Operation Smile’s Resident Leadership Programme has been an important part of our organisation and a signature programme for our education team dating back to 2009.

As Operation Smile continues to grow to meet the needs of our patients and their communities, as well as the health workers who serve them, we continually evaluate programmes within the education portfolio as we evolve our strategy. To better serve our patients while also growing sustainable surgical ecosystems, we have paused the Resident Leadership Programme at this time. 

We offer our deepest gratitude to the past sponsors of the program, the Regan family through the Harbourton Foundation and Stryker, which enabled Operation Smile to build the skills of over 1,000 surgeons, paediatrician’s and anaesthesiologists from 57 countries. Operation Smile remains committed to the training and education of health care workers around the world, and our programmes will continue to provide opportunities to elevate the skills of these providers.

Programmes are usually 10 days long but may at times require additional travel time to get to/from the programme site. Volunteers are financially responsible for any costs incurred for visas, immunisations, checked baggage, dinners during the programme, and any other incidentals like phone/internet charges at the hotel, taxis, souvenirs, etc.

A member of the volunteering team will be in touch with you to coordinate your availability with our programme needs.

Please bear in mind that to be in compliance with Operation Smile’s Global Standards of Care, programme teams must have a balance of new and experienced Operation Smile volunteers.

This means that there may be fewer positions available in each specialty for new volunteers throughout the year, but we will do our best to get you on your first programme as soon as possible.

Once you have been confirmed to a programme, we will send you all information providing all necessary details regarding the programme. There are also forms that must be read, signed and returned. Volunteers will be advised of the expectations well in advance.

Processing a new volunteer application can take between 8-12 weeks on average.

You can start by completing the form to register your interest. A member of the team will get in touch to discuss if there are any volunteering opportunities that match your speciality.

If we are recruiting for your medical specialty, you will need to complete a volunteer application form and included any supporting documentation, each application is reviewed by the UK Medical Sub-committee to ensure that we continue to provide the best clinical care possible to every patient.

The application will then be sent to our headquarters office in the US to be approved and credentialed. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our volunteers department at 020 3475 5126 or by email at volunteers@operationsmile.org.uk

All of the medical specialties accepted are based upon clinical experience and education.

Paediatric experience is required and our nurses must have experience working in a medical/surgical Unit, PICU, NICU, PACU, operating theatre, or A&E during the past two years.

Operation Smile adheres to Global Standards of Care and ensuring the safety of our volunteers and patients is of the utmost importance. Therefore we require our medical volunteers be active in their profession. We will accept retirees for up to two-years post retirement as long as the credentials are current and some form of education and applicable work (if only part-time) is continued.

While ODPs play an important role in patient care in the United Kingdom, unfortunately licensing requirements from other countries preclude us from having ODPs in our programmes at this time.

In recent years our demand for international dental volunteers has decreased significantly due to successful training initiatives for local dental volunteers across our programme countries.

While it is a testament to our sustainable development strategy, unfortunately it does mean that we are currently unable to accept dental applications.

We utilise medical volunteers in the following roles: anaesthetists/paediatric anaesthetists, operating theatre, recovery room and pre/post-operative nurses, paediatricians, surgeons (plastic, oral maxillofacial, and cleft), paediatric cardiologists, paediatric intensivists and neonatologists. We also accept certified child life specialists/hospital play specialists, speech and language therapists, and biomed technicians. Areas such as administration, clinics, OB, psychology and schools generally do not meet this criteria.

Talk to us

If you need any further help, our Supporter Care Team is here to answer your questions.