Have you ever thought about using your skills as an anesthesiologist to help serve people living in another part of the world? Volunteering your time, expertise and energy can be just as rewarding for you as for those you are helping. You get to meet new people and develop long-lasting relationships with colleagues; gain knowledge and understanding of other ways of life; take on new challenges; gain physical and mental health benefits; and boost your resume while doing good in the world.

Below are several resources that anesthesiologists interested in volunteering can check out to learn more and find their best fit.

International Anesthesiology Clinic has many resources on its website, including an article by Lena Ebba Dohlman, MD, MPH entitled, “Successful Volunteering – Matching the Anesthesia Volunteer and the Aid Organization”.  Available through purchase or subscription.


The ASA has a listing of opportunities, vetted by the Global Humanitarian Outreach Committee, and other resources on their ASA Volunteerism Resources page. Links include programs offered by Operation Smile, Mercy Ships, the International Committee of the Red Cross, ASA Overseas Training and many others.


Solidarity Bridge has been providing opportunities in Bolivia but it has a local connection. One of the co-founders and current Board member, Enrique Via-Reque, was an ISA member, as is the current Medical Director, Daniel Yousif, MD. See Visionaries to see what Solidarity Bridge is about. Dr. Ajay Gopalka has participated if you have an interest. For more information on events and trips, visit www.solidaritybridge.org.


Silver Service Children’s Foundation is headed by Dr. Peter Smith, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon out of Shriner’s Hospital in Oak Park, who has been traveling to Buga, Colombia every 6 months since 1992.  Dr. Adamina Podraza has participated if you have an interest. For more information, visit www.silverservicechildrensfoundation.org.


Touching Hands is a program sponsored by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Each Touching Hands medical team is comprised of hand surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and hand therapists. The teams travel around the world to developing countries such as Haiti, Ethiopia and Honduras to evaluate and treat patients for hand and/or arm conditions, deformities and injuries. Learn more here.


Alliance for Smiles, founded by the Rotary Club of San Francisco & the UCSF Cleft Lip and Palate Team. It seeks to improve and transform the lives of children and communities impacted by cleft lip and palate by providing free comprehensive treatment, while training and equipping local teams to sustainably provide quality, long-term care. Visit allianceforsmiles.org to learn more.