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Doctors Without Borders

By Jesse Watson,2014-11-08 22:13
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Doctors Without Borders

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    Doctors Without Borders

    Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors

    Without Borders or MSF) delivers emergency aid to

    victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and

    man-made disasters, and to others who lack health care due

    to social or geographical isolation.

    MSF was founded in 1971 by a small group of French

    doctors who believed that all people have the right to

    medical care regardless of race,religion, creed or political

     affiliation, and that the needs of these people supersede

    respect for national borders. It was the first non-governmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and publicly bear witness to the plight of the populations they served. A private, nonprofit organization, MSF is at the forefront of

    emergency health care as well as care for populations suffering from endemic diseases and neglect. MSF provides primary health

    care, performs surgery, rehabilitates hospitals and clinics, runs nutrition and sanitation programs, trains local medical personnel, and

    provides mental health care. Through longer-term programs, MSF treats chronic diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness, and AIDS; assists with the medical and psychological problems of marginalized populations including street children and

    ethnic minorities; and brings health care to remote, isolated areas where resources and training are limited.

    MSF unites direct medical care with a commitment to bearing witness and speaking out against the underlying causes of suffering. Its

    volunteers protest violations of humanitarian law on behalf of populations who have no voice, and bring the concerns of their patients

    to public forums, such as the United Nations, governments (in both home and project countries), and the media. In a wide range of

    circumstances, MSF volunteers have spoken out about forgotten conflicts and underreported atrocities they have witnessedfrom

    Chechnya to Angola, and from Kosovo to Sri Lanka.

    MSF is an international network with sections in 18 countries. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, logistics experts, water/sanitation engineers, and administrators join 15,000 locally hired staff to provide medical aid in

    more than 80 countries.

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    Volunteerism

    MSF is an organization based on volunteerism. In helping to relieve the

    suffering of others, the MSF volunteer not only gives freely of his or her

    humanity, but creates a link of solidarity from his or her own community to

    a population in need. At times the sole international witness to a crisis

    situation, the MSF volunteer plays a critical role in the communities where he or she works. It is the independent nature of the volunteer's commitment that gives special legitimacy to the testimony provided by

    MSF and that ensures the organization's continued dynamism.

    MSF recruits experienced medical and non-medical personnel.

    An in-person interview at one of our offices, located in New York and Los Angeles, or selected other locations, is an indispensable

    part of the recruitment process for all applicants. If you do not reside in the United States and are unable to come to the United States for an interview, please refer to a list of MSF world offices to see whether there is an MSF office in your own, or a nearby, country to

    which you can apply. Please note that MSF is unable to cover expenses related to the interview process or to assist applicants living

    outside the United States in obtaining visas.

    The minimum commitment for a first-time volunteer is six months, although a nine-month to one-year assignment is more typical.

    (General surgeons and anesthesiologists with extensive experience may be accepted for shorter assignments, of six weeks or more).

    International volunteers work closely with staff members recruited in the project country, often as colleagues and sometimes in a

    supervisory or training capacity. The specific needs of individual missions dictate volunteer selections, and regrettably, it is not

    always possible to accept the services of willing and capable professionals. In addition, most MSF projects cannot accommodate

    highly specialized practitioners or individuals with limited availability or work experience.

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