The challenges of a young doctor abroad.

By berrysmotivation - March 02, 2017

I have a post coming where I would share my first experience as a junior doctor working abroad. It wasnt particularly a pleasant start, It was all new to me. I felt like a village girl just brought into the city for the first time. I remember telling the people around me that it all seemed like magic. Start with the codes, to abbreviations, to equipment, directions, decisions etc. I would force the tears back in. I kept on telling myself this is what you have worked so hard for. I didn't have a friend, no familiar faces. I wasn't sure what they thought of me. What first impression did I create. My interview went fantastically well, so I had a point to prove. Unfortunately I couldn't, everything was too new to prove a point. Medical degree was OK but I had never practiced in a country where everything worked. Everyone from the doctors to the receptionists or ward clerks had a role to play. No one was undermined although being a fresher everyone seized the opportunity to take advantage of me. I had moments where I broke down in tears but I had to put it together. One thing that kept me going apart from the usual ambition of being a successful young doctor was obviously waiting for your account to be credited at the end of the month(there's never a delay, infact your account is credited at midnight on payday) so I could go off to do my usual shopping.  All being said lets go straight to the challenges you will be faced with and how to fix them.

1. THE NEW ENVIRONMENT: Its a new environment, you may not have friends or familiar faces around. You are not even sure if people like you, you don't know whats going on in their minds.
Just Feign a smile even if you don't want to. Avoid conflicts and smile with them. Accept them to feel accepted and most importantly, be nice.

2. THE NEW EQUIPMENT: Like I said in my post of working as a doctor in the U.K everything is new so put all skills learnt previously aside because you don't want to get confused. As little as putting an IV cannula may seem strange to you, but don't worry you will be a master of your trade in due time. The system works, its all computerized, paper work is minimal. Just be ready to learn and be humble enough to ask questions.

3. NURSE vs DOCTOR DRAMA: This exists everywhere. I thought it wouldn't but apparently it does. My consultant said to me after you have done your ABCDE'S next box to tick is the N' which is the nurses. They may not like you, they may want to intimidate you, but be nice even if they are not. No matter what the work must be done. Put yourself in a position that would command respect, which means other than work if it isn't necessary no need to be extra friendly. The smile and niceness is all work nice and work smile. Truth be told some of them are well experienced and may teach you certain things so play the game well.

4. COMPETENCY: This differs with everyone but if I had been told earlier I would have read a bit more. Theres so much required of you that you begin to question what you know and what you do not know, The only solution here is read as much as you can, ask questions, seek advise and be ready to learn.

5. FINDING A BALANCE: As much as you want to smile at the end of the month when you get that credit alert, be ready to work for your money. My friend said to me, he doesnt even have time to spend the money he's working for. I could understand on all levels. The only way to survive this is finding a pattern. For me its quite difficult as I work in the A&E your hours are all over the place. Its had to really find that balance but I must say you have to. Common, we didnt just come to life to read and work as doctors. You have to live life too. So create a circle or social life outside work that keeps you sane to keep up with the hard work.

Last bit, Its not easy anywhere. I have heard from friends in the U.S, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, U.K, MIDDLE EAST etc. It doesn't get easy as long as you willing to progress in your career. Most importantly, this isn't meant to scare anyone but to prepare you for the great task ahead. The money may be good but there are huddles to cross to enjoy your rewards.

                           Happy reading, Happy shares.

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  1. Nicely written and really educative. This just goes to say that we have a big task ahead of us and we should be ready tackle it one day at a time.....i cant wait.