FIMRC

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children

About

The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of families in the developing world through innovative and self-sustainable health programs. Operating since 2002, we have grown to ten project sites in nine countries including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Peru, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, India, Ecuador, and the Philippines. With a team of over 3,000 dedicated staff and volunteers, we assert a multidimensional strategy that includes clinical services, extensive community outreach efforts, and targeted health education programs.

What sets FIMRC apart from other organizations is our focus on sustainable community based programs and our commitment to keeping our locations open year round! For our volunteers, this translates into knowing they are contributing to ongoing programs that address current community needs as well as the flexibility to travel at any time.

Website
www.fimrc.org
Founded
2002
Headquarters

1518 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

Enroll now for the Summer International Health Fellowship!

Spots are filling up fast for our summer fellowship in several of our locations! Click below to learn more!

Reviews

Brock Willett
Brock
10/10

Hello, my name is Brock Willett and I am a senior nursing student at Oakland University. This summer I was able to attend one of FIMRC’s amazing locations, Costa Rica. This was not my first trip with FIMRC, but it was by far my favorite. The way you are able to immerse yourself into a community such as Costa Rica’s is incredible. During my stay I was able to rotate through the clinic in all different areas, which helped me become an all-around better medical professional. Being able to check patients in, work in the pharmacy and even being hands on with actual nursing skills was an absolute joy. There was one particular experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. A woman came in with severe skin decay related to a dog bite that she acquired. As I assisted in the help of cleaning, dressing the wound and even at times holding the patients hand, I was mesmerized by the strength and courage she had that day. Moments like these cannot be read in books or studied. These are truly life changing moments that place a smile on my face when thinking about them. I cannot thank FIMRC enough for the opportunities and memories I will forever have!

How can this program be improved?
The one thing I would change is the pricing of the trip. Although it wasn't extremely expensive, to a college student it can set you back. The entire trip cost me $1700.00. However, the trip was worth much more!
Yes, I recommend
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Zoe
10/10

Hello! My name is Zoe Gagnon and I am currently a second year pharmacy student. I began my journey with FIMRC by joining the local chapter on my campus. Traveling the world and learning about different cultures has always been a dream of mine, so when I found an organization where I could use my clinical skills to help the underserved and get to travel, I knew I had to get involved. Traveling to the Dominican Republic was the first medical relief trip I have ever taken. Before the trip I was very nervous, but strategic packing and planning helped me feel prepared for any situation. My trip was unique because our group was exposed to many different parts of the country (beach, mountains, rivers, etc.) and this really helped me gain a complete understanding of what their culture is like. My favorite experience was the mobile clinic. First, we traveled an hour in the back of a pick-up truck into the mountain. Eventually, the terrain was too rough and the truck could not drive any further. Our group then had to hike up the mountain for 3 hours until we reached to top. Once at the top, around 20 rural families resided and rarely received medical attention. With the help of a local doctor and two donkeys carrying medical supplies, our group of pharmacy students were able to set up a mobile clinic. This clinic consisted of manual blood pressure readings, doctor examinations and a small pharmacy where we could dispense medications and counsel the patients. Overall, this trip changed my life and how I view my patients here in the United States. I have a better appreciation for the things I have, but also those around me. Everyone in the Dominican Republic was so happy not by what they owned, but the relationships with their friends and family.

How can this program be improved?
I loved my time working with FIMRC and the people of Restauracion. Some future improvements might include more consistent sleeping arrangements among larger groups as some host families were less financially stable than others.
Yes, I recommend
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Catherine
10/10

Situated around a star-shaped lake and nestled amongst a colorful array of jungles, Kodaikanal (commonly referred to as “Kodi” by the locals) felt like an oasis from the moment I arrived. It was February during my final year of residency, and I had decided to travel to southern India to work with an organization called the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC). Grateful to be free of the sound of beeping pagers and cardiac alarms, I embraced the city and its culture eagerly, energized by the sound of musical horns on passing trucks, the patter of feet shuffling quickly together among crowded streets, and the vibratory hum of conversation in unfamiliar tongues.

While staying in Kodi, the majority of my time was spent working with FIMRC. Through their network of physicians and public health workers, I had the opportunity to rotate in a variety of different healthcare settings including private and public hospitals, as well as several different outpatient settings. The interactions I had with the staff, physicians and patients at each site was overwhelmingly positive and both academically and personally enlightening.

