onward

1 Jun

In October, a residency interviewer asked me if I planned to continue this blog during residency.  Without hesitancy, I said “no.”  My confidence surprised me, and it felt like, in that moment, I made the decision with my response.

I have been dragging my feet trying to write this post, in part because we have been knee-deep in buying a house and moving down to Central Virginia (poor Ari: “What happened?  Where all the toys?!  No bed?  Animals?  All coming?  Evie comes too?”), but mostly because I don’t know how to end it.  Nearly five years and 650 posts–this blog has been a tremendous part of my life.  It achieved the primary goal of helping me appreciate med school for its own sake and not merely as a means to an end, but it also helped me connect with people (old friends, family, new acquaintances, even fellow colleagues), improve my confidence as a mother and physician-in-training, and start to develop (for me) a new style of writing and communication.  The thought of being without this outlet feels strange and scary.

IMG_9635

But ending feels like the right decision.  For one, I’m no longer Anna in Med School (I know, total cop out…not a compelling reason).  More importantly, the thought of my blog simply petering out under the time constraints and stresses of residency (and raising a family during residency) while trying to maintain HIPAA compliance is depressing, and I’d rather rip the bandaid off (and add a few trite medical analogies in the process 🙂 ).  Mostly, however, I’m excited for what this next chapter might bring, and I’d like to make space for a new opportunity or two (writing or otherwise) without feeling like other parts of my life are being shortchanged.

John and I have been tempted to start a family blog–mostly an excuse to post an obnoxious amount of pictures of babies toddlers and maybe share a story to two of recent excursions (or mundane crap that we find hilarious during sleep-deprived moments).  Will let you know if we take the plunge!

11046870_10101991423872406_5720847393714928230_o 11016108_10101981152057206_7706614226664243467_n (2)For now, thank you for sharing med school with me.  It has been my sincere pleasure and honor.

FullSizeRender (87)Evie's 1st Birthday -24with love and gratitude,

anna (with john, ari, & evie)

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25 Responses to “onward”

  1. Alex June 1, 2015 at 12:24 am #

    You don’t know me, but I’m a med student that has been following your blog for quite some time. I never post any messages, but I am interested in starting a family during medical school for various reasons. Most of my classmates discouraged this type of “bizarre” thinking, but your blog helped me see that it is possible. You have what I consider to be the “golden triad”: a family, a career, and a lot of traveling/fun. Although I will miss your posts I would like to say congratulations on your success and I wish you the very best! Perhaps we will meet someday in the medical setting (don’t worry I’m not a creeper) 😀

    -Alex (M3)

    • Stefani November 7, 2015 at 6:53 am #

      You can definitely have the golden triad, Alex! Don’t let medical training hold back the other parts of your life. You will only become cynical, bitter, and lonely. I got married in med school, had my first baby 4th year of med school and now am pregnant with my second in residency. It’s chaotic, for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Anna, thank you for standing for women in medicine! I’m starting an online community/ lifestyle magazine called Chicks in Medicine and am currently recruiting quality writers. I’d love for you to write for us for a small stipend. If interested, email me at chicksinmedicineblog@gmail.com.

  2. C June 1, 2015 at 12:31 am #

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and been inspired seeing your family/work balance. Best of luck with residency and if you do decide to start another blog, you will have plenty of happy readers!

  3. jaclyn June 1, 2015 at 3:34 am #

    Good luck to you and your lovely family! We all wish you the best moving forward!

  4. Sophia June 1, 2015 at 5:30 am #

    As a soon to be intern (1 month!) and mom I’ve enjoyed following your journey. I have several physician blogs that I read but don’t blog myself for many of the reasons you mentioned. I wish you and your beautiful family the best going forward.
    Sophia

  5. phantomdiver June 1, 2015 at 6:16 am #

    Oh, gosh, I’ve had so much fun reading your blog! I’d hate to be cut off from seeing pictures of you and your family and hear about how you’re doing—please do start a family blog!

