A home close to home, review by Martina, doctor of radiology in Austria

16. February 2023.

When it comes to the reasons for moving, they are as different as the people who decide on them, but the step of moving is always a big one for each individual. That is why proximity to family was an important factor for our today’s interlocutor in choosing a future destination. Find out more details about moving to Austria from radiologist Martina.

The decision to move never comes once, it is subconsciously created in our mind during life experiences and forms motivational reasons for leaving towards a better future. Even with our interlocutor, the decision to move did not come all at once, but only after the arrival of the children. “The option of “leaving and moving” has been on our minds (my wife and I) ever since we had children and somehow realized that we don’t want them to grow up in the conditions we know well. Of course, our work circumstances and dissatisfaction on the business front also contributed, but I think they would have had a hard time deciding on such a big step on their own.” He admits that Scandinavia was the first choice because of all its advantages, but Austria was closer to family and home.

Knowledge of the German language is mandatory for the license

“The moving process is certainly the most painful part of the relocation story. Compared to colleagues who left for Scandinavia, Austria is far behind. No matter how many doctors they lack, they will not reduce the criteria for arrival – the C1 language level is mandatory as well as passing medical German at the Chamber of Doctors.” Without fluency in the language and a passed exam, there is no point in looking for jobs, as this is necessary for excellent healthcare for patients in Austrian healthcare institutions. Although the working conditions in Austria are not ideal, Martina believes that they are incomparably better than those in domestic health care, and the fact that changing jobs is not something to run away from contributes to this. “Here, nobody will put up with something they are not happy with if they can’t change it, but they will change the job. This is something that people here do at the age of 50 and it is not a problem at all, for example, to change profession.”

With better conditions, excellent equipment and devices are available to doctors, and the work is made as easy as possible. “Specifically in my profession (radiology) everything is subordinated to the fact that I do as little as possible anything other than pure radiology work, so at the end of the day I do a lot more work and patients, but I am definitely more rested and less burdened. Everything that doesn’t work is tried to be solved, the home office is not a taboo, but is used to the maximum in radiology (sick children, milder colds)…” Both education and access to online applications and databases with professional literature are always available, desirable and financed for Austrian doctors.

What does a working day look like?

Martina works in a small hospital, so her team does not cover the on-calls, but a teleradiology company does it for them, so she can spend weekends, afternoons and holidays resting. In addition, the teleradiology company also does the work that the employees did not get to do until 4 p.m. “Of course, anyone who wants to can work from home, for example, emergency CT and get paid for it, but due to the lack of staff, he is at work tomorrow. There is also the option to not work all night but, for example, from 16:00 to 22:00 from home or by the hour on the weekend that he wants, but this is all an option, not a condition.”

The organization of the working day is in agreement with colleagues, while respecting labor laws and the organization of the institution. “The working day lasts 8.5 hours, it starts from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., but it is not fixed. I can start at 7 or at 8, there is a half-hour lunch break where the department divides who goes on the first tour and who goes on the second tour to the restaurant so that time is really spent with colleagues. Some of our prejudice that people here do not socialize but only work is completely, but completely wrong.” That Austrians are really not that cold, Martina experienced through various situations in private and at work. “We often socialize at work, for example, it is an established habit to drink gin and tonic together every day at 4:00 p.m. during Advent. With us, morning coffee is a habit, here it is coffee during the working day.”

Free time is spent enjoying life and making the most of free time, and the proximity to the ski resort also has its advantages. “Austrians really enjoy life, they are very oriented towards sports and a healthy life, they use the weekends to recharge their batteries to the maximum, the standard is much higher, so money is not a problem for them. We live in a ski area, so children from the age of 2 get on skis, in the winter every weekend is spent skiing or some winter sport, in the summer hiking. On weekends, hardly anyone cooks here, weekends are for socializing, so we mostly eat in restaurants.”

Proximity to home and common points

Our expert interlocutor has already explained the reasons for moving and choosing Austria, and she also referred to other advantages of being close to the homeland. “What is definitely an advantage is the proximity to home, the possibility that we can go to a party in Zagreb for the weekend and be at work on Monday. And certainly that Austrians have many more points of contact with us, starting from culture and customs to food and climate.” Martina noticed that Austrians seem “softer” than Germans due to the proximity of Italy and the Balkans, so this can be seen in more relaxed structures and following the rules. And she shared a final tip for all those who are thinking about moving. “My advice for all colleagues who are thinking about going abroad is to have a good discussion within their family about what they have a greater affinity for, what living and working conditions are closer to them and what suits them individually. Of course, to persevere in their goals and not give up on what they want.”

Read more reviews from other candidates here!


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