Global Medical Brigade in Panama | MedSchoolCoach

An Immersive Clinical and Research Program

MedSchoolCoach has partnered with Global Medical Brigades to offer an experience that will transform you and the communities you visit. Join a brigade in Panama to gain firsthand healthcare and research experience while helping rural communities. Engage in workshops, shadow physicians, support triage, empower health workers, and contribute to research. Then, collect data and publish your research on health outcomes.

This is an opportunity to make a significant impact on yourself and the community.

An Immersive Clinical and Research Program

MedSchoolCoach has partnered with Global Medical Brigades to offer an experience that will transform you and the communities you visit. Join a brigade in Panama to gain firsthand healthcare and research experience while helping rural communities. Engage in workshops, shadow physicians, support triage, empower health workers, and contribute to research. Then, collect data and publish your research on health outcomes.

This is an opportunity to make a significant impact on yourself and the community.

Join us in-country and virtually to experience clinical medicine, participate in research and make an impact!

In-Country Components: You will join on a special Global Medical Brigade in Panama where participants provide primary health care services to small, under-resourced, rural communities with limited to no access to medical care. Physicians here work with vulnerable populations to provide patient consults and prescribe treatment for acute illnesses. Students work in triage, shadow physicians, provide education workshops, and assist in medicine distribution in the pharmacy. They also contribute to enhancing the capacity of community health workers (CHWs) on chronic illness screening techniques.

Virtual Components: This innovative virtual experience for pre-med students is a part of our Panama Pathways program and provides a uniquely comprehensive learning opportunity. Through a total of 32 virtual hours, participants can dive deep into the field of medicine and gain practical knowledge beneficial to their future careers.

Clinical, Research & Impact

Last day for sign up is May 8th, 2024

* Only $500 due at time of application. Airfare is not included. Our travel team can work with students to help them book air transport.

What you will experience – in person

Clinical explorations in Panama

Make an impact in under-resourced communities with preventative and primary healthcare in communities where access to healthcare is limited or does not exist. By becoming part of a Global Medical Brigades experience, you will gain invaluable insight into the workings of a sustainable mobile medical clinic, providing you with a unique learning experience.

In partnership with communities in rural Panama, Medical Brigades unites local doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and passionate student volunteers. Together, they form a collaborative force in mobile healthcare clinics, working tirelessly to address the healthcare needs of local community members. The diverse roles in the team provide a comprehensive approach to healthcare, tackling a myriad of health concerns.

The brigade doesn't stop at providing treatment; it also extends to educating the community about various health issues. An integral part of this commitment is the Community Health Worker program. This pioneering initiative empowers local volunteers who act as first responders and advocates for primary healthcare in their communities. The participants assist in training and building the capacity of these volunteers, establishing a robust, year-round link to local doctors and elevating the healthcare scenario of these rural communities. With considerable investment over the years and ongoing grants to support its proliferation, this program distinguishes Global Medical Brigades from other programs, creating a lasting impact on community health.

As part of this enriching program, you won't just be treating symptoms; you'll be empowering people to take charge of their health and well-being, making a lasting difference in their lives. On this remarkable journey, you'll contribute meaningfully, learn exponentially, and grow personally.

Alongside your clinic shadowing experience, you will participate in a four-day intensive global health research project aimed at evaluating the influence of Community Health Entrepreneurs on health outcomes in underserved communities in Panama. You will work directly with local healthcare workers, who will provide an overview of the unique healthcare challenges faced by the rural Panamanian population and the goals of the Community Health Entrepreneur program. You will spend multiple days immersed in the field, using modern global health research tools to collect data for this project. This will greatly complement your view of how health challenges are addressed on the ground, alongside the immediate access provided by the rural clinics, and learn how to evaluate the program’s results. The data collected will be used to write a manuscript that we will submit to a prominent peer-reviewed journal and all participants will be acknowledged as a contributor to the publication.

