Saturday, May 17, 2014

Back Blogging: The Interview Trail

It's enlightening to look back on something that is so momentous in your life from the prospective of a few months. When we began the much-anticipated residency interview trail at the end of October 2013, we had no clue what to expect! In all honesty, I thought we would stay in Jackson. University has a great program, full of great people and we love Jackson. It has truly become home to us.

I really think God must just chuckle when he hears my thought process. Little did I know that after that first interview we would start to seriously talk about moving to a new place. We were open to the idea. Open to new experiences. But really I still thought we'd be in Jackson for the next four years.

Friday, October 25 - Tulane in New Orleans

Blogged about this one here. A great way to start off the interview season!

November 1 - University of Mississippi 

The med-peds program director had us over to dinner at his house. It was a very fun night and I enjoyed getting to meet people I've heard Ryan talk about for four years!

Wednesday, November 6 - University of Louisville

On our way to Louisville (or maybe the way back? maybe both?) we spent the night with Becca and Bryan. We just love these sweet friends and their equally sweet children!

Blogged about Louisville here. We stayed at the Brown Hotel downtown and loved it! The hotel was amazing and full of racehorse themed things! Also, the girl behind the front desk looked just like the daughter on Castle. This picture is along the Ohio River downtown. I was the airhead at dinner that had to ask one of the residents what river they kept talking about? Apparently, some people choose to live in Indiana and then just drive across the bridge. Obviously, I should have looked at map! We ate dinner at the North End Cafe and then had a tour of the city by one of the residents. We really loved Louisville, but in the end decided it just wasn't the place for us!

Friday, November 8 - University of Tennessee (Memphis)

We stayed downtown at the Doubletree. There was a great dinner at a resident's house on Mud Island and we met some really nice people. While Ryan interviewed, I had coffee with my cousin, Megan, and her daughter Annie (on Annie's birthday!) and then went over and spent the afternoon with Becca, Martin and Livi in Arlington.

Monday, November 11 - University of Texas at Houston

This was the only interview that we just struggled with for many reasons. Our hotel reservation hadn't been made and so we had trouble getting reimbursed for the room. The dinner was at the hotel - which was fine but we had been "wined and dined" every where else! The residents were nice though and we enjoyed meeting them.

I spent the day at the zoo because I was a little leery of driving around Houston. The zoo was great and I had no trouble spending a couple of hours there!

Tuesday, November 18 - Louisiana State University (New Orleans)

There was no resident dinner the night before the interview so Ryan and I walked to the French Quarter and had shrimp po-boys. While he was interviewing, I spent the day at the World War II Museum and loved it!

Wednesday, December 11 - Greenville Health System (Greenville, SC)

*** In between these next two interviews we stayed with Matia and SanHee in Durham, North Carolina. It was so fun to see their house - such a blend of their native Italy and South Korea cultures. They both work at Duke and are super smart! ***

In Greenville we had a great time and feel in love with the downtown area. We had a great dinner at Soby's the night before the interview and really "clicked" with the other people there. While Ryan interviewed I explored downtown and tried to do some Christmas shopping. 

I have no clue where this was but somewhere between South Carolina and Virginia! The scenery was beautiful and we were fortunate to not have any weather issues. We were in snow a few times but nothing horrible!

Friday, December 13 - Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (Richmond)

We were exhausted by the time we got to Richmond. We had been on the road for over a week. It was cold and I had walked too far in my Toms in Greenville. The people we met were nice and we had a great dinner at Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant. I think I spent the entire next morning in our room watching TV and venturing out only to eat lunch. I took the shuttle to met up with the interview group for an afternoon tour of the city and embarrassed the mess out of Ryan by being late. I hate being late! The driver of the hotel bus didn't know how to get downtown!

The day we got into town we visited the Virginia War Memorial and a Vietnam veteran gave us a very informative tour of the memorial. I enjoyed seeing the uniforms and Ryan, of course, loved the ammo sections.

Tuesday, January 7 -  University of Arkansas

This was during the Polar Vortex of 2014 and Ryan was the only interviewee who didn't get stuck at an airport or stranded on the side of the road trying to get to Little Rock. So we had dinner with a group of residents all on our own! It turned out to be our favorite interview dinner!

We felt right at home in Little Rock and I loved getting to spend the day with Crady, Semmes and Cooper. Ryan got to see Brad at the hospital. How cute is this baby? He was born the same week as Mary Thorne and Poppy!

Tuesday, January 14 - University of Alabama (Birmingham)

This was the only interview I didn't get to go on and the one place I never miss the chance to visit! Unfortunately, it fell on the same night I was scheduled to host the Belhaven Garden Club. Ryan had a great time and loved the program there. 

Thursday, January 30 - Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville)

We loved Nashville! We stayed with Eryn and John (who actually put us up a couple of times throughout interview season as we were criss-crossing the Southeast)! I had lunch with Jenna Lee and we had a ball catching up. The residents we had dinner with were so nice. And, small world, a guy from Chicago that we met on our first interview in Tulane was interviewing at Vanderbilt the same day as Ryan! The residents who hosted us for dinner had a rescue Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen that was precious. This will be our next dog! I had to talk Ryan out of trying to find one right away!

We were excited to finally meet Avery! Isn't he precious? Ryan and John have been friends since they were daycare together at age two! 

Overall, the residency interview process was long and tiring. By the end of it we cancelled two interviews because we just didn't want to make another trip! But we enjoyed seeing new places and meeting new people. And we now feel like 8 hours in the car is nothing!

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