If you’ve ever looked into going on a medical mission trip, you’ve probably wondered if the cost participants pay is worth it. The costs may be higher than other types of mission trips, but so are the benefits.
When you join a medical missions team, it’s normal for participants to pay for flights, accommodations, and food during the trip. Most organizations (but not us!) also ask participants to pay extra to cover the supplies needed to conduct medical exams or to leave with the patients.
But despite those expenses, the potential impact of medical mission trips is huge.
Here are three key reasons why medical missions trips are worth the cost:
- Medical mission trips provide additional training for students outside of the regular classroom.
There are so many things that cannot be taught within the walls of a classroom. Some of the first people to sign-up for medical missions opportunities are students because they can finally use their knowledge in a situation that isn’t hypothetical. Students can not only see the global healthcare needs up close but also serve through hands-on experiences that make a difference! Now, this isn’t to say that volunteers should use a medical missions trip to experiment or put patients at risk by doing more than they’re trained to do. It’s simply an opportunity to experience more and serve those in need.
- Medical mission trips can create long term transformations in the communities we serve.
The key to long term impact from short-term medical missions trips is to develop lasting relationships with the communities we want to serve. Long term relationships can be challenging to develop during a 1-2 week trip so It’s essential to partner with a local organization that’s already embedded in the community and will stay connected long after our medical missions team returns to the US.
Of course, we also know that sharing the message of Jesus can immediately transform lives, and it’s always our goal to change lives spiritually and physically.
- Healthcare professionals can further develop their skills.
Certain diseases and conditions that we encounter on our trips are less common in the US. For example, thousands of people in Tanzania test positive for malaria each year but it’s rare for patients in the US to present with malaria in most clinics or hospital settings. Treating people with these conditions expands the providers experience and helps lower the negative impact these conditions have on both the individual and the community.
Setting up temporary health clinics in rural underserved areas presents unique challenges for the team. Working through translators in unfamiliar cultures will also stretch our team members while building new skills and self-confidence.
So yes, joining a medical missions trip is not cheap, but the potential impact to both the medical team and the people we serve makes it more than worth the financial investment.
And when it comes down to it, what price would you put on offering life-saving preventions and interventions to people in need? Medical missions trips are always worth the cost.
Thinking about joining a trip but not sure how to pay for it? There are lots of creative ways to raise money such as crowdfunding and fundraising opportunities. Click here to learn about a few of our favorite ways to raise funds for your medical missions trip or click here to get more information about upcoming trips!