  6. Melissa June 1, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    This post saddens me, but at the same time I understand. Good luck with your future endeavors. And if you do keep writing about whatever your heart leads you to, I will definitely be a reader. You have truly inspired me to live a life full of what matters, and not just to live the path that is expected of me. And for that, I thank you.

  7. Dad June 1, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    Every morning I read the sports page (yes, I am THAT old) and check your blog. I must admit that I was hoping you would continue it during residency, but just for selfish reasons. I’ll miss it.

    It has been a wonderful experience. Sometime you bring tears to my eyes. Sometimes I marvel at your presentations. Looking back, I am so glad about that decision to get an MS in English.

    Love

  8. Alex June 1, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Anna, I’ve loved reading this blog so much. I originally found it when I was googling “baby in med school” because I’m currently applying to med school and plan on taking a similar path. You’ve inspired me so much over the last few years. I wish you the absolute best in life!

    Best.

  9. Himanshi June 1, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    Oh no 😦 This is going to be very sad. I enjoyed reading your experiences. Moreover, they have been a constant motivation for me. I will dearly miss this. But I wish you all the very best in life and I really wish that you guys do start a family blog (mainly because Ari and Evie are too cute to miss!!!)

  10. Hollen from TJ :) June 1, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Anna! Congratulations on this transition. I know we are not in touch “in real life” 🙂 but I have been following your blog for quite some time and it has been really a joy to read. You are a very talented writer (and physician I am sure). I will be starting a PhD program this fall (clinical psychology) and if it works out possibly starting a family during school. One of my career goals is to write not only for my colleagues but also to educate and excite the public about science, psychology, health, and so on. (And now that I’ve gone through the grueling application process, I am considering writing a thing or two about that as well…) So I hope I’ve learned a bit from you! Thanks for giving us a peek into your journey and congrats again!

  11. Sarah June 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    Dear Anna, Thank you for your blog. My mother in law sent me the link to your blog right after I had my first baby during spring break of my first year of med school and I’ve continued to follow it since then. And I just had my second baby on Friday, three weeks shy of finishing my third year! Your blog always gave a wonderful perspective on life while being in school, as opposed to school now and life later. I will miss your posts and your thoughtfulness, and I was looking forward to hearing how residency will be with a family (it’s something I constantly worry about since seeing the residents in action)! Best of luck as you move onward and thank you again for everything you’ve shared and the strength you have inspired (it can be done!).

  12. Fellow M3 June 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi Anna, like everyone else, I’ve also loved your blog. I’m an M3 (also in Philadelphia!) and my husband and I entertained the idea of having our first child while I was in med school, but sadly it was not to be. Your honesty and humor (along with your beautiful family) were a great source of comfort and hope to us.
    Best of luck in residency! You will be a wonderful pediatrician.

  13. C in the Midwest June 1, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    Just wanted to say thank you for your words over the years. Many of the posts you’ve written really gave me life and encouragement during med school when I needed it the most. Best to you and your beautiful family! You have the most adorable children and they are lucky to have a strong role model like you.

  14. Jen June 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    Dear Anna,
    Over the past few years I have been a loyal blog reader and along with the many well-wisher above me, I just wanted to wish you and your family the very best of luck as you move back home to VA and start your next adventure. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and your family through this blog and I know you all have a bright and happy future ahead!
    With best wishes,
    Jen

  15. Bob June 1, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    Anna, I have enjoyed your blog since stumbling across it 2 (?) years ago. It takes as much courage to end it as to begin. As much as I will miss your writing and photos of your children, I applaud your decision. Best of luck as you move into residency.

  16. serend1p1ty June 1, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    Anna, your blog has been such an inspiration. For someone who has struggled with the idea of having the best of both worlds – a family and a career, you have demonstrated that a woman in medicine can really have it all. I want to thank you for not only sharing your tidbits about medical school, but all the little things in life, including the the highs and lows of being a mother, wife, and student, and giving us such a wonderful perspective. Best of luck in residency, and yes, even if it’s just to share how your family’s doing, I would follow any family blog that you create. Thank you again for all the absolutely wonderful posts!

