Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Good News Is...

Last month, I let you guys n' gals in on a few of the huge news items taking place in my real life. One of those had to do with the decision we'd made as to where we wanted to spend the next three years of our lives (and possibly beyond) for my wife's medical school residency and internship. Our ideal choices were either here in Tri-Metro or in Clarksburg, WV. I also mentioned that we had made our decision between these two only to change it at the last possible moment.  Once our decision was made for good we only had to wait to see which if any of the above choices chose us in the residency match.

Long story short, we chose Tri-Metro. And as of this past Monday, we learned that Tri-Metro also chose us. This means that we will be remaining in the area for the next three years and conceivably longer. (It also means I don't have to change the title of this blog from Tales from the "Liberry" to Tales from the Unemployed Liberry Ass.)

We're very happy that things came down this way, but the various decisions we made concerning it were extremely difficult and came very close to going differently.

Originally we had chosen Clarksburg. Actually, it's more acurate to say that we chose it, then changed our minds, then chose it again, and then changed our minds for keepsies at the very last second. It's not that we ever wanted to leave Tri-Metro, it's just that we felt that the residency program in Clarksburg was the better choice of the two. She had heard great things about them and decided to spend three months rotating there so she could get a better feel of the program and so the folks there could get to know her. Their family practice residency program is, after all, more established and well oiled than Tri-Metro's to this point.  And after getting to know her, they basically told her that if she wanted a position there it was hers.

My feeling was that if Clarksburg was the better program then we should go there. After all, getting the best medical education possible is our whole purpose for being here in the first place. It's the goal she's been working toward for nearly a decade now. She owes it to her future patients to go where she thinks she’ll be best trained. So at that point, months and months ago, we’d pretty much decided that Clarksburg was the way to go. Granted, I hated the thought of having to do all the work required to move all our stuff, but I was willing to do it.

Of course, it can never be that simple.

After four months of being moved and shuffled around on rotations away from home, the wife began to see the benefits of staying put in one place and putting down roots. She told me about her new doubts about moving. Did we really want to leave Tri-Metro? No. Did we want roots in Clarksburg.  Not necessarily.  We had talked about returning to Tri-Metro after her residency, anyway. That woudl be yet another move.

Add to this that about the same time that Clarksburg told her they wanted her for their program, Tri-Metro’s hospital told her exactly the same thing. People I know there even began pestering me to help recruit her.  I passed on their words, but at the same time told them that we were pretty well decided.

We began talking to friends about our doubts.  And we started making pros and cons lists about the two programs and cities. The pay was about the same when you factored in signing bonuses. We already have equity in the community, from my work and friends, to the theatre scene I'm involved with, and our church.  And then there were the really important factors, like that Tri-Metro has a good comic shop while Clarksburg doesn't.

When we finished making our lists, the pros for staying outweighed the cons. Not by much, but they were outweighed. And, after more weeks of deliberation, hemming and/or hawing, we decided to stay. (Decisive bunch, we are.)

And thankfully, the hospital here felt the same.

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An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.