planet-bpm.com interviews Jörg Axel Bohl, a German physician working in Norway. We wanted to know his motivations, his working conditions and we wanted him to give some advice on how to develop in the best way in this sector.
Why did you decide to become a physician ?
I think that I was already knew as a child that I wanted to become a doctor.
Which university did you choose and why?
I chose first the university that was closest to the town I came from (Univ. Mainz in Germany), but then I wanted to change and moved to a smaller place with a smaller university: Ulm in the South of Germany.
Do you think that Germany is outstanding in medicine studies? Which countries are educating better doctors?
I don`t think that Germany is outstanding, but it is quite good. I can evaluate today the quality of health care from the perspective as a specialist and today in European countries all patients have more or less the same possibility for treatments due to international working groups for specialists. The study of medicine today should better prepare candidates for their life as a doctor, either as clinical doctor or as general practitioner or scientifically working doctors. As far as my studies are concerned we studied more theoretically than practically. The human and psychological part is sometimes missing in the lectures. How we should communicate bad news to the patient etc..
Why did you decide to leave Germany for Norway?
I was in a situation of unemployment in my education for specialist in Internal medicine since at my time short time contracts were quiet common. I heart about this project in Norway that the Health Department was searching especially Health personal from all over Europe inclusive Medical doctors. My decision was not only a necessity for getting a job but also the wish to go abroad and live in a different culture for a while.
Do you think that it was the right step for your professional career?
Yes, it was the right step. I became what I wanted to become, I specialiced in Internal Medicine and Hematology and that went straight and uncomplicated. It is difficult to imagine what would have happened, if I hadn’t left Germany. You are quite well respected here as a foreigner.
Do you think of going back to Germany or to another country?
I still have my problems with the climate and the infrastructure in Norway as far as city life is concerned. At least 70% of all people live outside of villages and cities in rural areas. As real european cities you only find Bergen, Trondheim, Oslo, Tromsø, Stavanger, so quite few. But you need cultural life like concerts, theater etc.. I would like to live in another country one day and I am making my decisions for this at the moment.
How important are language skills in your profession?
Good language skills are necessary if you work with people and it is even more necessary if the people are sick. It is necessary to understand them and for you to be understood. I can`t imagine to live permanently in another country without knowing the language.
What has changed in your profession in the last 20 years?
People are better informed via internet, use of data programs have a vital role for the work as a doctor. People live longer and better medication with better tolerance is available even for rare diseases like in hematology.
ABOUT JÖRG AXEL BOHL
1987 – 1994: studies in Germany, one year abroad in Bologna visiting lectures at the Medical University
1994 – 1996: practice as medical doctor in Germany with one year of Internal Medicine.
1998 – 1999: general practioner in Norway
1999 – 2000: Medical Department Stokmarknes / Norway
2000 – 2005: Medical Department Bodø /Norway and first part of specialisation hematology
2006 – 2008 Hematological Department University Bergen second part of specialisation hematology
since 2009 specialist hematologist at Førde Hospital / Norway.