Thursday, June 22, 2017

Moving with Boxes

Hi! I am so excited to join this community. I have been following since applying to medical school 6 years ago and now, med school and 2 kids later, am honored to be able to share with this community more regularly.

I am usually an upbeat, sunny side up, West Coast girl. But I would like to introduce myself with a post that bares my soul and reflects a more raw version of myself. Below is what I wrote 3 days ago, the night before getting on a plane with my husband, kids, and dog, to fly across the country to start EM residency. With the chaos of moving I didn't have a chance to share until today. I'll hopefully post a more positive update later next week!

I'm flooded. And overhwlemed. and the dam that has been holding my emotions at bay has broken and every thought, fear, feelings of guilt, absolute fear, and sense of desperation keeps washing over me, unrelenting, like a wave, as I fight the current in the tumult of emotions  that keeps pounding relentlessly. 

let me backtrack. 

when I fell in love with emergency medicine the beginning of 3rd year, I knew that was the only field of medicine for me. the pace, the variety, the sense of camarederie, the fast paced atmosphere. I was hooked. I also knew that getting a residency position in my home town would be a stretch. my step 1 scores were okay, but test day was blunted by braxton hicks contractions and running to the bathroom with my 8.5 month waddling belly and I underperformed all my practice tests by about 10 points. so when eras and interviews started, i knew that moving away from my hometown was a real possibility, if not probability. 

on match day, i told me parents and grandparents and aunts and siblings  (who all live within a 5 mile radius of me and the med school) not to come. i knew i would not get in to the top 10 rated programs in my hometown. i was right, and opening that envelope ensured that my husband, 2 kids, and i would be traveling for an adventure across the county for at least the next 3 years. 

i went into GO mode. i found a house, registered the kids for school, hired a moving company, organized a goodbye party. but we leave tomorrow. and i am now terrified. 

i had my daughter, Chicken, a few months before starting med school and my son, Monkey, after Step 1. My kids go to my parents every day after school and most weekends when i need to study. They play at my grandparents' house on Sundays. My aunts and siblings have driven more carpools and orgsnized playdates and provided last minute babysitting more times than i can count. and now i am leaving the village that helped my little family thrive in med school and we are leaving so so far away where we have none of that.

i am just so scared. so scared that my kids will feel lost and alone. so scared that they wont be able to continue strengthening the amazing relationships they have with their grandparents and great grandparents. so scared that i will ruin or permanently derail my husbands career. so scared that it is all my fault because chose too competitive of a residency and wasnt good enough to get in at home. 

i love my program. i am going to love residency. im just so scared of what i am going to mess up in the process. 


  1. Good luck to you!! Here's to new adventures for you, your husband and your kids, to meeting new people and finding new networks and villages that will ultimately just enrich their lives even more!

  2. Thank you for sharing your raw emotions. This is such a huge transition and with it comes all the growing pains. You are doing what you love, and it is only 3 years away from family, even though that seems like a lifetime right now. I am so inspired by this post because I know I will be there too soon, and hope I also choose to pursue what I love, with all the sacrifices that come with it. You and your family will adapt, you will miss home, but I hope you find a village in your new town. Look forward to hear how you do it!!

  3. This is so raw and honest and beautiful. I think that being able to recognize and name the emotions you are feeling is a huge part of the battle! Best of luck and may you continue to grow and expand your village at each new step.

  4. Looking forward to reading more about your journey!

    My brother moved away from our home town for residency and fellowship (7 years total) and didn't move back until his daughters were 5 and 3. Despite the distance, I managed to develop a relationship with my nieces through in-person visits, phone calls, and photos (This was in the pre-Skype days). Now that we live in the same city, they're a regular part of my life. You will find a way to make it work, and your kids' lives will be enriched by having the opportunity to live in a new city and meet a whole new group of people.

  5. Whoa this sounds way intense - great post. You are MUCH braver than me - 15 years ago I made sure I chose a field where I was lucky enough to stay close to family.

    Having said that - family moved away, and I found my early years of my kids more dependent on nanny and then later hired aftercare. You will find a support system, no matter how pieced together it may seem to be. You will gain new knowledge and gravitas having traveled for training.

    You are going to mess up. Embrace the mess. Our failures teach us much more than our successes. Can't wait to hear more:)

  6. I'm right there with you! I'm starting family med residency on Monday (first rotation being the inpatient ward) and I think what I'm most terrified of is not seeing my kids. My husband is out of town for the first week so my kids will be at daycare for 14hrs a day and then with a nanny on the weekend. I keep telling myself to just take it one day at a time.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, just saw your post and looks like we are on the same boat, about to start FM residency with two kids. Best wishes to you and your family!

  7. Thank you for sharing your life with this community. I'm right there with you and Elizabeth Maldonado the commentor above, as I start family medicine residency in a small town with my family far away. Granted, this program was our top choice given that my husband has an awesome job in this town, but facing a residency with two young ones and no family support nearby is daunting to say the least. Maybe we can connect via online/phone to provide support for one another for the next 3 years.


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