Médecins Sans Frontiers Innovate Daily

by admin on 04/03/2018 5:29 AM

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontiers) (MSF) operate in more than 70 countries saving lives threatened by violence, disease, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, and catastrophic events every single day. We’re also fighting for our patients’ rights to better care and access to affordable vaccines and drugs. Backed by independent donors, our more than 39,000 doctors, nurses, logisticians, and other expert staff members work together to deliver emergency medical care and ease suffering. 

Doctors Without Borders surgical teams serve as a beacon of hope in situations where people have not other options, e.g.

A nine-year-old boy in South Sudan who was out playing with his brother when they found a shiny object on the ground. They picked it up and it ended up being a land mine that blew away part of the boys hand. He came to Doctors Without Borders hospital for treatment. If we had not been there, I have no doubt he would have lost his hand. But with very close surgical care over a course of weeks, we were able to save his hand in a way that it’s still functional.

About two o’clock on another morning I hear a knock on the door. It’s the night guard from our hospital. He tells me there is a woman in trouble and I’m needed back in surgery. It’s monsoon season in the Republic of the Congo and we’re driving through a huge rainstorm. A soon as we arrive, I see the woman, talk to the midwife, and realize that without an immediate C-section, the patient and her baby are going to die.

We lay the patient down and prep her belly. I make the incision and, suddenly, the lights go out. It’s pitch black and the power doesn’t come back on. Here I am, two lives in front of me. All I can hear is the rain on the roof and I am feeling totally helpless. . . After what seems like forever, a light appears at the head of the bed. It’s the anesthetist, who has opened up a laryngoscope to light my way. Next the operating nurse turns on a cell phone and holds it over the patient. Over the next five minutes, there were six cell phones plus the laryngoscope providing enough light for me to keep going. Luckily, the woman and her baby did well.

For me, that story is what Doctors Without Borders is all about. Together as a team, and as an organization, we are a light shining through for people in their darkest hours.

I actually went into medicine because of Doctors Without Borders. I grew up the son of a doctor, but Doctors Without Borders is what inspired me to follow that path. I became fascinated with them as a high school student, and always dreamed about working for the organization. It seemed to me then—and still feels to me now—like a way to have a life with meaning.

I think it’s important that you hear this from me, as someone who has serve on Doctors Without Borders medical missions: in a very direct and real way, your support can impact people in urgent need of medical care. When you make a donation, that gift is helping pay for the surgical gloves I wear, the instruments I use to perform surgery, and the dressing I put on people’s wounds.

There is a visceral and direct connection between your decision to act and our ability to heal.


Dr David Kuwayama,
Doctors Without Borders Surgeon
Assignments; Republic of the Congo,
Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan.

For Doctors Without Borders, the ability to respond quickly to medical humanitarian emergencies is crucial to saving more lives. Unrestricted funds allow us to allocate our resources most efficiently and where the needs are greatest.

“I believer in Doctors Without Borders, and I’m a donor myself. I see how responsible we are without money. And the fact that we’re free to choose what we do with our money because it comes from donors, not from governments, is amazing. We don’t have to be told where to go; we go where people need us.” –Dr. Lynn Jacoby, Doctors Without Borders Pediatrician.

Thank you for supporting our lifesaving work.
Please contact us at (212)-763-5779 or email donations@newyork.msf.org with any questions.
40 Rector Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10006, (888) 392-0392


For mail in contributions, send to Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5023, Hagerstown MD 21741-5023.

The starting pay for a doctor who finds themselves borderless is $1,731 per month—though that salary is entirely tax deductible. You’ll get regular raises, albeit small ones, as you gain experience and more skills. Average salary is $18,252/yr.

You’ll also get a very small per diem when you’re out in the field, paid in local currency, for basic personal items. This isn’t a job that’s going to pay for those hefty student loans, which is why so many join MSF after they’ve been earning a normal doctor’s salary for a few years.

However, if you want to join MSF right out of school, they’ll pay interest on your student loans after you finish your first field assignment and for the next six months afterwards. They’ll also write you a letter recommending your lender defer your student loan payments, though they won’t actually pay anything but the interest and there are no guarantees you’ll be granted a deferment.

All airfare and accommodations will be paid for as well. So, basically, all the helicopter rides you want for free. Further into the benefits realm, you’ll have medical, disability, and life insurance covered—which is hugely necessary when you could be going into an extremely perilous situation.

So not much, although 100% tax deductible, and not enough to repay your student loans.


As a nurse working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), you can help ensure access to lifesaving healthcare for people in need. Our nurses: coordinate medical activities in the hospital. supervise and train staff.

MSF salaries are set so as to reflect the humanitarian spirit of volunteerism while recognizing the high level of professional expertise provided by field staff. Starting gross monthly salary is $2,039, which is $24,468/yr. with subsequent increases based on expertise and experience.


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