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Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2012 May-Jun;14(3):215-7. doi: 10.1001/archfacial.2011.1643.

Ethical conduct of humanitarian medical missions: I. Informed Consent.

Author information

  • Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, USA. holtg@uthscsa.edu


Altruistic and socially conscious physicians are dedicating a portion of their professional lives to humanitarian relief of disadvantaged populations in increasing numbers. These efforts are primarily carried out through short-term medical missions(STMMs) throughout the international community.(1) There is a great deal of professional and personal reward to physicians who participate in medical missions, and their experiences as related to colleagues may serve to encourage others to participate as well. Indeed, there is an increasing interest in, and enthusiasm for, medical students to participate in international volunteer electives during medical school, particularly in developing countries. Their positive experiences often shape their future commitment to volunteerism as a physician.(2)

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