Thursday, January 31, 2013


Hi friends! I don't have a link up for you this week because I wanted to ask you a question.

When Y started narrowing down the schools he wanted to apply to for residency, I started googling. 

Side note - I feel like every story I tell you starts with me googling something. It's true, I do a lot of googling. Why, just tonight I googled where Nicky and Alex from Full House are now. It was disappointing. 

Anyway, while we were in limbo (my affectionate term for the end of 3rd year and 4th year of med school), I was restless and I needed something to keep me busy. Researching 15 different cities seemed like an excellent way to pass the time. It was mostly unhelpful.

That's why I decided that us medical spouses needed some city guides to a) help inform the decisions, if we were so lucky to be able to throw in our two cents, and b) help us know what to expect.

I'm starting to put together some templates to make it easier for you to easily share info about your city, if you'd like. But first, some questions for those of you who have been in this position: what did you want to know about the cities you could potentially move to? 

I ask these questions because I can't be trusted to come up with topics. My ideal city guide would look like this:

Number of Anthropologies within a 10 mile radius:

Is The Color Run held there?

Number of artisan ice cream shops:

How many times per week will I be asked if I've found Jesus?

So yeah, you might need to help me out. So please, feel free to let me know what would be in your ideal city guide, in the comments or via e-mail to  

AND! Have you heard about the Medical Mondays Blog Hop?

It happens once a month and helps bloggers who have any connection to medicine find each other on these big, scary internets. It's simple - write a post, any post, and link up with the Medical Mondays host so that everyone can find your blog. 

This Monday, February 4th, Medicine: A Love Story is hosting the hop! So check back here for the full scoop on how to link up.

That is all. Back to googling Full House characters. I wonder where Comet is now?


  1. I want to know if the med spouse earns enough to buy a house... so asking about housing prices & the hospital's pay in one :) Also walkability of the town (or what areas of the city are). Best schools in the area maybe? Dog friendly? Outdoor fun opportunities? What do people do who don't work at the hospital (economy question)? Maybe best & worst things about living there.

  2. Additional important questions: is there a Trader Joe's? Or an Ikea? Also: will your friends and family want to travel there to visit you?!

    I like Sarah's suggestion of walkability - have you used the walk score on Zillow? That was the first thing we looked at when considering houses. It's fun to play with. I think along with that it's nice to know about the character/feel of the city - will you actually see people out walking? Do people have a big city or small town mentality? Etc.

  3. we're fourth years right now and the big questions for us are...

    how are the schools?

    good neighborhoods to live in?

    parks/walking trails?

    Activities for small children/families to do?

    Farmers markets or other chances to get fresh/or organic foods (Whole foods etc)

    Malls or Targets near by? (Duh... this question is required)


  4. Hmmm...we are military, so we didn't get much say in where we would go. The military has certain spots for different specialties in different cities, so if you match for your program, there's normally only one or two places you can go. Takes the pressure off! I would love to help with a city guide of DC though! Spent 8 years of my life there before meeting J, and would love to go back. It's the best city ever!

  5. Here is what I would want to know:
    1. Cost of Living
    2. How often does the temperature get below 50 degrees? If its more than half of the year that place is not for me.
    3. Do they have Chipotle? My all time fave.
    4. Is it a walking city/public transportation or do you need a car?
    5. Do they have bars within a walking radius?

    Searching cities for residency can be intense. Just try not to get too overwhelmed!

  6. We are currently making my husband's rank list for residency, and all I think about is location! We pretty much narrowed the list to East Coast or West Coast because of family, but I had anxiety thinking we could end up in the middle of nowhere without any place to shop or eat good food!

    1. Average apartment rent/cost of homes?
    2. Best neighborhoods to live near hospital? (this is tough to google unless you get the info from someone who really knows the city)
    3. Job opportunities for spouse (me)? (Some cities tend to have tough job markets right now.)
    4. How are the restaurants? (I veto living in an area with only chain restaurants.)
    5. Shopping? Personally, I like lively downtowns for shopping, but it's also fun to know where outlet malls are!
    6. Do you have to have a car, or can you depend on public transportation? (I don't currently have to drive, so I'm a little bit nervous about maybe having to do this!)

  7. Dido to pretty much everything...

    I would like to add...

    1. Local restaurants?
    2. Local shops?
    3. Yoga studios/gyms?
    4. If it is a smaller town, how close to the big city?
    5. Close to an airport?

  8. For residency we mainly considered:
    #1 for us was whether I had been accepted into a PhD program in that city. It's not all about him!
    #2 quality of the residency program
    #3 "livability" meaning good restaurants, culture, shopping, etc. Aka would I want to die living there? 5 years is a long time to be miserable!

