How the new labor market conditions affect the corporate culture of hospitals

Doctors recruitment

Hospitals are facing a huge shortage of employees and this holds true not only for developing countries but also for countries with a relatively stable economy like Germany. One of the consequences is the growing number of foreign doctors in Germany who aim at a better professional development abroad.

There are many reasons for the arising of the problem with the deficiency of medical doctors. The growing life expectancy of the world population and the declining birth rates cause the steady increase of the percentage of people in pension age. 

In addition, the globalization of the labour market and the increasing opportunities for a career abroad have created a wide variety of jobs in the medical field. They can afford to reject some options while searching for the best job offer. Hospitals have caught up with this trend and have started creating a more employee-oriented corporate culture in order to retain their employees and to be able to attract newcomers.

Payment is just one of the factors determining the retention power of hospitals. Employers are more than ever eager to offer structured training programs, supportive mentorship and feedback discussions on a regular basis since they know that highly-qualified specialists want to develop professionally.

Another significant trend is the increased focus of physicians on achieving a better work-life balance. Hospitals try to respond to that need of their employees in order to boost the doctors recruitment process by offering flexible working time models, in-house day care, Nanny Agencies, clinic own holiday camps for the care of primary school students during the 13 weeks of vacation a year.     

Work-related stress among doctors is also an issue targeted by hospitals. Employers have adopted a more empathic leadership style and have launched corporate health management programs.

Doctors detest clumsy bureaucratic procedures which deprive them of valuable time that can be spent on treating patients or taking a much needed rest during the working day. For this reason hospitals are striving to simplify the procedures and many of them have implemented efficient hospital information systems and the electronic medical record. Another solution is hiring employees who can reduce the bureaucratic burden of doctors so that medical specialists can delegate to other people the tasks which are not directly related to the treatment of patients.

Physicians want to take into consideration all these factors determining their job satisfaction in the long term. This can turn out to be overwhelming. For this reason, more and more doctors rely on the support of consultancies like Forum der Medizin to make the best possible choice of an employer. This trend is gaining popularity because a team of competent consultants specialized in the career development of physicians can help doctors save time and hassle.

Author: Mariya Dim

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Why Doctors Seeking a Career Abroad Should Rely on the Services of a Consultancy Instead of Job Recruitment Agencies?

Working on Honorarium Abroad Is a Chance for Doctors to Earn a lot without Emigrating


Why Doctors Seeking a Career Abroad Should Rely on the Services of a Consultancy Instead of Job Recruitment Agencies?

Consultancy services for doctors

It is true for all professions, including doctors’ profession, that specialists achieve much better results in their work and fulfill their potential when they feel satisfied with their working conditions. The globalization and fluidity of the labour market allows for more and more doctors to seek medical jobs  abroad.

In some countries it is a common practice for medical specialists to rely on the services of a medical recruitment agency to help them find a job. In other countries like Germany, for example, doctors search for a consultancy to assist them in achieving their career goals abroad. There is a definite reason for this. Doctors in Germany are well aware of the clear distinction between consultancy services and the services offered by a job recruitment agency.

Job recruitment agencies see their business purely as striking a deal between employers and employees. Their profit comes from the payment they get from employers. This makes them financially dependent on employers and therefore it puts an obstacle in front of their ability to keep neutrality. Agencies for doctor recruitment give priority to employers’ interests and doctors may not receive objective information about the working conditions in hospitals. Starting a job in a new workplace abroad may bring a lot of disappointments and stress for these medical specialists whose expectations are very different from the real situation. In such cases some doctors get fired, leave the job and go back to their native country or simply waste their opportunity for a good professional development.

Job recruitment agencies are an appropriate option for low skilled employees not for university graduates since there are more factors that must be taken into consideration and the workplace integration is much more complex.

When a doctor seeks consultancy services they feel secure that the consultancy takes responsibility for finding the most suitable workplace according to their qualifications, personal qualities and career ambitions.


