Sunday, May 14, 2017


I can't believe this day has finally come! After four years of undergraduate education and four years of medical school, I have successfully completed my degree requirements and was officially awarded a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. The same day, I renewed my oath of office to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same," and I was promoted to Captain in the United States Air Force. Here are some photos:

My mentor and the doctor that helped me see the light and pursue ophthalmology, Dr. Arup Das.

A close friend and associate, Dr. John Mason, who helped me get through the first two years of medical school.

Drs. Arup Das and Nate Roybal, both retina surgeons. Hopefully I'll be working with them by the time I return to NM!
 Here are a few proofs from the professional photographers that were hired for the convocation. Sorry, I couldn't justify spending $85 to get the full-resolution images when I had a bunch that we took with our own cameras...

Our Dean, Dr. Paul Roth, giving his opening remarks:

Look who is giving a 2-minute speech during the convocation! Dr. Art Kaufman gave our keynote address, Daphne Olson gave our student speech, and Alan Mason, Jane Fazio, and I presented awards to faculty and residents.

Alan! What a stud. When we learned that we weren't receiving any awards for medical school (even after getting straight A's), we told each other, "At least we won't have to give a speech during convocation!" I guess we spoke too soon...

Time to walk! I was hooded by Dr. Das, my mentor and friend. It was a nice ceremony, even though I am not much for ceremonies.

After the ceremony, we had a nice reception. Cake for breakfast! Did I mention that we arrived at 6:30am and started the ceremony at 8am? Yeah, it was a bit early.

I'm so grateful for Kiley, who has supported me this entire time! She has definitely borne a greater burden than I have, caring for the children 24/7 and dealing with grumpy Sam during my times of weakness. I could never have done it without her! Thank you for being my eternal sweetheart!

During the reception, we took our oaths for promotion to Captain in the USAF.

Me and my friend Dr. Tom Schelby, discussing what will happen. Can you believe that we have been through all this together, starting with Commissioned Officer's Training in 2013?

Taking the oath of office

Pinning on my captain's bars!

Thanks for reading! It has been a great journey. I'm looking forward to my future training in general surgery, ophthalmology, and then (hopefully) retina!

Spontaneous Trip to San Antonio

Hello Blog Fans!

It's Sam again. It has been a very eventful past couple of months, especially as we are getting ready to move to San Antonio where I will be starting my residency training for ophthalmology. In April, I started my LAST CLASS OF MEDICAL SCHOOL, a course call "Surgery Boot Camp" where we prepare for an intern year in general surgery (which is what I'll be doing in the 2017-2018 academic year). We took "mock call" where we were called throughout the course (even at night) to answer pages about various surgical patients. We performed a variety of surgeries and procedures on cadavers (including median sternotomies, thoracotomies, bowel resections, hernia repairs, chest tube placements, vascular surgery, and lots of suture practice), and we had lectures about common things that we would see.

Towards the middle of April, Kiley and I seriously considered purchasing a home in San Antonio. We had an amazing realtor (Catalina Garcia) who toured homes for us via FaceTime, and we ended up putting an offer an a few different homes. Finally, we found the perfect house! It was a little 3-bedroom home relatively close to where I would be working, and the neighborhood seemed ideal. Our offer was accepted, and we signed our contract before we could even view the home in person. Scary!

A few days later, we had the inspector come and look at the home. Surprisingly, he found major foundation issues, with one side of the home more than 6 inches lower than the other side of the home. Of course we were concerned, but luckily we had purchased a 10-day option period to back out of the contract with no questions asked. We found out about about the foundation problems on Tuesday, talked to our realtor more about the problem on Wednesday morning, and drove out that same day to work out the issue. We even had to pull Joey from a few days of preschool, and I had to skip out of a few different lectures and anatomy lab sessions, but it all worked out!

Here are some photos of our trip. We were planning on going to Sea World, but after buying our year-long pass, we showed up and it was closed. I guess we should have looked at that before buying our tickets! Luckily we'll be in San Antonio in two short weeks, and we can use our passes then. Instead, we decided to check out the aquarium, which was very hands-on and had tons of fun activities for the kids.

 Living my childhood dream of building a huge castle out of legos:

Joey seemed to like the fort I made him!
"Water is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of BEAUTY."


We happened to go to Texas in the middle of the Fiesta San Antonio, which honored the memory of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. It was fun to go to the River Walk and see the festivities, including lots of young Mariachi school bands playing on boats that floated up and down the river.

In the end, we had a nice (but rushed) trip, backed out of our housing contract, and found a nice rental instead that will suit our needs well. It is always nice to see places in person prior to signing contracts! We are excited for this new adventure, although we can't believe it is coming so soon. We will miss all our friends and family in Albuquerque!

Joey's Party

Birthday Party Time!

We are suckers for themed parties. This year, we decided to have a campout-themed party for Joey. He loves the outdoors, finding "walking sticks," and playing with fire. He is truly a kid after my own heart. We, Kiley and I (and by "Kiley and I," I mean "Kiley") put together this fun party for Joey and a few cousins around his age. Ready for the photo dump? Here we go!

See that brown gunk in the center? It was a delicious 'smores dip Kiley created. Yum!

We went on a hike and had to find these things outside.

The boys wanted to watch The Magic School Bus, so we put an episode on where they explore a rotting log.
 Present Time!!
Maybe whistles weren't the best idea for party favors... Sorry parents!

Look at this fabulous campfire cake Kiley baked! Wow, how did I luck out to marry such a talented woman?

Happy Birthday, Joey! We still can't believe you are four-years-old. It seems like just yesterday we were a nervous wreck, putting you in the carseat for the first time and driving more carefully than ever before, not knowing how much our life was about to change. Thank you for being such a loving, happy, compassionate child and for being patient with us as we learn how to be better parents. You are loved!