uprooting oneself to move to another country is a daunting experience for many.
21years ago, on sept 1, i started my new job as a trainee doctor in a small NHS hospital in dover, england. i was thrilled to receive the acceptance letter in late july that year, after having sent out more than 10 applications for a training post. suddenly, there were hordes of things to do before leaving, eg. apply for no-pay leave (which was denied), send out resignation letter, book flight tickets, settle income tax, sell the car, pack the stuff to bring along (mostly notes & books) & discard the rest, and oh yes, spend time with the parents in the hometown. yeah, i remembered my father shed tears as i drove off that day.
it helped that the wife had been to london before. so, it was a breeze to catch the coach from heathrow to victoria station, & then a train to dover in the south coast. the hospital has a accomodation officer who took us to our rented house.
i hit the ground running. no observation or familiarisation period but straight into the job, which was to be the 1st of many. the whole training process had taken me from dover to brighton, sheffield & leeds. i have to admit that i was very impressed with the work culture in the NHS. the service is consultant-based & the trainees are given ample opportunities to learn hands-on, attend courses & time-off for exams.
after 4 years, i'd like to think that i became a better doctor from the experience. i achieved the post-grad degree i had initially set out to attain, made some good friends & colleagues, travelled widely & returned home with an addition to the family - a lovely daughter.
on hindsight, would i have done anything differently?
maybe, i should have stayed back.