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Old 23.02.2015, 14:21
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Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

Hi,

I am an anaesthetic registrar in the UK and am looking for further information about working as an Anaesthetist in the German or Italian speaking Cantons in Switzerland once I have completed my training in the UK. If anyone knows an anaesthetist who would be prepared to contact me or meet me (I am going to Switzerland in April) I would be very grateful.

Thanks,

Nick
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Old 23.02.2015, 21:26
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

Without being able to speak/write a Swiss language you won't be able to be employed here I'm afraid. You would also need to have your qualifications recognised by the Swiss Red Cross before you could take up employment.
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Old 23.02.2015, 21:38
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

I am curious ... how could an anesthetist function in an operating room without speaking the local language
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Old 24.02.2015, 12:36
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

I am aware of the language qualifications and medical qualifications required and am learning German - expecting to complete B2 level before completion of my anaesthetic training in the UK. I can also speak Spanish hence the interest in the Italian speaking area as an alternative.

I have been advised that the Swiss Red Cross will recognise my UK qualifications and specialist training.
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Old 24.02.2015, 12:43
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

B2 in a medical emergency will not be of much use, i am sorry. And anaesthetists, as you well know, have to take very precise medical histories of patients pre-op and follow-up post op- many people here in Switzerland, especially older ones, do speak a variety of Swiss German dialects (Zurich is very different from Bern for instance)- they might well understand your passable Hoch Deutsch- but you just won't understand them. Now that is even if you go for a large town Uni hospital- as difficult cases from the boonies will be transferred there. Spanish and Ticinese Italian are very much distinct languages, I am sure you are aware of that.

Sorry to rain on your parade (OH is a UCH trained doctor)- but it is the reality. Good luck. (Roegner, posts crossed, sorry).
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Old 24.02.2015, 12:43
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

I do not think that a B2 level will be sufficient for your line of work. Especially as B2 German is nowhere near being fluent in Swiss German.

And Spanish will not help you so much in the Italian speaking part? It is a different language.
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Old 24.02.2015, 13:12
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

Thanks for the info, I appreciate that there are many dialects in Switzerland in different areas, my initial plan was to get the minimum B2 qualification in high German in the UK and :

either move and get some work in Germany for 6-12 months - I have a contact there- to improve my German, and then move on to Switzerland if possible,

or, move to Switzerland with my wife getting employment there first (she speaks high German already and works in Accounting) and have intensive language lessons before looking for work.

I am aware that Spanish is not the same as Italian but the languages are closely related hence the feeling that if we ended up wanting to go to Ticino I'd hope that getting to grips with the language would not take as long as learning a new language from scratch.

It was my understanding that there were many German/ Italian Medics that cross the border to work- are they required to learn the local dialect before they can work? How do people manage with the many dialects?
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Old 24.02.2015, 13:18
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

My husbands anesthetist for his op spoke German not Swiss German. He was fluent though.
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Old 24.02.2015, 13:22
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

Not sure if you are native British or not. But let's look at the UK situation. A trained UK doctor with RP pronunciation will to some extent struggle with a strong Scouse, Geordie, Glaswegian or NI accent- but because they are totally fluent in English- they will be able to find ways around this, somehow. But if your knowledge of the standard language is fairly basic, then this will be multiplied by x100 or more.

Yes, of course Spanish and Italian are closely related- but it would still take a good year of hard work to get to fluency.

Good strategies above for preparation, showing you understand the difficulties. Sincerely, good luck.

(Now if ever a doctor with good basic French knowledge wants to do an intensive residential course with a native speaker teacher/medic combo, I know the perfect place ).

Last edited by Odile; 24.02.2015 at 13:47.
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Old 24.02.2015, 13:53
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

I am native British and have just over 2 more years to go in the UK before completing my specialist training- I am planning ahead and aware that it will take a lot of committment to get fluent enough in a foreign language to work in medicine and on top of that start working in a completely foreign medical system.

What I am trying to find out is the detail of what life is like working in Switzerland as an Anaesthetist, how the working environment/responsibilities differ from the UK, how the system works, what things are advantageous for me to develop on my CV and of course how the languages work in the hospitals in different Cantons. Clearly this would be best obtained from talking to another anaesthetist.

I have some limited information from a couple of sources which mostly sounds very positive but some of it was conflicting (e.g- the hours worked, the hiararchy) but I need to find out more specifics in order to fully understand what we would be committing to!
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Old 24.02.2015, 14:17
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

Do you know what, I was a first year nursing student when we left the UK and I think one of my first posts on this forum was about how I could continue here what I was doing before. Finding out that it's not as simple as just learning regular German was one factor that really did put me off to be honest. Even though learning German seems to have come easy to me I can still barely understand any Swiss German at all even after 9 months. Unfortunately there are few resources to learn it you have to just be around it which is surprisingly difficult! Worrying about not being able to care for someone in distress because I can't understand them made me reconsider.

I hope you don't let it put you off though. It sounds like you are already established in what you do, and that you're not scared of linguistic challenges either.

