Short-term medical volunteer work via a nongovernmental organization is a popular tool for students in the health care field to gain experience, while further providing communities that normally lack health care options the opportunity to receive free care. One such organization, VIDA Volunteer Travel, has been successful in implementing this model in Central America. However, organizations of this form have not been evaluated for effectiveness or improvement. This exploratory study examines the effectiveness of VIDA based on six qualifying characteristics that make up a successful NGO.
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