Our ethical standards are the bedrock of the Atlantis Fellowship.
The Atlantis Project is committed to ensuring that its Fellows are held to the highest ethical standards while shadowing abroad. Atlantis Fellows must do only what they can in the U.S. - observational shadowing. The difference is that Fellows do a lot of shadowing (versus a few hours here and there) and that they do so in a different healthcare system, with all the educational advantages that this brings. The Atlantis Project adheres to and promotes the Association of American Medical Colleges guidelines for pre-health students participating in clinical experiences abroad (see the AAMC guidelines here).
Developing vs. Developed Healthcare
As opposed to other pre-med study abroad programs which bring students exclusively to developing nations, the Atlantis Project operates mostly in hospitals in developed nations. The ethical standards and regulations in healthcare are similar, though not identical, to those of the United States. Unlike in a developing country, Atlantis Fellows shadow doctors who bring a new perspective to issues similar to those found in the U.S.
Positive Impact in Host Community
In addition to being concerned with the ethics of Fellows’ activities in the hospitals, the Atlantis Project is committed to creating positive benefit for its host sites. From its foundation, the dual goal of providing valuable internship experiences and creating positive impact for the locations has been at the heart of the Atlantis Project. The Founder and Director of the Atlantis Project, João Toste, is a native of the Azores Islands and originally envisioned the Fellowship as a way of benefiting both his fellow students and his homeland.
To this end, the Atlantis Project offers English instruction in most sites to hospital staff and locals, which is itself a significant benefit considering the number of hours of instruction and the number of English-language students served. However, the even more significant benefit is the connections built between the United States and the Fellowship locations, both by raising American awareness of these destinations (which then benefit from increased tourism and economic development through US investment) and by opening doors of exchange between these hospitals and American universities and medical schools. Our Fellowships only run in the hospitals through agreements with both the hospitals and the governments of the regions, who agree that the respective locations benefit from the presence of the Atlantis Project.