There are a total of 15 physicians this year in our program, and the McCropders represent 4 of these. We got a chance to meet some of these folks back in April at the Bristol conference (pictured below), and at this orientation, there were 4 other families besides ourselves. 2 Family Practice docs with their families, going to Shell Hospital in Ecuador. An OBGYN going to another hospital in Kenya, and an Infectious Disease doc and his family going to yet another Kenyan hospital (Kijabe, where Jason grew up).
So why was meeting these folks so good? Two reasons:
1. It reminded me of band camp. Not that I ever went to band camp, so maybe I shouldn't use this analogy. But it seemed that, in high school, band people felt like non-band people didn't quite understand why they invested all this time in band, and even though others really appreciated music, there was a different comraderie among the fellow band members (I'll refrain from the classic "band nerd" descriptor, having seriously no power to use such a term). This comraderie was most manifest at band camp, where they could relax and exult in other people really understanding why they loved band.
It must be noted that tons of people have been very interested and engaged in what were doing, and we are so grateful for the encouragement. Yet, at the end of residency, when you are the only people around with "non-traditional" career plans like this, it's nice to spend time with people that have similar goals, and reinforce that you're not crazy. =)
2. More importantly, these are amazing people. We enjoy looking back at the wonderful and diverse relationships that have filled up our lives, and each one of these other post-residents are now on that list. Their personalities and their committment are inspiring, and we have fullest plans of trying to recruit each one of them to join the McCropders in the future, at which point we will be the "McCropderbenefrankapleys".