Humanitarian Medic

Humanitarian Medic is an innovative training program, designed and coordinated by CRIMEDIM (Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale) in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctor Without Borders, Italian section).
The program is restricted to 20 medical doctors in their final years of training or residency program in Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, from any university all over the world. The selection will be based on a merit ranking.
The aim of the training program is to provide residents with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to proficiently participate to international disaster responses and humanitarian health programs. The humanitarian health response during large-scale disasters, conflicts and public health emergencies needs a complex and higly professional approach, including first aid, emergency and trauma care, primary health care and public health surveillance, performed in a resource-constrained envinroment.
The training program will allow the trainees to learn how to adapt and adjust the specific skills acquired during their residency programs in resource-constrained and austere environments, and to learn transversal competencies essential to work in disaster and humanitarian settings.
The prerequisites to apply are good knowledge of English language (at least B1 level), good ability to adapt to multicultural contexts and stressful situations, strong motivation to work in austere and unstable environments, war and conflict zones, and sudden onset disasters.


  • Introduction to humanitarian emergencies
  • Safety and security in the field
  • Anesthesia and intensive care, emergency medicine and pediatrics in resource-constrained environments
  • Essential and emergency surgical care
  • Public health in complex emergencies
  • Principles of tropical medicine and infectious diseases in emergencies
  • Psychological support during complex emergencies
  • Bioethical challenges in humanitarian settings
  • International Humanitarian Law


Humanitarian Medic will start on July 1st 2017 and will comprise three specific consequential phases:

  1. Distance learning through an e-learning platform (three months)
  2. Residential course in Novara, Italy (six days)
  3. Apprenticeship in the field with Médicins Sans Frontières (three months)


During the program, trainees will be exposed to innovative training methodologies, such as high fidelity and computerized virtual simulations, developed by CRIMEDIM. The apprenticeship in the field will be performed in one of the Médicins Sans Frontières’ humanitarian health projects all over the world.


A purpose-built e-learning platform will serve as a learning hub for tutoring, storing content information and communicating in both a synchronous and an asynchronous format. The online platform will be open for students for the entire duration of the course. The official language of the course will be English.

Residential course

The residential course will be held from October 23rd to October 28th 2017 at SIMNOVA (Simulation Center of the Università del Piemonte Orientale), Via Lanino 1, Novara, Italy.
The residential course will include:

  • Virtual simulations, with humanitarian emergency scenarios
  • High fidelity simulations in low resource environments
  • Table-top simulations
  • Group discussions
  • Class-room lessons

The different types of simulations will allow participants to acquire specific competencies through both individual and team training.

Apprenticeship in the field with Médecins Sans Frontières

The apprenticeship in the field will last minimum three months, included in the period from November 2017 to May 2019. Participants will be part of the medical team of a MSF humanitarian health project and the deployment will be planned according to MSF needs and participant availability.
Participants will be part of the local hospital duty roster, dealing with the daily clinical activities; participants could be also involved in the management and supervision of the hospital personnel, the planning of medical activities and the training of local staff.



Selected students