Consultants in companies like Forum der Medizin are competent specialists who are either doctors or people with an academic career. They have the ability to analyze precisely the professional and personal qualities of their clients and create a career model for each medical specialist. The preparation of such an analysis is the first stage of the consultation services. The next step is to find the perfect match between medical specialists and hospitals. Except the preparation of the application documents consultancy services also include:

1.      Recognition of the professional experience of doctors

2.      Preparation of the tax declaration documents

3.      Preparation of the documents for receiving child benefits

4.      Registration of doctors in the State Physician Register of Germany

5.      Legal advice on doctors’ rights

6.      Legal advice in conflict situations with employer or landlord and in other controversial moments 

The services mentioned above are not offered by job recruitment agencies. An even more important advantage of consultancy services is that consultancy companies are responsible for making sure that employers observe their obligations. Trainees have to be provided with the necessary training by hospitals. The hierarchical level of the position of newly hired medical specialists has to correspond to their qualifications and skills. The contract has to include everything that a medical specialist is entitled to: their payment should comply with the wage rate; social benefits, annual leaves and sick leaves should be included. Hospitals should provide foreign medical specialists with an opportunity to go up the hierarchical ladder. 

When doctors know that they can rely on the assistance of a consultancy for all these matters, they feel more confident in their decision to work abroad and practice shows that they feel satisfied with their new workplace. 

In Germany a guarantee for observing job applicants’ interests is the fact that consultancy companies like Forum der Medizin (the company has offices in Bulgaria) do not get a payment from employers but they are subsidized by the government. This allows for consultancies to be objective regarding the pros and cons of employers when they inform doctors about different hospitals. 

The government controls the consultancy services and requires from such companies to have a special license. The institute KFW, whose aim is to support initiatives beneficial for the society, maintains a database with suppliers of consultation services which have been approved by a special commission responsible for assessing the competency and the quality of services offered by such companies. There isn’t such a strict control over the activity of job recruitment agencies. 

Doctors who want to develop professionally abroad should search for a company that has a license and the necessary competency to offer consultation services. It is vital for their career growth and job satisfaction.


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Higher Indoor Temperatures Help Us Stay Slim According to a New Scientific Study

Body fat reduction

Abundant food on the table is one of the customs during holiday celebrations. People who are worried about putting on weight should be careful with the portions but they can also apply the recommendations of a new medical study on reducing body fat.

According to researchers from Stirling Management School's Behavioural Science Centre, people who live in warm homes are less likely to be overweight and usually have lower body mass index (BMI) levels than those who avoid switching on the central heating unless it’s freezing cold.

This research contradicts a previous hypothesis about the positive effect of shivering on our body shape.

The study, published in the medical journal Obesity, checked the body mass index (BMI) of the participants and showed that those who enjoy an indoor temperature of 73.4 degrees F (23 degrees C) on a regular basis had lower BMI levels than people who keep their homes cooler.

The study encompassed 100,000 adults who used central heating from 1995 to 2007. While processing the data, various factors were taken into account: excessive calorie intake and low levels of physical activity, as well as other demographic, environmental and health behavior variables, yet these did not reduce the link between high indoor temperature and a reduced BMI.

Michael Daly, one of the researchers, explains:

"This research suggests the obesity epidemic could worsen where heating is turned down below comfortable levels, or off, for lengthy periods to cut costs. The temperature range of 68.5 to 73.4 degrees F (20.3 to 23 degrees C) provides the greatest comfort - in which we are not hot or cold. At temperatures above this, we expend more energy and we eat less because our appetite is suppressed.”

There will be further studies on the issue to establish the potential causal nature of the link between higher indoor temperatures and lower levels of BMI.


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Why Medical Students Benefit from Studying Medicine in English

Working on Honorarium Abroad Is a Chance for Doctors to Earn a lot without Emigrating

Medical career

You either feel a sense of belonging to the medical profession or not. The same applies to teaching. However, this doesn’t mean that the people who choose these professions should be put in front of the dilemma – you either do what you like and put up with the low payment or choose some other job that is highly paid but your heart is not in it. 

Physicians and teachers need to feel social recognition for the important role they are performing. They also need to have a living standard that allows them to “recharge their batteries”, feel secure and be able to provide a good future for their children. If these needs of theirs are satisfied, they will be much more effective at work. 

In many countries the educational system and the health care system don’t function well and specialists work under such conditions that put their will to the test. 

Fortunately, there is a very good opportunity for doctors to earn great financial benefits without having to emigrate. 

