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Sarah Afram

Dr Sarah Afram at Nepean Hospital

Diversity welcomed at Nepean Hospital

05 Aug 2019


In telling her story as a refugee escaping Iraq, Dr Sarah Afram, doesn’t focus on the dangers, the frustrating waits for paperwork to be processed or the challenges of setting up a new life in a new country, instead she talks about compassion.

Dr Afram says when she had to leave Mosul in 2014 she thought she would have to also leave behind her medical career.

“Five years ago I couldn’t imagine that I would today be practicing medicine in an Australian hospital,” says Dr Afram, who is currently working in Nepean Hospital.

“Everyone has been really supportive, friendly and welcoming.”

Dr Afram arrived in Australia in 2016 via Jordan where she applied for an Australian visa in 2015.

The process for overseas trained doctors to become registered to practice medicine in Australia is lengthy.

Director of Medical Services at Nepean Hospital, Dr Peter Thomas, says Dr Afram will complete a 12 month internship as part of the registration process.

“Nepean has a long tradition of being a teaching hospital and we welcome the opportunity to help doctors like Sarah make the transition to practising in Australia,” says Dr Thomas.

“Together with her medical knowledge, Sarah brings with her a fresh perspective and different life experience that enriches our Hospital workforce and helps us to deliver healthcare to our diverse community.”

Dr Afram says working at Nepean Hospital is very different to what she experienced in Iraq where resources are limited.

“At Nepean Hospital I have many more options to treat patients and I feel much more supported by the team,” says Dr Afram.

“I’m so lucky to be able to practice medicine again. There are many refugees in Australia who are highly qualified but they can’t get jobs where they can use their skills and experience. I really wish more refugees had the same opportunity as me.”