  17. Chris June 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    Anna,

    I’ve been reading your blog for several years now and I wish you and your family the best. Your writing will be missed. I have so enjoyed it. Please let us know if you do start a family blog.

    Best wishes!

    Chris

  18. Kate June 4, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    Anna,

    Thank you so much for this blog. I’m not in med school, but your stories loving your work, loving your family, and doing both of those things successfully is inspirational to me as my husband and I start to think about having kids in the (near-ish) future. Thank you for sharing your life with the Internet, and for being so forthcoming. I wish you nothing but the best in residency and everything else that comes along! I’d love to read a family blog, if you decide to start one.

  19. G June 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Anna,
    This blog has inspired and paralleled my own medical school journey and I thank you for your wonderful posts during the past 5 years. I found your blog on my first day of medical school and read your last post as I pack up my apartment and prepare for residency. You are a wonderful writer and your stories always make me smile. Thank you. Good luck in this next phase of your life.

  20. Becky June 6, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    I have enjoyed reading your journey through medical school, marriage and children. I wish you all the best in residency and echo others that I would be happy to read your family blog if you start one.

  21. Fatima June 7, 2015 at 1:25 am #

    Anna,
    I stumbled upon your blog incidentally in January and have been an ardent follower since then. You and John have inspired me as I prepare to start residency and contemplate starting a family as well. As much as I’m going to miss the cuteness ie Arie and Evie, I’m very happy for you as you move unto bigger and better opportunities.
    P.S (just for my own selfish reasons I’d suggest an Instagram account with picture stories even though I know your truly a writer at heart)

  22. bhan June 11, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    Anna,
    Aw. I feel sad about this because I’ve always loved reading your posts and watching your little ones grow. All the best of luck to you as you move onward and forward to new things.
    Wishing you only the best!

  23. A July 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    Hi Anna,
    I am an undergrad in Canada and am hoping to enter the medial field. I stumbled upon your blog while looking for other physician writers to follow (one of my recent favourite blogger cut back due to the constraints of residency). I wanted to let you know that you have been such an inspiration to me. As a female in the STEM field, I have had conversations with friends regarding the balance of family and career. Usually, the overwhelming conclusion of our conversations is that we will possibly have to delay starting a family before we “settle into our career.” You have shown me that doing it all is honestly possible, with a few adjustments of expectations and lots of love and passion.

    The pictures and videos of your adorable girls also kept me hooked (haha). I ended up devouring the entire blog within a week (while neglecting my MCAT studying).

    I sincerely wish you all the best with residency and your future career. I feel that you can really understand someone through their writing and from what I’ve seen of you, I know you are going to be a fantastic doctor and mother. Please do let us know when you start a family blog 🙂

    Love,
    Alisha

  24. Breona Bradley May 17, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Anna,

    Is it selfish to ask for a family blog? I just read your entire blog during my eight hour overnight shift; the only time I am able to do anything selfishly like engage in eight hours of nonstop reading (other then the occasionl phone call) I am sad that I have found you at the end of this journey but glad I found you at all.

    I myself will be entering medical school at age 22 in the fall of 2017 with a three year old daughter and a son three months shy of being two.I am hoping to fulfill my goal of the dual doctorate program MD in Psychiatry and PhD in Clinical Psychology, but who knows it may change as I read yours and many others did throughout the course of actual clincals!

    I originally found your blog by doing research as a psychology student about mothers struggling to balance a family (specifically a marriage and children), work, and school. As a young mother I often feel overwhlemed and perplexed with my decision to continue into medical school for family reasons; I do not want to seem selfish in taking time away from my children to complete a self-fulfilling goal [if that makes any sense?].

    I would love to see how you and your family continue to grow and explore together! Just reading and admiring your pictures tonight made me miss my little family…

    Congratulations on your recent graduation and good luck to you and your family!!

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