"It took me only one week to obtain the German visa," says Wassim the medical school graduate. He adds that he was not the least surprised by the speedy approval despite significant number of Syrian applicants at the German embassy in Beirut; as "Germany needs doctors" as he, quite matter-of-factly puts it.
Wassim describes specialization in Germany for Syrian medical graduates as "logical." He justifies this by the fact that medical practice in Germany does not require difficult procedures such as those required in other European countries; these procedures are limited to obtaining equivalency of certification. Students can submit such after commencing their actual practice. Work in Germany secures a rather decent income for doctors, if compared to what they earn in Syria.
Wassim saved himself and his family a full year of potential time and expenses to which he would have been subjected in Germany. He says: "In the fifth year [as a medical student] I and many of my friends began learning German. When I graduated, I had already obtained a "B2" certificate from the Goethe Institute, thus preparing to directly commence my specialization upon arriving in Germany."
According to the journal of the German Medical Association "Ärzte Blatt," the salary of a medical specialization student ranges from 1,800 to 2,400 post-tax; which comprises mandatory work shifts. The remuneration for any additional shifts performed by a specialization student ranges from 60 to 200 euros; depending on the timing, date, as well as the hospitalin which the specialization is being performed. This represents a good income that provides a decent life for the student. The journal also confirms, however, that despite this some local doctors prefer to specialize in neighboring countries like Switzerland due to even higher incomes.
A 172% Increase in Syrians Doctors!
The migration of large numbers of German doctors abroad, in addition to low rates of studying medicine in local communities; have made Germany Europe's most attractive country for foreign doctors.
According to the latest statistics published by the medical journal on its website "http: /www.aerzteblatt.de," more than 31,230 foreign doctors—including 1,236 Syrians—have worked in Germany in 2013. They are the only non-European category included among the first eight communities disclosed in these statistics; with the number of Syrian doctors expected to double in the coming years according to the magazine, which drew attention to the increase in the number of Syrians doctors by 172%, between 2012 and 2013.
The regime government's Medical Bar Association has recently announced that the number of doctors who emigrated after the start of the revolution has reached up to almost 30% of the total number circa 30 thousand doctors. This means that the country's loss during the last three years is about 9 thousand doctors, under these the difficult and challenging health conditions.
The Bar Association also pointed out that Syria were among those countries repelling expertise; with the number of Syrian doctors abroad—prior to the onset of the conflict in Syria—estimated at about 50 thousand doctors, the majority of whom had studied in Syria, only to leave.
8 Thousand Euros: Security Deposit
Hanna, civil engineer, does not see that the German government gives Syrian medical graduates visas more or faster than the rest of undergraduate majors. According to him, it is all a question "of the money." He says: "Despite the fact that it took my visa three months to be issued, but I was certain that it would. I paid the 8 thousand Euros' security deposit, and I have a good command of the German language... This should help me find work there."
Hanna believes that the German government's facilitation of Syrians' entry into its territory is not for charity. Germany will become the first beneficiary from their presence; they will gap the deficiencies in the labor force, and their contribution—as small as it may be—will; be felt in the local economy, through the amounts they have deposited as insurance in German banks, which can be operated and invested.
Syrian expatriate doctors' good fortune is not limited to easy entry andresidency facilities; they will have a better chance than other new arrivals at finding suitable jobs. Alaa, currently specializing in a Nordrhein-Westfalen state hospital, says: "I can, at any time, change the hospital in which I currently work. Many other hospitals offer vacancies and different specialties. I can pick and choose those which I find appropriate. "
It should not be difficult for any Syrian with a proper command of the German language to find a well-paid job, according to Alaa, who adds: "There are many job websites that can be visited, in addition to job placement companies and newspaper ads."