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Saudi Arabia > Testimonials > Finnish Consultant Anaesthetist

Q1. Where are you originally from & how long have you been qualified?

From Finland.  Anaesthesia Consultant for 12 yrs.

Q2. How long have you been in Saudi Arabia now, and which city are you currently living in?

One month locum at Riyadh, and now waiting to go back

Q3. Have you always wanted to work in Saudi Arabia?

No, just a sudden thought one year ago

Q4. What were your thoughts/impressions during your first days in Saudi Arabia? Was it what you expected, or vastly different? How so?

Positively surprised, KFSH was international and more equal than I had expected. Clean, safe and polite.

Q5. Did you find the airport arrival difficult/stressful, or was it manageable?

It was okay, I was a bit excited and stressed, because didn't know language or the habits in the Muslim country. But the person I met arranged everything, most important the new SIM card, then the drive to the hospital.

Q6. What was the arrival and orientation process like? Was it helpful in terms of getting yourself set up for life in KSA?

The pre material I got was really helpful, and the lady at the apartment took care and gave good advice. No problem settling in.- S also took us around the first days and helped with Covid-tests and badges.

Q7. What was the likening/registration process like? Did you find it difficult or easy?  Was the information and assistance from Profco helpful in terms of licencing?

I am just doing the licensing now for my return on a permanent contract. 

Q8. What is it like at work? Is it vastly different to working back home, or much the same?

It was quite different.  At home I take care of the patient, intubate + cannulate myself.  In Saudi Anesthetic technician or the resident doctor did those.  I took care of the Anesthesia computer program.

Q9. Do you struggle a lot with the language barrier or is it manageable?

No problem there, English everywhere at work, even most of the patients spoke English. But a course of basic Arabic would be great ..

Q10. What is are the housing and recreation facilities like?

Covid has made the use of recreation facilities difficult. The apartment was nice and clean.

Q11. What is the social life like?

I had already good connections through  the Finnish society, so quite busy.

Q12. Do you manage to get out sightseeing etc. much? Is getting around easy to manage? 

Yes, I was, with friend already in Riyad, and loved to use the hospitals Driver. Uber was sometimes "exciting" because if the drivers poor English .

Q13. How has the decision to work in Saudi Arabia affected you, professionally and personally?

Work is challenging, because the patients have partly different kind of "basic" diseases than back home. I'd say refreshing and more confident, thing I can survive everywhere.

Q14. Do you have any tips or advice for other healthcare professionals who are contemplating the move to Saudi?

Be brave, you won't regret it. Everybody is ready to help and give you advice. 

February 2021

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