F..k

I guess it is pretty easy to guess the letters that come after this F. I finally got the answer. So, I can summarize it pretty easily, my 10+ years of experience has no whatsoever worth in this country. Nothing. Nada. I have to do the exam, and not only that, i have to wait f..cking 8 month to take it. Like is there anything that a person can normally do in this country? People come from EU countries like Poland or Bulgaria, they take no language test and they come straight from the Uni , no experience and in three months they get German Approbation. I wait here for more than two years and I have to wait another eight months. I feel completely disappointed and ruined. They already blocked me for two years and now eight months more. Like is there an end in this hell? Germany for a doctor that comes from non-EU country? Complete wrong move. Like couldn’t they say this two years ago?  You are a foreign doctor, we don’t care about your experience from your good for nothing country and your good for nothing education, do the exam. Was it so hard to do it? No, when I count this time I waited and additional eight months waiting for exam it comes almost to three years of my life. Idiots, idiots, idiots.

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Im Westen nichts neues

Still waiting without any news. I have no problem taking additional exams. Language, internal medicine, surgery, you name it. But sitting around without any news is killing me. I called the regional Government again. They told me that it is still ongoing and they cannot tell me anything. You can come here without a day of work experience from Bulgaria and you get Approbation in maximally three months. Or you come from Drittstaat with 10plus years of experience and you wait like an idiot almost two years.
What amazes me is the arrogance of these people. In five years according to statistics one third of German doctors will be retired. And than what? One would expect they would appreciate people willing to come here and work. No, not in this lifetime.

Zoster

My body is paying the price for all the stress I am facing with this never-ending story with Approbation (permit to work as a doctor in Germany). I have already faced feeling lost, depression like symptoms including not being able to concentrate myself and remember things. Since Monday morning I got pain in my upper right thigh on the lateral (outer) side and I thought I strained a tendon or something like that. I tried to massage it but I did not go away. Besides that I ignored the fact that I had chills. This morning I found a rash in the belt region and I knew right away what happened.  The same virus that causes chickenpox, after you had it, stays in our body, more precisely in the nerves. When something goes wrong with the immunity, mostly at old people, but also by patients who have issues with immunity (HIV, cancer or smth like that) it comes out and causes troubles. It also happen to people who are under stress. In my case, too much stress caused by waiting without any signs of possibility to find out my destiny any time soon. I have read a lot of media reports and German media is starting to talk about the obstacles that “imported doctors” face when they come here. There is more awareness on, sometime injustice we are facing on our road. Still, no changes in real life.  I have faced situation where a doctor coming from EU land, former East Bloc without a single day of work experience got an Approbation without any kind of knowledge test while experienced doctors from third countries wait for ages. I feel totally helpless. No signs that this will come to end. I have no trouble with taking additional exams. I would much prefer taking additional exams than wait for ever for some letter that does not come. I wish I could learn what is going on. I tried calls, mails and nothing brought me any new information.

Dr.Oetker cooked today

I get easily depressed these days. Do I need to say that I did not get any news from the Regierung today? Of course. And than in the middle of the day I felt like my life is so shit and so on and so on. And than I thought a little food did not hurt anybody.
So, I have to say, if you feeling like eating a pizza at home, and you have no lust to wait for delivery, that is really expensive in Germany opt for dr.Oetker. These pizzas are crusty, tasty and make the day much better. Enjoy 😉

Pride and Prejudice in modern Germany

This post is in response to something that happened to me yesterday. I am writing it from the bottom of my heart, and I will show how hurt I have felt. After this happened I could not go to sleep for a long time. I was really, deeply upset.  I asked a person for a help regarding my situation. I was told that this person has a good insight in the situation with foreign doctors and I simply, politely asked for advice and guidance. What I got back was an arrogant answer that was deeply humiliating. It was written in such a manner that simply written f… y… would have served the same purpose. It went on and on in a very humiliating manner. I read this answer and thought omg, how can someone be so mean without any reason.

Someone may think or say that I am oversensitive or overreacting. I am simply trying to share my experiences on this long and complicated road. The truth is, we are all human beings, and we all want to be treated with respect, and yet, every day we do not get it. There are days when you meet nice and decent people, willing to help and then there are other days.

Being a foreigner in Germany largely differs depending on where you come from. I have learned that when you come from the States or UK or Japan, you will not notice these things. Germans show deep respect for these people and I would say, they admire them. But then if you come from some other countries, does not work that way. There are EU countries, like Romania or Bulgaria that are always linked to criminals or thefts. And then when you come from a land that is non-EU, no matter if this country is still in Europe or not , you will face some strong prejudice.  For me, still the main obstacle is the language. I speak German fluently, my written skills are not so good, I am trying to improve it, and I am learning new words every day, I am watching German movies in order to learn more, I read articles.  But, when I open my mouth and start to talk you can say I am foreigner. I have strong accent and that give some people freedom to judge me or underestimate me or even humiliate.

For example, I wanted to send a fax. I was told in the post office they do not do this and they recommended a place for it. I went there and I tried to explain what I want to do. I was greeted by a 19 year old office assistant who laughed to my face because of me, not being able to properly explain it in German. And then the rest of the people stared at me like I am an idiot. She kept laughing and pointing at me and took a paper from my hand. She was amused. I wasn´t. And then I did something what I normally would not do. I asked her: are you laughing at me because I do not speak proper German. After this she got all serious, I guess she understood it was not ok to do it and she was like, noooo, I was laughing about something else. Then I took that paper from her hand and send: just forget it. I will find a place with some civilized personnel to do it.  I came home and I cried. I was like what wrong turn did I took in my life to face this. It felt like being bullied in school.

The other time, I was waiting too long for my healthcare ID. It happened after I lost my job. I submitted everything needed to DAK (it is one of the healthcare insurance in Germany). When I called I was told that I have to wait, why do I need it anyway, am I sick and blah, blah, blah. I called three times and the card did not come for two and a half months. And then I did a call again and asked: should my husband change insurance company because you are not able to print out a card and send it? I got it in two days.

Why am I writing this? Before I came to Germany I worked for more than a decade as a doctor. I was a consultant. German is my third language. I read books and travelled. Still, some people, no matter how educated are you, what you can do or know will treat you like idiots. And you will face this. In modern German society exists a lot of prejudice. If you are a foreigner and a woman there are people who will think you are not educated, you do not speak the language or not good enough, they will think you are stay at home woman with no education. Ok, I lost a job. And I am staying at home because I did not manage to find new job. But I am no idiot. In situation like this it is hard to put things in right place. Because some people think they have right to treat you this way or judge you.

You will feel humiliated and hurt. And it is completely normal reaction to this. You will feel like why did I ever come here. You  feel like hell with all this I pack my stuff and go back. Don’t.

I am not saying this is limited to Germany only. It happens everywhere. And if you face this, the problem is not you. The problem are people who do this.

As long as you are try to be the best version of yourself, as long as you try to learn the language right, to respect the laws and customs of this country, and as long as you are trying to be a decent human being you are doing it right. You came here with good intentions and keep doing it that way. Improve your skills, learn a lot, be nice and decent. Do not let people who treat you in a wrong manner to change you.

I cannot give you universal guide how to response in these situations. Does not exists. But, please, whatever you do, no to become an idiot. Simply, don’t.