five generations

28 Feb

5 gen 1

vovi 1 vovi 2

Ari hung out with an aunt, a grandmother, two great-grandmothers, and one great-great-grandmother this weekend.  She had a blast, albeit not during our attempts to take a five-generation photo.  Bloopers below:

5 gen 2 5 gen 3 5 gen 4


12 Responses to “five generations”

  1. John Panarelli March 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    That’s a lot of pulchritude there! Congratulations to a wonderful family.

    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      Thank you so much, John! Lots of love!

  2. Connie Jackson (@cjaxuk) March 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    I read your op-ed piece in the NY Times today and was moved to tears. I was born at the end of my mother’s 2nd year of medical school (during finals!). Last May, I had the honor of accompanying my mother to her 50th medical school reunion. I know it must have been hard for her (especially early on as my father, like your husband, was living in Chicago and my mother was studying in Washington, DC), but she taught me through her example that nothing is impossible with love. It is obvious that Ari will learn that, too! Good luck

    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      What a beautiful comment, thank you so much! I really hope that I can be for Ari what your mother has been for you–she seems to have so much passion and love! Thank you for telling me a little bit about her. And how special that you were able to accompany her to her 50th medical school reunion!

      Thank you again!

  3. mountainmornings March 3, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Just finished your NYTimes article Anna. An important message, beautifully written! I am enjoying reading through past posts, hugs to your family!

    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      Dear Chris,

      Thank you so much–very kind of you! Hugs are being passed as I write 🙂


  4. leslie A. Moore March 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Just read your op-ed. I was so happy and moved. When our daughter-in-law graduated from med school several years ago, I was happily surprised to see the number of women, 51%, and the number of women with children. I witnessed one young woman with a toddler in hand and a baby on her hip, and her diploma in her teeth. The crowed went wild, tears of happiness and pride were everywhere. One of the best moments at one of the best graduations I have ever attended. Bravo for you, for your family, and all who have supported you along the way. Signed, Oldathlete

    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      Dear Oldathlete,

      Thank you–I’m so happy you liked it! I am also encouraged by the trend in the medical school demographics and the fact that having children in school is no longer that unusual. There was a woman here who had three children at the time of graduation–wonderful inspiration! Thank you again for your kind words!

  5. OldPennGrad March 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm #


    I, too, am a PennMed grad, Class of 1969 (!).

    First, let me congratulate you on your op-ed in today’s Times, and the no-less-than-riveting blog you have created.

    At one point you muse on what it was like to be a medical student 30-40 years ago. What strikes me, both from your blog and from my own current experience with students, is the degree of humanity now inherent in the education of a physician. No doubt this is in large part due to the number of women now entering medicine which, I suspect, also had a lot to do with the welcome and none-too-soon breakdown of the authoritarian, hierarchical system that prevailed until the 1990s or so.

    You allude in your blog to a couple of “gruff” attendings and professors, yet this used to be the rule rather than the exception. The third year (we had practically no clinical exposure until then, except for 6 weeks of physical diagnosis in the second year) had sort of a boot camp mentality. In one sense, it was good for learning the in-patient and hospital ropes fairly quickly, but also caused a great deal of unnecessary insecurity and anxiety. Boot camp is appropriate and necessary for training military personnel, not so much for future physicians who are supposed to learn how to be compassionate with their patients. There is little mental and emotional space left for compassion when all you can think of is how the two residents, the chief resident, and the service attending are going to beat you up the next morning when you have to present your patient from memory (the attending held the paper chart) on rounds. This is not to say that medical training shouldn’t be rigorous–indeed, it should be–but a great deal of what went on was merely intimidation and posturing, and had little to do with teaching, per se.

    The other side of the coin is that we had at Penn some incredible bright lights in medicine. They served as role models for us, shaping both our self image as physicians and informing our choice of specialties. The overall medical education and approach to medicine I experienced in Philadelphia has served me well over the years.

    Best of luck in your future studies–I look forward to following your progress through your blog.

    • annaojesus March 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      Dear OldPennGrad,

      Wahoo, class of 1969!! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and your congratulations!

      First of all, if my posts ever struck you as complaining about some of the gruff characters, for example, I apologize. I know we are treated much more gently than was ever the tradition in medical education. Maybe I just got so used to getting those gold stars since Kindergarten, I haven’t developed a strong backbone for hard criticism. (And, unfortunately, being in my first trimester on the wards did not help that character flaw–I was, to put it lightly, overly emotional.)

      I’m sorry for the bootcamp aspects you had to endure, and I’m happy to witness how much medical education is evolving. I’m also glad to hear that you had good mentorship and that your training in Philadelphia served you well. I am continually in awe of the level of mentorship at Penn; it’s been a great source of inspiration both professionally and personally (to see so many women at the top of their field who also somehow prioritize family is nothing short of amazing to me).

      Thank you so much for your comments and well wishes! I hope you’re well!

      • OldPennGrad March 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

        Thanks, Anna.

        Your posts didn’t seem querulous to me, at all.

        As you note, there has been a sea change for women in medicine in recent years, and all for the better. My wife started late in medicine, but had difficulty transferring in her 3rd year to one well known Chicago medical school “on the lake,” better known, then as now, for its location than for its excellence, because she “might get pregnant again.” That was in spite of the fact that she had been at the top of her class during the first two years at a very good school in another city, and had even finished her Part One National Boards while in early labor with our first child. There was an “old boy” network that controlled everything in those days, and this resulted in major compromises in quality, both academically and medically, some of which persist to this day.

        In terms of temperament, and this is sort of a reverse-sexist thing to say, I have always felt women in general were better suited to the “physician role” than men. My own experience as a patient has confirmed this, and it applies across specialty lines, not just to primary care. And I learned a lot from my wife along the way about doctor-patient relationships, even though she was about six years behind me.

        There are a number of medical student blogs these days, many of them having to do with choosing the most user-friendly specialties and residencies, and looking mostly at lifestyles and potential remuneration. I know this, because I’m dealing with national workforce issues in my own medical specialty which is not one of the “hot” fields these days.

        I don’t mean to sound patronizing, but I really like the tone of your blog, because it reflects an attitude and approach that is right and necessary in medicine. I’m glad to see someone representing my own school in this way.

      • annaojesus March 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

        Wow, your wife sounds simply incredible–I’m just sorry her transfer pursuits were met with so much resistance. I admit, there is still some underlying fear my husband and I have regarding residency interviews…if we’re able to have another child, would it be looked upon unfavorably if I was visibly pregnant during interviews, for example? But I’m relieved that so much has changed in medical education; prejudices exist, but their effects are less pervasive.

        It’s good to hear your thoughts on the doctor-patient relationship and how you learned from your wife. I am also six years behind my husband in training, but when it comes to medicine, I’m more the student in every capacity. He’s the complete package. What I find most impressive is that he is not only excellent at establishing a good rapport with a patient, but he can do so remarkably quickly–a great skill for an ED doc!

        Not patronizing in the slightest! I’m touched that you like the tone of my blog; I know I can be crass at times. I’m quite proud that you believe I’m representing your medical school in an appropriate way. Thank you so much!

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