M.M., a Turkish obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced for 13 years, resigned from a research and training hospital in Istanbul six months ago and moved to Switzerland where he has started working at a kebab shop, Diken reported.
Along with his wife, a dermatologist who also resigned, M.M. is one of the 8,000 physicians who have left the public health sector within the past two years, according to data from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB).
Rather than working as a doctor abroad, M.M. has decided to work at his brother’s kebab shop in Switzerland where he spends 30 to 40 days before getting paid and returning to Istanbul with see his wife and children.
“I clean the ashtrays, the tables, wash the dishes, peel the onions, but I’m much more at peace with myself,” M.M. told Diken.
The former doctor said “hardship experienced during the pandemic,” “general disregard for his profession,” and “financial concerns” had paved the way for his resignation.
“We would receive between 50 and 60 patients a day at the clinic, even 90 people at times,” he said. “It was like working as a production line worker at a car factory. We could only spend 5 minutes with the patient. We didn’t have to listen to the patients. This is not medicine.”
What is more, M.M. complained that he was underpaid. “My own father didn’t believe me when I told him my salary,” he said.
Amid this context, many young Turkish doctors wish to go abroad. Within the past year, 1,405 physicians obtained a certificate of good conduct in order to apply abroad. At the clinic where M.M. worked, three physicians moved to Germany. “All three of my assistants are trying to go to Qatar. Everyone in this profession is trying to leave,” he said.