New Home, New Family, New Career

So we packed up the U-Haul, buckled Lyra into her carseat, and made the move north to my hometown of Macon where I am starting my new career as a family medicine resident physician. Seeing where all my other classmates have matched for residency, this 2.5 hour move from Irene’s hometown of Valdosta to Macon is a relatively easy one I’d say.

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Getting ready to move all of our stuff up to our new home in Macon, Georgia.

It’s been over a year and a half since Irene and I had our own place to ourselves. The last time was in Miami where Irene was going to PA school and I was doing some of my clinical rotations. Irene and I miss having a place where we could stock up our own food, cook anything we want, and have people over for dinner anytime we want. In Miami, we often had hot pot nights on our balcony with friends or dumpling making parties where we invited a bunch of people and made dumplings together, and eat them afterwards of course. As you can tell, we love food, and we love cooking, and because of this, the biggest criteria that made us decide on our new apartment was that it had a large, open kitchen.

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Moving our stuff into our new apartment. The open kitchen is our favorite feature of our new home. Look forward to lots of cooking here!

It’s hard to top the place we had in Miami, with its 29th floor cityscape view, pool, gym, and walkable access to grocery stores, restaurants, retail, and mass transit. Nevertheless, here in Macon, we found a place where we would feel safe, comfortable, and happy to live and raise our daughter. Instead of a city view, we now have a parking lot view, and instead of being accessible to urban amenities, it’s mostly forest around here and a Bass Pro Shop down the road. We unpacked and dusted off our furniture that had been sitting in storage for the last year and a half, and configured them in our new apartment just like how we had them when we were in Miami.

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Configuring our IKEA shelves, desk, and TV to be exactly like how it was when we were in Miami. Reminds us of good times.

There are all sorts of people who live here: older couples, younger couples with children, and many people who work at the medical center. Of the eight new family medicine residents that start this year, four of us are staying here in our apartment complex, which is awesome. It makes it easier to meet up to study, carpool, or hang out. Our next door neighbors are a nice, older couple, and I can see why they’d want to retire here. With the saltwater pool, gym, and cabanas, I’d like to think that we’re living in a resort.

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Our community saltwater pool.

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Checking out the pool with Lyra and Irene.

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Workout time!

Lyra’s 2 months old and already twice as chunky as she was when she was born. Irene makes sure that she is well fed and spends most of her time now to care for her. A mother’s job takes more patience, persistence, dedication, and resilience than any other job I know and I can’t ask for a better person than Irene to take on that job. Lyra’s developing quite a lot and is now babbling back to us whenever we talk to her. Everyday, I teach her a different life lesson: fire safety, treating others with respect, eating a balanced diet, working hard in school, finding confidence in herself, and differentiating between good and bad people. I know she doesn’t understand me just yet, but it’s a way for us to have our father-daughter bonding, and for her to get familiar with language, communication, and being a good listener. She always smiles and tries to respond when I talk to her.

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Love this little girl.

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Like father, like daughter.

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Fathers Day dinner at my parents home. Two fathers here.

I also try my best to play some piano for her everyday to stimulate her mind, training her to differentiate between notes, pitch, and harmony. It is my hope that as she grows up with music around her, she will find it comforting when she’s down, motivating when she’s stressed, and inspiring always. Perhaps she’ll even learn to play the piano or another instrument as I did, as a skill that she can feel proud of having, giving her a sense of personal worth and self-esteem to get her through the ups and downs of growing up.

It’s already been two weeks since I started my residency program, and I have to say that I can’t be any happier with my decisions to come here. So far, I absolutely love the people who I will be working with here. We have an amazing program director who is easy to talk to, gets things done, full of vision, and inspiring to listen to. Our coordinator is so sweet, considerate, and super organized. The work she handles is impressive. The faculty seem very supportive in helping us realize our goals. The current residents and our new class of interns are all really cool, down-to-earth, and friendly. It’s clear that the residents, faculty, and staff that make up this program are a very close-knit family who has the best intentions for everyone, and I feel very welcomed here. I am excited to work with my colleagues to grow stronger as a team and closer as friends. I look forward to the training and experience I will gain so that I will become a better provider for my patients and father for my daughter.

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The Heart Tower at the Medical Center (Navicent Health).

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The Emergency Center side of the Medical Center (Navicent Health).

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Saying goodbye to my daughter before going to work.

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6 comments to New Home, New Family, New Career

  • Fahd

    Congrats Benji on this new and exciting phase of your journey!! Good luck with residency:)

  • Terrance

    Congratulations Benji and thanks for the update; it sounds like a peaceful town. I was wondering what aspects of family medicine led you to choose to go into that residency?

    • Benji

      Hi Terrance, thanks for reading my blog and for the message. While thinking about which specialty to pursue in my medical career, Family Medicine was the one field that I kept coming back to. During my clinical rotations, I discovered that I liked working with both kids and adults alike, and I like seeing a wide variety of patients with different conditions and personal backgrounds. Most of all, I like being in the outpatient setting, working with people long term in educating about health and guiding their wellbeing, and having the community-centered role that family practitioners have. I felt this was the best fit for me, and a specialty that I would enjoy the most. Family Medicine isn’t for everyone, and it’s not one of the higher paying specialties either. I believe one should go into it if one truly has the passion for it.
      -Benji

  • Colette

    Hi there. I have applied this year for Family Medicine. I too am an IMG, I attend the Trinity School of Medicine in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I have a question concerning FM opposed vs unopposed programs. What are the advantages/ disadvantages of an opposed FM program? Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond.

    • Benji

      Hi Colette,
      The advantage of opposed programs is that you can learn from the other specialties on how to manage patients. The disadvantage is that you may have to compete with the other specialties in getting your patient and procedures numbers. Best of luck.
      Benji

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