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With equipment and diagnostic tests sometimes limited in the field, diagnosing and treating patients can be a challenge.
Careful planning—both professionally and financially—allows physician Marc Levin to balance his work with MSF with his career in the United States.
As physician Marc Levin discovered during missions in Chad, Niger, and the Central African Republic, working in an MSF field project means learning to work outside your comfort zone.
Physician Marc Levin's work with MSF brought him into contact with diseases he had never before treated in the United States, such as rabies, measles, and sleeping sickness.
Sometimes cultural factors influence the kind of care a physician is able to give in the field.
Working with MSF in northern Nigeria, Dr. Sampath helped treat a very sick child with TB who made an amazing recovery.
Working with MSF in Nigeria and in Sierra Leone, Dr. Sampath learned a lot about diseases she rarely or never saw in her US practice.
How working in the field is different from working in the US and how valuable the national staff is.
Pediatrician Kerstin Hanson says the year after residency is the perfect time to go on an MSF mission.
'It involves a lot of clinical skills, some guesswork, watching, and waiting. You’re not always right.'
'I have learned so much from living in different cultures, working with people from all over the world, and, most of all, caring for patients whom I would never have met were it not for MSF.'
'Even if you are somebody who plans to specialize, don’t lose track of your basic medical skills because in the field that is what you really rely on.'
'There was a nice skills transfer—I did a lot of training but I learned a lot from my Nigerien colleagues as well.'
An MSF pediatrician describes her best and worst experiences in the field.
How working in the field is a completely different experience.