Our Humanitarian Medical Aid Course (HMAC) is an educational experience like no other. Developed by the Doctors Worldwide faculty and based on our 20+ years of experience in the development and emergency field, the institutional learning of sending volunteers overseas, and the questions and experiences this has evoked, the course is now in its fourteenth year. Having delivered to hundreds of people to date, and after a break due to COVID-19 and multiple delays due to unforeseen circumstances, we finally conducted the course recently – hosting 20+ professionals from the healthcare/humanitarian sector. This year, we also unlocked a new milestone with HMAC, due to train strikes, we conducted the course online for the first time ever!
Over the course of two days, participants had the valuable opportunity to listen to the vast experiences of numerous highly knowledgeable and skilled medical professionals who have made significant contributions in the field of humanitarian medicine, both through their association with Doctors Worldwide and other prominent organisations. We were also joined by several guest speakers, who provided insights into different aspects of humanitarian medicine such as needs assessment, setting up and executing healthcare projects, and more.
Although HMAC was hosted online this year, with the power of technology and the use of breakout rooms, we ensured that participants did not miss out on our popular roleplay/scenario activity, which is often many people’s highlight of the course. In a nutshell, the activity required attendees to role-play as different stakeholders (e.g., WHO, NGO, local government, villagers etc) and then respond to a humanitarian crisis scenario. The goal of this activity was to not only engage participants in team work and test their leadership skills, but to also generate an insight into what responding to a real life humanitarian emergency could look like and the different organisations, community groups and individuals at play, each with their own approach and priorities.
100% of our participants rated the course good/excellent
“Excellent course, really insightful and full of learning from speakers who brought their experience and passion for the subject”
-Dr Mohsin, Participant
“I very much enjoyed the course and many thanks to all who gave of their time and expertise over the weekend”
-Dr David Vickery, Participant
Overall, participants not only gained invaluable knowledge on important topics of humanitarian work and emergency medicine, but also got to experience a practical ‘scenario’ to bring this work to life. Additionally, the programme also gave participants a chance to network and learn about professional development within humanitarian medicine.