It took far longer for Dr Tirej Brimo to finish his degree than he had initially anticipated. But who could have foreseen the devastation that would blight his homeland of Syria when he had begun his degree 10 years ago?
The degree that Dr Brimo began at Aleppo University in Syria was finally completed at St George’s Medical School in London this year. Upon arriving in the UK as a refugee Tirej “applied to every university” before he was eventually offered a place at St George’s.
Tirej has told of having to pass an English test before the London medical school would accept him as a student: “There are many challenges, but the linguistic barrier is the main one.” He also had to provide details of the training he had already covered in Aleppo.
Of the English test he added: “To learn English, to be able to communicate in English, and to study medicine can be very challenging.”
Dr Brimo went through Lebanon and Egypt before arriving in the UK where he says: “This is where St George’s accepted me, and I was surrounded by love there, and they believed in me.”
“I feel attached to both the UK and Syria now,” he said. “Syria is the sorrow that breaks my heart every single day, and the UK is the place that loved me, welcomed me and believed in me.
“I can’t wait to start contributing to the community.”
Dr Brimo is now proud to be a 1st year doctor in working Stafford’s County Hospital.