During a day off, students will embark on an unforgettable journey to the world-renowned Panama Canal, where they'll witness the magnificent engineering marvel and learn about its pivotal role in global trade. This is followed by a thrilling tour to Monkey Island, where they will venture into the lush Panamanian rainforest, observe various monkey species in their natural habitat, and gain insights into the country's diverse ecosystem. These expeditions not only offer a break from the rigorous medical curriculum but also provide a valuable understanding of Panama's rich history, cultural heritage, and unique biodiversity.

What's Included In-Country:

Medical Brigade in Panama: Examining a Patient
Examining a Patient in Panama
Conducting Research in Panama
Conducting Research in Panama
Panama Canal
Panama Canal
Monkey Island
Monkey Island

What you will experience – virtually

Virtual voyages in medicine

This innovative virtual experience for pre-med students is a part of our Panama Pathways program and provides a uniquely comprehensive learning opportunity. Through a total of 32 virtual hours, participants can dive deep into the field of medicine and gain practical knowledge beneficial to their future careers.

The virtual research program provides participants the opportunity to accrue 20 hours of tangible research experience. Participants will attend interactive seminars on research design and methodology delivered by local public health experts, who will shed light on the unique health challenges of rural communities in Honduras. The program dives beyond surface-level understanding, inviting participants to explore the intricate landscape of public health topics and phenomena, formulate hypotheses, and analayze data. This will culminate in the construction of a Community Health Action Plan that strategically addresses the issues pressing the community in terms of healthcare services and accessibility of water and sanitation infrastructure.

Additionally, the program includes 12 hours of clinical shadowing sessions, divided into six unique two-hour experiences across various global locations. This offers a peek into diverse medical practices worldwide, broadening their perspective on global healthcare.

In Greece, students will observe a pediatric consultation at our Urban Clinic in Athens, supporting refugees and migrants from North Africa and the Middle East.

In Ghana, students will gain insight into family medicine practices in rural communities with little to no access to physicians or medicine.

In Honduras, students will witness a variety of medical specialties at our Urban Clinic in Tegucigalpa. These include family medicine, dental, ophthalmology, and pharmacology.

This international clinical shadowing experience gives pre-med students a global perspective on healthcare and provides an understanding of medical practices in various cultural contexts, thereby preparing them for a holistic medical career.

Student involvement directly finances continuous medical support for economically challenged communities in Panama.

What's Included Virtually:

Urban Clinic in Athens, Greece
Urban Clinic in Athens, Greece
Family Medicine in Ghana
Family Medicine in Ghana
Urban Clinic in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Urban Clinic in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Participate in Patient Care

Beyond just observation, depending on the specialty and attending physician, you may participate in patient care, including procedures, physical examinations, and history taking.

Expand Cultural Competence

Immerse yourself in diverse cultural contexts to understand how socio-cultural factors influence healthcare practices and patient care around the globe.

Learn Clinical Medicine

Part of the Global Medical Telebrigade experience is having a physician alongside you so you can learn the medicine being delivered.

Explore Health Systems

Witnessing healthcare in four global locations helps students compare health systems and explore varied patient care techniques.

Brigade Details

What Students are Saying

The Global Medical Brigade in Panama was one of the best experiences I ever had in my life. I learned a lot about both the living experiences in Panama, as well as the medical care and medications necessary for the rural communities. Going on the brigade taught me that all people deserve proper care, and people should devote their resources to helping all people. I will always live by the Global Brigade mission, and I will never forget the message and experience.
Alyson Jett, Penn State
Mary Ellen
Brooklyn College
If a student is looking to get clinical experience while contributing to a sustainable operation, a Global Medical Brigade is an opportunity they should partake in.
Sahil Mehta MD, MedschoolCoach Founder
Dr. Sahil Mehta
Trip Education Leader

Why Travel on a Global Medical Brigade?

Medicine, RESEARCH. culture, friends.

Participating in an international medical program can help you gain medical experience and put your application on a whole new level. It’s an opportunity to create authentic relationships with your peers while making an impact in the lives of low resourced communities.

