I'll cut to the chase: I'm leaving Tel Aviv Medical Center, and going back "home" to Soroka. It all started back in August. I was not my usual cheerful self, *ahem*. The long commute, the long hours and almost no vacation time were taking their toll. Boss Lady noticed that something was wrong and summoned me for a meeting. With her usual charm, she basically was telling me to pack up and leave, or so I thought. Needless to say, I tossed and turned that night (as if I needed another sleepless night), torturing myself with feelings of failure. The next day I groggily asked her to clarify her position.
What she said, was partially true. I wasn't living up to my potential, having made a decision to devote what little spare time (none) to my family, thereby damaging my career. She had expected me to stay late every day to do research. But that's not for me. As it is, the last two years were mainly composed of commuting (4 hours a day) and working, lightly sprinkled with bathing our youngest, bedtime story, evening excercise (walking), only to collapse in bed. Five minutes later the cycle repeats itself. It's a grueling schedule.
What Boss Lady got wrong was that she thought I had enough downtime. In 2009 I took only 6 vacation days. My next vacation was a year and a half later. But I never complained, and I have never been one of the ass-kissers who visit her office every day.
In the end, Boss Lady said that she would accept my decision whether or not I stay. If I do stay she expects me to fulfill my potential and that she appreciates me and considers me an asset to the department. My bruised ego hath been soothed.
I don't know how I twisted our first conversation into a good swift kick in my ass. I'll chalk it up to chronic fatigue induced imbecility.
Serendipitously, my former, and now future, boss contacted me with an offer. Nothing spectacular, but enough to lure me back. When I left, I was the vanguard of a brain drain. Enough anesthesiologists left to cause the closure of OR's. The management finally woke up and realized that they need to get some anesthesiologists on board. That of course costs money. Money that wasn't available two years ago suddenly turned up. Ain't that amazing?
Long story short, my contract in Tel Aviv MC ends on Dec. 7, and I will not renew. Perhaps, I am again at the vanguard of a stream of doctors who might be brought back to Soroka. What is for sure, is that I will have more time to be with Mrs. Sandman and the Sandmites, and I might even be conscious enough to enjoy it.