Head of Surgery & Critical Care Unit (M/F) At Doctors Without Borders

Médecins Sans Frontières, an international humanitarian medical association created in 1971, provides medical assistance to populations whose lives are threatened: mainly in the event of armed conflicts, but also epidemics, pandemics, natural disasters or even exclusion from care. The French section is present in more than thirty countries with its headquarters located in Paris.

As part of a job creation, we are looking for a:

Head of Surgery & Critical Care Unit (M/F)

Context :

The medical department’s mission is to contribute, with the operations department and other departments, to the social mission of the association through its leadership, expertise and advocacy in the following main areas:

  • The co-construction of medical operational strategies,
  • Medical support in the field in terms of expertise, strategy, training and research,
  • Continuous improvement of the quality of care and respect for medical ethics,
  • Medical training,
  • Research, scientific monitoring, introduction/monitoring of medical innovations,
  • Internal and external advocacy on medical subjects.

The department is headed by a medical director and 3 deputy medical directors. The management team is completed by a management assistant, a project and information manager, a research coordinator and an intern. The department is made up of thematic activity centers bringing together medical representatives for the specialties concerned, mainly based in Paris and other locations in France but also in New York, Sydney, Dakar and Nairobi.

The Surgery & Critical Care Center is a multidisciplinary center which includes emergency medicine, resuscitation, anesthesia and surgery (visceral and orthopedic) as well as physiotherapy. It also includes those responsible for training in connection with these specialties. Collaborations are frequent with other centers of medical activity and referents such as those responsible for maternal and child health, hygiene and infectious disease referents, the hospital management team, etc.

MSF carries out surgical activities in the context of armed conflicts or natural disasters, but also in areas where access to care is limited. Some activities are specialized (care of burns, orthopedic or plastic reconstruction surgery, care of fistulas, oncological surgery, etc.). Anesthesia is a key component of this surgical treatment and anesthesia techniques are evolving to allow more safety for our patients. The anesthesia teams are also very committed to the fight against pain, one of MSF’s institutional issues, and other cross-cutting issues such as the safety of care or palliative care. Intensive care and emergency care have developed significantly in recent years in the context of an influx of patients, in emergency services or in intensive care units with MSF’s desire to develop critical care for adult patients suffering from severe pathologies (acute illnesses or decompensation of chronic pathologies). Rehabilitation (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, etc.) has made great progress in post-traumatology and must continue to develop in other medical fields as well (gynecology-obstetrics, oncology).

In 2022, at the MSF Paris Operational Center, more than 16,000 patients were operated on, nearly 43,000 anesthesias were performed, there were more than 300,000 visits to our emergency services and more than 30,000 patients hospitalized in intensive care.

Assignment :

You are responsible for the Surgery & Critical Care Division and you participate in the definition and implementation of the association’s policies and medico-operational strategy. You are the managerial leader of a multidisciplinary team of medical department referents. You are an expert in one of the medical specialties represented in the cluster and you exercise the role of referent in your field.

Main responsibilities:

Under the hierarchical responsibility of a deputy medical director, your mission is to:

Participate in the definition and implementation of the medical-operational policies of your division:

  • Participate in defining the strategy in these areas for MSF grounds.
  • Define priorities in terms of access to diagnostics and treatments and participate in their implementation.
  • Contribute to the organization of multidisciplinary support from the medical department to operations with cells, coordinations and the field and to the running of workshops.
  • Define with your team the priorities in terms of research, training and access related to surgery, anesthesia, burnology, rehabilitation and critical and emergency care.

Manage the surgery & critical care team:

  • Identify the human resources needs of your team and report them to the medical director.
  • Recruit your team members with the medical director.
  • Identify the people on your team responsible for each file or project.
  • Set guidelines, define with your team the medico-operational objectives of the specialties concerned, ensure their implementation, set priorities.
  • Support, advise, motivate and unite the members of your team so that they can achieve their objectives.
  • Ensure the supervision and coordination of your team and ensure good cohesion between these members.
  • Evaluate your team members on a regular basis and conduct annual reviews.
  • Participate with operations in the management of MIO (Mobile Implementation Officer) positions.
  • Ensure the good contribution of your department to cross-functional/inter-departmental projects/work.

Monitor and analyze the activities of the surgery & critical care center:

  • Monitor your team’s progress, ensure that the needs of the cells and the field are met, coordinate your team’s field visits.
  • Coordinate the analysis of your division’s activities and medical data as well as the annual report.
  • Monitor your division’s budget.
  • Define the objectives and quality indicators of your division.

Provide advice and support in your area of ​​expertise:

  • Actively participate in the strategy, development and monitoring of operational projects in your area of ​​specialty.
  • Guarantee the knowledge and dissemination of the policies, procedures and tools of your specialty by the medical managers of the cells and the medical coordinators.
  • Carry out scientific and medical monitoring in the area of ​​your expertise.
  • Participate in the design and implementation of training related to your area of ​​expertise.
  • Propose, develop and monitor operational research projects in collaboration with Epicenter and/or other research partners.
  • Participate in the management and sharing of knowledge.

Ensure the representation of your center of activity with other departments, the MSF movement and outside:

  • Communication within the various MSF or external bodies (international organizations, NGOs, academia).
  • Participation in the development of a network of medical, scientific or humanitarian actors and partnerships.

Profile :


Doctor or paramedical professions: Doctor anesthetist, surgeon (any specialty), nurse anesthetist, operating room nurse, nurse, physiotherapist, emergency doctor, resuscitation doctor.


  • Experience at MSF or in a humanitarian medical organization.
  • Experience in management and team coordination.

Skills and Abilities :

  • Sense of initiative, strategic vision.
  • Leadership and very good organizational and prioritization skills.
  • Very good skills to lead multidisciplinary and collaborative work.
  • Very good analytical, synthesis and writing skills.


  • English required with a minimum B2 level.
  • French is an asset.

Status: Full-time permanent contract. Executive position, based in Paris.

Salary conditions:

€60.36 k gross per year over 13 months.

22 days of RTT per year. Supplementary health care 100% covered by Médecins Sans Frontières. Restaurant vouchers with a face value of €11 (60% covered by Médecins Sans Frontières). Support for 50% of the public transport ticket.

Position to be filled : as soon as possible.

How to apply


Please send your application (cover letter and CV)

Until 09/27/2023