Our doctors share their experiences
Surgeon from Romania
working in Sweden
drian is a surgeon from Romania and he studied Swedish in Budapest together with his wife, who is also a doctor and has found a job in Sweden. The family, that apart from Adrian and his wife also numbers two children who are 16 and 14 years old, arrived in Sweden in August 2012 and now live in Värnamo.
In January 2011 Adrian sent his CV to MediCarrera even though he wasn’t ready to move to Sweden just yet. The language was totally unknown to him and he had rather thought about moving to England. But when MediCarrera later on contacted him with more information he and his wife started considering the possibility and decided to take the chance. What made them decide was the fact that MediCarrera promised to take care of the whole family and help out with all the practical issues surrounding the move.
In January 2012 he received an offer for a job in Värnamo. “Where is Värnamo?” Adrian asked.” “In the middle of nowhere”, was the answer he received. When he was later informed that this “nowhere” was situated in southern Sweden, he agreed to continue with the process. The next step was to travel to Värnamo in order to get to know the place, go to an interview at the hospital, see the workplace and meet the potential colleagues. “The trip was fantastically well organised”, Adrian tells us. “Everything was organised and prepared down to the smallest detail and I only had to show up. It gave me a very good impression.”
All the pieces fell into place and in the end of March/beginning of April the whole family started the language course in Budapest. That the place chosen for the course was Budapest was due to the fact that it worked better for them to move to Budapest during the four months the course lasted than moving to Spain. “The language course was great”, Adrian says. “However, it can be difficult to understand different dialects. You need practice for that!”
The language course was very intensive and demanding. They started with the basics and after four months they could speak fluently. “Those were probably the hardest months of my life”, Adrian laughs. “But we did it!”
Living temporarily in Budapest and completing such an intensive course was obviously strenuous and difficult, but the family agrees that it was worth the trouble. Also, the possibility of being together this whole time was very important for them. Adrian and his wife took a course in Swedish for the health sector, while the children followed a different course in general Swedish. Both courses were organised by MediCarrera. The children’s teacher was in her thirties and taught in a way that they really enjoyed. This made them motivated and helped them learn Swedish really well.
The first time at a new workplace is always demanding and when you, besides, find yourself in a new country, it can be even tougher. The first weeks in Sweden were difficult for Adrian. When he came back from work he was very tired and told his children he wanted to return to Romania. But then it was the children that encouraged him and told him they absolutely did not want to move back! They were very happy from the start and now have lots of friends.
The introduction at the hospital went well and Adrian is very happy with all the help he received with fixing practical issues, such as registering with the social security authorities.
Already from day one, Adrian started working with patients. He thought it went well, although it was a bit more difficult at the emergency room, where he had to talk more to the patients. But it improved quickly. What took a bit longer was learning all the new routines. Adrian calculates that it takes about one year.
Swedish quality of life
In Romania, Adrian was a docent at the university hospital. The work in Sweden has in theory meant that he has taken a step down the career ladder, but he thinks that the work conditions are so much better that it doesn’t matter much. He also has spare time, a thing he didn’t have in Romania. When he is off work, he doesn’t have patients calling him and not letting him disconnect. The work is also better organised and there is access to more resources. The improved quality of life is worth a lot, he thinks. Besides he has had the possibility of participating in the development of the hospital services. He has, for example, made sure that ventricular cancer is now operated in Värnamo and that it is no longer necessary to send the patients to Linköping. The team he works with is young and development-oriented and he gets along very well his colleagues.
What has been most important for the family has been the improvement in the children’s situation. They now live in a safer environment and have a bright future ahead of them. What has been most difficult has been overcoming the language barrier, Adrian tells us, but he considers that knowing the language is decisive for being able to work in Sweden. He knows people from his country that have come to Sweden without knowing Swedish and have had to go back home. This can be an expensive lesson. “In the beginning, I made the mistake of talking in Romanian with other people from my country at work. That didn’t exactly improve my Swedish. Later I chose to talk only Swedish, which worked well since all my colleagues at the section for gastric surgery are Swedish. The intensive training I got through this made an enormous difference and I managed to get into the language very quickly.
Adrian and his family have always lived in a big city environment, but they quickly got used to living in the countryside and are happy with living close to nature, at a slower pace. Now, the family has bought a house and are about to move from the apartment that was their first home when they arrived in Sweden. This was a furnished apartment they hired from the hospital. Although the apartment was nice, they are looking forward to becoming owners of their own house and getting their own home.