Seeking Optometrists to Serve Outside the USA

VOSH is on the MOVE: Motivating Others To VOSH Excellence: Three Programs to Explore:

Growing a New Generation of Optometrists in Developing Nations: VOSH/International, in collaboration with other eye health care leaders, has developed three initiatives to build optometric education worldwide: The VOSH Corps Program and the Ambassador Program and the Mentorship Program. We invite North American ODs to serve in emerging optometric institutions as faculty and program development assistants, on either a long term (1-2 years) or a short term (minimum of 1 week) basis or to partner with international SVOSH chapters. These are fantastic opportunities for those just entering the profession; those who are transitioning to retirement; or those looking for a new adventure.

VOSH Corps is a one-year minimum commitment to teaching abroad. Apply here for the VOSH Corps Program

The Ambassador Program is a short term teaching visit to an optometry program and includes $1000 for international travel and up to $1500 to bring ophthalmic instruments. Apply here for the Ambassador Program

SVOSH/VOSH Mentorship Program is designed to mentor a SVOSH/VOSH group abroad and includes $1500 for ophthalmic equipment. Apply here for the Mentorship Program

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VOSH CORPS PLACEMENTS

Sara McGowan, OD, MS – Mzuzu University Optometry, Malawi (2012-2018)
Justin Manning, OD, MPH – UNAN Optometry, Nicaragua (2015-2017)
J. Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD – MMUST Optometry, Kenya (2015)
Jerson Desiderio, OD – Makerere Optometry, Uganda (2016-2017)
Robert Molter, OD – Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University Optometry, Vietnam (2016-present)
Kim Molter, OD – Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University Optometry, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2016-present)
Ben Konig, OD – UNAN Optometry, Nicaragua (2017-2018)
Mirage Shah, OD – Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University Optometry, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2019)
Jemini Patel, OD – Makerere University Optometry, Uganda (2019-2020)
Lori Ann Copilevitz, OD – Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University, Optometry, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2018-present)
Duy Nguyen, OD – Hanoi Medical University, Optometry, Hanoi, Vietnam (2020-present)
Vinh Vu, OD – Hanoi Medical University, Optometry, Hanoi, Vietnam (2018-2020)

VOSH Corps

We are seeking optometrists with an interest in the academia required for recently established optometry programs aimed at addressing the human resource needs of eye care delivery in developing countries. The successful candidate will be required to assume the position for a minimum duration of one year (reviewable) and relocate within a reasonable time once a position becomes available. VOSH/International will review applications with final selection and placement by the Brien Holden Vision Institute. Apply here

Ambassador Program

We are encouraging VOSH members or chapters to identify emerging VOSH and SVOSH chapters abroad that would be interested in hosting a VOSH/International ambassador for a short visit (5 to 14 days). You or your chapter would share your expertise through lectures, attending local vision missions and clinics, and generally being a mentor for budding optometric academic programs. Apply here

 

Mentorship Program

We are encouraging North American VOSH and SVOSH Chapters to work with international VOSH and SVOSH Chapters in a 5-10 day clinic. Apply here

 

 

 

Remuneration Package

FOR VOSH CORPS, selected candidates receive a stipend to cover expenses, housing, relocation travel, health insurance, and return travel to home country per year of contract. The overall package ranges 34-43K depending on credentials.

For the AMBASSADOR Program, VOSH provides grants of up to $2500 each, to be used for: optometric equipment and books for local VOSH/SVOSH chapter, subsidize expenses including travel, food, accommodations. (Up to $1,500 for instruments, equipment, or teaching materials for the SVOSH/VOSH program abroad and $1,000 for travel to and from the destination. The host program will be asked to provide accommodations and local transportation).

Criteria

If you have a 4-year Doctorate degree in Optometry (residency completion preferred) and a desire to support emerging optometry education and share knowledge in developing countries, you are VOSH CORPS or AMBASSADOR material.

Interested?

Interested candidates please complete this written expression of interest.

VOSH Corps Program

Ambassador Program

Mentorship Program

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

VOSH/International recently consulted its US and International Chapters about the feasibility and timing to restart our humanitarian clinics. While the vaccination process continues with different levels of success depending on availability and acceptance, it is evident that vaccine inequity and the availability and reliability of data in several countries are issues we need to consider.

Even if already vaccinated, our chapters are still concerned about the wellbeing of our volunteers and patients.  Some chapters, are organizing clinics locally where they are better able to comply with the existing safety requirements and respective state/country regulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic is being experienced quite differently depending on state, region, country, vaccine availability, vaccine acceptance, and the spread of SARS-COV-2 variants. Most VOSH chapters are not holding clinics or traveling internationally in 2021.

Thus, VOSH/International is slightly moderating its overall guidance against clinics and travel issued in late March 2020 and renewed in January 2021. This will be reviewed and communicated on a quarterly basis.

If a VOSH Chapter choses to hold a clinic or travel internationally, we highly recommend that the chapter performs due diligence to comply fully with the requirements established by the visited country, ensures all VOSH volunteers are aware of and follow strict safety guidelines and all existing protocols and regulations of the country, and keeps the principle of “do no harm” embedded in all its decision making. As always, the wellbeing and safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process. We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context. VOSH chapters in specific countries are using protocols that need to be considered as well. You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here.

*VOSH/International is formed by autonomous US and international chapters that are fully and only responsible for their activities, fundraising and decision-making.  VOSH/International can only provide recommendations based on our best knowledge and information at the time.

Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html

US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

July 2021