How quickly did you find a job?
In three or four months. I went to the Ministry of Health, I went to an oncological dispensary, I met with the chief doctors—I wanted to get a job in my specialty. In the end, I ended up in the Republican Clinical Hospital and worked there for almost twenty years.
Did you get the position that you wanted right away?
Of course not. I first worked as a radiologist. My specialty is radiology. There's routine radiology, there's ultrasound diagnostics, there's a doctor in the computed-tomography (CT) office, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A lot of different specialties, you see. Naturally, I was attracted to CT and MRI.
In Novosibirsk we had a CT scanner, but at the Republican Clinical Hospital we didn't, so I worked in ordinary routine radiology, which I had done before and now found myself doing again.
So you were bored in this position?
Yes, for sure. The Republican Clinical Hospital got a CT scanner only a year later, and year later, I went into CT scanning.
Were there moments when you thought "why did I come back? Maybe I should've stayed?"
I think everyone has those kinds of thoughts when they make radical changes. Moreover, I was a military man, and I had to completely abandon that in the civilian system. Naturally, there was an adaptation period. The relationships in the military and, let's say, the civilian system are completely different. It was also a difficult period psychologically. I didn't always understand why they did things one way and not another. And then, after some time, I guess I just became like them.
Now you work in an infectious diseases clinic. Are you afraid to catch the coronavirus?
Who's not afraid? Everyone's afraid. There are no fearless doctors either. Maybe they don't seem afraid, but everyone is still worried about themselves and their patients.
In Moscow, doctors lived in the hospital so as not to put their loved ones in danger. Were you offered this option?
Here it was like that in the first wave. In the first wave, the weather was warm, and I stayed in the country and didn't see my family at all.
I left for Sochi in October and there, for example, they have a very democratic attitude to it; no one wears a mask. We would tell people, if, for example, we're riding in a funicular, "it's a closed space, please wear your masks." They looked at us and were, like, "we don't have masks." There's a certain fearless contingent of people who, unfortunately, don't follow the guidelines and end up in hospitals.