I spoke a little Spanish and I too thought Italian was basically the same. But I am learning Italian as a side-project and I have discovered that they are not enough the same that you can just walk into Italy with only Spanish in your mouth They are similar in that English and German are similar. You can spot similarities often, but you need to learn both from scratch

Sorry I can't help you with any info about anaesthetists, maybe contact some here by email?
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Old 24.02.2015, 14:24
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

Thanks, yes if I have no success here my next move is to contact some of the hospitals direct asking to visit and hope that someone will spare me some time.
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Old 24.02.2015, 15:56
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

You also need to keep in mind that the Federal government is working on plans to limit immigration from EU/ETFA countries. Autumn 2016 is when things may become clearer, but what is being proposed at the moment is quota limits not just for the initial applicant, but also for dependents as well.
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Old 24.02.2015, 16:18
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

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I spoke a little Spanish and I too thought Italian was basically the same. But I am learning Italian as a side-project and I have discovered that they are not enough the same that you can just walk into Italy with only Spanish in your mouth They are similar in that English and German are similar. You can spot similarities often, but you need to learn both from scratch
They are much more similar than English and German are.

My wife had a conversation with my sister's MIL, where she was speaking Italian, and MIL Spanish, and they understood each other quite well.

She's also done the same with a Swedish friend who speaks fluent Spanish.

Tom
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Old 24.02.2015, 17:06
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

FAir dos- but having a chat over a cuppa is not quite the same as having a major pre-op history and going over procedures, risks, etc, though

If there is one area where there is a huge shortage, and where many politicians anc councillors will help with acquiring better langs skills and with premises, equipment, etc, it is in General Practice. Many areas, especially rural, are facing the retirement of a huge number of baby boomers- without anyone to take over. I certainly know that in my area, the politicians in charge of the Health dept are actively recruiting and would help in all sorts of ways for the right candidate/s- with a new group practice opening in 2 years time.
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Old 24.02.2015, 17:32
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

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They are much more similar than English and German are.

My wife had a conversation with my sister's MIL, where she was speaking Italian, and MIL Spanish, and they understood each other quite well.

She's also done the same with a Swedish friend who speaks fluent Spanish.

Tom
That's interesting! Maybe it's because I'm just a noob haha

I know only a handful of Italian words but some of the first I remember learning were mangiare, donna, ragazzo/a which I'd thought quite different to comer, mujer, chico/a.
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Old 25.02.2015, 11:53
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

I understand how important it is to be able to communicate with a doctor in one's mother tongue, and if comments to the many articles in the newspapers discussing the need to import foreign doctors are any indicator, this is indeed a major issue here.

That said, do many anaesthetists actually communicate with patients here?

I've had surgery here, as well as exploratory procedures under anaesthesia. At no time have I ever had a pre-procedure discussion with the anaesthetist. In fact the only reason I even knew that one was present was because once she had to wake me up to sign a consent form - although it was the nurse who spoke to me.

(I've not spoken to the surgeon or hospital doc doing a procedure here, pre- or post surgery, either. At the local hospital patient communication seems to be largely left to the nurses.)

Just a comment, given the language concerns brought up here.
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Old 25.02.2015, 12:05
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

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do many anaesthetists actually communicate with patients here?
In my experience, yes.

Also, I have very difficult to find veins, so usually an anesthetist has to come and do it.

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I've not spoken to the surgeon or hospital doc doing a procedure here, pre- or post surgery, either.
That's just plain weird.

I've ALWAYS spoken to the surgeon before, after, and sometimes during the procedure.

Tom
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Old 25.02.2015, 12:15
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

Agree- most +++ weird!?!

But anaesthetists also need to communicate with colleagues and staff at all levels anyhow- you can't expect all colleagues, doctors, nurses, assistants, etc, to speak English. Man do, but that is beside the point. In medicine, this is paramount- there are enough opportunities for misunderstanding/s and poor communication, with possible dangerous consequences, without adding more!

Last edited by Odile; 25.02.2015 at 13:02.
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Old 25.02.2015, 12:42
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Re: Anyone know an Anaesthetist who could help me?

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Agree- most +++ weird!?!

But aneasthetists also need to communicate with colleagues and staff at all levels anyhow- you can't expect all colleagues, doctors, nurses, assistants, etc, to speak English. Man do, but that is beside the point. In medicine, this is paramount- there are enough opportunities for misunderstanding/s and poor communication, with possible dangerous consequences, without adding more!
I'll bet most doctors speak English to some degree. Much of the research from where ever is published in English. My cousin is an anesthesiologist and all of her text books and documentation were in English even though the actual lectures and exams were not.

However, I certainly get that the OP will need to up his language skills. It's not as dire as everyone is making out though. There are MANY "foreign" medical professionals in hospitals all over the world. They seem to make it work somehow.

Anyway, if I were the OP, personally, I'd focus on learning Italian. With a good base in Spanish, Italian will be easy to learn. Certainly easier than German. Though I'm quite impressed he's already at B2!
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