REFERENCES Health professionals

GP – Raymond Broeders looking for a successor

‘Médecin de campagne’, the country doctor. In an area where general practitioners are welcomed with open arms.

Away from all the hustle and bustle and stress. To have the time to focus on patient care, to talk to them. To be a GP, as the profession is meant to be. A dream?

I have been working as a GP in the Morvan (Burgundy) since 2015. After almost 30 years part of a city practice with 15,000 patients in the Netherlands to a practice in France, where I work with 500 patients ‘on my name’, but also with plenty of non-registered patients. And in the summer especially holidaymakers, Belgians, Germans, Englishmen, Americans. A nice change!

In the Netherlands, I often had to work flat out, with lots of meetings on top of that. There was a lot of delegation, which had to be discussed again. And then there were the shifts, the busy shifts at the GP’s surgery.

Now I do my job my own way. I do basic care again, close to the patients. I have the peace and quiet and I have time for them. Driving to see them is often an outing, through these beautiful surroundings. Time to step out of the car for a short walk or to take a photo. Or, like a Dutch colleague, to walk his dog.

My wife works with me. She receives people like a hostess. She also takes care of the administration. It is very special to do this with the two of us. We are appreciated and therefore included in the French community of Ouroux-en-Morvan ans Anost. We have discovered that it is an ideal way to integrate. We feel at home and will certainly continue to live here after retirement. As do a remarkable number of other Dutch people. An area that they chose for its beautiful nature and accessibility. Just one day’s drive from the Netherlands!

I work 8 half-days a week. On average, I see 20 people per day for consultations and I make six visits per week.

I have not become a different doctor. I brought my way of working with me from the Netherlands, both in attitude and in practice. Here too, we work with a “HIS system”. And here, too, the profession of GP and the cooperation between them is developing.

Everything ideal? Certainly not.

The language, for example. It is tiring, especially in the beginning. But it gets better very quickly and besides, the people here are very helpful. And with the perfect Medical French course you have an extra security to start with.

Integration, for example. But as soon as the French have been able to see for themselves and notice that the doctor and his wife are ordinary people with respect for their fellow human beings, you are quickly accepted into the French community.

Missing the Dutch family and friends, for example. It is a loss, but there is good contact possible through the internet and we have experienced that contacts often improve. We see everyone here for a few days and talk more intensively than in the Netherlands on a birthday or over coffee!

Everything ideal? Certainly not. But it is a lot! And an enrichment of our lives.

In short, a fine, well-structured and well-run practice awaits you. To be able to be a médecin de campagne. A family doctor, in a relaxed way; in an area where people are very happy with the arrival of a family doctor.

And, should the need arise, this doctor will continue to live near Ouroux-en-Morvan and will be happy to provide support. Both in terms of introduction and familiarisation, but also possibly as an observer or supporter during busy periods.

A dream? Why not yours, or yours alone? Raymond Brothers

Anaesthetist – Anna Bariciakova

I met Maarten Stroes for the first time six months before starting working in France, when I came to them for the introductory course in medical French.
At that time I didn’t yet have a clear idea of where I wanted to work in France or how long it would take me to settle down. My French was then at level B1.

This first course took place in Saint-Honoré-les-Bains, in a training center with such a homely and welcoming atmosphere that it felt more like a holiday than a very intensive course.

During this week I made very rapid progress, as Maarten was able to quickly and accurately assess the reliable points of each student and modify the course programm accordingly.

At the end of the course I was much more self-confident than before and after having analysed in detail all the possibilities of working in France we started the search for a job.

Maarten sent my CV to several hospitals corresponding to my preferences and we got positive responses from three of them which we visited together.

After choosing the hospital that suited me best, we moved on to the next step – the constitution of the French Boarder (CNOM) registration file. This was the most difficult step because there is a large amount of paperwork to be returned. Maarten showed his very deep knowledge of the registration process by giving very helpful advice. All questions were answered by e-mail in a very short time and once the file was complete he checked it to make sure that no details had been omitted.

