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1. Basic Requirements

Photo: Corinne Baker / Läkare Utan Gränser

This is a general overview of the minimum requirements for working with MSF. These requirements can change without prior notice in response to organisational and field project needs.

I live in Sweden or Finland and have a valid passport.
If you are not a resident of Sweden or Finland, you should contact the MSF office in the country you live in. You can also contact one of our head offices in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Geneva or Paris and apply there. Contact information can be found on our international website.

I have travelled or worked in low income countries
An understanding of the contexts and countries we are working in is a basic requirement to work for MSF.

I am flexible and can handle stress
Flexibility is very important. Many of our projects are in or near areas of conflict. The environment is often chaotic and unstable and we often help large groups of people who are in distress. Even in the more stable areas, the large workload and sharing housing with colleagues represent an additional stress. As fieldworkers, you must cope with a difficult and unpredictable environment. The situation in the field can change quickly which means your job description may change. The date for the return trip can also change very suddenly as can the composition of your team and your workplace during a mission.

I am available for assignments of 9-12 months / I'm a surgeon, anesthesiologist, gynecologist / obstetrician, nurse anesthetist or theater nurse and I am available for 3 month assignments.
Why does one have to be available for up to 12 month assignments? We need field workers who are prepared to be in the field for 12 months to minimize staff turnover, thus maintaining the stability and continuity of our field projects. Some missions are shorter because of security, isolation and / or in the case of urgent action, but primarily experienced fieldworkers are sent to these projects. In addition, a 12 month mission assures that fieldworkers have a greater opportunity to understand project work and how the organization works. If you belong to any of the following professions: surgeon, anesthesiologist, gynecologist / obstetrician, nurse anesthetist, theater nurse? Then we do not require that you are available for 12 month missions because you will be involved with emergency services.

I can collaborate and be part of a team
As fieldworkers, you will live and work with others. Working sessions are long and the standard of living is very simple with little room for privacy. As fieldworkers, you must be tolerant, flexible and confident in yourself. The ability and willingness to interact with people of different nationalities and cultures is central.

I have at least 2 years of relevant work experience
All of our fieldworkers must be experienced and knowledgeable to be able to do a good job under difficult circumstances. You must be confident in your professional role and be able to work independently under tight conditions. Most of our field workers are also expected to participate in training and courses for other employees in the projects. Almost all field positions provide management; you will lead others so you should be experienced in supervision. There is more information about the exact qualifications we are looking for in specific professions on the respective profession page.

I can work under insecure / unstable conditions
As a humanitarian emergency medical organization, we assist people of any religious, ethnic, political or other affiliations, people who are in need - people who have been subjected to various disasters or conflicts. Many of our projects are in areas affected by violence and political unrest. It is therefore important that you, as fieldworkers are as flexible as possible regarding the area you will be working in so that we can ensure MSF's presence in these areas

I'm perfectly healthy and do not require any medicine regularly
In the field, one can be exposed to harsh conditions both physically and mentally. Therefore it is important that your health can handle these difficulties and that you are not in need of regular medication because there is always a risk that it is destroyed, stolen, or that you end up in a situation where you do not have access to it.

I have read all the pages under "Working in the field"
These web pages try to provide as realistic a picture as possible of what it means to work for MSF in the field and of the qualifications we are looking for in our staff. We would like you to read through the information and then decide whether MSF is an organization that suits you, your skills, and work experience.