A phone call, a life enriched and a life saved - Refugee Council
November 19, 2013

A phone call, a life enriched and a life saved

The Refugee Council offers support for London based refugee doctors to re-qualify to UK standards and secure employment appropriate to their professional qualifications.

Marwa is a refugee doctor from Sudan. This is her story.

I rushed into room 8 on the second floor. There’d been a cardiac arrest and I needed to respond.

After a successful resuscitation, I took a step back and thought for a moment how I came to be in this position.


It all began with a phone call to the Refugee Council.

I am Sudanese refugee doctor; I came to the UK in early 2012. I had lots of difficulties and hard times trying to settle and find my way in this country, but my biggest concern was how I could get back to my profession as a doctor.

It was definitely a big dream and a bigger challenge.
I studies hard and passed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, which by far one of the most difficult exams I had to take.

Then the real help and support came when I called Refugee Council to join its programme to help refugee health professionals re-qualify to UK standards.

Joining the course was one of the best things I did. I met a group of refugee doctors who were going through all the difficulties and challenges I was going through, and the Refugee Council staff were amazingly supportive and encouraging.

I felt the warmth of one family. We studied together and all worked to help each other.

Our course coordinator Fahira supported us by organising lectures, providing us with venue to revise in and by covering our transport costs.

I then had to take my Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) tests to prove I had the necessary skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK. I passed both stages.

As soon as I got my General Medical Council registration the Refugee Council offered clinical attachment work experience, which helped to get the experience and references needed to work for the NHS.

The support I received from the Refugee Council did not stop there. Fahira conducted workshops, training and preparation for interviews and communication skills which helped enormously in performing well in my interview.

I am now working as Foundation Year 2 (FY2) doctor in the NHS. A lot has yet to come!

I am very thankful to the Refugee Council for all the support they provided me with.

If you’re reading this and you are a refugee doctor facing difficulties getting back to your profession here in the UK, I would highly recommend contacting the Refugee Council where you will find the help you seek.