Work with msf abroad
We are currently recruiting.
Clinical psychologists - General practitioners - Emergency doctors - Epidemiologists - Midwives - Pharmacists - Gynecologists and more…
Read below for more information and to apply.
Work with msf abroad
LIFE IN THE FIELD
Where we work?
Each project you go to will require a certain period of commitment (6 to 12 months).
Projects may be located in the most remote places, often in harsh environments with limited resources and amenities. This can mean rudimentary medical equipment and supplies; sometimes it also means bland food (cabbage, beans, and lentils), interesting housemates (insects, reptiles, and arachnids) and few leisure outlets. Regardless of where you go, it will be a very different lifestyle. Working in an unfamiliar culture inevitably involves challenges in communication and perceptions. Being aware that people may not act or think like you, accepting this, and being able to adapt your own behaviors if required, is of utmost importance when working in the field. MSF teams are formed by people coming from different countries, backgrounds, and experiences. That makes respect for diversity essential for working with MSF and a special camaraderie emerges amongst the teams. This creates a shared sense of purpose, sparking ingenuity and resourcefulness in getting things done, and a lot of spontaneous fun.
MSF ensures adequate accommodation, appropriate water and sanitation standards, access to the Internet wherever possible, and even clean laundry. However, being on the field, and working in remote areas will require you to adjust to a different lifestyle (unfamiliar food, living quarters, pace of life, and forms of entertainment, languages, and companions). Regardless of where you go, it will be very different living conditions and your privacy and leisure time may be affected. Most of MSF operations are in emergency zones, thus you may not be able to practice your favorite sports, socialize outside the team, or have internet access for the duration of your stay.
SECURITY AND SAFETY
Because MSF's purpose is to bring medical assistance to people in distress, the work may occur in settings of active conflict, or in post-conflict environments, in which there are inherent risks, potential danger, and ongoing threats to safety and security. MSF acknowledges that it is impossible to exclude all risks, but we do our most as an organization to mitigate these risks through comprehensive security management. Each field has strict, detailed safety regulations and security plans in place based on thorough analysis of that specific context. Risks are continually monitored and security regulations are updated as needed. Once in the field, all MSF staff must observe security rules and regulations; failure to do so may result in dismissal. MSF’s safety regulations may restrict your freedom of movement outside of working hours. You may be under curfew and required to remain in the MSF compound when your working day is over.
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
As you consider your suitability to undertake an MSF field position, it is critical that you bring a well-informed and realistic understanding to your decision:
- Have you considered how you will respond in the presence of extreme suffering and deprivation, part of the day-to-day reality of many of the people MSF assists
- Does living in a tent or a traditional mud hut for an extended period sound like a fun challenge (or your worst nightmare)?
- Could you handle severe weather conditions such as extreme heat or cold, high humidity, heavy rains, or dry desert conditions for long periods without access to a fan, air conditioning, or heater?
- Do you have the patience to work through the inevitably frustrating communication breakdowns that occur during cross cultural interactions?
- Are you open minded and creative when facing unexpected problems?
- Can you tolerate lots of unusual circumstances (annoying insects, long-drop toilets, bucket shower by candlelight; due to limited access to electricity and perhaps limited running water)
- Are you honest about your own motivation for seeking this type of work and realistic in your expectations of what it will be like?
Despite such challenges, thousands of people have worked with MSF over the years and found their experiences in the field to be deeply rewarding, even life-changing. Being an MSF field worker means acting in solidarity with people facing unimaginable medical challenges. Your presence alongside people in times of need sends a profoundly meaningful and human message: "You are not forgotten”.
Who do we need?
- General practitioner
- Emergency doctor
- Orthopaedic surgeon
- Human resources and financial manager
- Personnel development manager
- Human Resources Development Manager
- Clinical psychologist
- Health promoter / Anthropologist
- Laboratory specialist
- Water, hygiene and sanitation specialist
- Polyvalent (multiskilled) logistician
- Specialist supply
- Construction Specialist
- Logistician, specialized in electricity
- Logistician, specialized in mechanics
- Biomedical logistician
- Telecom / ICT Specialist
SKILLS / COMPETENCIES
MSF field workers live and work together. The hours are long and the living conditions are sometimes basic, with little privacy. Field workers need to be tolerant and flexible and possess solid interpersonal skills. The ability and willingness to interact with people of all nationalities and cultures are critical.
Situations can change quickly in the field, and job descriptions must change accordingly. Team composition and working environments may also change during projects. Flexibility and adaptability are critical to one’s success in an MSF project..
The environment where MSF works in is often chaotic and volatile and the people we are trying to help may have seemingly overwhelming needs. Even in more stable areas, heavy workloads and a high pressure to respond may be stressful. Field workers must be able to cope with being away from home and family for an extended period in a difficult and unpredictable environment.
PEOPLE MANAGEMENT SKILLS
The willingness and ability to train others is a core expectation of MSF workers. Building the capacity of staff is an important goal in any MSF project. This means that the focus is not just in getting the job done, but in teaching others how to do it.
Working in an unfamiliar culture inevitably involves challenges in communication and perceptions. You may be in a country where people have a very different understanding of issues like punctuality at work, responsible behavior, or respect for personal space. Being aware that people may not act or think like you, accepting this, being tolerant and able to adapt your own behaviors if required is of utmost importance when working in the field.
The following is a general but by no means exhaustive overview of the minimum requirements for working with MSF in the field.
- Professional work experience
A minimum of two years professional work experience is required. Depending on their specialty, we ask that medical doctors have at least a minimum of one year post-residency.
- Language skills
Language skills are a strong asset. The ability to speak French and /or English as well as Arabic allows for more opportunities for placement.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT
Working for MSF is a deeply personal choice; individuals must determine for themselves the level of risk and the circumstances in which they feel comfortable. Field workers are briefed about security prior to their departure, and MSF is transparent about the risks involved. Prospective field workers can decline an assignment if they do not feel comfortable taking the risk of working in a specific context and once in a project, if you feel the risk is too great then you may also ask to return home.
LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
MSF is committed to the ongoing professional development of its field workers. It provides them with access to various types of training that build the skills and knowledge required to fulfill its mandate. This ensures that MSF as an organization can respond to the most urgent and critical needs of the people it helps around the globe, people who often require scarce and highly specialized types of expertise from medical and support professionals. This commitment to learning and development also reinforces MSF’s reputation as a learning organization committed to high standards of professionalism and relevant best practices. Training programs can range from language training, to sophisticated medical treatments and protocols, to management and leadership best practices, and a host of other possibilities relevant to the medical and professional support streams.
LENGTH OF THE ASSIGNMENT
A typical MSF assignment lasts 6 to 12 months, though an assignment may be of shorter duration for emergencies or for needs driven by particular circumstances. MSF field workers need time to become accustomed to the work and the environment in order to assume a significant level of responsibility within the project, as well as to provide continuity for the benefit of patients. Some MSF projects are launched in response to sudden crises, whether natural or otherwise, requiring the participation of field workers who are available on short notice and for shorter duration.
- Round-trip transportation to the field
- Accommodation in the field
- Medical coverage
- Reimbursement of required vaccinations and related medical fees
- Paid vacation (25 days per year)
- Pre-departure training through a combination of readings, e-learning and face-to-face meetings and workshops
- Psychological support after returning
What we offer
- A fixed-term contract
- Monthly pay
- Medical coverage
- Payment of all mission-related expenses (transport, accommodation)
- A daily allowance (per diem) during the mission
- The opportunity to work and quickly take on responsibilities in humanitarian situations and varied medical programs
- Personalized career development, with access to different levels of training, in order to grow within the organization
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