The Match: We're going to the University of Michigan!

I (Olivia) am still a little bit dazed after yesterday! It was a flurry of emotions and I was a bundle of nerves leading up to the actual hour of match day. It probably didn't help that between Kyle and me, we had several match day dreams that involved four different programs on the list... 

Pre finding out our residency program matches! 

I explained the matching process to Kyle a long time ago, and ever since, he thought it would be genius if when I matched, I made a video like high school recruits committing to a college for football... Well, I had to indulge him, and so we decided to get a few hats for some of the various programs that I had applied to so I could pull out and wear the right one once I found out where I matched! 

It was surreal to open up the envelope and realize that it was where we had chosen to rank first, even down to the continuity clinic (Ypsilanti)! 

At this point in the post, I'd like to give a shout out to Kyle: This guy willingly moved to Syracuse for 4 years, staying in Upstate NY longer than he ever thought he would. And then he endured the wild ride through medical school, being an encourager, a practice patient, and much needed dose of reality when I got sucked into the world revolving around me becoming a doctor. He even drove me all the way to Ann Arbor when all my flights got canceled so I could interview at U of M - a school he loves so much that people think he went there (he did not lol).

The interview season is technically "all about you," finding what "program fits you best," and why you'd be an excellent candidate for a program, but I kept finding myself saying "we" when explaining why I was interested in different programs and locations. This process has not just been about me, but about the both of us, and I am so thankful that we are a team. 

We're headed to the place that's been Kyle's dream for so long that it eventually became my dream too! (#marriage?) Seriously, the program is awesome for family medicine (and integrative medicine!) and though many people have asked me if I actually want to go there or if it's just Kyle, it's true, I am equally excited to go but for other reasons than Kyle (*cough* sports, Jim Harbaugh, and more legitimately family in close proximity, haha!!)

And it's really funny and ironically similar to how I even was able to go to medical school. So many things happened (not initially getting an interview, getting wait-listed, all transportation going wrong to get to my interview) that made me feel like going to U of M wouldn't happen - but God opened a lot of doors and I know that it's by His grace that we have this opportunity! 

We're not leaving Syracuse yet though! And we are very thankful to spend the next few months with our community here in Upstate NY :) So thank you friends and family near and far for your support for the past 4 (really 8) years - your friendship means so much to us! 

That's all for now, #goblue! 

Match Day Happiness! 

P.S. - if you like medical school music parodies, our class made one!

February Update & Match Madness

It's been a while since we've updated! Here's where we are right now: 

After a long stint of working from home, Kyle is back on the road (up in the air?) and has been commuting to Virginia weekly. It's annoying to wake up at 4am every Monday, but we're thankful that he can spend Sunday nights at home with our missional community and come back on Thursday nights. In February, the only other exciting thing that happened to him was that he got the flu (Olivia did not), and by "exciting" it was more like "extremely miserable for all parties."

Olivia finished up her dermatology elective, and then spent the last four weeks at the Joslin Diabetes Center learning all about diabetes management and other endocrinology issues. She has continued to sew stuff, despite not posting on here about it, but you can see those on her instagram feed. She also finished her first semester of skating lessons and loved it so much that she signed up for a second semester, despite being the only student in the adult class (the other lady broke her ankle during class....and Olivia knew that she would need an x-ray given the Ottawa Criteria - that was the end of her contribution to the medical care as an almost doctor. An ambulance was called) 


Okay now onto the exciting things.... like MATCH DAY! 

Okay now onto the exciting things.... like MATCH DAY! 

what everyone really wants to know:

Where are you going next? (we don't know!) when do you know where you're going next? (3/17)

Match day is St. Patrick's day this year, March 17th! That is when we will know where we'll be going next (: For those of you unfamiliar with the process, here's a quick rundown of what happens: 

  • Summer: fourth year medical students choose what programs they want to apply to in their intended field of choice (I chose family medicine). They get their letters of recommendation together, write personal statements, fix up their CVs, etc. 
  • Fall - Winter: applications are due, you get invited to interviews, you travel to interviews. (See previous post on my interview travels!)
  • January - February: You rank all the places you interviewed at, with the top of the list being where you most want to go. The programs rank all the students they interviewed with the top of the list being who they most want to come to their program. You then submit your list. 
  • March: a fancy magical algorithm gets run to match applicants and programs, and then students find out via envelopes passed out on Match Day where they're going! (it's a binding contract) 

It's been quite a year for us going through this process and we don't know for sure what will happen next. Our missional community has been going through James and it was quite timely that our passage was James 4:13-17 the week the list was due. 

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

We have a lot of different hopes and dreams about the various locations we might end up, but our prayer is that wherever we are placed, that we would joyfully and whole heartedly serve the Lord in our new location! 

A surprisingly warm and sunny day in Syracuse, NY!

A surprisingly warm and sunny day in Syracuse, NY!

