Things I wish I knew before moving to Ireland

18 July 2023

Dr. Iqra Yasin, Registrar and Medical Protection member shares some of the key aspects of working in Ireland that they wish to have known before moving to the country. 

Moving to a new country can be a challenging experience, especially when you're a doctor. Ireland is a welcoming and inclusive country, but as with any move, there are things you should know before making the leap. Here are some things I wish I knew before moving to Ireland as a doctor:

As a doctor, you will be working in the Irish healthcare system, which has some differences from other systems. Make sure you understand the system and the requirements for practicing medicine in Ireland. You may need to complete additional training or exams to be licensed to practice. There are opportunities for doctors in Ireland, the job market can be competitive, especially in certain specialties. Make sure you have a plan and do your research before you move and be prepared to be flexible in your job search.

While Ireland is a diverse and inclusive country, the Muslim community is relatively small. There are mosques and Islamic centres in major cities, but you may need to travel to find a community that meets your needs. There are halal food options available in Ireland, but they may be limited, especially outside of major cities. Make sure you research halal options and plan accordingly.

The culture is friendly and accepting, Ireland is known for its friendly and welcoming people, and this extends to people of all cultures and religions. While there may be some cultural differences, you'll find that people are generally accepting and understanding.

As with any move, the weather can be a challenge. Ireland is known for its rainy weather, which can be a difficult adjustment if you're used to warmer climates. Make sure you have appropriate clothing and be prepared for all types of weather.

While salaries for doctors can be competitive, the cost of living in Ireland can also be high. Make sure you do your research and factor in the cost of living when considering job offers or housing options.

The country is beautiful: Ireland is a stunning country, with lush green landscapes, rugged coastlines, and historic cities. Take advantage of your time in Ireland and explore the natural beauty and cultural sites the country has to offer.

Personal indemnity is an important consideration for physicians: This type of indemnity covers the costs of legal support and representation that may be inflicted on the plaintiff in a lawsuit. It is essential for physicians, as they are often exposed to high-risk situations that lead to lawsuit. These situations include misdiagnosis, medical errors, surgical errors and personal complaints made against the doctors by the patients.

The Irish Pakistani Professionals Association (IPPA) is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote the professional development and social integration of Pakistani professionals living in Ireland. One of the key roles of the IPPA is to organise events and activities that bring Pakistani professionals together, both socially and professionally. This includes networking events, talks and workshops, and cultural celebrations. These events provide opportunities for doctors to connect with other Pakistani professionals and potentially build professional relationships that could be beneficial to their careers. Additionally, the IPPA may offer support and guidance to Pakistani doctors who are new to Ireland, helping them to navigate the Irish healthcare system and access resources and support that they may need. This could include guidance on registration with the Irish Medical Council, or advice on finding employment opportunities in the Irish healthcare sector.

Moving to Ireland as a doctor can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to settling in and enjoying all that this amazing country has to offer. Remember to be open-minded and flexible, and to seek out the support and resources you need to make the transition a success.