Medical Volunteers

Medical Volunteers

Operation Smile medical programs are almost entirely volunteer-based, so we rely on medical professionals who can take charge of their roles with confidence, conviction and world-class skill. These traits have made Operation Smile a global leader in performing safe cleft surgery in resource-limited environments for more than three decades. Guided by our Global Standards of Care, medical volunteers must be able to work as a team to balance the highest possible quality of care with the efficiency to serve as many patients as our time and resources will allow.

This demands stamina – physically, mentally and emotionally – as long hours and a fast pace are expected of our volunteers. Our work also requires travel to locations across the globe, which presents its own set of demands and challenges.


To apply

For more information please email


Volunteer Specialties


  • Plastic Surgeons/ Cleft Surgeons/Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists/Pediatric Anesthesiologists
  • Post-Anesthesia Care Unit Physician/Pediatric Intensivists
  • Pediatricians
  • Dentists
  • Orthodontists
  • Operating Room Nurses
  • Recovery Room Nurses/Post Anesthesia Care Unit Nurses
  • Ward Nurses/Pre-Post Nurses
  • Nutritionists
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Child Life Specialists/Psychosocial Care Providers


  • Paper Medical Records
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Patient Imagining Technicians/Medical Photographers
  • Photographers
  • Translators

Medical Volunteer Stories

Nurse’s Story

Nurses stand as vital members of the Medical team during a mission, providing our patients with their expertise and empathy.

Throughout each mission day, our nurses work around the clock doing checks on each patient almost every 15 minutes, working pre and post operation, whilst simultaneously showing compassion and kindness.

A nurse’s job ranges from a variety of sections. It can involve making sure the patients have the correct medical records to helping the parents learn the correct post operative care. A mission site without nurses would be a mission site incomplete.

Meet four of our nurses who volunteered at the June 2021 mission in the UAE: Amal, Sharif, Fitz and Laura.

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Dr. Eeva’s Story

It was the last day of the July 2021 medical mission in the UAE. Some of the medical volunteers, students, and coordinators had gathered in the staff room after a tiring but rewarding day. Someone suggested playing a game of I-spy-with-my-little-eye. The most enthusiastic player was, of course, Dr. Eeva.

Dr. Eeva-Liisa, more popularly known as simply Dr. Eeva, joined Operation Smile UAE’s medical team in 2012. Since then, she has been contributing to the organisation with her arsenal of experience and her never-ending, lighthearted jokes.

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Voices From the Front Line: Q&A with Nurse Nabil Sadoq

“Working as a nurse during this pandemic is almost like going to war. I do it because if I don’t, nobody else will.”

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