From Iraq to Sydney: A refugee doctor's amazing story

Dr Munjed Al Muderis reflects on a life-changing decision

It was 1999 when Dr Munjed Al Muderis, a first-year resident at Baghdad University Hospital, was faced with an impossible decision: mutilate Iraqi army deserters, take a bullet in the head, or flee the country.

Here, he recounts his remarkable journey to Australia — via several countries and a crammed, leaky fishing boat — and how he became the first refugee to become a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Today Dr Al Muderis is an orthopaedic surgeon and currently Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at Notre Dame University in Sydney and a Clinical Lecturer at Macquarie University.