Erika, a GP From Hungary Working in Sweden
Erika is a family medicine specialist from Hungary. In January 2018 she moved to Vetlanda, Sweden with her husband and three children after she was offered a position at the local primary care centre.
Why Sweden“I was interested in finding a job abroad because during the time I spent in the Hungarian healthcare I realized the problems there won’t change. The competence of family medicine specialists is more limited and they are not allowed to do much. They just see patients and send them to other specialists for further evaluation and therapy. If you suspect a patient has cardiological issues, you refer them to a cardiologist. In Sweden, a family medicine specialist’s work includes tasks that require a deeper knowledge of diagnostics and treatment of health problem. This means people with common diseases, including mental disorders, have been in medical contact solely with general practitioners, who are expected to close down the treatment and only refer patients to other specialist doctors when it’s absolutely needed. Even though it’s challenging I really enjoy it.” At general medicine clinics in Sweden, there is usually equipment for minor surgeries and various types of examinations, which are in many other countries carried out in hospitals or specialist clinics. General medicine specialists do not refer patients to other specialists for health problems such as diabetes, asthma, depression, arrhythmia or small injuries.
Credits: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se
The Process With MediCarreraErika was referred to MediCarrera by her best friend, who went through the process and works as a GP in Mullsjö, Jönköping. “My university friend Anita had applied to MediCarrera, so we started to talk about her experience and how it is to be a GP in Scandinavia. I started understanding what the benefits were so I decided to apply for a job in Sweden. Everything went really quickly. I got in touch with MediCarrera in May 2017 and by July we already did a three-day study tour in Sweden. It was very challenging, I had to show how I would treat patients in different scenarios. The employer paid a lot of attention to my communication style and how I would handle the patients. After the study tour, I got the news that I got the job and I was very happy.”
The Language CourseWhile she did not have much time to complete the online language course, Erika didn’t feel the information overload despite the time pressure. She only had to focus on one thing at a time and that was a great way to learn. “In September we started the language course. During the first two weeks, there was some side communication in English which was really helpful because we could get a better introduction. After the third week, it was absolutely obligatory to speak Swedish. All the other participants were on the same level, so I felt comfortable speaking to them. It was really intense but I believe that was absolutely necessary to reach the language level required for the relocation. During the Christmas holidays, I got worried because we did not have a lot of chance to practise our new language. I basically jumped right into work when we arrived to Sweden. However, everyone was very helpful and supportive. I felt quite confident about my Swedish and got positive feedback.”
“In Sweden general medicine specialists are expected to close down the treatment and only refer patients to other specialist doctors when it’s absolutely needed.”