Making a Difference through MSF

Founded in 1971, Médecines Sans Frontières is an international, medical humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical assistant to people in crisis. Doctors Without Borders operates in over 60 countries and works with patients who are excluded from society and have no access to healthcare. The aid organization has a strong reputation for offering unparalleled medical assistance in some of the most unstable, fearsome countries in “the face of perceived rights violations, dereliction of duty by the international community or threats to the neutrality of humanitarian space from civil-military missions.” 

MSF is active in countries experiencing political instability, war, violence, natural disasters, armed conflict, malnutrition, or neglected diseases. The international non-profit provides assistant regardless of race, gender, religion, political affiliation and is politically neutral. Their staff includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, drivers, secretaries, and logistics persons. Though I have no medical experience, it would be inspiring to work for an organization like MSF. The aid organization has none of the flashy perks or typical benefits  that come with joining the work-force. The working conditions are mentality and physically draining – the work is extremely demanding. One MSF nurse describes, “the most difficult thing is realizing if the patient was in a developed country, they would live. But because they are in Darfur they don’t survive…you aren’t able to save some of them from very curable diseases and it is infuriating.” Curable diseases, like diabetes, are difficult to handle because medical treatments, like insulin, are not readily available. However, MSF does incredibly work in regions that would otherwise be unserved where people are left to suffer.

Some might ask why an organization like MSF would appeal to me, a Bucknell graduate who could easily join corporate American and make $60,000 in her first year. To be honest, money has never appealed to me (besides for security purposes). What draws me to an organization like MSF is the emotional experience and incredible, personal experience you gain. Top management at MSF understands the personal, learning philosophy that can be achieved through the assignments and it ties into the mission of making a difference. Its employees do meaningful work everyday that changes lives; a very Kantian working environment. This organization does great things and is very transport about their work. I see myself being apart of an aid organization as inspiring as MSF one day.

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5 thoughts on “Making a Difference through MSF”

  1. What methods does MSF employ to attract the world’s top doctors away from cushy, high-paying surgeon jobs in affluent areas to work for MSF in dangerous, risky parts of the world?


  2. Where does their funding come from? I feel like it can be pretty expensive to give emergency medical assistance.


  3. Because you have no medical training and that is not your intention, what part of an organization like Doctors Without Borders do you see yourself working in? Companies like this have always amazed me and I too would love to participate in a program like it. I feel like more than focusing on having a great personal experience (which makes participating seem like you are doing it for you, even though I know that is not what you mean), it is a way for a person to be totally selfless by helping those in dire need without receiving any of the typical benefits of a job.


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