While I wish we were REALLY going to our 'U', we are going to what Floridans (Floridites? I don't even know!) call the 'U'. Apparently when I was praying, I should have been more specific! We are really excited, especially to finally have made a decision!
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Here's a little bit of info on the school. The first two years the campus is in downtown Miami. It is surrounded by HUGE hospitals; Jackson Memorial Hospital, a VA hospital, a children's hospital, and I can't even remember the rest. (I need Sterling's brochure thingy to help me out but I don't know where it is.) But it's a pretty big deal to have so many opportunities and the medical school has a deal with the hospitals that any level of student (even the first years) can go and observe. Sterling is pretty excited about this. The second two years (third and fourth year) are at a Palm Beach campus which everyone says is really nice. Sterling was able to see both campuses when he flew in to interview.
Sterling will be doing an MD/MPH program there. In only four years. It is one of the only programs that does both degrees and keeps it in four years--most add on a year or two. MPH: Masters of Public Health. I just watched a video about it that Sterling posted on WSU's premed page and it looks like he will get some incredible opportunities with this program. They do a lot with Florida's underserved populations (Little Haiti, Colombiaville, etc. haha) as well as actually having the opportunities to go and serve in places like Haiti (also, KAYLI, Geneva Switzerland because that is where the World Health Organization-WHO- is stationed, thats my vote!). All of the MPH classes are scheduled in the summer, with only three credit hours put into regular semesters. I thought I'd at least have a husband over the summers? Hahaa. Ha. Sigh. The MPH degree would help him be more competitive for a residency program, being able to work for the CDC, also to be able to work up the ladder at a hospital (hospitalist, chief of medicine, etc.) and other stuff that Sterling tells me about and I forget. But Sterling is super interested in WHO and thinks that this would be AWESOME to learn about. So, why not, right? (!) Also, the MPH program, because it is during the summer, will make it so that we move earlier and start the summer of 2014, instead of fall. Thats only six and a half months away folks, ahhh!!
We decided last week, when Sterling was on his seven days off, to really focus and make a decision because we had to put in $500 to Des Moines by the first part of December, and since that coincides with Sterling's finals week and graduation(YAY!), we wanted a head start on the decision-making. We've done everything from pro-and-con lists, prayers, studying, and lots and lots of discussions. While Miami is not the first choice for our family to live, it is our first choice for EVERYTHING else. When we were applying to medical school back in the spring Sterling even said "If I don't get into the U, my next choice is Florida." I told him we would never move there. Ever. So...yeah. Luckily, as far as our family living there goes, we have been blessed with lots of opportunities to recognize that it will be ok, and maybe even great!
First off, the family Sterling stayed with when he went to interview. He is a first year student, did his undergrad at BYU and they had their first baby the summer they moved to Miami. Sterling had a great time staying with them and learned a lot about what living there would be like. They live in Kendall, about thirty minutes outside of Miami by train (which is what he rides in to school)...this is more expensive, but makes it a much safer area to live in. This is the area we have been looking at to move to. Also, a couple in our ward just moved from Florida where they had been going to law school. They had two kids while living there and she was in LOVE with it so it was fun to pick her brain. My sister Kami lived in Orlando and hated it, which was also good to pick her brain so we could really know the things we were up against and ask a lot of questions concerning those things to the couple that live there. (Luckily they tell us there are a lot less bugs in Miami than Orlando. I hope its true!) My bosses wife also lived in Palm Beach (where we'll be the second two years) during college as a nanny and loved it and had all sorts of great info for us as well.
If we do happen to live in the same ward as the other student family (the only married student in the entire class of first years!!!) they have play group once a week, live close to two nice, kid-friendly beaches as well as really close to the zoo and library, and....I've heard enough good things to feel like the kids and I would have a great time and enjoy some fun adventures while living there! (The ward would be bilingual. Gah! Why did I not learn more in my spanish classes?!?!)
There's still a small chance we could be accepted to the University of Utah, and we would definitely go there if given the opportunity. The difference of in-state tuition alone would be a deciding factor. But for now, we are getting REALLY excited for this new and exciting chapter in our lives! While the humidity might kill me, our recent weather has made me really happy that I won't have to drive in snow for four full years!