Over the River and Through the Woods...
Thrice. Literally. This time last weekend I was driving back over the Delaware River and through the forested hills of the Water Gap area after a most relaxing and nourishing birthday weekend at Earthgate with 20 marvelous people, friends old and new. We'd swum, hottubbed (putting the optional into "clothing optional"), eaten lots of cob corn and other veggies, slept,
yoga posed, made new friends (each other), made music, had enthralling conversations , learned from each other, hiked/jogged to a lush waterfall, and in general, had a grand old time doing mostly nothing.
Then, it was off to Kansas City, over an even BIGGER river (the Mississippi, of course), for the annual family medicine conference for students and residents. This should have been my second time attending, but some of you may know of my mishap a few years ago, when, en route to the conference on my birthday, I missed my connection in DC, decided it wasn't worth the trouble to stay overnight and continue on only to catch the tail end of the conference, and instead had an impromptu birthday party in Dulles airport with some DC friends kind enough to trek out to join me, before flying right back to CT before nightfall.
Luckily, I was successful in my second attempt to attend, and had an absolutely outstanding time with my 4 other fellow Yalies passionate enough to go into family medicine despite a school environment that is not entirely excited about our choice. After four years of having to justify our career choice over and over and over again to classmates and teachers, it was SO exciting (and what a relief!) to suddenly find ourselves surrounded by hundreds of amazing, interesting, fantastic people all equally passionate about the difference we'll make in the world as family physicians! It was like living in a foreign country for years, and finally coming home to your own kind again, people who speak your language and totally 'get' you.
On the downside, there were so many cool people and programs, that I found myself nearly overwhelmed by the opportunities! Out of over 300 potential training programs, I am proud to announce that I have successfully narrowed it down to...
30 different programs in 14 different states. Oy.
So, if you're reading this and you know me, please let me know your vote for where you'd most like to visit me over the next three years: Arizona, California (northern or southern), Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington (state), or Wisconsin.
One of the states not on this list, Montana, was in fact my next and final destination for the rest of the month. Well, not exactly my "next" destination - on Saturday morning I left the downtown Marriott in Kansas City at 4:30am, and after 1500 miles of travel by taxi, plane, and car - with stops in Denver, Salt Lake City, Idaho Falls, and West Yellowstone - I finally arrived in Big Sky, Montana!
The backstory: After my co-conspirator Allison and I passed through here on our "White Coats to West Coast" 21-day, 7600 mile cross-country roadtrip last June, I vowed to return to what I consider to be among the most beautiful places in our entire country. Then, a few months ago, while browsing on the internet for interesting elective medical rotation opportunities, I came across the Big Sky Medical Clinic . I applied on the spot, got accepted the next day, and before you know it, I found myself driving along the Gallatin River, through Yellowstone (over the river, etc...), and up a gravel road to the "guesthouse", my new home for the next 3 weeks.
I don't get cell reception or wireless at the guesthouse itself, but we do have a wonderful shower, satellite TV, and...well, the view's not too bad...!