The Alumni Interview: Soteris Eleftheriou, MD

For the first part of the Alumni Interview Series in May, we spoke to Soteris Eleftheriou, MD, class of 2008.

Could you introduce yourself to our readers, please?

Hello, I’m Soteris Eleftheriou, 33, originally from Cyprus and currently work in the Sunne Vårdcentral (healthcare center) in western Sweden. For the past four year I worked as a family practitioner, so I need only one more year to become a specialist.

Can you tell us a little bit about working in Sweden?

Similar to other countries, before you can start treating patients, the documents regarding to your Hungarian diploma need to be certified by the Swedish Ministry of Health, which can take somewhere between two weeks to three months in my experience.

In the time between applying for a job and being offered a position, I worked at an educational healthcare center specialized for international doctors coming from abroad; as a young doctor, I found it to be an excellent start to familiarize myself with the environment and to gain experience.

People at work here are always very friendly and happy to help you to improve your Swedish and communicate better with your patients in their own language; most people know English however.

Why did you choose to become a specialist for family medicine?

I chose family medicine because it matches my personality and you get to a bit of everything, which makes it even more interesting.

Do you wish you had done something different during your university years?

If I were to go back in time and had the chance to do things differently, I would try to work on my practical skills during the clinical years, as the theory was taught thoroughly, especially in the first three years.

Do you have any last words or advice?

I would like to share the following thought with all my dear friends: I believe working as a medical doctor is a profession offering great things, both to you and the people around you who need your help. Regardless of where you live and what you specialize in, the universial result is a feeling of satisfaction.

Always look ahead and think positively.

Thank you for your time and sharing your thoughts with us.

The Alumni Team

Interview by: Benedek Bozoky and Lars Kehler