Table of Contents

JOIN THE FIENS VOLUNTEER TEAM

Only neurosurgeons or neurosurgery residents can serve as volunteers.

For those volunteers who spend a minimum of two weeks in the host country, FIENS will provide round trip economy airfare. Additional discretionary funds are sometimes available for educational activities.

The receiving institution usually provides basic accommodation and local transportation. If special accommodation is required, this should be clarified prior to travel.

If interested, please apply by filling out the Volunteer Application which is provided here in PDF format. The form can be filled out in Adobe Acrobat or printed and filled out by hand. It should be submitted to FIENS via mail or FAX.

The FIENS Volunteer Toolkit is a resource for all FIENS volunteers, please contact Jogi V. Pattisapu for more information (contact information listed below).

For additional information on specific FIENS sites, contact our volunteer Chair, Robert J. Dempsey, MD info@fiens.org

Contact Information:

CHAPTER 1: GETTING STARTED – VOLUNTEERING FOR FIENS

Listed below are items you may need depending on your travel location.  Be sure to check out each site for required item. 

Travel Insurance / Health Insurance: http://medjetassist.com/

Vaccinations / International Traveling: http://www.travelclinicsofamerica.com

Safety for Travel / US Department Travel Advisory: http://travel.state.gov

Welcome to the Volunteers for International Neurosurgical Education Program. Thank you for considering participation in the Program. This is designed to help you understand the relationship of the various parties and the respective obligations of each.

Overview

The Volunteer Program is based on the principle of volunteerism where individuals volunteer to participate in activities of various local host programs (the “Host Program”) for a minimum of two weeks. Volunteers in the Program further the development and improvement of neurosurgical training programs worldwide by assisting local faculty members, by cooperating in the neurological education in medical schools, and by assisting in neurosurgery training programs and graduation education courses. There is no financial remuneration for this service.

Activities and Role of the Host Program, FIENS, and the Committee

The volunteer is supported by the Host Program according to the terms and conditions of each particular Host Program. All aspects of your work as a volunteer shall be determined by you and representatives of the Host Program. The manner in which you perform your work will also be determined by the Host Program. The Host Program and volunteer are responsible for all licensing, medical, and legal concerns.

Typically, local housing accommodations are provided by the Host Program. Because this may represent a significant financial cost to the host, it is usually provided in guest housing at host facilities. Any additional costs, such as international standard hotel or housing for additional members of a family, are usually the responsibility of the volunteer. The Host Program typically provides local transportation to the place of work.In special circumstances, FIENS may be able to provide the volunteer round-trip economy airfare, which may be reimbursed upon receipt of tickets or photocopies of such.

In special circumstances, FIENS may be able to provide the volunteer round-trip economy airfare, which may be reimbursed upon receipt of tickets or photocopies of such.

Activities and Role of the Volunteer

 The purpose of the volunteer service is primarily educational and will involve cooperation and working with local faculty members to achieve the educational aims of the Host Program. Many of the people that each volunteer will encounter will be highly skilled and capable professionals; therefore, professional, personal and cultural sensitivity are important issues to consider. Volunteers may find it helpful to prepare themselves by reading appropriate information in standard travel guides. Volunteers primarily work with local faculty, residents and neurosurgical trainees, medical students, nurses and other allied health care professionals.

In most situations, volunteers will be dealing with limited resources in terms of facilities, equipment, and supplies. There will be significant cultural differences from the volunteer’s home perspective, and work can therefore be challenging and stressful at times.

To help insure the best utilization of the volunteer’s time and skills, volunteers may want to consider meeting early with members of the Host Program to arrange a schedule of activities. Pre-trip communication by email is also very useful. Volunteers are typically asked to see patients in the emergency and out-patient departments, to review diagnostic imaging, and to help in the operating room. Volunteers usually take on the role of assistant/teacher rather than merely acting as the principal operator for the cases they handle. Again, the volunteer and Host Program should determine the appropriate activities for the volunteer.

The hosts are likely to be very hospitable and generous, and it is important that volunteers respond to this generosity. It is often culturally acceptable to take gifts along as a token of appreciation for their hospitality.

Evaluations

In order to assist future volunteers and each host program, volunteers will be asked to provide feedback on their volunteer service. Volunteers are asked to provide a report of their time of service and to give an assessment of the Program. We also ask volunteers to provide an evaluation of the Host Program and to provide recommendations to assist future volunteers.  Standard forms are provided in this toolkit. 

In order to assist future volunteers, each volunteer’s rotation of service will also be evaluated by the Host Program. The FIENS Volunteer Program has prepared several documents to help in each volunteer’s evaluation.

Relationship of the Volunteer to FIENS and the Committee

 Volunteers participating in the Program are neither employees nor agents of FIENS.

Volunteer Agreement and Release

All volunteers participating in the FIENS Program are required to read and sign the Volunteer Agreement and Release (the “Agreement”). The Agreement sets forth all agreements between the parties, solidifies the relationships and responsibilities of the parties, sets forth release and indemnification obligations relating to the volunteer’s participation in the FIENS Program, and contains other legal information. To the extent there is any discrepancy between this letter or anything you may be told about the FIENS Program and the Agreement, the Agreement controls.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the following persons:

CHAPTER 2: FIENS PAPERWORK
– PLEASE USE THE LINKS BELOW TO ACCESS REQUIRED FORMS

Volunteer Information Form

Volunteer Agreement and Release

Volunteer Report of Terms of Service

Host Evaluation of Volunteer Services

All volunteers participating in the FIENS Program are required to read and sign the form listed. The Volunteer Agreement and Release sets forth all agreements between the parties, solidifies the relationships and responsibilities of the parties, sets forth release and indemnification obligations relating to the volunteer’s participation in the FIENS Program, and contains other legal information. To the extent there is any discrepancy between this letter or anything you may be told about the FIENS Program and the Agreement, the Agreement controls.

These forms should be carefully read, understood, completed and returned to the Volunteer Director, Jogi V. Pattisapu. Any questions regarding any of the forms should be discussed with the Director.

CHAPTER 3: OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION 

Teaching Aids

FIENS Suggested Curriculum (see links below for 4, 5, 6, and 7 year programs)

4 year curriculum

5 year curriculum

6 year curriculum

7 year curriculum

SNS Resident Boot Camp – visit http://www.societyns.org (Boot Camp section)

Useful Resources

Publications

Project Locations

FIENS is active around the world. We currently place volunteers and provide training in Africa, Asia and the Americas. For additional information on specific FIENS site locations, contact a regional coordinator below or our Volunteer Coordinator, Jogi V. Pattisapu (info@fiens.org).

Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zanzibar

Asia:   Jack Rock
Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

Americas:   Peter Nakaji  

Bolivia, Haiti, Nicaragua