I wasn’t one of those cajoled into migration. I had thought about it carefully for years. In retrospect, I also did it in phases. It was the confidence and self-management I garnered the first time that gave me the go-ahead in phase two.

I packed my bags and moved to North America from West Africa. I had no immediate family or very solid connections.

I already had my MD and graduate education and did not think professional progress would be an issue.

I thought even less of relationships and I had underestimated the ability to thrive while joggling various aspects of my life in a land that wasn’t mine. So it is no surprise that it is taking over 3 years to find my feet properly.

What Challenges Do Immigrants Face Today that I encountered?

As mentioned, I had migrated without doubts of thriving professionally. I was more inclined to pursue a non-clinical path than a clinical one. It turned out that this was no easy feat.

There are still resounding issues of systemic racism, the struggle to maintain and adapt one’s culture, extreme weather conditions, health challenges, culture shock, and the list could go on.

Present Day

I have done about 3 years in North America. It doesn’t feel so challenging anymore. I am thankful to those who I met that were unbelievably kind and understanding.

There are some who reminded me that; yes it gets tough at the beginning, but it doesn’t stay that way forever. It is true. I would encourage anyone considering migration to manage their expectations. It might help to know helpful people where you are going.

Your success would come, but it does at a price.

Migration powers economic growth reduces inequalities and connects diverse societies. Yet it is also a source of political tensions and human tragedies.- Antonio Guterres

Featured Image Credits – Barber vector created by stories – www.freepik.com