On a meet-up and an opportunity

This final week was a bit more hectic than I had planned. However, I think this reflects an important on-ramp for the coming orientation and beginning of clinical rotations. My co-residents are finally in one place together and I had an unexpectedly adventurous Wednesday.

I got to meet my co-residents in person. All four of us are men, all four of us are asian (three yellow, one brown). Over the past few months, we had a video chat plus a running group text message chain. We knew a bit about each other, but it was wonderful to begin expressing group dynamics in person and to get a sense of this founding psych resident class.

Yesterday, we ventured around downtown Allentown during an event called “Blues, Brews, & Barbecue.” We wandered the vendors and the crowds together. Four budding psychiatrists looking for the dankest bbq.

I look forward to watching our development as a group. None of our personalities seem to overlap too much and so we each have our own niche. How we turn into senior residents will be fun to observe and experience.

On Wednesday, I took advantage of an opportunity.

Earlier this week, I viewed a wonderful commencement speech shared by a classmate. I conducted a bit of research on the speaker and sent her a message through her website. Pamela Wible, an MD and family medicine physician, runs her own practice with a community model and also volunteers her time for a suicide hotline for physicians and medical students.

A few hours after sending her a line, I received a call from Eugene, Oregon right when we began to sit down for dinner. I told Mackenzi, “There’s a non-zero chance that this is the physician calling me!”

And, it was her.

Turns out she was about to board a flight from Oregon to Philadelphia, for a Resiliency Summit in Lancaster, PA, about 75min from the Lehigh Valley. I had the choice: stick with my plans for the next day or rejigger all of them to accommodate a last minute trip to a conference in order to speak with a physician that I randomly connected with.

I decided for the latter, as this opportunity to connect with a west coast physician in person seemed too delightful to pass up. Her lunchtime keynote speech on physician suicide blew me out of the water and I look forward to sharing her message with faculty and fellow residents.

Afterwards, we met and talked for a bit. I ran the idea of an interview for my podcast by her and she agreed. However, when we both imagined scheduling the conversation and doing so over video chat, we decided to find a quiet place to record it that day. I mean, why not continue our spur of the moment decisions? The resulting interview was delightful and I look forward to sharing it with you all.

Despite the events above, Mackenzi and I still enjoyed a few days alone in our new home with the pooch and baby. A few essential ‘nothing’ days where we tried not to leave the house and just work on little projects like starting up a garden or cleaning pollen off the cars.

My co-residents offered a hangout on Friday and I declined. I realized that I won’t have many more of these ‘nothing’ days with just Mackenzi and the baby. My mother arrived from Jacksonville yesterday, marking the start of her baby watch. She’ll be staying with us for the first year of Joonsu’s life and our residency. While her presence is incredibly welcomed, as three caregivers allows for so much more slack than two caregivers, she does change the dynamic of the home. This is our new normal: adjusting to this set point will take a bit of time.

Orientation begins tomorrow.

Tonight, we plan on hosting a low-key potluck with the family med and psych residents.

Tomorrow, we enter the tunnel.

Long Form Sundays

On Death Podcast

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