Are you interested in knowing the salaries of doctors without borders? Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders in English, is a French humanitarian medical non-governmental organization best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases.
They provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, or healthcare exclusion. Their teams are composed of tens of thousands of health professionals, logisticians, and administrative personnel who are united by their charter.
Medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence, and neutrality guide their actions. They are a non-profit, member-governed international organization.
The association is primarily composed of doctors and healthcare workers, but it is also open to all other professions that may be useful in achieving its goals.
Médecins Sans Frontières was founded in 1971, in the aftermath of Biafra’s secession, by a small group of French doctors and journalists who wanted to increase access to medical care across national boundaries irrespective of race, religion, creed, or political affiliation.
To that end, the organization emphasizes “independence and impartiality,” and explicitly prohibits political, economic, or religious factors from influencing its decisions. It limits the amount of funding received from governments or intergovernmental organizations for these reasons.
These principles have enabled MSF to speak freely about acts of war, corruption, and other impediments to medical care or human well-being. Only once in its history has the organization called for military intervention, during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Principles of Doctors without borders
All of its members have agreed to adhere to the following principles:
- Médecins Sans Frontières assists people in need, victims of natural or man-made disasters, and victims of armed conflict. They do so regardless of race, religion, creed, or political beliefs.
- Médecins Sans Frontières maintains neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance, and it claims complete and unrestricted freedom in carrying out its functions.
- Members agree to follow their professional code of ethics and to remain completely independent of all political, economic, and religious powers.
- Members understand the risks and dangers of the missions they carry out as volunteers and make no claim for themselves or their assigns for any form of compensation other than what the association may be able to provide.
How Doctors Without Borders operate
They are a field-based movement that brings together MSF volunteers and staff from all over the world to commit to medical humanitarian action. Members have the right and responsibility, through MSF associations, to express their opinions and contribute to the definition and guidance of their social mission.
Individuals are brought together in formal and informal debates and activities in the field, at national and regional general assemblies, and at an annual international assembly. Because the decision-makers are current or former field or office staff, MSF remains relevant to the needs seen in the field, focused on medical care, and committed to its core principles of independence, impartiality, and neutrality.
Today, the international MSF movement is made up of 25 organizations from all over the world. Each of them is a separate legal entity that is registered in the country in which they operate. During their General Assembly, the associations elect their own board of directors and president. Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, East Africa, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Latin America, Luxembourg, Norway, South Asia regional association, Southern Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA, and West and Central Africa regional association are among the organizations represented.
MSF associations are linked to six Operational Centres (OC), which direct their humanitarian action on the ground and decide when, where, and what medical care is required. MSF sections are offices that help in the field.
They primarily recruit staff, organize fundraising, and raise awareness about the humanitarian crises that their teams face. Each MSF section is affiliated with an organization that establishes the section’s strategic direction and holds it accountable for its work. Some MSF sections have established branch offices to expand their support work.
There are currently 24 sections and 18 branch offices worldwide. There are additional satellite offices to support their work, primarily in logistics, supply, and epidemiology.
Doctors Without Borders prefers an active commitment of at least two years, during which time fieldworkers complete two to four field assignments.
Many people appreciate the freedom to take on assignments at different points in their careers as their personal circumstances allow. While others determine that working with Doctors Without Borders is a long-term fit for their values and career goals.
Positions within each of the two job streams (medical and support professionals) in this case lend themselves to increasing responsibility, scope, and complexity over time, as well as the opportunity to have an impact on the organization’s strategic direction at the management level.
Length of Assignment
A typical Doctors Without Borders assignment lasts six to twelve months, though it may be shorter for emergencies or needs are driven by specific circumstances. To assume a significant level of responsibility within the project and to provide continuity for the benefit of both their national staff and patients, Doctors Without Borders field workers require time to become acclimated to the work and the environment.
This requirement may be waived for surgeons, obstetricians-gynecologists, and anesthesiologists. Some Doctors Without Borders projects are launched in response to sudden crises, whether natural or man-made, that necessitate the participation of field workers who are available on short notice and for a limited time.
