After leaving the spa, Tomas and Tereza go to a small café, where Tomas runs into one of his old patients. The man has since moved to the country and become the chairman of a collective farm. Tomas points to his neck, near the base of his skull, and asks the man if it gives him any trouble. The man admits to some pain, so Tomas writes down the name of a medication and hands it to him. Tomas tells the man he can’t prescribe drugs, but says that the man should tell his doctor that he needs that medication.
This is a painful reminder that Tomas has lost his ability to practice medicine. He is a brain surgeon, yet because he will not support the Communist regime, he has been ousted from his job. Tomas and Tereza later move to the same collective farm, which is farmland owned by the state and worked by the people to supply them with food and other necessities. The people cannot own any land and there is no chance to make a profit; working on the farm simply sustains them.