College Credit Information for IMR Study Abroad Programs
Students seeking to earn college credit through independent study or capstone/special projects will find great value in International Medical Relief trips. IMR specializes in acute care in remote areas of the world. Our trips typically range from 7-10 days with 125 clinical hours available for you to earn. You, your school, and your academic advisor determine your course credit. IMR does not provide the credit hours.
When talking to your school about getting credit for your study abroad experience, you can explain that once in the field, we hold briefings before and after clinic to review case studies and compare them to the current caseloads. At least six clinics are held throughout each trip during which IMR student volunteers do more than just shadow our medical providers. Students assist with intake, triage, and pharmacy, as well as observe the providers.
Pre-trip work enhances the educational experience for our student volunteers seeking course credit for their volunteer activities. IMR hosts conference calls on specific topics such as provider protocols and community education. We also provide briefing packets and supplemental materials that cover the history and culture of the country you will work in and current public health articles related to what you will see in clinic.
One important element of a trip is that each volunteer prepares a community education module before the trip and presents this valuable information to groups of clinic patients. Topics include clean water, rehydration solutions, family planning, nutrition, oral health, respiratory diseases, and others. These community health education classes leave a lasting impact on the communities we serve. Long after the antibiotics are gone, the people retain the knowledge.
The mission and the credit hours do not end on the flight home. Many students write a research paper based on clinic statistics (that they helped collect in the field) or a specific disease that captured their interest during the trip. Students have the opportunity to conduct surveys on a variety of topics focused on patient understanding, including malaria, TB, HIV, dehydration, and clean water. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in research that IMR is conducting in the field for future publications. The opportunities are endless!
Please let us know if there is a contact at your school to whom we can provide additional information to help you get credit for your experience.