Doctors without Borders Salary
Salary: $18,252 on average
Lifetime earnings estimate: $761,984
The starting salary for a borderless doctor is $2,426.67 per month, though this salary is entirely tax-deductible. As you gain experience and skills, you will receive regular, albeit small, raises. Further down the benefits ladder, you’ll be covered for medical, disability, and life insurance all of which are critical when you’re about to enter an extremely dangerous situation.
Salaries of Doctors Without Borders are set to reflect the humanitarian spirit of volunteerism while also recognizing the high level of professional expertise provided by field staff.
The starting monthly gross salary is $2,426.67, with future increases based on expertise and experience. Field workers from Canada will be given a Canadian contract that includes all required taxes and contributions. Among the advantages are:
- Pre-departure training consists of a combination of readings, e-learning, and in-person meetings and workshops.
- Reimbursement for required vaccinations and medical expenses
- Visas and work permits are required.
- Vacation pay (25 days per year)
- Accommodation and transportation for briefings and debriefings in Canada and Europe
- While in the field, a daily per diem in local currency is paid.
- Accommodation in the field
- Transportation to and from the field
- Coverage for medical, disability, and life insurance (including dental and vision)
- Coverage for medical evacuation
- Indemnity for medical/professional services (health workers)
- Insurance for luggage
- Contribution to an RRSP
- Psychological assistance prior to departure and upon return to Canada
- After returning to Canada, you will have one year of access to an Employee Assistance Program.
- Confidential peer support network that contacts you prior to departure and after your return to Canada to ensure a smooth re-entry.
Conclusion on Doctors without Borders Salary
In 2019, the organization was present in 70 countries, employing over 35,000 people, the majority of whom were local doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, logistical experts, water and sanitation engineers, and administrators.
MSF’s annual budget is approximately US$1.63 billion, with private donors providing approximately 90% of its funding and corporate donations providing the remainder. This isn’t a job that will pay off those massive student loans, which is why so many people join MSF after working as regular doctors for a few years.
However, if you want to join MSF right out of college, they will pay interest on your student loans after you complete your first field assignment and for the next six months.
They’ll also write you a letter recommending that your lender defer your student loan payments, though they’ll only pay the interest and there’s no guarantee you’ll be granted a deferment.
Doctors Without Borders is committed to its field workers’ ongoing professional development. It gives them access to various types of training that help them develop the skills and knowledge needed to carry out its mission.
This ensures that Doctors Without Borders can respond to the most urgent and critical needs of the people it assists around the world, people who frequently require scarce and highly specialized types of expertise from medical and support professionals. This dedication to learning and development strengthens Doctors Without Borders’ reputation as a learning organization dedicated to high professional standards and relevant best practices.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) about Doctors without Borders Salary
Below, you will find the answers to the most asked questions about Doctors without Borders Salary;
- Can one request to be placed in a specific country?
Specific country requests cannot be accommodated. MSF gathers applicants into a pool before assigning them to a specific position based on their qualifications, experience, and background.
MSF expects candidates to be adaptable in terms of where they work in order to meet the needs of the field. However, each placement takes into account special skills, languages, and restrictions.
- Can a person go on a field placement as a general helper/assistant at his or her own expense or can someone who is passing through the area where a project is taking place stop by and visit or lend a hand for a week or two?
No, they cannot accommodate observers, untrained helpers, interns, students, or others who lack the qualifications and experience to be full participants in the project’s work. Their top priority is to help the people they are there to help.
- Can one accompany their partner on an assignment?
No. All first-time field staff positions are unaccompanied. Most placement locations do not allow visitors from friends or family. Depending on field needs, experienced fieldworkers may be offered accompanied positions.
- Is a Médecins Sans Frontières field worker compensated?
A field worker begins with a modest monthly salary of approximately $2,426.67 per month. This salary will rise as you gain field experience with Médecins Sans Frontières.
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