Trip FAQs

Why should you volunteer on a Timmy Global Health Medical Service Trip?

Timmy Global Health does not make one-time visits to a community and never return. Our short-term medical service trips are part of our larger continuity of care and we visit each of our partner communities every 2-3 months. We are committed to supporting our patients and communities 52 weeks a year by working with international partners and staff, funding necessary procedures and surgeries, and implementing public health interventions. Volunteering on one of our trips contributes greatly to the quality healthcare we strive to provide to our partner communities in Guatemala, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.

What is volunteering in a Timmy Clinic like?

Medical professionals and volunteers set up a mobile clinic in one of our communities each day and attend to 75-150 patients per day. Once patients are registered, they move along to the “Medical History” station, where student volunteers will take down their pertinent information and record their complaints. Nurses staff the “Vitals/Lab” station, where major vital signs and simple labs (urinalysis, glucose testing, pregnancy testing) are taken. Patients then move into the “Patient Consultation” station, where they see a provider (MD, DO, NP, PA). It is at this station that the provider conducts an assessment and provides a diagnosis and prescription if necessary. In the patient consultation station, a student scribe and an interpreter will assist the provider. Finally, the patient moves to the “Pharmacy” where a pharmacist (PharmDs and/or RNs) will monitor the incoming prescriptions and work with students to fill and distribute orders.

Which medicines will I have access to?

Because we’ve grown to know the communities that we work in, Timmy has a well-established formulary for our medical trips. Admittedly, it’s not perfect, and we are not always able to provide every kind of medication that our medical professionals would like to prescribe. But we do everything we can to make sure that we come to each clinic with enough medication to treat as many patients as we possibly can.

What do the students do on a Timmy trip?

Many of the students that volunteer with Timmy hope to become doctors and nurses, want to go to medical school, or pursue careers in public health. They are eager to learn and to work firsthand with our medical volunteers. During clinic, student volunteers shadow doctors, work in triage, take vitals, and assist in the pharmacy. Many of them are advanced Spanish speakers and help with translating and updating patient histories. Working with these students allows our medical professionals to not just serve as a healthcare provider, but also to serve as a teacher – showing our students firsthand what it looks like to treat a patient, rather than a disease.

What if I can’t treat a patient with the tools and medicines available in the clinic?

To ensure that patients with chronic conditions can refill their prescriptions, that patients who need advanced care have access to affordable surgeries or overnight hospitalization, and that our adopted communities feel secure in the fact that they can reach a doctor in the event of an emergency, we have cultivated strong partnerships with international organizations in each of the locations we work. We channel not only medical, but also financial and human resources to every single partner organization in order to help build and maintain their capacity to provide meaningful, effective, and informed services to our communities. We partner with university and high school students who help us to raise funds to support our critical patient referral system as well as procure medical supplies and donations of much-needed medicines for every trip.

Outside of clinic, what are the accommodations and activities like?

Our lodging accommodations can best be described as “comfortable yet humble.” Medical professionals and students stay at safe lodging ranging from a hotel to hostel to retreat center. Volunteers generally share a room, though a private room can usually be accommodated for medical professionals. Breakfast and dinner are provided, usually at the place you’re staying, and “picnic-style” lunch is served at the worksite each day. Bottled water is always available. On days that are not designated as work days, you will be able to participate in cultural activities that are unique to the location: from visiting the colonial city of Antigua in Guatemala, to white water rafting in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador!

Where can I travel and when? Are there safety concerns?

Timmy currently travels to locations in Guatemala (Quetzaltenango), the Dominican Republic (Monte Cristi, Mao, and Las Canas), and Ecuador (Quito, Santo Domingo, and Tena-Amazon Basin). Our trips run every 2-3 months, usually in January, March, May, July/August, and October/November of each year. Please inquire with our staff as to the availability for a certain trip and to sign up!


Timmy prioritizes the health and safety of our volunteers, patients, and staff. To this end, we are aware of the current Worldwide Travel Alert for US citizens encouraging enhanced precaution while traveling outside the country. Please note: This is NOT the same as a Travel Warning, which encourages citizens to avoid nonessential travel.

In response to this alert, we have proactively assembled a Monitoring Team comprised of our Board of Directors and Executive Director. The Monitoring Team is following US Department of State travel guidelines to vigilantly and actively monitor the situation for any changes or escalation.

Currently there are no Travel Alerts or Warnings in any of our international sites, which are located exclusively in Ecuador, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. Travel risks to these countries are low and we are continuing with normal travel to these regions. Should conditions change, the Monitoring Team will assess the situation and communicate any trip and/or programming changes immediately.

If you have questions about your medical service trip or Timmy’s cancellation policy, please contact Rebecca Aleman, Service Trip Coordinator, at aleman@timmyglobalhealth.org or 317-920-1822 ext. 6

How much does a Timmy Trip cost, and who purchases my plane ticket?

All lodging, food, in country transportation, and short-term medical insurance is covered by the trip fee, which is approximately $900-$1100 depending on the site. Medical professionals purchase their own plane tickets to arrive and depart at or around the same time as the student group. Occasionally, medical professionals travel from the same city as student volunteers, in which case they may have the option to join the students’ group flight if desired.