses, and nursing students with both academic skills and supervised clinical experience. This program includes participation in the INMED Professional Certificate Course in International Nursing & Public Health.
INMED Professional Diploma in International Public Health Program is designed for healthcare professionals and students with both academic skills and supervised field experience in international public health. This program includes participation in the INMED Professional Certificate Course in International Public Health.
What is the difference between the INMED Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH) and the INMED Professional Diplomas?
The INMED Professional Diplomas in International Medicine (DIMPH), International Nursing (DINPH), and International Public Health (DIPH) provide an excellent introduction into the fields, both academically and experientially. These are closely equivalent to the DTM&H (diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene) offered by the London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical Medicine, the Tropical Medicine Certificate offered by Johns Hopkins University, and the Tropical Medicine Diploma offered by Baylor College of Medicine. The INMED Professional Diplomas earn 15 credit hours and cost approximately $2000 in tuition, plus travel expenses.
The INMED Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH), by comparison, is a higher academic achievement, costs approximately $8,700 in tuition (plus travel expenses), and includes self-selected elective courses plus a scholarly project applicable toward the learner’s career. All of the INMED Professional Diploma requirements are also required for the MIH degree, and are credited towards its requirements.
Why should I do an INMED service-learning experience?
Many healthcare professionals and learners are inspired by images of global service and would dearly like to participate in such an experience. What’s more, today’s healthcare educators readily acknowledge the importance of learners acquiring facility in low-resource healthcare, cross-cultural skills and volunteerism.
What is the process of setting up an INMED service-learning experience through your organization?
INMED has a network of Training Sites in twenty-four nations. To begin the process of setting up an INMED service-learning experience, submit an online application for the Professional Diploma in which you are interested. The online application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and will ask applicants to about motivation, dates of availability, as well as training sites preferences. A letter of recommendation, proof of health insurance, a professional profile photograph, and a copy of one’s professional license (if no longer a student) is also required at the time of application. Once INMED receives this application, we will contact our Training Sites to find a good match. If accepted to do an INMED service-learning experience, we will then issue you an acceptance package with detailed information.
Are the INMED service-learning experiences hands-on or observational?
INMED’s model emphasizes hands-on experience with proper supervision. However, responsibilities will be assigned according to one’s level of training and skill possessed, as assessed by the Training Site supervisor.
How can I obtain Academic Credit for this program?
Due to the educational structure of INMED’s service-learning programs, INMED learners rarely encounter difficulty receiving academic credit from their institutions. To this end, INMED will provide the necessary documentation.
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 select opportunities for our learners that matches their values, availabilities and healthcare interests.
What types of accommodations are available for INMED Service-Learning?
Most of INMED Training Sites offer accommodations for INMED learners. Often these accommodations are within the facility complex. However, there are a few locations that require outside accommodations. INMED assists learners in this process. Please review the lodging and meals information included 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 for their destination in the event of a travel mishap. In addition, INMED participants are 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 information.
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 information in each INMED Training Site description to learn more about what language competency is required.
What is a Professional Diploma?
INMED offers Professional Diplomas. These are qualifications awarded after a university degree. For those in healthcare, a Professional Diploma serves the purpose of complimenting one’s formal education with particular skills in a focused field, like international medicine, disaster response, and healthcare education.
A Postgraduate Professional Diploma is less than a Master’s Degree (less expensive and less time required). A Postgraduate Professional Diploma is also more than an Associate’s degree, as is only offered after completion of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
If I want to do an INMED service-learning experience, do I have to take an INMED Professional Certificate Course first?
Yes, completion of the appropriate INMED Professional Certificate Course is required prior to participating in an INMED Service-Learning experience, which are all part of the INMED Diploma Programs. We realize that this Course requires added study, commitment, and expense. We have also discovered that learners are much better prepared, enjoy superior learning experiences, and received stronger supervisor evaluations. To participate in an INMED Diploma Program, please submit an application for the INMED Professional Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health, the INMED Professional Diploma in International Nursing & Public Health, or the INMED Professional Professional Diploma in International Public Health, according to your interests and qualifications.
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. At least two weeks is acceptable for practicing professionals and for final-year resident physicians. 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 four weeks?
International Service-Learning is ideally at least four weeks in duration. This length of time significantly increases the likelihood that the learner will experience a substantial growth opportunity. However, INMED realizes that some learners have professional commitments that preclude them from being absent for four weeks. Therefore, INMED offers an exception to the four-week requirement. If accepted into the International Service-Learning Reduced Duration Pathway, the requirement is reduced to at least two weeks on location followed by composing a quality improvement project.
What is the deadline for an application?
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.
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 only able to accept participants who align with the values of their organizations.
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 an upcoming experience, or INMED Diploma Via Equivalency Service-Learning Completed for a previous experience.
I’m a beginning medical/nursing 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 Professional 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 Professional Certificate Course in International Medicine & Public Health.
Prior to completing the service-learning portion of the INMED Professional Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health, medical students must complete their core clinical training in internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, and surgery.
Similarly, for nursing students who wish to participate in the INMED Professional Diploma in International Nursing & Public Health, INMED requires that prior to departure nursing students have already completed at least their first semester of nursing school.
What is the cost for an INMED service-learning experience?
The greatest cost associated with an 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 learner. INMED will provide a full cost estimate to individuals once learner’s Training Site has been approved.
This estimate does not include the required course 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 four 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 tuition?
A significant portion of the enrollment tuition 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 Sites, 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.