Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blogging the Road Trip

Sorry to all you techies, but I'm going to interrupt the AA to USB posts to report on where I've been over the last week while Alex has been at home, holding down the fort and getting his geek on!

Last Wednesday, I flew back to New England to interview for the joint family medicine-preventive medicine program at Dartmouth. This would be an "outside-the-match" residency position, letting me know months and months in advance where we will be spending the next few years. If I get in, I will spend January to March of next year in New Hampshire, starting Masters of Public Health courses in Lebanon (just down the road from Dartmouth) and also doing some clinical work at the family med residency in Concord. Then I'll start the family med residency in June. That lasts three years, and then I would finish the MPH coursework and do a "practicum" year during which I would implement a quality improvement project. Total time about four and a half years. Whew!

Anyway, the combined program sounds like a perfect fit for what I want to do, giving me great family med training and also teaching me a lot about how to carry out practice improvements. After submitting my paperwork in February, they set up a two-day visit for me last week. I was at the Concord program on Thursday for eight—yes, eight—interviews with faculty and current residents. It was a little stressful, but everyone was very pleasant, and many of the interviews were more like nice chats. Then, that evening, I went out to dinner with the program director, his wife, and a couple of residents. I'd really like to do my training there—they have a great curriculum, the residents are quite happy, and the program seems to be very responsive to proposed changes that residents and faculty suggest.

Friday was spent in Lebanon, where the preventive med part of the residency is based. I had four interviews in the morning, which all seemed to go very well, and then spent the afternoon at a couple of class sessions. First was a leadership session, with a discussion on different leadership styles. Then, several of the residents presented their progress on practicum projects. I loved this part of the visit as well, and was very inspired by the great relationship between the faculty and residents.

Here I am in my maternity business suit:

I had a minor panic last week that my planned shirts were not fancy enough for my interviews, and went running off to Motherhood Maternity, where I found several quite sophisticated ones. I think I looked about as zippy as a 25-week pregnant lady can look. I got away with the same black suit jacket that I've had since med school applications (no buttoning anymore), and a pair of black maternity pants from Target.

As you can see, dad was enjoying some time with his granddaughter:

After the stressful part was over, we had a wonderful weekend in the Upper Valley, and then back at home in Connecticut. We went to Spring Sing to hear some a capella, shopped at the Co-op (ciabatta, cheese, Grade B maple syrup), hit King Arthur for some scone mixes, had breakfast at Lou's with Chris and John, and checked for baby goodies at the Dartmouth Co-op.

I also got to spend a couple of hours at the barn with Panache. Here he is with buddies Luna and Aly:

He is in full spring shedding swing, so most of that time was spent scrubbing lots and lots of fuzz off of him. Here's the pile—I think he beats Jasper for its size, and all of this was manually removed, too—no clippers!

It was wonderful to see him, even though I couldn't ride this time. He's weathered the winter OK, but will probably fatten up a bit now that it's spring. He's almost 30 now, and is certainly enjoying his Vermont retirement.

We also hit the Norwich Bookstore had a great dinner at the Norwich Inn pub with John and Peggy.

Back in Connecticut, it was great to catch up with folks around town. I also continued the crumpet's tour of important New England landmarks (most of which, interestingly, involve food) with donuts at Phillip's and ice cream at Charlie's. Spaghetti dinner with the regular crew on Sunday night rounded out the weekend beautifully.

Now I'm back home, very happily reunited with Alex and Jasper. The residency program has promised a decision by the first week of May, so keep your fingers crossed!


Clara said...

Wow, I have a huge craving for the Lou's cruller French Toast. I went with friends and had some really excellent French Toast this weekend made with cinnamon swirl challah bread. We were all talking about other tasty French Toast we had had.

Also is Luna or Aly the tiny fuzzy foal I remember from 5 years ago?

Kate said...

It's so great to hear about all the people and places 'back home'... I feel like I'm there myself! Donut, anyone? The pics are terrific! Looking good, H&M!

Allyson Wendt said...

Funny, we were up visiting my parents in Meriden (on 120 between Leb and West Leb) this past weekend! They got to meet their new granddog, Greyhound Zoe, and generally hang out and enjoy the suspiciously warm weather. Sounds like the interviews went well--we're keeping our fingers crossed that you and Alex are back on this side of the earth before too long.