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03 Dec 2020


Refugee doctor back on track saving lives

Saif has a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Baghdad College of Medicine and had worked for four years at Al-Imam Ali Hospital in Iraq.

In the beginning, Saif, who had come to Australia by himself, faced difficulties settling, including with the language barrier, new system, culture and lifestyle, and with overseas qualification recognition processes. To work as a doctor in Australia, international medical graduates need to complete the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) registration requirement by passing the Australian Medical Council (AMC) exams, as well as an English test.

On a friend’s recommendation, Saif contacted SSI in October 2018 for help with his employment journey in Australia, starting with understanding the process of getting his qualification recognised.

SSI’s Refugee Employment Support Program (RESP), an initiative of the NSW government, supported Saif to complete the Australian Medical Council exams, occupational English test exam, and eventually his AHPRA registration. RESP also provided financial support and educational courses that helped him pass the exams. Additionally, SSI assisted Saif to get a driver’s license through driving lessons, and helped with workshops about finding jobs in Australia. This essential support was crucial, and made a huge difference to Saif’s journey.

After two years of hard study and struggle, Saif secured a job as an Emergency Resident Medical Officer at Royal Hobart Hospital; back practising medicine, and back on track saving lives.

Saif recently wrote to his RESP Employment Facilitator, Sevan Chilingeryan:

I would like to thank the SSI team especially my case managers Sevan, Marlen, and Rahaf for their guidance and help they provided. Great job.

– Saif Noori

Learn more about the Refugee Employment Support Program.

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