Family Life

Read an Excerpt by Jen from the Little Couple’s New Book

In this excerpt from the Little Couple's new book, Jen describes how she found her ideal career and balanced it with finding the love of her life.
posted: 05/18/15
Little Couple book cover
Courtesy Howard Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster

After graduating from medical school, I moved to Pittsburgh for my pediatric residency training and then stayed for my fellowship in neonatology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). My years in Pittsburgh were probably some of the most tiring and amazing years thus far. I worked hard as a resident at Children's, overnight calls, sometimes thirty to thirty-four hours straight in the hospital. That was before they had work-hour restrictions limiting medical trainees from working more than eighty hours in a week. I fell in love with medical education and neonatology. I realized that I loved the adrenaline of intensive care, but never wanted a critically ill patient to be bigger than me.

Neonatology seemed to offer the best of both worlds. I decided to stay in Pittsburgh for my fellowship in neonatology because I finally felt at home there. I had developed strong roots. I had also developed close friendships and two of my very closest friends from college were also there for their training: Lakshmi was doing her family medicine residency at UPMC and Suketu was doing obstetrics and gynecology. The city of Pittsburgh was not only easy to live in but the people were all very nice. It had a small-town feel without actually being a small town. During my fellowship I pursued a master of science in medical education and fell in love with health-care simulation as a powerful teaching tool. I knew early on that no matter how much I loved clinical care, there was the distinct and likely possibility that my body would not allow me to practice medicine forever. Intensive care is just that, intensive. As much as I loved it, I knew that I needed a plan B in case my body wore out before my mind did. Education as an emphasis in my career made so much sense. I loved it and found out over time I was not too bad at it, either!

I feel as though my years in Pittsburgh were the years I truly became happy with the life I had created for myself. I loved where I was living, had a robust social life, and loved my career and where I was working. The only thing that had been missing was true love. I finally found it in March 2006 when I met Bill, a little over a year before finishing my fellowship, and by 2008 we were getting married!

I was getting married! My dad told me I was a lucky person to have met Bill, and my mother was almost as happy I was. From the day I started fantasizing about getting married, I knew I wanted to be with someone who truly loved me. My future husband needed to be intelligent, funny, handsome, and kind--and of course treat me like a princess! Not too much to ask! Now I had found my prince charming, Bill!

When I first met Bill, he mentioned that he was always a gentleman, but he was far more than a man who opened doors for me. He'd go out of his way for me in every way he could. When he was living in New York and I lived in Pittsburgh, I'd get chocolates or flowers delivered to my door almost every week. Before we got married, he even bought me a new car. While I think some of that had to do with his embarrassment at being in my cute but slightly dilapidated Kia Sportage, the larger concern was my safety. My Kia had died on the side of the road on snowy days in Pittsburgh one too many times for his liking, so he bought me a car--not any car, but a dark blue Audi A4. I went from a Kia to an Audi; he started spoiling me early on in our relationship.

To find out how this chapter ends -- and to read even more from Bill and Jen -- click here to learn more about the book and where it's available for purchase.

Read the book's introduction and an excerpt from a chapter by Bill.

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New Season and a New Book
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