As an MSF surgeon, you could be called to perform a C-section in a temporary tent hospital for displaced people in South Sudan, or a complicated operation on a child suffering from NOMA in Nigeria. The surgical work we do is incredibly diverse, and so is the flexibility of our surgeons.

Your job

Working as an MSF surgeon, your main job will be to organize and perform surgery activities, ensure pre- and post-operative surgical care, in accordance with MSF policies and protocols (antibiotic prophylaxis, post-operative pain management, thrombo-prophylaxis, blood transfusion, etc) and universal hygiene standards. You will be working in close collaboration with medical staff in the emergency department, intensive care unit and operation theatre. 

Being in the role of a manager, you will be responsible for providing a supportive work environment, by means of continuous training, coaching and supervision. 

Data collection, analysis and reporting are an intrinsic part of the role. Furthermore, you will be responsible for forecasting medical supply needs and managing medical stocks.  

Most surgical interventions carried out in MSF projects are performed by general surgeons, trauma surgeons and gynecologists/obstetricians. However, due to the specificity of our programs, different surgical specialties are needed at times, in particular plastic surgeons and pediatric surgeons.

General surgeons

in an MSF field project, you will often be confronted with the following diagnoses and surgeries: 

  • Acute general surgical interventions (hernia, appendicitis) 
  • Orthopedic emergencies (open fractures, fixateur externe)  
  • Obstetric emergencies (especially C-sections) 
  • Pediatric surgery  
  • Complicated wounds and burns (skin grafts) 
  • Experience in trauma or war surgery is an asset 

Trauma surgeons and Orthopedic surgeons

  • Experience in war or trauma surgery, particularly strong skills in external fixation, will be required. 

Plastic/reconstructive surgeons

  • Experience in the surgeical care for burns patients and experience in reconstructive surgery

Maxillo-facial surgeons

  • Experience in reconstructive surgery

Paediatric surgeons

  • Broad experience in paediatric surgery, including pediatric trauma, will be required. Moreover, the ability to perform emergency surgery interventions in adults, such as c-sections might be needed depending on the type of project. 

General requirements

  • A completed specialist training in surgery  
  • Ability to work under very basic conditions with limited technical resources (e.g. a lack of diagnostic equipment such as X-ray equipment) 
  • Ability to handle a broad range of the most common emergency and general medical conditions requiring surgery, and knowledge of their operative indications (particularly within the areas of orthopedics, trauma and obstetrics) 
  • A good level of English 
  • Availability of at least 8 to 12 weeks 
  • Shorter assignments are possible for trauma surgeons and plastic surgeons 


  • 2 years post-specialization professional experience is required for some specializations or contexts 
  • Training courses in humanitarian surgery in austere environments, as offered at the Royal College of Surgeons or the University of Louvain 
  • Knowledge of tropical medicine or infectious diseases,  
  • Work experience in a low resource setting  
  • Other language skills (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian) are highly appreciated