In Germany clinics have started a practice of offering foreign physicians jobs in the medical field for short periods of time. In this way they solve the problem with the shortage of qualified professionals. Most frequently this practice is applied in the cases when a German doctor has to be substituted during their annual leave or when they are on sick leave. 

There are different schemes of work on honorarium – one weekend, one week, 2-3 weeks or even a month. Foreign doctors can even choose when to take such engagements abroad so that they can combine it with their main job in the country of origin. 

From a financial point of view, this type of employment is highly beneficial – the hourly payment is 180 euros on average. German clinics seek both assistant doctors and specialist doctors for work on honorarium which means that the stage of professional development is not an obstacle for taking advantage of this opportunity. 

The conditions which foreign doctors have to fulfill are two: they need to have an approbation and to be able to speak German at the necessary level. 

Consultancies like Forum der Medizin, specialized in the career enhancement of physicians can help doctors find great opportunities for work on honorarium. What might seem in the beginning as a distant idea or a challenge that is too big to deal with, is turned by consultants into a well prepared plan for actions. Doctors can attain a high standard of living and achieve professional growth without being away from their families and friends for too long.


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Why Medical Students Benefit from Studying Medicine in English

Medical education

In the era of globalization three things have become the main factors for a fulfilling career – an opportunity to work what you want in a place where you would like to live and build a career and get a payment which is as close to the desired one as possible.

The first most important thing is to choose the profession that is most suitable for you in terms of your inclinations and interests. If you have always felt that helping other people is your internal motivation, then studying medicine looks like a very good field for accomplishing this goal.

The other two conditions for a career satisfaction (finding the right working place and the best possible remuneration package) require mastering English on a proficient level. If you decide to invest some extra efforts in getting medical education in English, you will reap great benefits from this decision.

Firstly, you will get access to the world labor market. The opportunities are infinite. You might choose to devote yourself to a cause which you find truly appealing like working in a medical research centre or be a lecturer in a medical university in country different from your native one.

You might also practice your profession in a foreign hospital that offers a much better payment and working conditions.

The sense that you have a choice raises the level of your motivation for work. In such a case your profession is not just something you make a living with, it is a path for development. You won’t feel as much pressure to secure your working place during a crisis as a specialist who speaks only their native language will feel.

Getting your medical education in English makes it possible for you to follow and take advantage of the innovations in this scientific field. In favor of this argument Dr Ashraf Hatem (Director of Cairo University Hospitals) says:

“Our students have to continue learning science in the [English] language widely used in the world. We would not be able to cope with global scientific advances, including in medicine, without mastering English. China, for example, is interested in sending postgraduates overseas to acquire more scientific knowledge in foreign languages. The research carried by world-famous scientific journals is published in English. The same is true for scientific conferences.”

Last but not least, studying abroad is beneficial for medical students because they gain valuable experience in coping with everyday situations they have never faced before, overcoming cultural prejudices and learning to communicate with people from different backgrounds. Travel really broadens the mind and future doctors can use this experience as a stepping stone to success.

Author: Mariya Dim

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Emigration: Yes or No?

Doctors are among those specialists who have the most prerequisites and motives to move abroad for career enhancement purposes.

The most obvious motive is searching for job vacancy in a workplace that offers a better remuneration package. Health care is going through a really rough period worldwide but different countries have been affected to a different extent. The image of physicians’ profession and the social recognition doctors receive also vary from country to country.

Migration of medical specialists is happening mostly from developing countries towards developed countries but research shows that a large percent of doctors coming from Western Europe seek career development abroad too. According to a report published in the website, Switzerland is quite attractive for German and Austrian doctors.

In addition to better working conditions, another popular reason for physicians’ decision to move abroad is their desire to change their lifestyle and living environment. For instance, doctors from the Scandinavian countries choose to move to Italy or Spain because they like the climate there, the culture and the laid-back lifestyle in Southern EU member states.

Globalization has changed the mindset of European citizens. They enjoy the sense of freedom and the variety of options that lie in front of them and want to take advantage of the opportunity to enrich their professional and personal experience abroad.

The European Commission created new directives in order to facilitate the mobility of human resources within the EU by regulating the recognition of diplomas gained in member states of the EU. Medical specialists reap the most benefits since diplomas issued by medical universities on the territory of the EU fall into the category of “automatic recognition”.

