Nelson Safaissou - Recognition as doctor of medicine

der Porträtierte im weißen Kittel vor medizinischen Geräten
Nelson Safaissou

I've achieved my first goal!

Thanks to recognition as a doctor, I can now continue with my training and am excited to see what happens next!

Nelson Safaissou, born in Cameroon, received approbation as a doctor back in October 2013. Today he is working in the gynaecology department at a hospital in Leisnig, Saxony.

Name Nelson Safaissou
Age 32
Reference profession Doctor of Medicine (Approbation)
Country of origin of certificate Madagascar
Working as Doctor in training (as gynaecology and obstetrics Consultant)


What recognition means for me …

… the chance to establish myself in Germany and to be able to continue my training as far as I need.

My advice

Do not give up! You must have patience and you must be well-prepared. However, the language is the most important thing.

Finding his way in a new country was nothing new to Nelson Safaissou. The 32 year old, originally from Cameroon, completed his medical university course in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. “After qualifying, I wanted to specialise by training as a consultant. I was keen to move to Europe for this because Madagascar sometimes does not have the material and equipment needed”, explained Nelson Safaissou.

He met his wife in Madagascar. She comes from Germany, or more specifically, from Saxony. “We first considered going to France because my wife also speaks French fluently.” Changes in the German recognition law meant that they opted in favour of Germany. “Compared to France, it seemed easier here to gain approbation, despite the language barrier."

For Nelson Safaissou, the route to recognition in Germany started on the internet. “I also used the Recognition Finder and this provided me with a lot of important information about the occupation profile and the relevant authorities”, commented the native-born Cameroonian. However, the actual recognition procedure was a major challenge, and, above all, the language: “I studied German only for over a year. This is because you need to have language level B2 to be able to apply for approbation. Today, I have already reached level C1 - so the hard work has paid off!”.

The second hurdle was the work permit as a doctor. This is because, in order to receive approbation, the applicant must be able to show that he or she has a guarantee of employment in Saxony. The particular office of the regional council in which the future employer is located is, in line with this, actually responsible for approbation. “However, without approbation, I was not able to find a job - a classic dilemma. That was a really difficult situation!", the doctor recalled. “Towards the end I actually considered applying for jobs as a nurse..."

However Nelson Safaissou did not give up. He eventually found out, from a friend of his wife, about the IBAS counselling centre in Dresden which was part of the “Integration through training” - IQ network in Saxony. Here he received the tip of simply applying for approbation from the Dresden regional council. “On the grounds that I live permanently in Saxony and had already sent off over 100 applications which were rejected due to not having approbation, I had an appointment arranged around four weeks after submission to the regional council.” A week after this important appointment, he had the approbation in his hands. The regional council made an exception with respect to the guarantee of employment, because Mr Safaissou was able to demonstrate that he had his roots in Saxony and intended to start work there.

Today, the 32 year old is very satisfied. “Once the approbation was granted, I applied to various hospitals in Saxony and, in the end, the Helios hospital in Leisnig offered me a visiting physician programme and I was subsequently appointed. My wife and I have now started a family. And I also really enjoy my work.” A few months ago, Nelson Safaissou was able to move from vascular surgery to gynaecology in order to continue training in this area as a consultant. “I wanted to do that from the start. I have therefore achieved my first goal - I am now curious to see what happens next!”

The interview with Nelson Safaissou was conducted in March 2015.