7 Tips for Healthcare Workers Considering a Global Job

February 27, 2023

“We have more opportunity to (work) in other countries than at any point in history,” explains Matthew, a global recruiter. Matthew helps professionals take their job to places where Jesus is less known. 

Have you ever considered an overseas job in healthcare?

Navigating the global job market can be intimidating, but for healthcare workers looking to make the move – there are a lot of opportunities! If you are in healthcare and have ever considered taking a global job, these seven tips will help set you apart and prepare you for the journey. 

1. Pay attention to licensing.

 Licensing is the biggest hurdle when practicing medicine in different countries, Matthew explains. 

“There are some countries that accept a US medical license, but most countries require a local medical license specific to the country. This requires a lot of credentials being accepted in the desired country, validated, and having that country issue you a license. This process can be very time-consuming and document intensive. It is important that documentation is well organized and up to date to make this process efficient.

Some (countries) accept US medical licenses, but the license needs to be verified. Verification companies will reach out to previous employers and schools about past experiences.”

2. Avoid online classes when possible.

While more universities are offering flexible, virtual learning experiences, if you’d like to work internationally in the future, then in-person learning will make that process easier. 

“Medical licensing looks different in every single country. For example, online education is not widely accepted overseas. Most education needs to be in person, (especially) for countries such as those in the Arabian Peninsula. They are very strict and do not recognize online classes. Students should take most of their classes in person, so they don’t run into this issue,” Matthew explains. 

3. Avoid gaps in practice.

Even a medical mission or volunteer trip could be seen as a gap in your practice by international employers and potentially disqualify you from certain global work opportunities. 

“Make sure there are no gaps in practice as a medical professional. You must be continuously practicing. This is an issue when people take a break from practice (in) preparing to go overseas. (This could look like) taking a gap in practice to learn the local language of the country you want to work in. But this would be considered a gap in your practice and you would need to go back to work for two years to re-establish your practice.

Another example is when US students decide to volunteer in another country without getting a local license to practice in that country. Areas such as the Arabian Peninsula will view these students as practicing without a medical license. This will be considered a gap in practice,” Matthew shares. 

4. Patience and flexibility are essential during the job search process.

With all the applications, resume tweaks, and interviews – the global job hunt can be frustrating or even draining at times. Patience and flexibility are critical. 

“Patience is key.  It is not uncommon to have your application rejected multiple times. However, we always find a way to get a hold of the right person, on the right day, at the right time. That is what gets you a job.

Being flexible and adaptable is also very important. Applicants can't always get into their desired countries. However, there are plenty of countries in need of work. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan, just in case your desired country does not pan out.”

5. Specialize. Specialize. Specialize. 

Standing out on your resume is key for any job search, but it’s even more important when applying internationally. 

“If your plan is to work internationally, it is important to have specialized experience, certifications, and strong references on your resume. This will help you stand out to international employers during the interview process,” Matthew emphasizes. 

6. Expect the unexpected.

Finding and starting any new job has its ups and down. Now, add an international twist and throw in visas, licensing, and very different cultural norms and communication styles. This is the global job market. So, Matthew’s best rule of thumb is to always expect the unexpected. 

“We are continually blown away by how crazy some of the situations (are) that arise while obtaining visas and licenses, and how differently businesses operate in each individual country. There are many different variables that you would never expect with international work. Going into these situations with a broad perspective is always helpful.”

7. Have a positive attitude.

This might sound obvious but having a positive attitude never hurts, advises Matthew. 

“There are so many opportunities all over the world. If one option doesn’t work out, there is always an alternative. International work is an amazing experience. You can make money, and continue to grow your career and resume while getting international experience. There is so much to learn in other cultures that will stay with you for a lifetime. We always find a way … it just takes time and persistence. Staying positive is essential.” 

If you work in healthcare and are curious about current global job opportunities, particularly those where Jesus is less known – we want to talk with you! Take a first step and connect with one of our coaches on a 10-minute Discovery Call or learn more by subscribing to our Scatter Email.

Mark Brown

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