Made it Monday #3: Arctic Blast Edition

I'm on a roll in remembering to blog on Mondays :) Today's feature is the dress I made for my school's semi-formal event, also known as "Arctic Blast" (I must say, it sounds like it's a tenth grade dance...) 

I usually don't make fancy dresses and opt to purchase them instead, but figured why not give it a try for my last Arctic Blast?? I also got this cool fabric in Georgia at only $5/yard, so I figured if it was a total disaster, I'd repurpose the fabric ;) and make something else. 

I present: the one shoulder ruffle dress! Based on the Uptown Downtown Dress, and some self drafting and finagling to get the ruffle/one shoulder look: 

This dress was definitely a struggle to make - the sewing machine ate the fabric several times, it was too floppy, the first ruffle was all wrong - but Kyle is a good encourager/I waited until the last minute to create this dress so I had no other options - so the dress had to be finished!

I didn't take many pictures, but here are a few more :) Featured is Jason, my 3rd year clinical rotation buddy who just matched into UROLOGY!, the ballroom in the newly renovated Hotel Syracuse, and Ali (she and her husband are our Arctic Blast buddies!) 

Even though there weren't that many fourth years there, it was very fun to dance the night away with them and catch up on all their interview travels! I'm sure match day and graduation will come (too) soon :) 

Thanks for reading! Check out the other Made it Mondays

Up In The Air

This has been three weeks full of traveling for interview season. For most of the traveling I was "up in the air" (flying) as is my future (who knows where I'll end up for residency!) so this title seemed fitting.  I'm so thankful for the family and friends that have hosted me during my travels or made time to hang out with me :) Read to see where I went, who I saw, and what I did (besides interview, haha!) 

Map displayed for cities visited - I did not drive this route

Map displayed for cities visited - I did not drive this route

First Stop: Grand Rapids, MI

I had a great time hanging out with Kyle's family (including our adorable niece)! It was my first time being in Grand Rapids in the fall, since we nearly always visit in the winter for the holidays or the summer for the lake cottage. I went to Meijer Gardens to see the Japanese Sculpture garden, went wedding dress shopping with my sister in law, took long walks with Quincey (Kyle's dog), ate at their downtown Market, etc. etc. :) 

Second Stop: Chicago, IL

I took the train from GR to Chicago, and stayed with Marissa for the week! My mom was in town for a conference for the first part of my visit, so it was a treat to see her too. So many things happened in one week besides interviewing at two programs :)

  • Cornell friends were in town! And we watched the World Series game together
  • Halloween happened - and since Kyle wasn't here (for me to torture with my costumes), I decided to be a cactus while Marissa and Alan were adorably Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper. Also the photo with Michael totally looks like it could've been taken at Cornell at the Cru Halloween Dance Party or something... (we'll never grow up) 
  • Marissa and Alan ran the Hot Chocolate 5k and I cheered them on/drank hot chocolate/ate breakfast. I guess my goal is to be at the level of physical fitness where I can casually decide to run a 5k whenever I want... 
  • The Cubs Won the World Series and I was in town! We went to Wrigleyville since Marissa lives so close, but fortunately no couch burning riots were occurring during our quick survey of the festivities 


Third Stop: Chapel Hill, NC

I flew from Chicago to Chapel Hill and immediately noticed how over dressed I was as it was nearly 80 degrees! They told me it was un-seasonally warm, but regardless, it was quite the improvement over the midwest/upstate NY temperatures.. 

It was wonderful to see my friend Ben, a physical therapy student at UNC, from my missions trip! He showed me the ever important "Well" of UNC (I thought he was saying "Whale" at first.... oops haha) and treated me to some delicious frozen yogurt + a walking tour of Franklin St. 


Then, I drove to meet up with Jean (JP) - someone I hadn't seen since we graduated from college! It was a treat to catch up with her and to stay with her family who ever so lovingly pushed all of the Asian goodies/food on me :) 

We forgot to take a photo together, so this picture of the restaurant we ate at will have to suffice!

We forgot to take a photo together, so this picture of the restaurant we ate at will have to suffice!

Stop 4: Charlotte, NC

This is the part where I actually drove on the trip - I rented a car (woohoo being 25!) and drove myself to Charlotte, NC where I stayed with my friend from high school, Jill! We went to the renaissance festival where she barely was able to feed the animals ;) (see below for her hilarious faces), ate delicious BBQ at Midwood Smokehouse, went to Elevation Church, and watched a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies (they're just so cheesy and addicting). It was so exciting to see Jill, since it had been many years since we last saw each other! She is now a grown up teacher of 3rd graders :) Also pictured below: her neighbor/friend also had a ballpit, which I promptly sat in. 

Finally, it was time to come back to Syracuse! And fortunately, Kyle is working from home this week so we will actually see each other :) 

I'm so thankful for all of the family and friends who have shown such generosity and hospitality along the way. I often hate asking for help/hate being an inconvenience and am thankful for the love you have shown me! 


