General Requirements

Welcome to Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

MSF provides efficient emergency medical aid. In order for this to work well our exapts need to meet certain requirments.

To deal with certain challenges whilst on mission, a mixture of dedication, idealism and professionalism is essential.

The following requirements must be met:

  • readiness to work in the spirit of the humanitarian principles of MSF
  • completed vocational training
  • minimum of two years work experience (for medical doctors: completed residency or completed medical specialisation)
  • experience working or travelling abroad, preferably in Africa, Asia, Central or South America
  • fluency in English; knowledge of French, Arabic, Russian or Portugese is an asset; for general nurses, specialists in technics and logistics, finance and human resources, good French skills are requested in the majority of cases.
  • at least six to twelve months availability for the first assignment
    (4 weeks for anaesthists and trauma surgeons/ 8 weeks for gynaecologists/ 3 months for general surgeons and OT nurses)
  • twelve months commitment to work in the field
    (2 missions for surgeons, anesthesiologists, gynecologists/obstetricians, OT nurses, electricians and motor vehicle experts)
  • flexibility, organisational and improvisational skills
  • ability to supervise and train others
  • ability to work well in a team
  • strong resilience to physical and psychological stress and strains

For general practitioners, midwives and general nureses: Knowledge of tropical medicine, public health, and TB/HIV are required for some regions. Therefore, we highly recommend taking a tropical medicine course (see the attached info sheet). Relevant work experience in one of these fields can be accepted instead of the course.

Self Assessment: Test yourself

This exercise is designed to help you assess your motivation, professional aspirations and emotional well-being. Take some time to reflect on the reasons for making an important decision. (Download Presentation (PDF/96,3KB))