After their training, many youngsters wander from temporary contract to temporary contract. Often this means moving. These specialists chose a new place to stay and became happier as a result. “You can excel at what you can do somewhere, especially in a small hospital.”
Johannes Govart again with the moving chests in his hands. After a year and a half in a rented house in Breda Prinsenbeek, he will soon move with his family to his home in Breda itself. Our son is 4 years old and this will be his fourth home. We hope to stay here longer.
Johannes is an abdominal surgeon and his wife is a plastic surgeon. He moved with her to Zwolle and was fortunate enough to work there as a colleague. When they finished their education, the question was: Who would be the first to obtain this permanent place? His wife won. She can go to Breda. Johannes moved in with them and now works as a clinic chef in The Hague, an hour’s drive from his home.
Johannes Jovert (38)A gastroenterologist and oncologist. He lived and studied in Leiden, among others. Training of surgeons and PhD track from Amsterdam and Utrecht. He moved with his wife to Zwolle for a fellowship at Zwolle and Apeldoorn. He now lives in Breda Prinsenbeek and works as a clinic chef at the Haaglanden Medical Center in The Hague.
“we are at home!”
Johannes is very satisfied with the way it turned out. Breda is a bull’s-eye for southerners. “we are at home”! Breda is the most beautiful city in Brabant. We couldn’t have found it better if we had caught it earlier.
The advantage of frequent hopping is that he and his wife can say yes to Breda without hesitation. They knew what they wanted and what they didn’t want. Johannes: That’s how we found out that we really wanted to go back to the south and that we weren’t connected to Brandstad, where we studied. One of my brothers lives in The Hague. I hear from him about school waiting lists, childcare, and gyms. This is much less important in the south.
I often hear about waiting lists for schools in The Hague. That plays a lot less here.”
Johannes has extensive experience with packing and unpacking boxes, and his twin brother, gastroenterologist and oncologist Klaas Juvert will likely now have no more than a weekend bag. After studying in Leiden, he lived for a year in New York, and then in The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Luesdrecht and San Diego. Only then he settled in Nijmegen with his wife and three children, where they had to move several times so that they could move into their owner-occupied house. His wife got a permanent appointment as an MDL doctor in Nijmegen. Claes was appointed as a fellow at Amphene Hospital in his twin brother Breda’s hometown.
This means that he spends two and a half hours in the car every day. Nevertheless, Klass is very satisfied with where he has come. The nature around Nijmegen is beautiful, there is plenty of space, and it’s a much quieter environment for the kids. I wish I had a big garden to work in: it worked. We have squirrels in the yard, bats, birds of prey and we live in the city anyway. This is possible in Nijmegen.
Another reason for his happiness with Nijmegen is that his wife has found a nice job at Radbodomc. Living in Nijmegen still has many job possibilities. Suppose one of them finds a place in the north, then it will be difficult for the other to find a suitable job in that region.
Martin Mullers (44), General surgeon. He moved to Vinoden, Friesland in 2011. He was a board member of the Medical Staff Association of Sionsberg and later of the Nij Smellinghe Hospital. For some time he was a columnist for Medisch Contact and Friesch Dagblad. Since 2021 Head of the Department of Surgery at Neg Sming.
Not even IC
Surgeon Martin Mullers has only moved once in his life, but it was an immediate and drastic move. After school, study and training in the Leiden region of The Hague, he moved to North East Friesland in 2011 with his wife and two young children. His wife had to quit her job as a spokeswoman for the Hagellanden police. With their new home still in need of renovation, they replaced their canal home in central Leiden with a temporary home in a holiday park in Earnwood.
The family now lives in the dream house which has been renovated for more than ten years. The children, now 13, 11 and 10, grow up in the peace and space of the Frisian countryside. With a chicken, two cats and a dog. Martin’s wife has the same job again – as a police spokesman in the north of the Netherlands.
And also in terms of work, it’s all over. Colleagues at the Haaglanden Medical Center in The Hague thought Martijn was crazy when he applied for a job at Dokkum. The smallest hospital in the Netherlands. There is not even an IC, so you can not do certain actions … well, I saw opportunities.
Martijn has already done his own thing. There are not many centers of expertise in the North. I have set up an abdominal wall pain center, based on an example and in collaboration with the center in Eindhoven. After a campaign with Google AdWords, we received patients from all over the Netherlands. When a new technique for inguinal hernias came on the market, I was the first surgeon in the North to receive training in the use of this technique. That’s how I got my days full.
The cup is half full, he just wants to say. You can excel at what you can do, especially in a small hospital. “And just because you can’t do all the procedures in your own hospital, doesn’t mean you can’t do them again. I go to other hospitals about ten times a year for work. I always come back with great inspiration from that.”
Martin says you can also develop in such a place in other ways. As a chief of staff, he learned a lot about money flows and health care regulation. He also greatly expanded his network. “I still reap the rewards of that every day.”
I’ll be everywhere in half an hour. We don’t know the files here.’
However, it was still very exciting. Four years after he moved, Duqm Hospital went bankrupt. We wanted to move in as a family once, we just renovated our house and didn’t want to leave. But only three of the 35 specialists managed to get a place in another hospital in the north. Then I was really worried.
Martijn was taken to Nij Smellinghe Hospital in Drachten. This means that in addition to his work at Drachten, he also works and provides services in Sneek, Heerenveen or Leeuwarden. That’s not a problem, says Martin. I’ll be everywhere in half an hour. We don’t know of any traffic jams here.
Class Jouvert (38), Gastrointestinal and oncological surgeon. He lived and studied in Leiden. He did research in New York. He lived in The Hague for training. PhD track from Amsterdam. He trained as a surgeon from Amsterdam, Utrecht and Losdrecht. He has been living in Nijmegen since September 2021 and now works as a surgical fellow at Amphene Hospital in Breda.
Make flying hours
Johannes and Klaas have to wait to see where Martin found him. Both have temporary contracts that can be extended again. The question is what will happen next.
However, Klass sees the fellowship as an opportunity. I have space to learn. As a surgeon, you are not finished once you have completed training. You can delve into infinity. For me, the fellowship means that I immerse myself in more complex procedures, that I can get more flying hours and that I learn to take responsibility, as I progress towards a permanent place.
According to Klass, you learn to adapt and be flexible from movement. Those who are flexible are open to learning new things. Each step gave him the opportunity to learn different habits and techniques. He is very happy with that. “I kept meeting nice new colleagues, which means I now have a wide network.”
“Every step gave the opportunity to learn habits and techniques”
The biggest stumbling block for Klass is the future perspective. There are a few permanent places, it’s true and you have to accept that. This means that I spend a lot of time in the car every day. And when I’m on duty, I’m in the hospital all weekend. This negatively affects the family. Things are going well now and we consider it an investment. But what are the chances of me getting a permanent job after that? I have a good network and have done side activities, but there are simply not many places available.
Klaas and Johannes are confident that things will turn out fine in the end. There is joy in what is going well. Johannes: ‘You want to live the rest of your life where you will be happiest. Three things were important to us: my job, my wife’s work, and where we live. We can cross out two of the three. This third point is still good. †
Martijn also advises professionals who are still looking for a place to look at the whole picture. When I see the young fellows who have just arrived commuting between the Randstad and here because they still have a home elsewhere, I feel sorry for them. Your family is also important. There is much more to work.
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