Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm a Marcy Projects hallway loiterer

So KB has decided he wants to do a fellowship year in Interventional Radiology after he finishes his residency. Basically, this means an additional year of even more specific training before he finishes and gets a "real" job. MGH has already told him he can stay here if he wants to, without bothering to go through the whole interviewing process, but he's not sure the training here would be the best for him. So he's also applied at Cornell and Columbia in New York and Thomas Jefferson and Penn in Philly.

I'm torn about this whole thing. One more year of training means one more year of KB working like a dog at his regular gig plus moonlighting at a couple other extra gigs in order to make enough money to support us so I can stay home with Nolan. This is because even Mankind's Greatest Hospital doesn't pay its residents or fellows shit. We don't get to see KB as often as we'd like, he's really tired and burned out, and our relationship suffers because our conversations happen mostly at 10:30 pm when we're both exhausted and consist of things like, "Did you write that check to the oil guy?" So part of me really wants him to say "Fuck it" and get a private practice job next year as soon as his residency is over. Quit dicking around.

On the other hand, KB's going to be working in a private practice job for the next 40 years or so. I want him to be happy with what he's doing and feel fulfilled and creative and like he's learning and all that. I don't want him to look back in about ten years and go, "Geez, I wish I'd done that fellowship year so I could be doing more Interventional stuff*." Then I would feel bad for asking him to skip it and he might feel resentful for not doing all the training he wanted to.

The other factor is where we're going to live. If he takes a fellowship at one of the places in New York or Philly, we'll have to move once to be near that job and then move again to be near wherever he ends up with his private practice job (which will hopefully be in the same general vicinity, but still.) That's two moves in a year, and that would suck big donkey dick. We have to think about Nolan and good school districts and safe neighborhoods and location location location not once, but twice.

Plus, I'm not the kind of person who makes friends easily, and moving twice in a year just makes me feel that much more unsettled. It's like, why bother putting down roots and making friends and getting to know your local butcher when you're just going to move in a year? What's the point? (Although, I also have to concede Zach's point, made in January on our visit to the Bay Area when I got to go out drinking with him [on a school night!] like a non-parent, which was something along the lines of "We met at a three-week long summer camp when we were fifteen and we've never lived in the same place since then, but we've been friends for fifteen years." Which made me go, "Oh yeah.")

We spent a year in New York when KB did his internship year, and let me tell you, a year is a weird length of time to live in New York City. It's not long enough to really get to know the place well and feel like you're actually a resident, but it's way too long to get away with being a clueless tourist who doesn't know anything.

So I'm torn. We know we'd eventually like to end up in the New Jersey area, simply because I have oodles of family in Pennsylviania/Delaware/New Jersey/New York and it would be nice for Nolan to grow up around his family, and there's plenty of job opportunities out there. I'd like to live in the Bay Area, which happens to be near KB's family, but the cost of living there is ridiculously high. Plus my mom would hunt us down and kill us if we did that after she finally moved from Wyoming back to the East Coast after 25 years.

Why is this so hard? Why does it feel like whatever decision we make is the FINAL one, the huge fork in the road where once we choose our path, we can NEVER NEVER GO BACK AGAIN. It may be just in my head. But it feels like a doozy.

Thanks for reading.

*For those of you who, like me, know bupkis about radiology, Interventional Radiology is a little more active than traditional radiology. IR involves doing procedures on the patient using imaging to guide the procedure - things like threading a catheter into a blood vessel. Traditional radiology involves a lot of sitting in a darkened room staring at a computer screen - there's very little patient interaction.


Electric Mayhem said...

Boston! Stay in Boston!

zachdb said...

...says the woman who left Boston for LA. ;)
Actually, it's because we'd rather visit you in Boston than, say, Paramus.
But I have to make the obligatory Bay Area plug, of course: come here and I'll babysit!
We're not making this any easier, are we.

thptpth said...

How did you know we're looking at Paramus?!?!

Just kidding. We're looking at Bayonne. Ha ha.