Day 4&5-Getting the Hang of Things

4/365: Weee!Weee!/#4/D7000/Beijing Hutongs/Beijing,China

5/365: Under the sanUnder the San/#5/D7000/Beijing Hutongs/Beijing, China

DSC_1041 DSC_1037 DSC_1070 phoneshotThings are starting to come together. Getting all my living necessities out of the way. Closer and clsoer to a residency permit. As soon as these humps are cleared I can get to the research.

My flight to Xin Jiang has been booked. I can’t believe it. I will be observing field research and helping educate Xin Jiang physicians on a variety of topics. An amazing opportunity. I plan to take full advantage of my time in Xin Jiang.

Regarding my new home. It is amazing. I living in the center of Beijing in an area rife with life. I love the vibrance and bustle that these streets have in comparison to the streets of home. One of the many reasons I’ve always had a soft spot for China.

Day 2-Reunions

2/365: Beijing Subway StairwayBeijing Subway Staircase/#2/D7000/Beijing, China

DSC_0919 DSC_0929 DSC_0937 DSC_0941Yesterday was a day of reunions. Friends from the past, some from Beijing, others from different parts of my life. It is a weird situation, listening to summations of each others’ lives over the last few years in the course of a couple of hours. It puts things into perspective, but also drives me to create more significance in my life. My life is so much more than a few lines regarding tests, clinical years, and a few other experiences scattered between.

There is also a nostalgic aspect to reunions. You remember the past, the times that brought you together, the common threads between your lives. A the end of the at the end of these reunions I have an amazing chance. My friends and I can construct more connections and memories.

This year in China is about seizing the day. I plan to do just that.

Day 1-China Arrival

   DSC_0899China Meat Man/#1/D7000/2014/Panjiayuan/Beijing China

DSC_0886DSC_0916 DSC_0907  DSC_0892 DSC_0888Day 1 in China. Couldn’t sleep due to the jet lag so I went out and explored the neighborhood I’m staying in at dawn. Didn’t disappoint! It has been over 2 years since I’ve been in China and it feels like I’ve never left. Sure, the cars are newer, the taxis have GPS, but so many things are the same. I’ve missed my time here and I am glad I’m back! This is where I am supposed to be in my life. I can feel it.

China Bound

An Old CityAn Old City/D60/2012/Jingshan Park/Beijing, China

After over 2 years I will be finally returning to China. After 2 years of working on an my application, I am finally about to start the hard part. I can’t wait. Cya on the other side!

T-Minus 1 Day

What do you think?What do you think?/D7000/2014/Chicago Museum of Science and Industry/Chicago, IL

In 24 hours I will be heading to O’Hare for my direct flight over the icecap to Beijing, China for 1 year. Where my path will take a drastic detour in contrast to my friends’ lives as they continue their road to finish 4th year, interviews, and eventually residency. It’s been interesting to watch my best friends agonize over application procedures, personal statements, and which programs to apply. I almost feel left behind. As if I am doing something wrong. Up until now I’ve been one to flow with the tide; high school to college, college straight to medical school. Now is my time to fight the tide. To define my own road.

Despite the tantalizing unknown staring me in the face, I am going to miss everyone. My father, my family, my friends, and Jennifer. I’ve been so lucky to have an amazing girl. Chicago would not have been the same without her, and when I think of our moments together I will not only miss Chicago but her. Some experiences in life can be defined by one person, Jen to me is Chicago. An amazing person/city.

In addition, my friends here and across the country have been so incredibly supporting. They look on my deviation with pride and now I need to prove them right. I don’t know what the next few days will hold, but after planning and working on my application for over two years, the fruits of my labor are about to be borne. I am a Fogarty Scholar, and I am going to move the world!

Thoughts on the beginning

Art LightArt Light/D7000/2014/Chicago Art Institute/Chicago, IL

What a beginning. This last week has exceeded all my expectations in so many regards. It is hard to even describe what it has meant for me. I knew the NIH Fogarty Fellowship would change my life, but now I have a lot to live up to. I have met so many wonderfully talented and driven people; it’s the truth when I say I have met the future director of an NIH institute or a clinical scientist who will discover the next breakthrough in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  That is the kind of potential my fellow scholars possess.

This is the kind of potential I possess.

I know my career is just in its  infancy but this last week has confided with me the confidence to control my destiny. I can be a family medicine physician and I can be a clinical research physician endeavoring to optimize primary care delivery. Working to change the systems in a way to provide personable care that is cost effective and life changing. The latter excites me. I know I have a long road ahead of me and a lot of important decisions to make, but I can feel the excitement in my gut. This opportunity will allow me to grow and become someone that moves the world. I’m just now starting to take my first steps on this journey.

Now I just need to get to China.