Since you went to Germany in 2005, has anything made you want to go back to Poland?
Dr Przemysław Wołyniec: Our family is not planning to go back, but we never say never. Regarding things I don't like ... well, it's a little bit different here and not everyone is able to adjust. German bureaucracy requires a lot of patience. I think an important role is played by the people we meet along the way, though, and I was lucky. But I like that people here don't judge by nationality, but by abilities. Also, quality hospital equipment makes work fun and helps professional development.
What advice would you give to newcomers?
Learn the language, that's the gateway. Don't lie in your CV, real-life will verify it brutally. Consider whether you really are prepared to leave your friends and family. It is also worth knowing what you want to do in your career. Prepare to work very hard to make a name for yourself.
What skills are required to gain Approbation?
According to authorities, a B2 level of German language is required to gain the right to practise or Approbation. However, this is not the case in all areas. Before gaining Approbation it's also worth travelling to the relevant office to talk with someone in person, that is what I did. After a direct conversation the procedure picks up pace.
Can foreign doctors count on getting support in finding accommodation in Germany, finding work for family members, finding the right language course?
Definitely. One should not forget that the more attractive a candidate is, the more help the hospital is able to give them. A hospital is a company, they know when to invest because in half a year it will begin to bring in profits.
Is the registration process (gaining Approbation) complicated?
There are many documents that need to be translated by a sworn translator. In different states the requirements differ but the procedure generally takes three to six months. Request a list of the required documents beforehand. Then, step by step, tick them off the list and at the end send them off as a set. Otherwise, the procedure is more time consuming.
Are experienced doctors from abroad able to take on a Consultant or Senior Physician post?
Certainly. Among others I was offered a consultancy position when I was leaving my employer. I personally know many foreign doctors who are consultants or senior physicians. But you need to show that you're better and possess more knowledge and abilities than a native doctor. Honestly, in this case, communication and knowledge are more important than citizenship.
Przemysław Wołyniec, MD
Specialist in Internal Medicine
In 2003 graduated of Medicine Academy in Poznan (Poland).
Since 2005, work in Germany- first at Helios-Klinik Sangerhausen, now based at Altmark-Klinikum in Salzwedel.