Operation Smile

Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children from more than 60 countries.

We believe every child suffering from cleft lip or cleft palate deserves exceptional surgical care. Our medical volunteers span six continents and provide our patients with specialized care so they can live healthy and productive lives.

Our volunteers are driven by one goal: taking care of children around the world and providing them with the highest quality surgical care. Our network of thousands of credentialed medical volunteers from more than 80 countries generously donate their time, knowledge and unique skills to change children’s lives.



Our volunteers travel around the globe to help children in need. See where we are headed to next on our upcoming medical mission schedule.



Our medical volunteers make a difference in the lives of children with cleft lip and cleft palate every day. These professionals care for each of our patients as part of our extensive medical team. 

All medical professionals who would like to volunteer with Operation Smile should register through MVAC and follow the steps to become a medical mission volunteer in one of the following specialties: cleft surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatricians, pediatric intensivists, nurses (operating room, recovery room, or pre-/post-operative ward specialties), dentists, orthodontists, speech language pathologists, child life specialists and biomedical technicians.

Our Resident Leadership Program offers resident physicians the opportunity to participate in the life-changing work of Operation Smile by becoming part of the global team of rising plastic surgery, pediatrics and anesthesia professionals. Residents are invited to both attend an international surgical program where they will work alongside an experienced Operation Smile physician, as well as the annual Resident Leadership Conference held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.

During the surgical program, residents may also have the opportunity to participate in our research initiatives that will allow for better treatment and prevention of cleft lip and cleft palate. Residents will also have the opportunity to network with one another and share their experiences at the annual Resident Leadership Conference.



Our community volunteers give time and valuable resource through local fundraising, participating in local and national volunteer organizations, preparing supplies for our medical missions and more. 

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