Before my definitive installation in Périgueux while waiting for the CNOM’s answer I spent another week in Saint-Honoré-les-Bains, this time for an intensive course focused on anaesthesia, but also to prepare for the interview with the President of the CNOM and for lots of practical questions (opening a bank account, professional liability insurance and administrative file for my new employer). During this stage Maarten was again able to accompany me in an excellent way and I was therefore very well prepared for my move to France. And since then I am always in contact with them to get ‘feedback’ if necessary.

I therefore recommend to all health professionals who love France and want to change their professional or personal life to contact Maarten.

Radiologist – Amir Yazdi

I recently took part in the ‘one week intensive French language’ course with Mr Maarten Stroes. The course consisted of numerous exercises of standard grammar and vocabulary but also contained elements, which were customised to my medical field. The 8 hour-per-day program was rigorous but never overwhelming.
Furthermore Maarten engaged me in conversation and encouraged and stimulated me to express myself in French, whilst constantly correcting my mistakes in a strict yet gentle manner; hallmarks of a good teacher. rAt the end the week the progress that I had made was tangible and he kindly provided me with tips, documents and additional resources to work on my French on a self-study basis.

Besides language courses Mr Stroes and his wife offer various additional services in fields such as taxation, insurances, emigration planning and coaching. Their in depth knowledge of the French system and ‘no-nonsense’ approach makes them the ideal partner for professionals and entrepreneurs who wish work and live in France.
Maarten is a knowledgeable and experienced teacher but foremost an honest and friendly person. I look back on our encounter with warm sentiments and can recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone who wishes to know more about the French culture and improve his French.

Anaesthetist – Clare

I recently completed the 5 day intensive French course aimed at medical professionals looking to start working in France. If this is something you are considering, then I couldn’t recommend this course highly enough. The course is intensive without being overwhelming and the progression in spoken French as well as comprehension and grammar is definitely noticeable by the end of the week. Maarten is wonderfully friendly and professional, with the patience of a saint! The course content is personally tailored to your medical specialty, with particular focus on the vocabulary and grammar required to construct sentences and interact with patients and colleagues in the French language. At the end of the course, Maarten also gives you the necessary tools and resources to continue to progress in your language skills in a more self-directed fashion. To add to all of this, the school’s location allows you to experience rural France at its most tranquil, with beautiful countryside walks to help clear your head in the evenings. Highly recommended.

Occupational physician – Gonnie Meijer

When I think back to my course week, “tailored” and “pedagogical insight” are the first words I think of. Tailored in the sense that Maarten through his experience quickly discovered what my weaknesses were and thus reacted accordingly (therefore not simply providing a standard programme). Pedagogy: he was able to fill those gaps in a suitable by alternating conversation, role-playing, watching videos etc. He was also able to clearly explain linguistic difficulties in a way that stuck in my memory and which I can reproduce to this day. Chapeau!

General practitioner – Annet Sollié

Maarten is a quiet, flexible and good teacher. He adapted the level and content of the course to my ability during that week. I progressed by leaps and bounds and I have mainly become much more confident speaking French. Maarten motivates, and challenges you sufficiently. In short, nothing but praise.
My children aged 11 and 13 were given three afternoon classes by Lonneke during this week. My daughter, who essentially refused to speak French at home, participated enthusiastically and even wanted to do her homework as soon as she got home. Working on our emigration together in this way is ideal.


Kenneth Kross, médecin-ORL à Moulins

Pour moi, la langue française constituait le plus grand obstacle à l’exercice de ma profession en France. Le stage de français médical m’avait beaucoup aidé à oser franchir le cap et à commencer à travailler bien outillé. C’est pour cette raison que je me suis inscrit (plus d’un an après mon installation et mon premier cours de français médical) au cours de perfectionnement de WyWtF destiné aux professionnels de santé qui exercent déjà depuis un certain temps en France. Cela a été encore très utile pour mieux comprendre mes confrères français, ainsi que les différents organismes auxquels j’ai affaire en France. Après ce stage, je me sens encore plus à ma place ici . Je peux le recommander à tout le monde !