Nicaragua Recap

I (Olivia) went to Jalapa, Nicaragua on August 13th-21st with Christian Medical Dental Association's Global Health Outreach program. This trip could not have come at a better time: an accidental break in school due to some course scheduling issues and changes in summer plans... but also what I learned from this trip was so timely as well!  Here's a brief recap and explanation of some of the things my team did did, and some of the things I learned:

Where did we go? - we traveled 8 hours north of Managua to get to Jalapa, a small town in the mountains near the Honduran border. 

See the mountains under the clouds?? (Photo by Sally Moon)

See the mountains under the clouds?? (Photo by Sally Moon)

Who went on this trip? - we had a family physician (my mom!), an internist, a pediatrician, a pediatric resident, a PA professor, and a nicaraguan doctor + many PA students, a PT student, several undergraduate students studying all different things, RNs, nursing students, pharmacy students, and several non-medical people! We also had an army of phenomenal translators! :)

The team on the last night (without the translators) 

The team on the last night (without the translators) 

What did we do? - each day, we ran a clinic, but we also ran much more than a clinic! Patients would come from Jalapa or surrounding areas and register. They would go to a community health session to learn about preventive health measures (i.e. good hygiene practices), and then a session to learn about Christianity and the gospel. Next, patients would go through triage, and then proceed to the clinic to meet with the physician best suited for their age/chief complaint. We had the opportunity to take histories, do physical exams, make assessments and plans, and pray with the patient if they desired to. In addition to medical services, we had our own pharmacy on site, physical therapy, glasses for correcting vision, and a laboratory that could run certain tests. While adults were doing medical things, we had a full time children's program as well! Sometimes, patients weren't able to get to the clinic, so our teams would be assigned to do home visits (pictured below) - I brought my violin along to play music for the patients. 

Playing violin on a home visit with Ben, the PT student (Photo by my mom)

Playing violin on a home visit with Ben, the PT student (Photo by my mom)

So, what did I gain from this trip? 

There are so many things I could write about, and it would be impossible for me to put it all on this blog. You should definitely ask me about it in person, or email me with more specific questions! Especially if you want to know how GHO/CMDA sets up these trips so that the short term mission trip is not more harmful than helpful. Or if you want to know how you can support the long term workers there! Or if you want to help donate to buy a generator and/or compressor (the power went out several times while we were there and we relied on a generator!) But for now, I will write a little bit about what I've learned from this trip. 

I am reminded of how God is at work everywhere - too often, medical school is a bubble. Whether it's a bubble from what's going on in the country, to what's going on with your friends/family because your head is stuck in a book (or I guess staring at the computer screen in today's day and age), it's easy to forget that world continues to turn each day and there are so many people living on this planet. I loved meeting the Nicaraguan people, hearing their life stories, and hearing how passionate and sincere they are about their faith. I also loved hearing from other people that were struggling with their faith, that they sometimes went to church but weren't really sure if they could say they had a personal relationship with Jesus- I loved it because it reminded me that they are just like us! They are so similar to the people in my own city here in the states. I am immensely thankful that there is a network of pastors in Jalapa that are following up with new believers in Christ, as well as those that want to reconnect and rekindle their faith! There is so much beyond my commute to the hospital/school and back, and I am grateful for the chance to be reminded of that this past week. 

I am re-affirmed in my calling to pursue Family Medicine - I noticed that I loved being able to take care of kids, adults, pregnant ladies - anyone and everyone! No one was too young or too old. We could see families together at the same time instead of sending the kid to one doctor and then parent going to another. As I head into applying for residency, I am thankful that God used this trip to remind me of why I'm so passionate about this field of medicine! I also need to consider if I want to truly work on my Spanish and work with Spanish speaking populations down the road...

I have some amazing new friends  - A one week trip can be difficult - by the end, you finally feel like you know everyone, and then it's time to say goodbye. I met some fantastic people on this trip, and it was so refreshing to see people passionate not only about physical health, but about spiritual health. I loved working in the clinic with these friends, playing my violin with the worship team, eating dinner with these teammates every day, sharing at night how God had been at work, hearing their rich testimonies of grace (which often made me cry!), staying up late at night trying to connect to the wifi, exploring Grenada on our last day and zip-lining through the canopy! We might now be far apart and it's possible that in this lifetime some of us won't meet again, but I take comfort in the fact that we're all in God's family for all of eternity. 

Somehow I always find myself with the Asians... :) 

Somehow I always find myself with the Asians... :) 

It's crazy to think that the next time I go on a medical missions trip, I might actually be a doctor. 

Totally crazy!! 

There are so many things that are scheduled to happen this year and so many potential changes. Residency applications, interviewing, ranking - all of that is going to happen very soon. Kyle and I don't know what's next, but wherever God leads, we hope to be faithful to the call to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourself. 

Okay, end of recap! Thank you to everyone who supported me in prayer or financially on this trip! It meant so much to me knowing that there were so many of you praying for this trip and reading the updates while we were there! 


Olivia (& Kyle)