Humanitarian Surgical Missions: Planning for Success

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Sep;153(3):320-5. doi: 10.1177/0194599815587889. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


Humanitarian surgical missions can provide much needed care for those who are otherwise unable to receive such care because of limited local health care resources and cost. These missions also offer excellent training opportunities and can be life-changing experiences for those who participate in them. A successful humanitarian surgical mission requires careful planning and coordination and can be challenging for those tasked with the responsibilities to organize and lead these missions. This article addresses many of the issues and challenges encountered when planning and leading humanitarian surgical missions and offers a template to be used by those who take on these challenges.

Keywords: global health; humanitarian; international; mission; planning; surgical.

MeSH terms

  • Altruism*
  • Humans
  • Medical Missions / organization & administration*
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Motivation
  • Planning Techniques*