Ultimate Med Immersion – Patients in Scrubs at the Hospital

Medical Experience

Are you looking to gain clinical experience?
With the opportunity to shadow doctors and help facilitate many stations of the medical clinic, students are a critical part to serving real patients. Students will walk away with an in-depth medical experience and strong extracurricular activity.

Unique Approach

Need something to differentiate yourself?
This international journey is a great extracurricular for med students, distinguishing them from other med school applicants. Nearly 20% of graduating physicians have been a part of this program during their undergraduate studies.

Clinical & Research Hours

How much time will I spend observing actual physicians?
There will be 32 virtual observation hours before the brigade (20 research, 12 clinical). In Panama, expect 6 hours daily for observations. You'll experience about 20 hours of in-person research and 15 hours of clinical shadowing.

Personal Growth

Would you like to grow as a person?
Experience Panamanian culture, have a once in a lifetime experience, and make friends for life.

Reserve your spot!

Included with your tuition:

  • Hotel to airport shuttles on arrivals and departures.
  • All accommodations and meals while in Panama.
  • All ground transportation to and from activities within the scheduled program.
  • Program costs including clinical lectures and in-hospital participation.
  • Scheduled excursion costs such as cultural trips.

What else can we tell you?

Have more questions? Give us a call or chat with us. 

Registration Questions

Yes, to maintain a high-caliber student culture, we interview students before participation. We require students to be at least 18 years old and enrolled in a college or university. Students must demonstrate a minimum 3.0-grade point average. If you are an international student, you are welcome to participate, but you are responsible for researching and obtaining any travel documents you may need to reach your program destination.

No, an initial non-refundable application fee of $500 is required to reserve your spot (note, if the trip is canceled by MedSchoolCoach or Global Medical Brigade for any reason, this deposit will be refunded). Full payment of the remaining balance will be charged to your credit card on file 120 days prior to departure.

Clinical Experience Questions

Areas of observation will vary depending on the needs of a community. Common issues include cardiovascular, pediatrics, OB/GYN, pulmonology, and infectious disease. As the program dates approach, we will provide a detailed itinerary with specialties that will be covered during clinics, based on community need.

Letters of recommendation can be written by any of our U.S.-based physician staff members or by the Panamanian-based physicians. However, letters of recommendation are not guaranteed and their solicitation will be at the student’s discretion.

This will depend on the area of observation and the attending physician’s and/or healthcare professional’s decision, alongside the patient. As participants are not trained or certified healthcare professionals, they will not be conducting procedures that could potentially put the patient at risk. Some permitted actions may range from taking vitals to assessment skills, or basic assists with bandaging, etc.

Accommodation Questions

All rooms are designated for group occupancy. If you prefer single room accommodation, an additional charge of $50 per night will apply.

Single occupancy rooms have limited availability and can be reserved at the time of registration on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have questions regarding single room accommodations, you can contact us at or call us at (888) 381-9509.

Travel Requirement Questions

Each student is responsible for obtaining a valid passport required for travel to Panama. All students must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond their intended stay in Panama. Passports expiring before then must be renewed prior to travel. Please begin any necessary passport procurement or renewal processes 3-4 months before the intended brigade. This is an immigration policy, not a Global Medical Brigades policy.

Each student is responsible for securing any necessary visas for travel to Panama, depending on their country of citizenship. Please note that US, Canadian, and UK citizens are not required to apply for visas to enter Panama. If required, each individual is responsible for their own visa processing and costs. Global Medical Brigades is not responsible for a student being denied entry into their destination country due to the lack of proper documentation. Please begin any necessary visa procurement processes 3-4 months before the intended brigade.

Basic travel insurance is included in the cost of the program; participants may elect to purchase additional insurance at an additional fee, or consider purchasing their own private insurance such as Allianz Travel Insurance.

Additionally, we recommend purchasing tuition insurance for this portion of your educational experience. Consider GradGuard.

