Being a refugee makes me a better doctor

The virus shattered the rule book: there was no protocol on how to treat it. I’d spend the day wrapped up in varying levels of PPE as the guidance shifted on what was best practice. The PPE makes it hard to connect with patients so we’ve started bringing in photos of ourselves so at least they know what their nurses and doctors look like. One patient who we thought was going to die was striving to stay alive so he could walk his daughter down the aisle. When he left, all of the hospital staff - nurses, doctors, porters - lined up and clapped him out. She told us she’d send us a photo from the wedding of him walking her down the aisle. I first came to the UK in the late nineties when I was four years old after escaping conflict in Albania. Living in East London, I was lucky, there were other Albanian children and families from all over the world. I was one of the first people from where I’m from to go to university and now I’m doing a job I love, working for the NHS. When the government put a call out asking for volunteers to become medical support workers, hundreds of foreign-born doctors, including refugees, responded.