Médecins du Monde, or Doctors of the World, is a French medical non-governmental organization which was established in 1980. The main goals are to facilitate access to health care for disadvantaged and excluded communities, and to have an impact on social change in order to make health care universally accessible. Recently we had the opportunity to welcome Clara Bigel a representative of Médecins du Monde in charge of Recruitment Communication. Her presentation “Médecins du Monde internationally”, acquinted us with details of the organization, its functioning, projects all around the globe, as well as advice concerning having a professional career in Médecins du Monde. Here is a summary of this meeting.
First of all, there is more than 3 900 000 beneficiaries of the program. The main themes are Emergency and crisis, Sexual and reproductive health, Harm reduction, Migrants and displaced populations (health rights), as well as Health and environment. 51% of resources come from private donations, 43% from public subventions, 4% from private subventions and partnerships or sponsorships, and finale 2% from other resources. The international network is present in Argentina, Canada, the United States, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, UK, Sweden and Japan. There are 73 programs in 44 countries: 31 in sub-Saharan Africa, 16 in North Africa, 8 in Latin America and Caribbean, and 14 in Eurasia. There are 2 types of interventions dealing with long-term and development, and emergencies. The first type of action are Reception centers for Health Care and Guidance that are open to all of those struggling to obtain access to health care, even if they are undocumented, but that also focus on primary health care and prevention work. The second type of action are Mobile Outreach Actions, where the goal is to reach out to people who do not have access to health care and who cannot come to Médecins du Monde’s centers. In this type of action, there is preventive aspect included as well.
Beside medical or paramedical profiles, there is a possibility to work in a non-medical area, mostly as coordinators in diverse fields. The knowledge of French is mandatory if working internationally or HQ. Usually, the organization prefers to wait for the perfect match, even if takes months (e.g. visa issues). However, in case of emergency, the hiring is done immediately. Médecins du Monde covers the integration training before the departure for a mission, the round trip from home to the mission, visas and paperwork, social security coverage and insurances, shared accommodation, as well as HR support. There is a possibility of going for a mission with a member of the family and most of the expenses are covered by the organization, but the mission has to last at least 1 year, and most important, the security regulations have to be respected by everyone. Clara Bigel insisted on the importance of employees’ mental health. There are different types of stress and its symptoms: spiritual, behavioral, emotional, physical, and intellectual. The organization highly recommends consultation with a psychologist specialized in stress management as well as having time for yourself. The recruitment’s first step is an application on the website, then an interview is taking place, and finally there is a training. Médecins du Monde provides various specific trainings in order to meet the field’s expectations but also generalist training. For more informations visit www.medecinsdumonde.org.