Our doctors share their experiences
Psychiatrist from Romania
working in Sweden
IHAI is an adult psychiatrist and lives in Östersund. He came to Sweden in February 2013. He and his wife, who is an auditor, studied in Calafell and brought with them their young daughter.
Already upon finishing training as a specialist he started thinking about working abroad but this was a decision that matured during two years. When he was considering different alternatives, he chose MediCarrera since they work with a family concept and it was important for him that the whole family should have the possibility to learn the new language and take part from the beginning in the big project of moving to a new country.
During his interview trip to Sweden, Mihai was assigned a local guide who showed him the city and the surrounding area and told him how the society worked. They also visited a children’s day-care in town. He fell for Östersund, which he thought was a very beautiful and calm place. He thought that this would be a good place for his daughter to grow up in. During the interview at the hospital he met his boss to be and a few colleagues and received a lot of information about the work. Mihai thought he received enough information to be able to make a decision, although he would have liked to stay longer in order to have time to see all the beautiful surroundings.
A few months later, Mihai and his family arrived in Calafell, Spain, to study Swedish. He and his wife, who is not a doctor, studied in different groups and their daughter attended the MediCarrera day-care centre. During the time in Calafell the MediCarrera staff helped him acquire all the certificates necessary for working in Sweden, sign up for day-care, find an apartment in Östersund and with other practical issues before the move. He thinks he received very good help throughout the process and that MediCarrera made sure that all details around the move and the new job fell into place.
The language training is difficult, but at the same time it was a fun experience. “The teachers have a lot of experience in teaching Swedish to foreign doctors”, Mihai tells us. “We were surprised when they predicted that we at a certain point would experience difficulties. How could they know? But they were right! We hit the wall and lost our confidence, but then they encouraged us and kept our motivation up so that we got through the most difficult period”.
His wife attended a special course for partners. This course followed a different pace and didn’t include the healthcare related terminology, so they weren’t able to study together. Nonetheless, they could support and encourage each other when it felt difficult. Calafell as a course location was good, Mihai thinks. It’s situated by the beach and is close to Barcelona. They had the possibility of doing some sightseeing, even though the training was very demanding.
The time in Calafell was also an exciting time for their daughter. She had not gone to day-care before, but the Swedish staff took good care of the children and made them feel at home. They played a lot and had different activities at the same time as they learned a bit of Swedish. She thought it was fun and now she speaks Swedish very well. When they arrived in Sweden in February, they had an adaptation period at the day-care in Östersund that lasted two weeks. It went well and their daughter soon made friends.
Mihai’s wife knew some Swedish when she arrived in Sweden, but not at the same level as Mihai. She hadn’t been able to concentrate as much on the course in Calafell, which was very demanding, since she had been staying at home with their daughter when she was sick. This made her fall a bit behind in the course. But once in Sweden she has continued studying Swedish in order to increase her possibilities of finding a job. Now she’s working for a staffing agency where she also gets the possibility to learn about the Swedish system pertaining to her professional area of expertise. She will also complement this with a few courses in Swedish legislation, among other things.
For Mihai, the move has been good and he’s happy with his job. They are hoping that his wife will also find a steady job that she’s happy with. Their daughter is happy and content. She has adapted very well to the new environment and immediately found herself at home.
What has been the best part of the move? Mihai thinks that the family has brighter prospects now than they had in Romania. He looks forward to the future and thinks that they will feel at home in Sweden. “Of course it’s hard to leave your family and friends, but we try to stay close by using Skype and Messenger”, Mihai says. The most important thing has been that their daughter has found a better environment to grow up in. She can be out in nature a lot and it’s a calm and safe society to grow up in.
He’s happy with his introduction to the workplace – it worked out very well. He was able to start working in an area that he had experience of from Romania. After two or three months he had his first patients. It was a bit difficult at first to understand the dialect that the patients were speaking and he was very tired when he returned home in the evenings. But with some practice and a strong focus on the language it started going better and now, after half a year in Sweden, he finds that he understands almost everything and that he can have a dialogue with the patients without difficulties. “I have just moved to a section for psychosis where I’ll be working as an outpatient doctor”, Mihai tells us.
As a psychiatrist he has noticed great differences between Sweden and Romania. For example in Sweden one works in close collaboration with the social services. It feels great that the patient can receive help with practical issues such as cooking and cleaning in their homes. People in Sweden are taken good care of and that makes it possible for psychiatry to work better.
The work in Sweden has meant getting in contact with a new society and a new culture and even new possibilities for treating the patients, not only with medicine, but also with psychotherapy and other support in order to be able to function in society. Miahi finds it inspiring and appreciates the new points of view in his work.