"Where are you from?"

The summary as told by my ID cards

Answering the question "where are you from?" is tricky, and I seem to answer a different way each time. Recently I was cleaning out some things in preparation for our next move, and I found ID cards that I have been keeping throughout different stages in my life going back to middle school. I figured this would be a clever way to summarize some of the major moves over the years.

Maryland Public Middle School ID

My family was living in the Maryland suburbs outside of Baltimore during my first year of middle school. This market a major turning point in my family's life, because it was in that year, halfway through 6th grade, that we moved to Singapore. This was the first time we moved as a family overseas, and the beginning of several years living in Asia.

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer

I don't have my ID card from Singapore American School, but I do have my cherished Krisflyer card. I remember my early adolescence in Singapore fondly. Given Singapore's reputation for safety, my parents gave me free reign to explore the bustling city state. It is where I used public transport by myself for the first time, and also run up and down busy streets like Orchard road on bicycle. Sadly, all the Krisflyer miles have probably expired. We lived in Singapore from 1997 until 1999.

ID Card from the International School of Beijing

After I completed the 7th grade, my family moved to Beijing. There I spent the last year of middle school, and all of highschool to graduation. These must be some of the richest years of my life. My life in China warrants a page all on it's own. One day. For now, I'll say that growing up in Beijing the in the years my brother and I did, transformed my world view even more than Singapore did. What it meant to be "Eastern" vs "Western" was more clear.

University of Maryland Baltimore County ID

My EMT-B ID Card

I started at the University of Maryland Baltimore County right after highschool. I majored in English Literature and did all of the pre med requirements with the intention to apply to medical school. I took classes in Mandarin to maintain what I had learned from living in China, and I did a course to become an EMT. I rode as a second on the ambulance runs for Arbutus Volunteer fire department.

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

I applied, but did not get into any of the traditional medical schools right after graduation fro UMBC. I was disappointed, but determined to make it somehow. A friend who did the paramedic track at UMBC had already completed a year at AUC, a Caribbean Medical school in Dutch St. Maarten (at the time Netherlands Antilles), and told me to apply. I got accepted, and thus began my didactic training in medicine. Two years in paradise, and the other 2 years in different hospitals, starting with Wexham Park Hospital in England.

Medical Student ID Card for the NHS

I did medical school rotations in hospitals in several locations, starting in England. I learned soe of the ins and outs of the NHS during my Internal Medicine and Surgical rotations. While in Europe I made trips to Oslo twice, Amsterdam, Morocco, and Marrakech.

Volunteer Card for The Brooklyn Hospital Center

I don't have my official ID card from residency since I was required to submit it after graduation, but I have my volunteer card (and Medical Degree) for keepsake. I did not get accepted to residency on the first go round, and this was a devastating low point in my life, which I'd like to share more about in the future. One way to build relationships with a program is to volunteer, and so I did. I spend a few months working with current residents on their research projects. I applied during the next go round, and then got accepted.

So there you have it, a CV of sorts. Of course there is more to all of this, but it is a good starting point that eventually takes you here.