Successful International Placement from Norway

14 February 2022

Eirik Blog Image Edited

These current times are quite challenging enough, however Dr Eirik Ytterland didn't let this deter him on moving from Norway to our beautiful shores, to settle in sunny Queensland. We caught up with Dr Ytterland now that he and his family have set up their new home, to find out about the move, his placement process and his new role as a valued General Practitioner at Emu Park Family Practice.

What made you consider Australia as a place to further your career in medicine? 

My wife is from the USA, after finishing my fellowship in Norway, we lived near family and enjoyed the beauty that Norway offers. However, after 10 years we wanted to try something new before our kids reached their teen years. We wanted to see if our family would thrive in an English speaking society and warmer climate. When the opportunity of going to Australia opened up we decided to give it a go. 

How did you find out about the  General Practitioner vacancy at Emu Park Family Practice and what piqued your interest?  

I found the Health Workforce webpage through a google search, and found the vacancy at your website. 

Yeppoon/Emu park piqued my interest because of the location at the coast, the closeness to Rockhampton, which has good schools for our children, and an airport. The first impression of the practice was very good, and they provided good information about the area.

What was the placement process like?  

I was in contact with some recruiting companies and several other workforce agencies. Not many Norwegian GPs have moved to Australia. I did a lot of research and found that I was eligible for the specialist pathway through ACRRM. Naomi at Health Workforce Queensland was well aware of this possibility and was a big help when I got in contact with her. Once I secured a job offer and decided on Yeppoon Family Practice it was pretty straight forward. 

How did you find the move from Norway to Australia?  

The move was crazy! To move in itself is stressful, but to move to the other side of the world in the middle of a pandemic, with three small children, is another ball game. Our first flight was cancelled, so we ended up spending an extra month in Norway, living with family, hoping for our backup plane ticket. We did not know if we would make it there before we boarded our plane from Denmark to Singapore, a day into our trip. We made it to Australia, and from the moment we landed, everyone from the Police at the airport to the staff at the quarantine hotel helped us all the way and made us feel very welcome. 

Was the incentive package from Health Workforce Queensland helpful in regards to domestic costs once you arrived in Australia?   

Yes, we were so grateful to receive the incentive package. Moving is always expensive, even more so when moving to the other side of the world. In addition to this expenses kept adding up with COVID restrictions and hotel quarantine. At one point my wife and I were talking about delaying our trip for 6 months or so. However, when we received the incentive package, and also very good backing from Yeppoon Family Practice, we knew we could make the move. Thank you for making this opportunity possible.    

Now that you have been here for a few months, what is your favourite thing about living and working in Emu Park? 

I enjoy the smaller office atmosphere. I enjoy being able to roll down my windows and drive home after work. 

Actually, we decided to live in Rockhampton. We chose a school in Rockhampton and with all the changes for the family, we decided it would be easier for me to commute to work than for our young children to commute to school. However, after we arrived and realized how great coastal living at Emu Park is, we might have chosen differently if we were to pick again.

And what has been the most rewarding part of your new role so far?   

The most rewarding thing has been to be able to provide good service for happy patients. 

To be able to communicate well in English. I often go by as the Canadian doctor, which for me is a great compliment not being a native speaker. 

Finally, what are the main differences between your work in Norway and your work now?  

Healthcare system and how we treat patients is very similar. The main difference from my point of view would be that in Norway I have a list of about 1200 patients that I would need to care for. This means more continuous care, but also a lot more paperwork and duties to fulfill.

​Find out more about Dr Ytterland and Emu Park Family Practice on their website -