Dr Yulianto Santoso Kurniawan (at front) was facilitating the MSF COVID-19 training for the adolescents of Kalibata Sub-district, Kalibata Village in South Jakarta. © MSF/Sania Elizabeth


From caring for malnourished babies in a drought affected region through to conducting rounds to survey trauma patients in a large Ministry of Health hospital after a bout of conflict in the area, MSF doctors provide lifesaving care every day in our projects.

Intensive care, pediatrician, HIV-TB, general practitioner, emergency room

While we accept applications from general practitioners who meet the essential requirements below, Doctors Without Borders is in particular seeking HIV and tuberculosis specialists (infectious disease specialists), pediatricians, anesthesiologists, surgeons, emergency room physicians, obstetrician-gynecologists and ICU specialists.


As a medical doctor, you will carry out clinical work and collaborate closely with locally hired health staff, including providing training, supervision and coordination.

Your duties will also include supporting medical data collection and analysis, developing and implementing relevant protocols and managing medical supplies. MSF projects offer opportunities to work and further develop skills in various areas of practice – for example, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, nutritional programs and reproductive health. Data collection, analysis and reporting are an intrinsic part of the role. You will be responsible for forecasting medical supply needs and managing medical stocks.

MSF also needs experienced medical staff in coordination and management positions, such as medical coordinators.

Locally hired MSF medical staff provide most direct care. Internationally hired doctors mainly supervise medical staff and have training and administrative responsibilities including: planning medical programs, ordering medication and medical supplies, and reporting on medical activities. Only a small portion of what you do will be hands-on clinical work.


  • Full and current registration (NB: International medical graduates not registered in Canada must go through a validation process)
  • Most specialties can apply right after residency (e.g. Infectious disease, emergency room, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, anaesthesiology, internal medicine)
  • Family doctors and general practitioners need minimum one-year relevant post-residency work experience
  • At least six months of clinical experience within the last two years
  • Experience in managing staff in a multicultural team (supervision and training)
  • Excellent command of English, as well as French (level B2) or another language (Arabic, Spanish). Refer to this evaluation grid
  • Relevant travel or work experience in contexts similar to where MSF works (armed conflicts, disasters, public health emergencies or situations of healthcare exclusion)
  • Available to work six to 9 months


  • Public health experience
  • Diploma in tropical medicine
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software (especially Excel)

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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