Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back in Boston with New York on my Mind

As salaam alaikum,

So, yesterday my parents and I made the 700-something drive back to Boston. Which meant...I could bring my blender back (random, I know, but small joys)! I know we don't have to fast while traveling, but...I hate breaking my momentum by eating at random as I usually do.

But man, I was delirious when I got back. I bought a quesadilla from Ana's and ate it over 2 hours because I'm not used to eating quite that many calories for iftar. And, it was 10pm. I broke fast with dried fruits and water while at a rest stop somewhere between Framingham and Boston.

So my parents haven't called yet. I hadn't checked my computer in the morning, so I didn't know the temperature or anything as I plan my trek out to where my parents are staying. It's 66F now, which pales in comparison to the 70-something degrees it's got to be right now in Ypsi. It'll warm up to 82F here in Boston, supposedly. We'll see. We're starting out the day overcast. I can't complain...I'm going to have my parents walking around, so it's better that the weather is nice.

Speaking of, I haven't planned out a day for them at all. We may spend today exploring Cambridge, and maybe do something inside, like the Aquarium, tomorrow, since it's supposed to scattered thunderstorm it tomorrow.

But yes, I'm back in Boston, and although I'll miss the comfort of my Sealy Posturpedic mattress at home (it's about 13 years old or so, but it still sleeps like a dream...especially since I've lived away from home for the last 7 years of it's tenure), I did also miss my panoramic view of the Charles and the new familiarity of my own bathroom (which my lovely roommate cleaned).

There is no replacement for Meijer, though, the Michigan-based grocery store. The prices are awesome, and I'd almost move back to Michigan to be near Meijer.


Yesterday was unfortunately not a very charitable day for me, astaghfirullah. I wasn't very nice in my mind and in my mouth to certain people. As someone once taught me, during Ramadan, Allah (swt) removes Satan from our influence, so all the bad stuff we think and do is coming from us, things that we need to fix. My attitudes towards my roommates is one, but there are other things that I've discovered I need to fix. Thankfully for me, it's only Ramadan 5.

Editing my cousin's manuscript has been a great task, greater than I anticipated. We'll see if I'm able to finish it.

But for as much as I'm glad that I'm back in Boston...great decisions lay ahead of me. Although by choosing to pursue my MPH, I'm delaying this great decision by another year (alhamdulillah!)...I need to decide where I want to live/train for residency. It's only three years, and if medical school is any indication, those years (save for intern year) will go like *snap* that. And I won't be totally free to explore wherever I am. The big question I'm asking right now is Nowheresville USA vs. Big City Swag.

I'm trying to decide if I want to do rural underserved or urban underserved.

I heard a lot of things during the conference about which programs are better for obstetrics training, and rural programs that are unopposed (meaning that they are taught by only fam med faculty in your own department) claim to have the market cornered on the best training environment for those who are interested in learning procedures. They claim that opposed programs (those in which you serve on internal medicine, peds and OB services in their departments with residents or attendings in that specialty), especially those in academic centers, will relegate you to what they think is appropriate for fam med docs to do, and therefore you won't get your whole skill set and you'll feel like there's a sense of competition. ...whereas most people in urban settings deny that they feel competition and say that you'll have the opportunity to learn all you want to.

Right now, I'm leaning more urban underserved (my top choices right now are Columbia and UCSF...I like different things about each program), and I don't especially have any rural programs in mind. In fact, I didn't visit any programs in the midwest outside of University of Michigan's family medicine residency.

...I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet, though. I'd be likely doing my clinic time in Ypsilanti, the city of my raising. Although I know eventually I'll be coming home...I don't know if now is the time yet. Or ever, really. My education worked out for me, but since sometime in the next 10 years insha'Allah I'll be having children (why not just claim it! Pssh...I'm tired of speculating)...and say I have my first kid in 10 years, so 2020 (wow). They'd be going to school in 2025...that would be kindergarten. Subhan'Allah. What is a 2025 world going to look like?

Insha'Allah He grants me life to the age where I bear children and live to raise them to this day. Then I'll have many more Ramadans to pray for the state of this world and the children...not my own, but the ones that actually exist now. My little cousins, my little patients and the children I don't see who need it.

If it hasn't been apparent before now, I love children.

So urban underserved...this is the population I'm most in love with. It's the most ethnically diverse, the patients in the city that need help the most. I'm also looking into BU's program and may do an elective there in the upcoming year. Alhamdulillah, I'll have more time to plan for it.

Rural...I don't even know where to begin. Before I'd do a rural program, though, I'd need to have a husband or a fiance who was motivated about working in remote areas, becoming part of a community in Small Town, USA, and who would ultimately move with me to this area...because it's hard enough for me in Boston as a single Muslimah, no way I'm moving somewhere where I'd probably be the only single Muslimah for miles.

I also like the urban, university-based programs because...I love the city (yes, even New York, The Big Nasty, as my mother has called it after my stories of trips there), the residency programs are often more diverse (and I need not be the token minority...I don't mind being the only black person, but please, not the only non-white person. Been there, done that), and the patient population is often more ethnically (if not socioeconomically) diverse.

I'll take it!

So I'm back in Boston with a little bit of New York on my mind. These are decisions that I get to make over the next year. This will definitely be in my du'as.

Well, I probably should get dressed and meet up with the fam. But it's fun to think about the future and insha'Allah all that's in store for me.

{Currently Listening: Empire State of Mind - Jay Z feat. Alicia Keys}


  1. I say go West Coast! it would be nice to have some familiarity with life on that end of the country :-)... completely noneducational perspective on such an important life choice... :-(

  2. Haha, why the frowny? Although it did make me giggle.

    Midwest and East Coast down...West Coast to go? Dunno!

  3. Yeah you don't want to be the only single Muslimah....Been here, doing that. I blatantly got asked today at work about why I live with my mother and why I don't have a boyfriend.She was really floored by the former in particular. I shrugged it off but I think small town, USA with one mentality is something you wouldn't be able to handle well. Though almost our entire resident base is Indian FMGs...but they don't mingle amongst the Americans. So Small Town, USA is not just white, we have white and black (African and African-American) in the pharmacy but they all still have this underlying superiority complex towards people who don't live like they do. The nice thing about cities is that a lot of people come in with the mentality that people are not all going to have the same lifestyle.

  4. Salaam, sis!

    Yeah, I agree, there's no way I could do rural single. Midwest claims to be the best at family medicine programs, but I think my focus for residency is going to be to move to a Muslim-friendly city, maybe even at the expense of my favorite training program. I wish there were some list, like Forbes or something, best cities for Muslims... Boston's actually not horrible, but the West Coast seems, like, awesome...