Health Volunteers Overseas

The Academy works with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) to match interested dermatologists with overseas volunteer opportunities. Through this program, volunteers train local health care providers, giving them the knowledge and skills to make a difference in their own communities. They generally volunteer for one month, although shorter and longer assignments are possible.

Applying for a travel grant is a two-step process:

  1. Visit the HVO website and click on the "Start the volunteer placement process" on the right side of the page.
  2. After submitting the form on the HVO website, submit the AAD's online travel grant application.

Opportunities for dermatologists experienced in burn or wound care with HVO burn management or wound and lymphedema management programs also may be available.

For more information about any of the dermatology programs below, visit the HVO website.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia — National Dermatology Course and Preah Kossamak Hospital
Volunteers assist in the training of dermatology students, provide continuing education regarding current and new trends of dermatologic diagnosis and treatment, and provide training to nurses and physicians involved in dermatologic care. Volunteers must be board-certified or eligible and hold a current license to practice dermatology.  Active or retired dermatologists and final-year residents are recruited. Assignments are two to three weeks.

San Jose, Costa Rica — University of Costa Rica
Volunteers assist in improving the academic dermatologic residency program through week-long, concentrated courses on various dermatologic topics. The volunteer schedule includes one to two hours of lecture time per day, attending ward rounds, and observing in clinic. Volunteers must be board-certified with a current license. Retired volunteers are considered. In addition to general dermatologists, sub-specialists in dermatopathology and dermatologic surgery are welcome. This site is not appropriate for residents. Assignments are one to three weeks.

Mbarara, Uganda — Mbarara University of Science and Technology
Volunteers provide training and support of the dermatology residency program at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). Volunteers also provide training to medical students, general medical officers (general practitioners), clinical officers (physician assistants), and nurses. Active or retired dermatologists are welcome. Final-year residents may be considered for assignments. Assignments are three to four weeks.

Hue, Vietnam — Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Volunteers provide clinical and didactic instruction to update and broaden the skills and knowledge of the dermatology faculty at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy in a variety of diagnostic and treatment techniques, as well as work to develop nursing guidelines for skin diseases.


  • Must be an Academy member.
  • Volunteer time must be for a minimum of two weeks.
  • Airfare is up to $2,500 for two (2) volunteers, whether on same or different HVO trip.
  • Airfare is for the Academy member only, not accompanying family or staff.
  • Applicant must have a confirmed assignment with HVO, complete with site selection and dates.
  • Grant is for airfare only, no baggage fees (paid separately at a later time).
  • Grant must be paid out and used in the same year.
  • Airfare must be booked through Academy’s travel agency:

Association Travel Concepts (ATC)
Jo Ross, International Specialist
Phone: 800-458-9383 x1290
Call between 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (ET), Monday-Friday
Allow a minimum of 6 weeks’ notice to book the ticket


Additional resources


Portable projector loaner

Borrow an AAD projector for your next volunteer trip overseas.


Skin disease education cards

Request skin disease cards to help train non-dermatologists in underserved areas of the world.



Help patients, communities, and the profession.