I am a qualified doctor, and for the past six months I have been working for Real Medicine Foundation. I work in a team composed mostly of doctors and translators/cultural mediators, with the goal of providing holistic care to refugees arriving in Serbia from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and other countries riven by war and economic chaos.

I have always been interested in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds, because I felt that this kind of encounter would enrich me and give me a different perspective of the world. Unfortunately, I couldn’t imagine that a tragedy as great and devastating as the refugee crisis would occur. As soon as I learned about it, and as the news about the difficulties and challenges of the refugeees’ lives was becoming more and more present in the media, I felt the strong need to be a part of the process of providing humanitarian relief.

At this time, one of my friends was already working as an RMF medical officer, and she was constantly telling me about the outstanding work this organization is doing, about the dedication and effort they are putting into helping the refugees, so I started following RMF on social media and was even more amazed by its holistic approach.

A few months later, my wish came true, and I started working as an RMF medical officer myself. My job involves a number of responsibilites, such as triage, diagnosis, and the provision of psycho-social support, which necessarily involves having to take into consideration my patients’ cultural and social backgrounds. Apart from working as a medical officer, I took on the role, in November 2017, of communications coordinator, helping to coordinate our work in Serbia with RMF’s content team in the US and to promote awareness of our work on social media.

Listening to the stories my patients tell me, and then presenting these stories to those unfamiliar with the painful reality of the lives of refugees, has changed the way I perceive my day-to-day job as a doctor. Being a member of the RMF team has also completely changed my perception of the world, as I’ve hoped for, by making me more conscious of different social and cultural values and turning me into a more thoughtful and empathetic individual.

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