A doctor from Moldova, who decided to move to Germany

Author Iurii Botnarenco

What made her take this decision and what does she think about German medicine

Mihaela Jardan (38 years old) – a neurologist from the Republic of Moldova who decided to accept a challenge and moved to Germany with her husband in 2009. Mihaela started a new life in Germany and a new job at the MediClin Krankenhaus Plau am See. After the 10 years she has spent in Germany, far away from her relatives and friends in Moldova, where she sometimes goes on holiday, she talks about the difficulties she has faced in Germany, how it was to get on her feet, what kinds of differences she sees between Moldavian and German medicine and, finally, what motivates her to live in Germany.

One of the most important problems in Moldova is emigration. Many citizens from Moldova, mostly young people, started emigrating when Moldova gained its independence. Moldova’s citizens have been emigrating for different reasons, but particularly because they were looking for a better standard of living and higher salaries. Some of them decided to make a certain amount of money and come back to Moldova to buy an apartment or to invest in business; the others never came back and decided to live abroad, to work and to have a career there in different areas. During the years, Moldova’s government, assisted by European partners, have implemented various programmes to try to motivate Moldavian citizens not to leave the country, for instance, by supporting them financially in developing their own business through such programmes as ‘PARE 1+1’, financed by the European Union (EU).

Nevertheless, people still keep leaving Moldova, and this issue remains on the EU and Moldova’s government agenda. Different EU initiatives, like the Eastern Partnership, for example, also help Moldova in making progress with its economic situation, pushing the government to fight against corruption, to support justice reforms, to secure conditions for investment, or even by supporting free and independent media, etc.; this would then contribute overall to the creation of more jobs, decent work conditions and higher salaries and would ensure that people did not have to leave Moldova, like Mihaela Jardan, for example, a young talented doctor who emigrated to Germany to make professional progress in her career.


Mihaela Jardan (38 years old) is a neurologist from Republic of Moldova. In 2009, she decided to accept a challenge and to move to Germany with her husband to start a new life and a new career in medicine.
Mihaela Jardan graduated at Faculty of Medicine of the ‘Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy’ in Bucharest, Romania. She is actually working as a neurologist at the MediClin Krankenhaus Plau am See, Germany.

Her first experience in Germany was in 2008, when she went there for a research scholarship and for an internship at the Department of Neurology at the ‘J. W. Goethe’ University Hospital in Frankfurt am Main.
She enjoyed the time she spent in 2008 in Germany and, in 2009, she returned to Germany, where she still lives today. Mihaela Jardan says she moved to Germany because she felt like she had potential in the medical field and she would be able to obtain more results in this area, but she needed a place of work where she could gain more experience and knowledge for improving herself and her skills and abilities.

“I felt that I could do more for patients, but this was impossible due to the conditions in Moldovan hospitals”, explained Mihaela Jardan.
However, it was not only the desire for progress which motivated Mihaela Jardan to leave Moldova. Her decision was also influenced by the low salary she used to get in Moldova. At that time, she thought she deserved better pay for the work she did in the hospital.
Mihaela says it was pretty easy to get used to German society and realities because she could speak German well before she moved to Germany.
“But at the hospital, it was difficult at the beginning. My theoretical knowledge, which I had acquired in Moldova, was good enough, but not sufficient for Germany’s medical field”, said Mihaela Jardan.
When Mihaela Jardan came to Germany, she had to find her feet. She had to study hard and do some extra training just to be able to be at the same level as her German colleagues.

Her parents supported her when she decided to move to Germany.
“My father is a doctor and he knows, that if a young doctor wants to have a great career, he or she will not be able to achieve it in Moldova”, said Mihaela Jardan.
Mihaela Jardan emphasises that there is actually nothing that would persuade her to return to Moldova. Since she moved to Germany, she has had no definite job offers from Moldova’s hospitals, but once, the former director of MedPark Hospital from Moldova did try to convince her to come back home and start working in Moldova again.
“My boss (from the MediClin Krankenhaus Plau am See) told me that he did not support this idea. That was the best compliment I have ever had from him”, says Mihaela Jardan.
However, even though Mihaela Jardan has a wonderful life in Germany with her husband and child, she still likes going to Moldova on holiday to visit her family and friends – these times make her happy.  
When it comes to the differences between working in a hospital in Germany and one in Moldova, Mihaela Jardan says that basically everything is completely different.


“Here, there is more discipline, willingness, more possibilities for making a more accurate diagnosis and to treat patients properly with less fruitless sessions”, says Mihaela Jardan.
Talking about corruption in medical domain, which is a problem in Moldova, Mihaela Jardan says that, in Moldova, there are more doctors who do their job honestly than those who are corrupt. In her opinion, the problem is that the media more frequently broadcasts news on cases of corruption, than positive stories – this gives society the impression that all doctors are corrupt.

“Corruption phenomena do not occur in Germany because of high salaries and the way the medical system is organised”, states Mihaela Jardan.
From her point of view, low salaries should not be an excuse for doctors to ask for money from their patients when they are not supposed to, but she thinks that a small appreciation from a patient for the services of a doctor is acceptable.
It is interesting that, in Germany, she has met many doctors from Moldova and Romania who become like a small community of doctors from these two countries. Sometimes, when they are all available, they even have a great time together after work.

When asked what is the German patients’ reaction when they find out that their doctor is not from Germany but from Moldova, which is far away and not the most famous country, Mihaela Jardan says German patients have a great attitude to her when they find out she is from Moldova. She was surprised that most of Germans even know where Moldova is situated on the map and that some even have relatives in Moldova.
Mihaela Jardan revealed that, unfortunately, medicine in Moldova is not on the same level as it is in Germany. “I will repeat that it is impossible to achieve performance without investing money”.
We asked Mihaela Jardan to give us a message for both doctors and politicians from Moldova and here is what she answered:

“Doctors must invest more in their professional skills, work more on their vocational training and not forget their human side. There should be a mutual respect between doctors and patients and more communication”.
“I would suggest our politicians withdraw from power and let honest people to be in charge” stated neurologist, Mihaela Jardan.


About the author

Iurii Botnarenco


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A doctor from Moldova, who decided to move to Germany

Mihaela Jardan (38 years old) – a neurologist from the Republic of Moldova who decided to accept a challenge and moved to Germany with her husband in 2009. Mihaela started a new life in Germany and a new job at the MediClin Krankenhaus Plau am See.