Frequently Asked Questions
How is Medical Missions Outreach different from other organizations of its type?
How can nursing/medical students benefit from taking a trip?
We love having students along on our trips, and value the opportunity to encourage future healthcare providers to consider their contribution to global healthcare. We will make every effort to put students on a rotation schedule through different clinic stations, depending upon team size and the types of clinics available. These stations may include triage, lab, pharmacy, and assisting a provider.
Though we primarily serve in developing countries, we do maintain the same ethical standards by which we abide in the States. Please do not expect to perform skills or procedures that would not be within your scope of practice as a student. We will have licensed medical professionals available to help you learn, but we are careful to protect our patients, our providers, and the testimonies of Medical Missions Outreach and the local church with whom we will be working.
Although we want to teach and we want the student to have a rich learning experience, our primary goal is to serve a large number of patients so that they can hear the gospel. We will endeavor to teach as much as we can, time permitting.
As a non-medical volunteer, how can I contribute to clinic?
Do I have to have my passport to apply for a trip?
What happens after I submit my application?
I am unable to travel at this time; how can I contribute?
What is the minimum age to take a trip with MMO?
Do I have to be a Christian to take a trip with MMO?
Will I personally be sharing the gospel on this trip?
Our practice is to allow the missionary, pastor, and host church to coordinate the concentrated evangelization efforts on each brigade for several reasons. First, we want to our patients to make personal connections with the church in their community. Second, we want to make it clear to our patients that the healthcare we offer them is completely free of charge and obligation.
That being said, the Lord does give opportunities for our team members to share the gospel. There have been occasions in which our translators or other people in the community trust Christ because of the testimony of our team members. We love for you to share what the Lord is doing in your heart with those we’ll meet.
How do I know which trip is best for me?
How does MMO handle safety concerns that come with international travel?
What does the trip cost cover/not cover?
Covered by your trip payment:
- Airfare from and to your major preferred airport (or as close as we can get to it!)
- Three meals per day
- In-country transportation (may be an in-country flight, depending upon the destination)
- Clinic supplies and medications for our patients
- Costs associated with clinic set up
- Travel insurance
- Your Welcome Packet
NOT covered by your trip payment:
- Passport fees
- Visa fees
- Vaccinations and travel medications
- Your personal clinic supplies (for providers/students only): gloves, disinfectant wipes, BP cuff, stethoscope, otoscope, hand sanitizer, etc.
- In-transit expenses: meals in airports, lodging in the event of a delay (see Travel Insurance), etc.
How can I raise funds for my trip?
If my fundraising exceeds the cost of my trip, where does the money go?
Why do you require a non-refundable, non-transferrable deposit?
By submitting an application to Medical Missions Outreach, you are committing to travel with us. We purchase our airline tickets and make hotel reservations through group contracts months in advance (in order to keep costs as low as possible) and your deposit enables us to secure the group contract. Should a team member back out of a trip, the deposit protects our ministry from facing penalties the airline and/or hotel will charge us for cancellation.
Why must I pay the entire balance if I cancel my trip within 90 days of departure?
In order to secure a large number of seats on our flights, MMO needs to make airline arrangements, hotel bookings, and meal plans well in advance. Because we want as many people as possible to be able to take a mission trip, MMO operates on a very tight budget, keeping the costs at a minimum. Therefore, we are not capable of covering the loss incurred when someone backs out of a mission. We thank you for understanding this desire to protect our ministry and operate in wisdom.
What if I have to cancel due to a family emergency right before the trip?
Why do you require me to consent to have my credit card charged for any remaining balance 45 days before departure?
How can my friends, church, or small group help?
Can I get rewards points for my airline ticket?
I prefer not to use my credit card; can I still sign up for a trip?
Yes, you may! But in order to secure your spot, you need to call our offices and make us aware of your method of payment. If you do not want your credit card charged, you will need to pay for your trip in full in order to secure your spot. Once we have your payment (check can be mailed), we will process your application and waive the deposit.
**Note: The host site requires that a credit card number be entered in order to submit an application, but if you have called to let us know that you will be paying in full, we will wait to process until we have your funds and will waive the deposit upon processing. Your card will not be charged.
Are donations to my trip tax-deductible?
Yes, your contribution is tax-deductible, because you are giving to work with a charitable organization and serve, and the vast majority of your trip will consist of service to the community. The IRS states:
Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses.
The deduction for travel expenses won’t be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don’t have any duties, you can’t deduct your travel expenses.
When will I receive my airline tickets?
What should I pack?
What type of accommodations can I expect?
How can I find out details about my trip?
Why am I required to upload documents instead of email them?
What is in the Welcome Packet, and when do I receive it?
About 4 weeks before your trip, you’ll receive an email about your Welcome Packet. You will be able to personalize your packet by selecting items from our online store. You will use special team member coupon codes so that you will not be charged for the items included in the packet, which are:
- MMO tee or scrub top
- Lanyard for clinic
- Luggage tags (2)
- Trip journal
Any additional items, extra tees, etc. may be purchased in a separate transaction. Be sure to check out the entire store! We are excited about all the choices we have available, and these items make great souvenirs.
How do I know which vaccinations I need?
Do I need a visa? How do I obtain it?
Do I need to register with the American Embassy?
What can I do ahead of time to prepare for my trip?
First, please be sure to log in to your account regularly to stay up to date on upcoming tasks and deadlines. There are things we have to do in order to take you out of the country, and when you submit your paperwork on time, it helps us accomplish things on our end.
Also, many team members enjoy reading a book about the location they’ll visit, learning some conversational words and phrases in the local language, reading about the missionaries, and praying about the patients they will minister to!
What can I do as a healthcare provider to prepare myself for clinic?
Before your trip, you’ll want to log in to your account and download the sample formulary from your account page to make sure that you are familiar with the medicines and vitamins we typically have on hand. A couple of weeks before departure, you’ll receive a formulary specific to your trip. Please print it out and bring it with you to use in clinic. You will also want to have some basic supplies for your station: a baggie of exam gloves, antiseptic wipes, and hand sanitizer. Also, bring your stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and otoscope. If you don’t have an otoscope, there will be one available for shared use among the providers.
If this is your first time practicing internationally, don’t worry! We will guide you through the process and work as a team. An orientation will be given prior to beginning the clinic, and you will have opportunities to ask questions at this time. Also, our team members come from a host of different backgrounds and are able to share a wide variety of information, providing a collaborative atmosphere. Advanced level practitioners are also available to consult on patient care questions.
I’m traveling with a friend; may we room together?
How can I get to know my teammates before the trip?
We set up a private team Facebook page several months before each trip so that you can meet your teammates, see notes about the trip, etc. You will receive an email invite to join. When we are on the trip, we can upload photos here to share. If you use Facebook, this is a great way to connect with the team. The trip page is for team members only. Please ask family and friends to follow our main Facebook page where we’ll post pictures, video updates, and posts about the trip when in country.
If you are not on Facebook, don’t worry—all vital information is communicated through your account page and via email. But you may want to consider creating an account temporarily just to have access to the pictures other team members share on the page. You can always delete your account after the trip.
What does a typical trip schedule look like?
- Thursday/Friday—travel to location
- Saturday—team orientation, set up clinic, local sightseeing
- Sunday—worship services with host church
- Monday through Thursday—clinic days
- Friday—sightseeing/leisure day
- Friday evening and Saturday—travel home