Once you have paid in full, any refunds must be processed through your travel and/or tuition insurance provider, not through MedSchoolCoach.

Global Medical Brigades recommends students visit the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for the most current information on vaccine recommendations for traveling to Panama. Some vaccinations must be administered a few months or weeks before your travel. Vaccinations can usually be obtained at a healthcare provider or through a travel clinic.

Always consult your physician for the best-recommended treatment options.

Below is a list of CDC recommended vaccinations as well as those required by the Panamanian government. Each student is responsible for fulfilling any vaccine requirements and ensuring that all required paperwork is attained.

Vaccine recommendations:
  • Routine vaccines,
  • Hepatitis A,
  • Hepatitis B,
  • Measles,
  • Rabies,
  • Malaria,
  • Typhoid,
  • COVID-19 vaccine and booster.

Required vaccines for Panama:
  • If you plan on traveling from Panama to a country that requires proof of yellow fever vaccines at the end of your program, you must present the Yellow Fever vaccine card. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to board. If you are traveling directly to Panama from the US or a country where yellow fever is not present, there is no government requirement for the yellow fever vaccine.

Airfare is not included in the tuition. You should purchase your roundtrip domestic airfare from your home city to Panama, with the guidance and approval of one of our Travel Team Members.

Student Time & Care Questions

Throughout your time in the program, you will be with Medical Brigades staff, on-site doctors, and MedSchoolCoach staffing. They will provide sick participants with access to the necessary healthcare or refer you to our existing relationships with local hospitals and clinics. A benefit of attending a Global Medical Brigade is that you will be surrounded by all levels of healthcare in Panama at all times. Your program managers will ensure that you always have access to staff during times of illness.

U.S. credit/debit cards are widely accepted in Panama, but U.S. dollars typically are not. Upon arrival in Panama, there will be an opportunity to exchange U.S. dollars for Panamanian balboa for daily tips and purchases.

Students will be led by local Panamanian program coordinators and directors throughout the entire experience. There will be one program coordinator or staff member for every ~15 students to ensure that everyone on the trip receives specialized attention. Our management team comprises experienced educators, nonprofit leaders, and current graduate or medical school-level students. Including drivers, translators, cooks, coordinators, and doctors, we usually have a 4 to 1 staff-to-student ratio among the Global Medical Brigade staff that accompany the students.

The best method for communicating with friends and family back home is by downloading WhatsApp.

WiFi is not guaranteed in our compounds, so we highly recommend that you reach out to your phone company and activate an international plan for use during your time in Panama.

COVID Questions

As of September 2022, Panama has lifted all COVID-19 entry restrictions, and travelers can enter the country without proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result.

In the event that we cancel the trip due to new COVID-related travel advisories or any other unexpected widespread health concerns, participants will be eligible for a full refund. Please review the terms and conditions for further details.
Panama is a leader in COVID-19 prevention and care. Currently, masks remain required in some public places and healthcare facilities.

Standard COVID-19 sanitary procedures are practiced in all dining areas and hotels. As the trip dates approach, we will provide real-time updates based on the pandemic’s situation at that time.

Reserve your spot!

  • Spots are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified students.
  • An initial deposit of $500 is required at the time of application.
  • The balance for the trip is due 90 days prior to departure.

Enroll Now

Enroll now to reserve your spot on our trip to Panama.

Pay Remaining Balance

Pay off your remaining balance now to secure your participation. Your credit card on file will be automatically charged for any remaining balance 120 days before departure.
Pay Balance

Packing List

Prepare for your trip! Download the packing list to ensure you have everything you need.
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Health Form

Submit important health information so we can gather all necessary details to ensure the safety of our travelers.
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Disclosure Form

Review and sign this important document that includes the Liability Release, GPA Verification, Media Waiver, and Code of Conduct.
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Travel Guide

Download the Panama Travel Guide for detailed information on trip planning, clinical experiences, daily agendas, medical facilities, accommodations, and more.
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