Mercy Ships Offers Mentoring & Classes for Local Medical Professionals

In addition to providing life-transforming surgeries and medical care, Mercy Ships professional medical volunteers provide training and mentoring programs to medical professionals in the countries we serve.

This specialized training offered to local healthcare professionals —surgeons, nurses, doctors, dentists, ophthalmologists, midwives, and community health workers — aims to teach and improve existing skills in ways that are practical, relevant, and sustainable so that they are able to continue a legacy of hope and healing in their own countries.

“I wanted to learn more about organization in the operating room so that I can better care for the sick here in Guinea. I want to create a school to teach people safe anesthesia which will be the first of its kind. I am very excited to be a part of this!”
— Dr. Joseph Donamou Guinean Anesthesia Mentoring Participant (Guinea 2018/2019 Field Service)

Our many mentoring and education projects are implemented as part of a holistic strategy called the Partner Unit Mentoring Program (PUMP). The PUMP model combines many education opportunities utilizing a team approach to improve transformational development in a specific department or unit in the hospitals that we are partnering with.

Once specialty areas are identified, the PUMP approach is implemented to include those involved in patient care, from the nurses on the wards through to the operating surgical team of anesthesia, nurses, and surgeons.

Through Partner Units, Mercy Ships offers in-depth mentoring to the whole team, teaching and building on similar concepts strengthening the entire health system. In this multi-disciplinary setting, teamwork and communication is modeled, messaging is consistent, and deeper relationships can develop across a wider team and between individuals, increasing the opportunity for sustained improvement.

“For lasting impact, you need people who are determined and a place where they can do it. When you find someone passionate about helping those in their own country and who wants to teach, you can go so far. You need someone with the heart to do something about the need — that’s something many of these surgeons have. I am very optimistic.”
— Dr. Gary Parker Mercy Ships Chief Medical Officer 

Mercy Ships, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and local hospitals, mentors surgeons through one on one practical training, imparting skills, knowledge, and a compassionate and professional attitude. Mentoring is offered for the following, depending on surgeon availability:

  • Orthopedics
  • Ophthalmology
  • Women’s Health
  • General Surgeries
  • Maxillofacial Operations


Mentoring is also provided for ward and operating room nurses, anesthesia providers, biomedical technicians, as well as sterile processing and Ponseti healing methods.

In addition to our in-depth mentoring projects, Mercy Ships sponsors courses that cover material in an established curriculum. The classes, typically designed for a classroom setting, are for a variety of healthcare professionals involved in providing surgical care. Many of these courses include a train-the-trainer component so that newly learned knowledge and skills are transferred to others.

Courses include essential surgical skills, World Health Organization (WHO) safe surgical checklist, primary trauma care, SAFE* pediatric anesthesia and obstetric anesthesia, neonatal resuscitation, and nutritional agriculture.