A Brief Note On Volunteer Tourism Or Voluntourism Essays

1257 Words Nov 10th, 2016 6 Pages
Volunteer tourism or “voluntourism” is a fast growing field that combines the leisure of holidays with the desire to alleviate the suffering caused by deep social illnesses (Barbieri et al., 2012). Medical voluntourism specifically focuses on offering healthcare, spanning from mobile day clinics to surgical clinics, to host communities. Medical voluntourism, therefore, attracts a wide variety of volunteers including undergraduate students, medical students and practicing medical students. As a result, the literature on medical voluntourism is broad in context. Research in this field has credited medical voluntourism with bringing sustainable and beneficial healthcare to communities in need (Ott & Olson, 2011) while also providing a gratifying experience, both professionally and culturally, to the volunteers (Barbieri et al., 2012; Godfrey et al., 2014; Lough, 2011). Another spectrum of literature is far less optimistic. Researchers have analyzed the expected positive shift in intercultural sensitivity in volunteers and the ways in which that goal is unattainable during short-term trips (Sin, 2009; Sin, 2010; Raymond & Hall, 2008; Lyons et al., 2012). However, most of the literature on medical voluntourism unpacks its ethical implications for the host community (Bishop & Litch, 2000; Citrin, 2010; DeCamp, 2011; Wallace, 2012). This ethical scrutiny has been followed by literature highlighting ways in which medical voluntourism could be improved (Dykhuis, 2010; McCall & Iltis,…

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