DR SAHUD HASSAN – IRAQ
I am Dr Sahud Hassan, a Kurd from Iraq. I wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 or 5, even before I went to school. I think it appealed to me to help other people.
In Iraq it was a mixed sex education and there was no gender discrimination. I never had to wear a veil except on religious occasions. I did well and enrolled to study medicine. However my father was persecuted as a Kurd, and in my final year of school he was taken from our house and we never saw him again. He was a salesman, who had done nothing wrong.
When someone from your family has been persecuted you are on the Red File. You are watched and questioned, it is hard to get a job, and my chances to work even as a doctor were much more limited.
I met my husband, also an Iraqi, on a trip he made to Bagdad, He was already an Australian citizen, and I joined him here in 1991.
At first I didn’t speak much English although I understood it. However I had a ready made set of friends through my husband. Most of my family came here in 1998.
Now I work long hours and the only time I have for socialising is on the weekend.
After sitting the Australian Medical Council exam, I worked as a clinical observer at Gold Coast Hospital for 1 month, then medical officer.
I did specialist training and qualified as a gynaecologist in 2003.
I don’t feel much discrimination in my life. Sometimes people tease you and laugh at you, and are mean, but the people I work with respect my work and the way I behave. I respect others and they respect me.
Sometimes you have certain limits set, they don’t say discrimination, but you know you will only get to a certain career level. I don’t think it is fair, but nothing will change, other professional immigrants that I know have the same view.
At the end of the day it is your own determination, you still have to go, go, go to get what you want.
My dream job is to be a type of missionary doctor.