Thursday, September 15, 2016

We Are Expert Leapers...

Sooooo...we clicked submit!!  Residency applications are officially sent!  With the exception of Jonathan's board scores (which should be in within the next 4 weeks or less) and one letter of reference (9 of our programs require a special letter from the chairman of Internal Medicine at Ross), everything is DUNZO.  Such a weird feeling!  Honestly I thought I would feel more relief than I do.  I guess it's just because there are SO many unknowns still.  And also because the control over the process is now completely gone!  Our future is in the hands of the 92 program directors who will download Jonathan's applications today and the next few weeks.  It's exciting and daunting.  Jonathan is wigging out about his board scores being in on time and I'm wigging out because of this chairman letter.  But the bottom line is that it's all going to come together the way it's supposed to...

We did a little "thinning" of the programs on our list as well as changing up a few things.  So here's the final list of states/number of programs that we ended up with:

Alabama - 4 (Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile)
Arkansas - 1 (Little Rock)
Arizona - 6 (Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tuscon)
Connecticut - 8 (Bridgeport, Danbury, Stamford, Waterbury, Derby, Farmington, and Norwalk)
Washington, D.C. - 2
Georgia - 4 (Athens, Savannah, Augusta, and Macon)
Hawaii - 1 (Honolulu)
Kansas - 2 (Kansas City and Wichita)
Kentucky - 1 (Lexington)
Massachusetts - 8 (Cambridge, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, Salem, Boston, and Burlington)
Maryland - 3 (All in Baltimore)
Minnesota - 1 (Minneapolis)
Missouri - 4 (Columbia and St. Louis)
North Carolina - 2 (Greenville and Wilmington)
Ohio - 5 (Cincinnati, Columbus, Canton, Cleveland, and Kettering)
Oklahoma - 2 (OKC and Tulsa)
Pennsylvania - 9 (Danville, Harrisburg, Hershey, Pittsburg, York, Allentown, McKeesport, Philadelphia, and Bethlehem)
Rhode Island - 1 (Providence)
South Carolina - 1 (Myrtle Beach)
Tennessee - 3 (Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Johnson City)
Texas - 15 (Longview, Dallas, El Paso, Austin, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio, Lubbock, Amarillo, and Odessa) 
Virginia - 3 (Norfolk, Roanoke, Richmond)
Washington - 1 (Seattle)
Wisconsin - 4 (La Crosse, Milwaukee, and Marshfield)

So there ya have it.  The 92 potential programs we could be headed to in July.  That 75 potential cities that we could be living in here in a short 9 months.  Like I've said before...the possibilities are endless!  Now obviously, some places have a higher probability than others.  Some cities, like Houston and Dallas and Baltimore and a few others, have multiple programs in that city that we've applied to.  Also, Jonathan has built a rapport with the staff here at St. Agnes and has completed an "audition rotation" here, so that also ups his chances of matching here in Baltimore.  But in reality, it's basically a total craps shoot.  I connected with this app called Match Prism and we have been adding ratings and what not for the criteria that we know about the programs so far.  Obviously this may change if/when we get an interview at a program, but for now our top 15 programs have been shaken out and now look like this:

#1-Universtiy of Oklahoma - OKC, OK
#2-University of Arkansas - Little Rock, AR
#3-Memorial Health - Savannah, GA
#4-George Washington University - Washington, D.C.
#5-University of Texas @ Austin Dell Medical School - Austin, TX
#6-Methodist Hospital - Houston, TX
#7-Hershey Medical Center - Hershey, PA
#8-Virginia Commonwealth University Health System - Richmond, VA
#9-Medical Center of Central Georgia - Macon, GA
#10-Baylor University Medical Center - Dallas, TX
#11-Carilion Clinic - Roanoke, VA
#12-University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, AZ
#13-Methodist Health System - Dallas, TX
#14-St. Agnes Hospital - Baltimore, MD
#15-University of Kentucky Medical Center - Lexington, KY

Now...we will be ecstatic if we get interviews at any of these programs, but we are keeping a total open mind about where we will land.  We did a little exploring in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago when we were there for Jonathan to take his board exams.  Surprisingly enough, we kind of LOVED Allentown, Pennsylvania and also Hershey.  Adorable little towns and BEAUTIFUL medical centers!   Here in a few weeks we will be traveling south to head home from Baltimore and we are planning to drive through the sites in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee just to get a feel for those areas and their medical centers.  Killing two birds with one stone!  There is a part of us that is longing for the "comforts of home" which translates to landing in a place that is close to family and friends (ie-Dallas, Houston, OKC, Tulsa, Birmingham, or Montgomery).  But there is an equal if not larger part of us that is excited about the prospect of another adventure!  To be honest, I like the idea of adventure as long as it comes with a dose of comfort.  Meaning, I want to live in a place where I can put down roots.  Find a church, connect with a community and other mothers, live in a house that feels like home, get Greysen connected with some little friends, etc.  We have to consider that the place we end up in could be (God willing) the place we welcome another baby (or maybe 2!).  It will be the place we stay for 3 years!  We will do holidays there.  We will live there longer than we lived in the house we bought in Houston!  So it has to feel right. And we are praying that it will be the perfect fit...we know it will be...

So now...we wait. Again!!  Programs can download Jonathan's application today.  We *could* begin hearing about interviews in the next 2-3 weeks.  It's all very exciting and also nerve wracking. I am excited to begin coordinating interview travels.  As interviews begin being offered (with any luck), we will be able to consider living in some of these places in earnest.  They will move from "it might be cool to live there" to "we might live there in June".  Heavy realities!  But here we go y'all.  Taking yet another leap in our series of leaps over the last 5ish years.  We are expert "leapers" at this point...

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