We made the decision several months ago to branch out and apply not only to programs in New England, but across the United States. Caleb is interested in practicing rural family medicine and we really want to find the program that will best prepare him for this unique field of medicine.
Scanning the family medicine programs throughout the United States was quite a daunting task. To give ourselves a starting point, we turned to our most trusted tool, "The Google." A quick search of the "Best Places to Raise a Family" later and we had some serious contenders! We joked about not applying to any programs South of the Mason Dixon line due to our inability to handle hot weather. Something about growing up in Northern Maine has rendered us incapable of tolerating temperatures above 80 degrees F.
After much contemplation, applications were sent out to programs in Bangor, ME, Portland, ME, Augusta, ME, Concord, NH, Duluth, MN, Grand Junction, CO, Provo, UT, Ogden, UT, Boise, ID, Vancouver, WA, and Klamath Falls, OR.
Caleb and I decided that it would probably be best for me to travel with him to his residency interviews. After all, if we are going to relocate our family for three years, it is probably best for me to see the cities myself and meet the people. Together, we will decide if each city is a place we can see ourselves living for the next few years, if the programs provide the kind of education he is looking for, if we fit with the people we will be spending so much of our time with, and if they have the resources we need/want for our sweet Rosalie.
The most cost-effective way we found to travel was to do the majority of Caleb's interviews out West in one large swoop. We toyed with the idea of bringing Rosie along with us for this trip, but decided against it for many reasons (the timezone changes, the nonstop nature of our trip, and the need to fully immerse ourselves in each program's unique atmosphere, to name a few). We feel so fortunate to have parents we love and trust enough to leave our girl with over the course of this trip. Leaving her was extremely difficult, but judging by the pictures and videos that we have received, she is adjusting very well. I don't think Pepere's inclination to spoil her with ice cream hurts.
And so our adventure has begun. I will try to blog as often as possible so you can follow our adventures across the Midwest and Northwest.