The decision to move to a new setting is not easy at all, so it is always good to explore what awaits you when you plan to make a new life decision. Oncology specialist Marko Bebek decided to try his hand at the new healthcare system and moved to Denmark in January of 2022. Following is a more detailed description of Marko’s experience, so read on and find out what you can expect if you see your future in Scandinavia.
What motivated you to leave, and why did you choose Denmark?
One of the reasons I decided on Scandinavia was that my Croatian specialization in oncology is also accepted here, so I am officially in the position of clinical oncologist. The concept of work and lifestyle, as well as the connection with additional training options in the EU, are the main motivations for my departure. Among other reasons for moving, I would like to single out the desire to learn a new language and the ambition to try a more advanced healthcare system in the EU, as I have been dissatisfied with the healthcare system in Croatia for some time. I was looking for an ideal country for myself so I turned to Scandinavia. Since the positions in Denmark were in the proximity of larger cities, as Koge is near Copenhagen, it played a significant factor compared to Norway, for which I also had the option to leave.
How would you describe working conditions in Denmark?
It is much better than in Croatia. The system is more organized and involved, you know exactly who is responsible for which part of the job. There is a large number of non-medical staff in Denmark that helps doctors and nurses. In practice, doctors are not overburdened at work and employee satisfaction is regularly checked by surveys. Surveys also ask for suggestions, and doctors are expected to actively participate in improving our work environment.
How did the relocation process go?
The relocation process is quite painless and straightforward. Until the license was obtained (which is a somewhat more detailed process that requires knowledge of the language), everything went smoothly and I had excellent support from colleagues. To be clear, the adjustment process is always stressful, but I had help (from the agency, Zrinka, colleagues, and the real estate agency that helped me with registration, renting and directing) which greatly eases the whole situation. Choosing an apartment was a stressful step in the process and was chaotic as the available apartments were rented out very quickly. It might have helped if the agent had explained more and advised me about the process of finding an apartment, but I eventually ended up with an accommodation that suited me.
How did family and friends react to your decision?
My family and friends found it a little harder to accept my decision in the beginning, but as most of them have experience working in the health care system in Croatia, they understood my decision and supported me in going. Friends who had previously ended up in Denmark also helped me, and I learned valuable information from them firsthand.
How would you describe Danes?
My experience with the Danes is very positive. They are friendly, warm and want to help. In the beginning, I communicated in English since I came to Denmark a little earlier than I reached the communication level of Danish, and there were no problems. The Danish language is not easy, but everyone in my environment makes it as easy as possible. Of course, it takes effort, as it does with everything, but patience is essential.
How did you deal with Danish, and how did the language learning process go?
I started the language course as soon as I accepted the job and attended it online. The course is professional, and we did as much as we could in a short time since I soon moved to Denmark. When I relocated, to master it as soon as possible, I started to further improve my language in an organized group course in a local commune in addition to the online course. Although this approach is initially more difficult than if I came with a higher level of language, I can say that I am satisfied with the decision to come earlier. Danish grammar is not difficult, but writing and pronunciation are a bigger challenge. This frustrated me at first, but over time I surrounded myself with Danish which proved to be the key to success.
How did you get to us?
I came to Incor via LinkedIn, and I heard about you before from a colleague who thought about moving abroad. Everything from the initial contact and Zrinka’s help in applying for vacations, writing a CV and other documentation to finally moving and connecting with colleagues who had previously moved to Denmark went smoothly, and I have no complaints at all.
Do you have any advice for doctors considering moving?
It is difficult to decide to move, but I think it is also worthwhile to highlight your help. Without your assistance, the entire process would have been much more difficult, and you would have most likely relocated to a country other than Denmark.