Mission Doctors Association

FAQs for Serving

Mission Doctors is a program for Catholic doctors and their families who feel called to serve as an expression of their faith. Therefore, we require Mission Doctors to be practicing Catholics. The Mission hospitals and clinics value this witness of faith and tell us frequently that this witness is as important as the professional services offered. For couples, where one is Catholic and one is of another denomination, exceptions have been made on individual basis.

Yes, we require that you have a US Medical License in good standing. Your US license must be active, currently valid, and not subject to practice privilege limitations. We are only able to confirm the validity of licenses within the United States. Licenses previously held in another states may no longer be valid but cannot have been suspended by the state.

The long-term program is 3 years because of the impact that Mission Doctors make. In every placement, there is an adjustment period. Doctors serving these three-year terms spend time offering direct patient care, training staff and make a lasting impact. This length of time also provides stability at mission hospitals and clinics.

The minimum of one month is a reflection of the rural nature of the locations where Mission Doctors serve. It can take more than three days just to arrive, given international flights and local transportation. Our short-term doctors are often providing specialty care or providing staffing that allows a local doctor to take a break. Our reason to make it a maximum of three months for short-term is that, although the Retreat / Seminar provides information on culture, an overview on the Theology of Mission, and practical issues, we do not believe we prepare people on a weekend to serve longer than three months. Many doctors have served multiple times, making annual trips.

Mission Doctors serve at existing hospitals and clinics run by Mission dioceses and religious orders. These facilities have varying levels of medical support, but no Mission Doctor goes to serve alone. The local medical staff and the administration work with MDA to ensure that the skills of our doctors can be well utilized. Additionally, with internet access at most locations, Mission Doctors has a group of experienced doctors and specialists who are available to consult long distance. The majority of locations have labs, X-rays, and ultrasounds available.

The safety of our Mission Doctors and their families is of the greatest concern to MDA. Mission Doctors Association is careful in selecting the countries where MDA serves. We do not allowing service in countries where the U.S. State Department advises against U.S. citizen travel.

Additionally, MDA providing training during the long-term program on staying healthy in mission countries, and provides direction to self-study resources for those considering short-term service.

We actively listen to and take very seriously any safety concerns raised by MDA mission doctors and their families, Mission diocese, or the religious orders who run the healthcare facilities where MDA serves. Our Executive Director has visited each service site and an annual visit is made by a member of the program team. We also monitor the news for all areas served by MDA and pass current events on to Mission Doctors so that are up to date on what is happening. If this is a great concern for you, please let us know; we can provide additional information.

The mission site provides housing for all mission doctors and their families. For doctors and their families serving long-term, the mission location also provides a food allowance. MDA provides airfare, health insurance, and a small stipend for these long-term missionaries. While doctors serving short-term cover all their direct expenses, MDA does not charge any fee for arranging and coordinating your trip. We will also work with you to obtain Missionary Fare for your flights, the documents you will need for visas, and ensure that your local transportation is arranged.

Yes! Thanks to the generosity of donors to the James Carey Memorial Fund, Mission Doctors has the opportunity to make the monthly payments on student loans of doctors while they are serving long term. This option is available for qualified candidates, and allows doctors to follow God’s call to serve those most in need.

Most student loans also have the option to defer for up to 36 months. Should you need any supporting documentation required by your lending institution to qualify for deferment, Mission Doctors Association will be happy to assist you.

Yes, MDA provides health and evacuation insurance to all doctors who serve long-term

We always take your interest into consideration. Additional factors including your specialty and the places where your skills can be utilized are considered. For example, we would not send a surgeon to a site with no OR.

Doctors serving short-term may stay with the long-term doctors or at other hospital housing. Most mission housing is simple, with indoor plumbing, electricity, and internet access. Outages of water and electricity are common, but accommodations are in place to minimize inconvenience. The Retreat/Seminar and the Formation Program for those serving long-term will provide specifics on housing at each location.

Yes! While we encourage you not to go home during the first year of your placement, because doing so may interfere with your adjustment to your new culture, many long-term doctors do make a trip home at some point during the three years. Whether it is to attend special family events or visit with grandchildren, the ease of travel has made this much more of a possibility than back in 1959 when Mission Doctors traveled to Africa by ship!

Yes, Mission Doctors serving long term can invite family and friends to visit and see the great work with which you are involved. Many take a vacation in-country when their guests come.

Other questions? Please contact us!
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