Sponsored by: Office of the United States Surgeon General
Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps - Sponsored by The Office of the United States Surgeon General
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About Volunteering

Who Can Volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps?

  • Practicing, retired, or otherwise employed medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, pharmacists, nurses' assistants, and others.
  • Public health professionals.
  • Community members without medical training can assist with administrative and other essential support functions.
  • United States citizenship is not required to be part of the MRC. Non-citizen, legal U.S. residents also are welcome to volunteer and contribute their time, knowledge, and skills to protecting and improving their communities.

What do MRC Volunteers do?

The responsibilities of MRC volunteers vary, depending on the nature of the needs in the community. MRC volunteers can assist during emergencies and assist with public initiatives and ongoing community health outreach and education efforts.

Major emergencies can overwhelm the capabilities of first responders, particularly during the first 12 to 72 hours. Medical and other health volunteers can provide an important "surge" capacity during this critical period. They also can augment medical staff shortages at local medical and emergency facilities. In short, communities often need medically trained individuals and others to fill in the gaps in their emergency response plans and to improve their response capabilities overall.

MRC volunteers also strengthen the overall health of Americans by participating in general public health initiatives such as flu vaccination clinics and diabetes detection programs. The U.S. Surgeon General has outlined his priorities for the health of individuals and the nation as a whole. With an overarching goal to improve health literacy, he encourages MRC volunteers to work toward increasing disease and injury prevention, eliminating health disparities, and improving public health preparedness.

What Training Will I Need?

Emergency preparedness and response is a highly coordinated effort that allows communities to maximize their capabilities during times of extraordinary disorganization and stress.

You may already know how to perform some of the medical and health functions we so desperately need. In most cases, your training as an MRC volunteer will focus primarily on learning your local emergency and health procedures, trauma response techniques, use of specialized equipment, and other methods to enhance your effectiveness as a volunteer.

Perhaps the most important part of your training will be learning to work as part of a team. An organized, well-trained MRC unit will be familiar with its community's response plan, will know what materials are available for use, will know its response partners, and will know where its skills can be put to best use and in a coordinated manner.

Find out how to become part of your community's team.
Locate the MRC unit nearest you.

Last Updated on 4/22/2009

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