It is an interesting fact that despite all the new opportunities for mobility, doctors from Italy rarely decide to seek a medical officer job abroad even though there is a surplus of physicians in the country. It is supposed that the reason for this is related to the cultural characteristics of the nation and their preference to avoid the efforts necessary for adapting to a new environment.

Actually, the fear of the unknown, the language barrier and the lack of information about how to create a career model abroad are the motives of some doctors to give up their dream of working in a foreign country.

The problems mentioned above can be solved by consultancies like Forum der Medizin specialized in providing support to medical specialists to achieve the optimal career development. Such licensed medical recruitment consultancies deal with the whole process of preparing the documents necessary for moving abroad, the negotiations with foreign employers regarding the working conditions, solving any legal issues that might arise and helping doctors integrate faster in the new environment.

Some medical specialists want to work abroad only temporarily and then go back to their native country. This is a very good variant because they can use the money earned in the foreign country to open a private practice after coming back from abroad or they can use their experience as a springboard for their career in hospitals in the native country. Besides, they will feel happy that they can apply the best medical practices learnt abroad and contribute to the improvement of health care services in their own country.


There is another option which is less popular but it is expected to turn into a trend in the future since the labour market in the EU is becoming more and more flexible. Doctors from foreign countries will be hired for a very short period of time (several days or weeks) in order to substitute a doctor in a hospital or to provide help in extremely busy periods. Germany has already adopted such a practice. This is a very good opportunity for medical specialists to earn a lot of money without having to emigrate.

The tendency of the labour market is to seek doctors who know foreign languages, are familiar with foreign health care systems and are able to work internationally.

This means that while studying Medicine at their university, students should take advantage of the opportunities to learn foreign languages and to take part in students’ programs like Erasmus in order to get a training abroad.

The answer to the question “Emigration: Yes or No” depends on the individual preferences of specialists, their character and priorities. The most important thing for doctors is to be aware of the opportunities they have while searching for the most suitable workplace.

When a person feels that the medical profession is their vocation and develops their professional and personal skills, getting a consultation from experts about career models abroad and in the native country, then they have really good chances of achieving a high level of job satisfaction.


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Birth control pills raise the risk of glaucoma


Although birth control pills have been improved a lot since their initial appearance on the market, some of their side effects are yet to be discovered. The newest study on the pill showed a link between taking the oral contraceptive for a long time and the development of glaucoma in women later in their life.

Actually, the pill doubles the risk of glaucoma. This eye disease is the leading cause for blindness.

Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco, Duke University and Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University presented these findings at the American Association of Ophthalmology at their meeting in November 2013.

More than 3,000 women 40 and older took part in the study. They had to fill in vision and reproductive health questionnaires and undergo eye exams. The results showed that those women who had taken birth control pills for more than three years had a doubled risk of glaucoma.

The researchers explained that they are not sure whether the pill can cause glaucoma if it’s not combined with other unfavourable factors like family history and older age but they advise women who have been taking it for a longer period of time to see an ophthalmologist and get screened for glaucoma.

Dr Jennifer Ashton, an obstetrician and gynecologist, commented:

 “This study does not demonstrate cause and effect between use of the pill and development of glaucoma. There are numerous qualifying issues: the study’s authors state that ‘long-term use might be a potential risk factor’ and should be considered especially when other risk factors are present.’”

Besides, some of the other health risks connected with the long-term use of the pill are much more significant - blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. The alternatives of birth control pills that women can rely on for contraception are intra-uterine devices, or IUDs.

Dr Ashton also added:

 “I would counsel women of younger ages to remember that oral contraceptives, while in existence for over 50 years, are still medications, and therefore the same risk/benefit profile must apply for each individual woman. Each woman needs to consider why she is taking ‘the pill’ and what the pros and cons are for her, specifically.”

However, women should not stop taking the pill without talking to their doctor first about other ways of preventing unwanted pregnancy.

The study is not a reason for panic among women since the absolute risk of glaucoma remains low despite the fact that the pill doubles the risk.

Further research is going to be done in order to clarify the link between the pill and the disease so doctors can be sure whether or not a cause-and-effect relationship really exists.


