Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home Is Where the Heart Is

As many of you know, Ben will start residency next year. I get lots of questions on where we are going, so I thought I'd do a quick post about how residency will change our lives over the next year and a half.

Ben is going to be a radiation oncologist. This specialty requires the resident to complete a one year transitional or surgical program that is followed by four years of radiation oncology residency. Luckily for us, radiation oncology residents do not have quite the same crazy life as some residents. It won't necessarily be an easy life, but it should not require quite as much as some other programs do.

Ben has been interviewing at a variety of transitional/surgical year programs and radiation oncology programs. All of the transitional/surgical year programs are in Wisconsin, with the exception of one in the Chicago area. This will make it a little easier on us since I still have a year and a half left of law school. During my last year of school, we will both most likely be in Wisconsin. Ben's interviewed at a few different places in Milwaukee (about 1.5 hours away) and has interviews coming up in La Crosse and in Marshfield (each is about 3 hours away). I'm not sure exactly how we're going to do it, but I will probably take a significantly reduced class load during my last semester and spend part of my time in whatever city Ben is in. The fall semester might be a bit difficult, but we'll make it. 

Once I graduate and Ben finishes his transitional year, we will head to the city of Ben's residency. Right now, there are many potential options. These are the options and my thoughts about each one. 

Madison, WI
    We're already here, so that would make this choice super easy. We've got lots of friends here, own a house here, and we know we like living here.
    Baltimore, MD
    Close enough to DC that I might get a chance to work in the federal government. I'm a little concerned about the safety of the city, but I hear they have some of the best crab cakes in the country. 
    St. Louis, MO
    Another easy choice since I would love to be closer to family, and the Central West End would be a fantastic place to live. I would be a little worried about making friends in StL since all of our school friends are gone, but I've never had a problem before.   
    New York, NY
    If we are ever going to get out of the Midwest, now's the time. I loved visiting last year and I have plenty of friends in the city.  
    San Francisco, CA
    Same note on the Midwest, plus the weather is better. I'm not sure how I feel about living in California, but I'll give anything a try. It would be cool to be closer to Ben's brothers and there are so many wonderful food/wine/entertainment options.
    Palo Alto, CA
    Pretty much the same thing I said about San Francisco. 
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I'm not sure how Ben feels about this one, but I do not think it's at the top of my list. I don't really want to compete with a bunch of Michigan Law School grads for a job in a small economy, plus Michigan is kind of cold. 
    Rochester, MN
    I know that Ben likes Rochester because Mayo is such a good research institution. If there's a chance I can find a good job, then I'd be okay living here. It's about the same distance away from the family as I am now, but we don't have a built in infrastructure of friends here.
      Dallas, TX
     This is pretty much the only truly warm locale on the list, plus I hear Dallas has a booming downtown. I'd be perfectly happy trying out this city. 

Ultimately, home is where the heart is and we'll do our best no matter where we land. 

Note: All images are linked to the source where I found them.


  1. Well, of course we'd love to have you back in St. Louis - making friends here will be easier than you think. However, I sure wouldn't mind visiting you some place amazing like NYC or San Francisco! You're completely right about going now while you're young and have the chance - you can always come back here later. I've also heard great things about Dallas and Minnesota. I'm sure you guys will thrive wherever you go. Best of luck with your decision. Keep us posted!

  2. In Baltimore, just certain parts of the city you don't go outside after sunset. Most people that work in Baltimore live around 20 miles outside of it, in the "country." I would love to have you an hour away!! And, the crab cakes are AMAZING! There's so much to do and see around here, like unlimited hiking in the mountains and exploring battlefields. :)