Controversies in Short-Term Medical Mission Trips
2014 Sam and Marilyn Fox Atlas Week
Thursday, April 3
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Busch Student Center 253 A
Speaker: Nicholas Comninellis, M.D., President of the Institute for International Medicine
Short-term medical mission trips are a popular phenomena among North American healthcare professionals. Beyond a gesture of compassion, however, serious questions may surround the professional ethics and actual effectiveness of this practice. Short-term medical missions is often further complicated by concerns connected with limited time commitment, inadequate resources, unfamiliar cultural context, and lack of continuity following departure. The key element in assuring that such missions are both ethical and effective is national partnerships: cooperation with healthcare professionals, healthcare institutions and/or educational institutions in the host nation. Such partnership may involve provision of materials, instruction, and/or special services - always in collaboration with, and ideally, under the direction of national leaders.