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<< 1.3 The professional impact
2 The opportunities
You may be thinking of spending your working life overseas or simply going for a short time. In terms of providing a culturally appropriate service and relevant capacity building, you will accomplish far more with longer term involvement. It takes time to understand a different culture, adapt to it, learn the language and develop an appropriate and relevant approach to healthcare needs.
However, it doesn't have to involve a life time commitment to living abroad. Short term assignments with repeated visits to the same place are the pattern for many these days. A great deal can be achieved by those who stay in the UK and develop long term links with overseas colleagues, responding to local requests for help, establishing good relationships and encouraging two way visits that provide skills training and other
support. Such links have been developed by THET (The Tropical Health Education Trust – www.thet.org
). The Government backed NHS Links are building on their foundation.
Have you ever thought that YOU could:
- Join a CMF Summer Team for two weeks, encouraging Christian medical students in Eastern Europe?
- Do 12-24 months training overseas as an SpR on a VSO/Royal College Fellowship, one year of which may be counted towards CCST?
- Join the Flexible Careers Scheme as a GP, working part time in the NHS and using the time released to make regular trips overseas to encourage others and share their skills and experience?
- Provide locum cover for a healthcare professional working overseas who needs a break?
- Provide regular skills training courses overseas?
- Join a team providing specialist surgical skills eg Eye & Ear Camps, Gynae & Fistula Repair?
- Join PRIME (www.prime-international.org.uk) and become a trainer of trainers in holistic primary healthcare overseas?
- Use a sabbatical to get involved in an overseas project eg Mercy Ships?
- Take early retirement and get more fully involved overseas? Attend one of CMF's Conferences for retirees or read 'Re-tyred – not retired', published by CMF which contains articles by retirees who are actively involved in projects overseas.
>> 2.1 What sort of skills are needed?