Flexible Working

The Most Important Thing Will Always Be Family

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Dr Tim Fairbairn
Liverpool

I am a Consultant Cardiologist and Cardiovascular imaging lead at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. I also am a part time academic with an MRC fellowship and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool. My wife is a Medical Oncologist with a busy clinical job, as well as being PI on several trials and supervising PhD students. We have 2 sons aged 10 and 7 and were lucky enough to have our third boy in 2020.

Like many parents, medical and non-medical there are several pressures on the work life balance, but the most important thing will always be family. With our two older boys we were unable to consider shared parental leave and my wife even spent some of her maternity leave in Canada during -20°C weather, with two boys under 3 years old, to support my career. This time round it was the first opportunity I had to be able to contribute a bit more, spend more time with the boys and at the same time allow my wife to continue her career with less guilt about returning to work.

I have no delusions that home will be more challenging than work and that my wife makes it look easy. However, I am excited to see if we all survive the 2½ months. I may not have the chance to spend this much time with them again for a long time, do the school drop off, baby group activities and help fatten up number 3. My colleagues, trust and academic links have been universally supportive; work will still be there when I return, let’s hope the boys are when my wife gets home from work.

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