MSF Medical Doctor Dr Beauty treats Firdausi, 2 years-old, who has severe malaria, at MSF’s facility in General Hospital Shinkafi. Firdausi was brought to the hospital by her mother Basira Sirajo. Close monitoring, early detection and management of complications is key to save patients with malaria. © MSF/Abba Adamu Musa

Pediatrician

From managing intensive therapeutic feeding centres during a nutrition crisis to caring for children struck by cerebral malaria, our pediatricians provide critical healthcare every day.

Responsibilities

Being a pediatrician with MSF is both challenging and incredibly rewarding. As a pediatric doctor, you’ll have the opportunity to make a profound impact by responding to critical situations such as measles epidemics, managing care for severely ill neonates, addressing the needs of malnourished children or working closely with families who are displaced. 

 Your clinical skills and resourcefulness will be welcomed as you work in places where healthcare infrastructure may face significant challenges. You’ll be called upon to diagnose and treat medical conditions that might not be commonly encountered in your home country, adding a unique dimension to your professional and personal journey. 

Your role extends beyond the medical, requiring managerial and administrative skills as you lead and train large teams of healthcare staff. The sense of teamwork and collaboration within MSF means you are not alone in facing these challenges. MSF provides expert technical support, offering extensive guidelines and protocols to guide you. 

Requirements

  • Medical doctor degree, with full and current registration (NB: International medical graduates not registered in Canada must go through a validation process.) 
  • Pediatrics specialization or ongoing specialization, with a minimum of three years’ professional experience in pediatrics 
  • At least six months of clinical experience within the last two years 
  • Excellent command of English, as well as French (level B2). Other languages such as Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian are an asset. Refer to this evaluation grid  
  • Available to work abroad for six to nine months 
  • Experience in managing staff in a multicultural team (supervision and training) 
  • Relevant travel or work experience in contexts similar to where MSF works (armed conflicts, disasters, public health emergencies or situations of healthcare exclusion) 

Assets

  • Additional clinical experience in areas such as obstetrics-gynecology, nutrition, emergency, infectious diseases, public health, general medicine, anesthetics, ICU or minor surgery 
  • Postgraduate study in international public health, refugee health, infectious diseases or tropical medicine 
  • Training in neonatology or intensive care or both, management of children requiring emergency care or cardio-respiratory intensive care, including one or more of: acute pediatric life support (APLS), helping babies breathe (HBB), emergency triage, assessment and treatment (ETAT) 

MSF Core Competencies

  • Behaviour flexibility: Level 2
    • Adapts behaviour to the needs of the situation
  • Teamwork and cooperation: Level 2
    • Shares information and coordinates with team and others
  • Result and quality orientation: Level 2
    • Works towards objectives, preserving established standards
  • Commitment to MSF principles: Level 1
    • Demonstrates knowledge of and accepts MSF’s principles
  • People management: Level 2
    • Gives feedback and sets limits
  • Cross-cultural awareness: Level 3
    • Demonstrates an integrating attitude
  • Stress management: Level 2
    • Manages own stress
  • Understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI): Level 1
    • Familiarity with EDI concepts and their application in a humanitarian context

Familiarity with EDI concepts and their application in a humanitarian context

To find out more about MSF core competencies, please look here.

You can find a comprehensive view of MSF career paths here.

Before you apply

As you consider applying to undertake an MSF assignment, it is essential that you have a well-informed and realistic personal reflection. Assignments often mean long hours with a heavy workload, basic living conditions, and working and living in often chaotic and volatile environments.

Security and Safety

Because Doctors Without Borders’ 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 it does its utmost as an organization to mitigate and manage these risks through strict and comprehensive security protocols.

Please watch this video for information on how MSF manages security.

International staff will be fully informed of the risk associated with a potential assignment before accepting a particular posting. 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, based on a full and transparent understanding of the possibilities they may face. Once in the assignment, all MSF staff must strictly observe security rules and regulations; failure to do so may result in dismissal.

Terms of Employment

MSF staff are employees with a salary and benefits. See more information on the terms of employment.

MSF favours at least 2 years of active commitment during which time international staff complete 2 to 4 assignments. There are many possibilities for professional growth within the organization, into the medical, non-medical and coordination streams. For more information on learning and development as well as career opportunities with MSF, see our FAQ.

To learn more about how MSF supports IMGs with EPIC service, free of cost, click here.

Final Thoughts

As you consider applying to undertake an MSF assignment, is it essential that you have a well-informed and realistic personal reflection. Assignments often mean long hours with a heavy workload, basic living conditions, and working and living in often chaotic and volatile environments.

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. More than anything else, being an MSF international 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.

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