Exchanging Internal Medicine for Burger Deliveries

Medical residents look for jobs to support themselves for the next several weeks, hoping hospitals agree to take them back when the crisis is resolved.

On Monday, hundreds of medical residents decided to put their resignations from the public health system into effect and did not show up for work. Many are now looking for jobs to support themselves for the next several weeks, in the hope that when the crisis is resolved, the hospitals will agree to take them back.

To be rehired as medical residents, however, those who have resigned will once again have to apply to a Civil Service tender.

Yaniv Dotan, 36, a father of one with another on the way, did not go back to work on Monday at the Internal Medicine Department of Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa after three years of residency.

"What pushed me to resign was the understanding that the treasury doesn't plan on making any changes," Dotan says. "When the negotiations with the treasury broke down on Sunday, I decided I wasn't going to work the next day. There are a lot of people as frustrated with the situation as I am."

Dotan has a job for the interim.

"To begin with, I'll go back to making deliveries for a hamburger place, as I did when I was a student," he says. "I have a family to support and I can't afford to just take unemployment or be without an income.

"After a c ouple of months, if nothing moves, then either I will go back with my tail between my legs, or I'll try to find work in biotech."

Dr. Niv Marom, 33, just completed his first year of residency at the Orthopedic Department of Kfar Sava's Meir Hospital. He didn't go to work on Monday either, and also plans to resume his student jobs - giving medical lectures at schools, health facilities and gyms - and wait to see what happens next.

"I believe that a system as sick and neglected as the public health system needs some deep healing," Marom says. " As far as we know, there hasn't been any yet."