09 HOW MSF WORKS Do all field workers need medical backgrounds MSF needs all types of people. Medical staff of course but we also need staff to support the medical activities so we need people who can do financial management bookkeeping and human resources. We also need logisticians who can do fleet management mechanics water and sanitation and more. What do you look for in a prospective field worker The people who are successful in the field are those who are flexible and willing to learn. With MSF youre working and living with people from all over the world which can be difficult. Adaptability is also important you dont know what is going to happen from one day to the next. The reality is that youre away from your home and your family and the work though rewarding is still really difficult. It has to be something that you really want to do. We ask that people meet certain specific requirements in addition to the professional requirements. For example we want to know that they have been uncomfortable in the past. Maybe theyve done medical volunteer trips or theyve worked in resource- poor settings. It can also mean theyve traveled a lot so theyve been exposed to different cultures and living conditions. So you try to determine if someone is right for MSF and if MSF is right for them Exactly. A lot of people get excited about the possibility of working with MSF but then they talk to friends and family about the places they might get sent to and they decide they dont want to stress out their families by going to the field. Some people ask Am I really willing to go wherever you want to send me Can I make this commitment We make our own evaluations at each stage but we also hope that people remove themselves from the process if they think MSF may not be right for them. WHAT DOES MSF LOOK FOR IN ITS FIELD WORKERS A conversation with Melissa Bieri a Doctors Without BordersMdecins Sans Frontires MSF recruiter who has completed field assignments as a logistician in South Sudan and Malawi.