    Didn't worry much about cost of living. What's one more loan? We were more concerned with matching in the best possible place, and would figure out finances after that.

    For fellowship:
    #1 quality of his program
    #2 ratio of his pay to cost of living- bigger concern now that we are trying to save for a house!
    #3 I was REALLY concerned about livability/quality of life, but obviously I didn't win because we will be going to Jackson, MS haha!
    #4 my ability to get a job- wasn't too concerned about this cause it we would only be here for 1 year

  9. I agree w/ all of the ladies above, there are good questions. I especially like the ones about close parks, family activities, and places/things to do with kids.
    I'm gonna try to get a post up for this!

  10. quality of residency
    are there museums nearby?
    is it dog and/or child friendly?
    are there good places to eat and grocery shop? ooh and a good coffee house that isn't Starbucks
    does anyone there enjoy yoga and NPR?
    how cold does it get?
    what's the public transportation like? do you need a car?
    demographics {age wise. Everyone in our hamlet is about 50-92 years old!!}

  11. All great questions!

    Having just moved from a city with a great public library that was close to where I lived I would want to know about the libraries! I hung out there a lot. Sometimes with little kids in tow, other time all by myself:-) Now where we live the nearest public library is 30 minutes away.

    Is there a children's museum and/or zoo nearby?

    Is there a major or regional airport within 1 hours drive?

    Costco or Sams club?

    Looking forward to having you co-host Medical Monday's - it should be fun:-)

  12. This is a great idea, sounds like a fun project! (and I second the need to know if there is an Anthro anywhere nearby!).

    I'd definitely want to know cost of living, the housing market and also the JOB market(such as if there anything outside of the healthcare profession?!).
    A second one would be exercising - biking or running trails, clubs, etc. How active the city is.

  13. I agree with a lot of the questions above. For me, it would be important to know:
    1) How are the schools and what neighborhoods are good for families?
    2) What are the daycare options?
    3) Cost of living?
    4) Traffic- how bad is it, commutes to avoid, etc.
    5) What is the parking situation? What about walkability?
    6) How safe is it?
    7) Are there a lot of activities close by (especially kid-friendly ones)?

    I currently live in Baltimore, so if you need any help with that city, I might be able to help!

  14. 1) Do they have at least one good cupcake shop?
    2) Does the mall have a Nordstrom's? (not because I shop there, or could afford to shop there- HA!- but because I find that a mall that has a Nordstrom's as an anchor store typically has all the other smaller stores I might like to shop at)
    3) The Costco situation?
    4) What outdoor activities are available? Namely, are their good trails for walking/running?
    5) What is there for ME to do? Are their job positions in my field?
    6) Finally, but most importantly, what about the residency itself? Is it a solid program?

    It's funny that those are my questions, because where we currently reside, there are NONE of the above (except #6). No Costco. No Nordstrom's (the mall suuuucks). Not a single decent cupcake shop, which is tragic. There are trails, but their a million miles away- like, 30 minutes. There are Latin teachers here, but there were no open positions when we got here. So basically, none of that stuff ended up mattering nearly as much as question #6: the residency itself.

    C matched to his number 2 choice (out of 10 potential family medicine residencies in the military). So this place, with none of the perks I like in a location, was number 2. It was number two because it's an unopposed residency that allows for maximum learning and exposure for C. Basically, in the military, if you're going to go into family medicine, you come HERE to be the absolute best family medicine physician you can be because you will literally do EVERYTHING- including scrubbing in on surgeries, performing procedures yourself, delivering an absurd amount of babies in your first year alone, etc. I mean, you do the mundane as well, but you can really develop your skills in ALL areas rather than just being cornered into the stereotypical whatever tasks of a family med doctor.

    C's number 3 choice location has a Costco, and all those other things. And every time I bring it up he says, "Please love me for my choices. Where we're at is so much better for my career." (he says this in a completely loving and affectionate way. It sounds like it might be a rude remark, but it's totally not). And he's right. It's annoying, but he's totally right. Program quality beats location quality every time.

    There's a military residency here, and a civilian one at the civilian hospital nearby (though I still can't fathom someone coming here voluntarily), so even though there are none of the ORIGINAL things on my list, there are a lot of other small pearls in this town that I can share, as well as good places to live. It can be sketchy here.

  15. found you from newlymeds! love this idea - my top questions revolved around number of wine bars, number of local (preferably farm-table) restaurants, and if a target was less than 15 minutes away. Now, I would add gyms in the area to the list, but not sure it would make/break our decision (just helpful information)!