IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services


Afghan Physicians Start Over in Connecticut

From completing medical school in 2020 to arriving in the United States in 2022, it has been a challenging journey for Dr. Shafiullah Faizee and his wife, Dr. Parwana Faizee, both professional physicians in their home country of Afghanistan.

“It is not a good feeling to have to start over after becoming highly educated and beginning a medical career in your home country. It is just awful. However, the situation in Afghanistan was becoming so uncertain that we were concerned about our lives and the safety and future of our young children,โ€ Shafiullah says.

While in Afghanistan, Shafiullah and Parwana served war-torn communities in Afghanistan, especially in the rural regions of the country where medical care was very much needed. They trained local healthcare workers, empowering their community and its health services. They also conducted medical research to better understand and provide services to Afghans in these rural areas.

Because Shafiullah and Parwana were both employed in the medical field, they applied for and were granted Special Immigrant Visas to enter the United States. They arrived in Connecticut in October 2022.

Now, Dr. Shafiullah Faizee works for IRIS as a healthcare coordinator. He schedules health screenings and medical tests for newly arrived refugees who come to New Haven from all over the world. Because of his medical background and ability to speak many of the languages of these new arrivals, he is able to provide guidance and communicate the necessary information so that refugees of all ages can access the healthcare system.

Shafiullah and Parwana are continuing their educational journey as they diligently prepare for the United States Medical License Exam (USMLE) to be licensed physicians here. As immigrants, they feel the pain of separation from their home country and their families.

Shafiullah and Parwana know that with hardwork and dedication they will be successful and achieve their goals. โ€œWe will continue to pursue our dreams of working in the medical profession even though it will take longer to achieve,” Shafiullah says.

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