A Doctor Moves to New Zealand (Level 3)

Written by Boris

Description: A short personal story about a person from Bulgaria

Instructions: Read these sentences below and answer the questions or select an answer to fill in the spaces.

I’m 48, Bulgarian and married with three children. I’m handsome and clever, and modest obviously, but a little bit tired and in the middle of a new settlement period again and again. Sometimes I tend to envy for few seconds to those people who coming back home would just pull off their shoes and switch on the TV and simply relax. It has never happened to us so far.

We used to live a hectic life, starving for professional development, building boats until late at night and during the weekends struggling with unfair legislation, corruption, communist utopias, absurd human relations, political arrogance and much more. Thanks to my exciting profession, my loving parents, and family, my hobby, and good friends I always managed to recover and keep optimistic about the future.

I graduated at night college and used to work full time during the day since 16 years of age. I worked as a piccolo, laundry worker, car mechanic, and bay watch. I did two years compulsory military service where I was also trained as a welder-oxygen and in electric arc welding. I worked for two years in a shipyard during the service. When a student at the medical university I used to work as an assistant during the classes of anatomy.

I graduated as a medical doctor. Once a doctor I practiced for 3 years as a GP in a remote village and started specialising in surgery at the same time. During this 3 years period I was a head of the local polyclinic. After successfully passing a theoretical course I got a job in my city as a surgeon and carried out the surgical specialisation. A year later I managed to get a position in the navy surgical hospital, where in 1990 after 6 years of learning I became a specialist in surgery.

In this same year I was employed in the university surgical hospital where I became a leader of a surgical team in 1995. I specialised also in micro invasive surgery and ultrasound examinations. I have learnt several languages, but I’m fluent in Bulgarian, Russian, Spanish and English at present. I hold also a certificate to skipper a sailing vessel up to 20 tons and to be a scuba diver, welder, bay watch and first aid instructor.

My duties soon before I moved to NZ were related to performing surgical operations, mostly abdominal, helping students and younger colleagues, decision making while on duty in the hospital about the need of an operation and the team that will perform them. I had a small private business consulting the employees in some factories in relation to their health problems. I did research and publications in the field of septic surgery, urology, skin infections, thermal trauma, obstetrics, and application of drugs via lymphatic vessels and surgical techniques.

I enjoyed the process of constant development of my professional skills, which was giving me the chance to perform more complicated operations. I also enjoyed the rising confidence I was experiencing at the time and the chance of decision making in responsible situations. I never felt like going to work rather exercising a favourite hobby. We all used to visit our patients in the hospital after hours and during the weekends to make sure they are doing well after the operation. I enjoyed the miracle of recovery.

We were all equally paid no matter extra hours and amount or quality of labour. The enjoyment the surgery was giving me was magic. It was addiction, a very deep mental and sort of an artistic necessity. If left without operations for a day or two I would feel as a smoker running out of tobacco. I deeply enjoyed the special atmosphere of the operating theatre, the long hours of creativity, fear, and triumph. The grateful patient and his family who would invite you for a celebration of the healing are unforgettable moments.

My present job in NZ is related to my medical experiences but is as a lecturer in a polytechnic. I teach health and safety and first aid to technical trade training students. It is sort of going down the hill in regards to the medical experience I have. But it is a sort of going up in regards to learning the art of teaching and handling a multicultural class. The job is quite new and different but highly exciting and rewarding. The ups and downs are part of the life itself and part of any job. I learn how to be patient and calm with some highly energetic and talkative students. But what a pleasure to hear their positive feedback at the end of the session.

The presence of intelligent, sensitive colleagues, ready to help and share is what warms the soul and makes this job worth doing also. I find myself sort of adopted, cosy and secure. The opportunity has given me to enhance my qualifications, and to add value to my being, the constant, and the prospective to get better in the job is encouraging. I am lucky to have a good boss. He helps me a lot. He has introduced me to the way of a lecturer’s thinking He has always time for discussion and clarification. We even sail together and share our boating issues.