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How to finance your education in a foreign country



How to finance your education in a foreign country

scholarships for students

A great number of young people give up the idea of studying in a foreign university due to financial concerns. Actually, there are a lot of sources that can provide a student with the necessary finances for completing their university education abroad

Except a bank loan, the candidates for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree who are willing to study medicine abroad can take advantage of the opportunities for getting a student’s scholarship that fully or partly covers the education expenses. It’s important to check the application requirements and submit the necessary documents in time. 

Depending on which country you’ve chosen, you can search for the specific scholarships which foundations and other organizations in this country are offering. 

If you are willing to study in Germany, here are some of the opportunities to receive a grant:


BAföG loan 

Students receive 50 per cent of BAföG aid as a state grant and 50 per cent as an interest-free loan. To receive BAföG support, you must be under a certain age when you begin your programme. For first degree programmes, you should be under the age of 30, and for postgraduate programmes in Medicine, you should be under the age of 35.

Scholarships given by foundations

In most cases the selection of scholarship students is done based on provided evidence of their talents in a certain area and their strong social engagement. Here are some of the foundations in Germany whose application requirements are worth checking:

Friedrich – Ebert-Stiftung –

The foreign students can apply for a scholarship for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Each year the foundation gives 40 scholarships to students in their Bachelor’s degree and 40 scholarships to students in their Master’s degree. The duration of the financial support is 2-3 years and the amount of the scholarship is determined according to the education stage of the student and the duration of the course. It varies between 600 and 100 euros.

Heinrich-Boell Stiftung -

Foreign students can receive a scholarship from this foundation if they have successfully passed the selection process which consists of 2 parts – with documents application and an interview. The scholarship is aimed to cover the expenses during the stay in Germany. 

Scholarship from Forum der Medizin

You can take advantage of the opportunity to receive a scholarship from Forum der Medizin. The requirements include: excellent marks in the university exams and active participation in scientific, research or practice projects. Your average grade from the previous semester has to be at least 5.50 and you have to provide evidence that you have successfully taken all university exams so far. 

You can apply by registering in a website created especially for the project (by visiting Forum der Medizin) and filling in the individual form.

Financial support from the EU funding programs

European Union Erasmus Mundus grants

If you have chosen Belgium, Austria or any other country that is a member of the EU, you can apply for a grant from European Union Erasmus Mundus. For the courses starting in the next academic year 2014/2015, you have to submit the documents during the last quarter of 2013 or in January 2014. 

2013 - StudyPortals Study Abroad Scholarship

This scholarship is open to any student across the globe, in any discipline. The application process is simple and can be carried out fully online. You are normally required to take an English Proficiency Test if you come from a non-English speaking country. Most European Universities recognize the IELTS test. The sum of money you are going to receive if approved is 1000 Euro.

Scholarships for university education in the UK

Chevening Scholarships

The programme provides full or part funding for full-time courses at postgraduate level, normally a one-year Master’s degree, in any subject and at any UK university.

Commonwealth Scholarships

Commonwealth Scholarships are offered for Master’s and PhD study in the UK. Each year, the CSC invites each university to forward a specific number of nominated students. The CSC’s deadline for nominations this year is 17 December 2013.



Breakthrouh in obesity treatment: Bacteria taken from the body of slim people reduces body fat

lose weight fast

Gut bacteria are a huge topic in medicine and a subject of a growing number of scientific studies. In a recent study scientists discovered that these microorganisms play a large role in determining a person’s weight. These findings might secure gut bacteria a central place in medical research and in the obesity treatment centres.

 The USA has invested a huge amount of money in making attempts to discover a solution to the problem with obesity. 

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The Syrian doctor who won the support of companies and institutions and realized his dream to work in Germany

short inspirational stories

It is said that miracles happen in life. Reality shows that people with extraordinary luck are those people who are well prepared, highly motivated and able to be patient. They go in the desired direction, make the necessary efforts, believe in themselves and win people’s trust thanks to their personal qualities. Lucky people are usually those who see opportunities and doors which remain unnoticed by others. 

The real story of a Syrian doctor is a confirmation of this truth. He had moved from Syria to Bulgaria with his family but his dream was to work in Germany. The doctor decided to seek the help of the consultancy Forum der Medizin to find a good job in the country he had chosen.

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