JCCC Honors Journal


Humanitarian organizations, like the humans that operate or benefit from them, are filled with challenges, successes, and failures. As the largest non-governmental organization on the planet today, Doctors Without Borders has its own interesting history that falls short of the glory most people ascribe to it when they hear the westernized version of its French name, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). In researching this organization, the author studied several books, reviewed dozens of articles and web-sites, listened to the full recruitment pitch while watching the concurrent online presentation, and watched the movie “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders”. The reader has approximately fifty hours of research condensed into about twenty minutes of reading. The final product attempts a neutral presentation of the positive and negative of MSF’s history, a description of their current locations and specific work in those areas, and information on what the prospective candidate (specifically the nursing applicant) needs to consider before engaging in a personal affiliation with the organization. MSF is rooted deeply in its French heritage. It isn’t a place for the glory-seeker, the casual traveler, or the average American. Is it worth the time to pursue? That is up for the reader to determine.