Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome to our blog!

When we tell people we're moving to China, the first response is usually WHAT?!, followed by WHY?!

Since we don't didn't know anymore than the average American about China, we can't really answer the WHAT...yet.

But in terms of the why, here goes...I was in the midst of my 3rd year of med school at Mount Sinai, and Alison was in the middle of her 3rd year teaching 6th grade in the Bronx. Midway through a grueling (yet fun) year, the opportunity came for me to apply for fellowships to do medical research abroad, and we decided to go for it, as long as we could both go to whatever country I was assigned to. Long story short, I will be in Beijing next year as part of the Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship--no idea exactly what my research will be on yet, but there are enormous studies about HPV vaccination (Gardasil) going on at the Cancer Institute and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, so it will probably be something to do with that. It is also pretty cool that my American host university is UNC (Alison's alma mater), so I got to spend all last week there working with my mentor (who is an Amherst grad). Small world, huh?

We chose China partly because of the project and the hospital but partly because Alison would be able to join me and get a job she wanted, not just a random job to kill time while I'm working. After turning down 6 teaching positions at various schools, she accepted a position as "consultant" (lead teacher) at Scholastic Publishing's new kindergartens. The best part about it is that her school is close to my hospital, so we should be able to live within biking distance of our jobs.

For now, we're starting to (try to) learn Chinese. I thought I was doing well until orientation. My Chinese counterpart asked me to tell her how old I was in Mandarin. I said "ershiliu" which means 26...but apparently, my intonation was off, so instead of saying "26," I said "lymph node." Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

Can't wait to see most of you before I leave.

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