Every FTC team member must have a valid passport about 4 months prior to departure. Please check to make sure if your current passport has expired or is about to expire.
It is often necessary then to obtain group visas, usually 2-3 months prior to departure. This process requires that all team passports be submitted at the same time from one original location. Once approved and barring delays, the passports and visas will be safely returned to the team members at a reasonable time prior to the scheduled departure.
FTC requires that all its team members raise their own support, an expense that is 100% tax-deductible, usually due in full 4-6 weeks prior to departure. FTC works with value-sensitive travel specialists who coordinate the travel and accommodations and FTC usually benefits from discounts and group rates.
Taking Spouses and Other Family Members
FTC does include some spouses, especially if medically-trained, and mature family members on some surgical trips. This decision must be approved by FTC and there are several factors to consider, such as the location, accommodations, flexibility, and skills of the spouse or family member. We are very sensitive to how each additional team member may become a greater responsibility or burden to the hosts. But, the presence of such a person may also be a wonderful asset to all concerned. Please contact FTC for guidance regarding such a possibility.
FTC takes a clear position about its beliefs and values, but FTC as an organization and it team members should remain neutral regarding their opinions about the local politics/government. All people concerned, both the hosts and FTC team members, may be embarrassed, or worse still, endangered by comments made by FTC team members (publicly, by phone, FAX, e-mail, etc.). Such comments must be reserved for post-trip evaluations or conversations with others upon return to the US.
FTC makes every effort to inform its team members of the amounts and types of equipment, supplies, and medications that will be used prior to their travel abroad. FTC may also seek FTC team members' advice regarding supplies orders for upcoming trips. Sometimes FTC desires to offer state-of-the-art technologies, but FTC teams may be limited by conditions that exist abroad. FTC tries to create the best available scenarios of supplies and equipment best suited for the host clinics' present conditions.
Maintenance, electrical systems, and access to spare parts, for example, may dictate that FTC teams use older, sturdier, less complex equipment.
Some sites where FTC teams go may require documentation about the team members' educational and professional backgrounds, especially if visas are required. Understandably, host institutions need the assurance that FTC volunteers meet appropriate licensing and credential standards. FTC will notify team members of such specific needs.
Medical Evacuation/Travel/Trip Cancellation Insurance
FTC now requires this insurance for all team members, an expense which is included in the total trip expense. FTC currently uses International SOS Assistance, 1-800-523-8662, www.intsos.com, and will order the policies for each of the team members prior to the surgical team's departure.
Liability insurance has not been an issue yet, however, FTC will notify team members if such a need arises.
For additional information related to team membership, please see FTC's additional forms to be completed and signed by FTC-approved team members.