Though I learned a lot of medicine from the generous patients who shared their grueling experiences of enduring Typhoid fever, the effects of severe vitamin deficiencies and a host of other ailments, it was FIMRC’s additional focus on public health that had the greatest impact on me. In the afternoons, I often traveled to a local creche (the local word for “preschool”) to perform health screenings, to hand out vitamin D tablets, and to ensure that all of the kids received three meals a day. As I later learned, these interventions have been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of malnutrition among the creche’s school-aged children. Other afternoons were spent visiting rural schools where we taught lessons on basic feminine hygiene and provided boxes of menstrual pads, a simple action that goes a long way to combat the high rates of pelvic inflammatory disease that are prevalent in this area. We also spent time building chimneys for families living in a single room home with an open, wood burning stove in order to reduce the amount of smoke inhalation that contributes to a high incidence of chronic lung disease.

While this concept is not novel to most of us, these experiences severed as a good reminder that sometimes, in order to truly help a patient, you need to go directly to the source of the problem. Though the disease pathology may differ from country to country, this lesson remains true universally. Treating recurrent bouts of Malaria is a fruitless endeavor if a clean water source is never obtained. Inhaled corticosteroids can offer only limited benefit at treating asthma if exposure to secondhand smoke, whether from a parent’s cigarette or an indoor stove, is not eliminated. Insulin may keep blood sugars in check, but until processed foods are similar in price to fresh, real food, the diabetes epidemic will continue. And while taking on an additional role as a public health servant may be too much given our ever-expanding professional sphere of clinical responsibilities, it is important that we as physicians work in tandem with public health officials in order to achieve sustainable health outcomes, both at home and abroad. In doing so, we might just be able to prevent the development and spread of disease before it even begins.

Yes, I recommend
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Chase
10/10

One of the best experiences of my life. Great hands on learning for students interested in getting into medical field. Everyone part of this organization was very helpful and nice. Would recommend this to anyone interested in volunteer work/potential medical students. Housing is fun because you stay with all of the other volunteers(all meals provided for you). This program is top notch and didn’t compare to the other programs I looked into for this kind of experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Allie
10/10

Going into this medical mission trip to Uganda, I did not know what to expect. I had been hungry to travel to Uganda for many years, and when my brother found FIMRC through a google search for medical mission trips to Africa, I knew the trip was meant to be as the registration was made easy and everything seemed to just fall into place. Ultimately, I knew that my mission was to serve God and to be His hands and feet wherever He needed me to be, but with all of my friends telling me that I was going to change the world, I thought that the difference I was going to make was going to be in the lives of the locals of rural Bududa District of Uganda. I quickly learned that I was not going to change Uganda, but that God was going to use Uganda and its people to change me.
We worked in a health clinic Monday through Thursday from 9:30am until the last patient was seen. At the clinic, we checked people in, took vitals, sat in on consultations, witnessed childbirth, worked in the lab, and helped out wherever we could.
For the first weekend, we travelled to Jinja for white water rafting on the Nile River and happened upon the Sole Hope guesthouse and shoe making workshops. I was introduced to Sole Hope on the Mission Trip that my brother and I took with our youth group in high school in 2013 and have thought about it ever since. Luckily, we were able to walk right into the front gate of their compound and get a tour from the guesthouse hostess. This was such an emotional experience that only God could have arranged; after collecting donations and supplies and hosting shoe cutting parties over the past 4 years for Sole Hope, I was finally able to see where the shoes are made in person and hold a pair of the finished shoes in her hands.
We packed as much as we could into our second and last full weekend in the area: eating dinner with one of the clinic volunteers at her house, administering deworming pills and vitamin A drops during an immunization outreach at a local school, hiking Sipi Falls, attending a protestant church with one of the clinic staff members, and getting to sit down with another staff member at her house as she taught us how the coffee beans are prepared to be roasted.

As a useful tip: do not pack your peanut butter in your carry-on - TSA will throw it away.

How can this program be improved?
I think improvements could be made in communication before and during the trip to aid in transportation plans to and from the airport and excursions.
Yes, I recommend

Programs

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