Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

April 18, 2021



The Surmang Foundation was founded in 1992 and registered as a US 501(c)3, headquartered in Colorado and Beijing. The Foundation has dedicated itself to working in Yushu Prefecture in Tibet, where they operate a private clinic (Dharma Sagara Clinic), with a staff of two doctors and 40 ancillary Community Health Workers. They have provided care to over 120,000 patients. The Foundation has had over 120 volunteers over its lifetime, including over 20 returning for two or more rotations.

After the April 2010 Yushu earthquake, Surmang partnered with the Chinese Government to provide training and other support services to 4 township clinics. The purpose of this partnership is to increase provider capacity and create a more user-friendly public health user interface. Surmang has also worked to drastically lower what was once one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (3,000/100000 live births) to near zero.


The Yushu Prefecture is a 97 percent ethnically Tibetan region, with much of the population being nomadic, monastic or subsisting on traditional farming methods. It is a low-density area with very low rates of income.


Foreign doctors are needed to train local health care providers in the following areas:

• history taking and physical exam
• prevention
• obstetrics and gynecology
• pediatrics
• emergency medicine
• trauma


Residential rotations last one month each, at one of 5 clinics in Yushu Prefecture, Qinghai Province, (East Tibet), including the Surmang Dharma Sagara Clinic.

Successful volunteers must have
• good health — region is over 4000 metres above sea-level
• outgoing personality
• adaptable and open-minded
• sense of adventure


Surmang will provide logistical support, coordination and ground transport. All other expenses — such as international and domestic air transport — will be borne by the volunteer.

Surmang Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.



Further information available on request. Write to Lee Weingrad, director, at