This blog is personal. More than 25000 reads in total on previous entries but this one was for my own reflection, a time to use the blog for a bit of personal catharsis. An evening when I had come back from work with mixed feelings and as I took a sip from my glass of Talisker swirling around the ice cubes, its was good to pause. And write.
Been Clinical Director, Diabetes for nearly 4 years now, plenty of awards, innovative model in place, appreciation from patients...thought the time was right to make a move to something different. Yes, there were still challenges in diabetes but just felt I could do more for patients within the community and hospital if I went for a bigger role. And relished the idea of taking on a bigger challenge...armed with one motto...if patient care was to be compromised, then no doctor, manager or nurse was big enough or had a reputation fearsome enough who I couldn't take on. But alas, not to be. Maybe the passion was too much, maybe it was the age, maybe I was too outspoken, maybe it was politics, maybe I simply got stitched up (how could I possibly lose out?)...lots of thoughts swirled through my head as the disappointment sank in.
But to be perfectly honest, I ended up losing out to a top bloke, a respiratory Consultant who breathes patient care at all times, believes in the ethos of general physicians...simply put, very similar to me, just a better candidate on the day. I won't lie...its all very "cool" to say "its fine" or"never wanted it anyway" and keep rocking the banner of nonchalance...but the fact is I was disappointed, bitterly disappointed. Not because I lost out, but because I genuinely wanted to help, make a difference. I remember trudging back to my office with all sorts of reactionary thoughts in my head and within the next few hours, 2 things happened.
To begin with, one of my colleagues who has known me since I was his Registrar and then subsequently his research registrar,came into my room with a cup of coffee. He sat down with me, and he said exactly the things he knew needed to be said. A gentle pat on the shoulder and 10 minutes later, I smiled...and in one flash I was reminded why this department has always been so dear to me. As the news gently spread around the department, one by one, the nurses, HCA, admin staff came in, some armed with black humour, some with a hug...some simply with "their loss, our gain"- and it was just...lovely.They cared- this was my family away from home.
Then I opened my emails and 3 things sprung out. 2 emails- one from Dorset CCG and another from Brighton CCG asking advice about our model of care and another one from a private healthcare company looking for a chance to discuss "options". In one word, opportunities were there...mine to choose and pick from.
As they say, one door shuts and another one opens. Maybe its a sign- maybe my job within diabetes isn't done- maybe I need to take the department to the next level; maybe I am destined to stay within a chronic disease such as diabetes...maybe in this world of CCGs etc the potential of diabetes care- cutting across boundaries is endless. Either way, not what I had planned or hoped but then again 39 is perhaps just too early to be Chief of Medicine, if ever at all, for me. Its uncharted territory but so it was when I took over as the lead for diabetes.
Mourinho has always been an idol for me...cocky, self assured, winner, reviled by many, respected by his team...but on the day arguably the greatest manager in the football world retired, perhaps destiny says I am less suited to winning trophies with different clubs...but rather go for multiple awards with one particular one. Time will tell- for now, Dr. Mark Roland, new Chief of Medicine, Respiratory Physician - best of luck with the new challenge. Rest assured, the diabetes department will deliver their side of patient care needed..and more.