As many readers know, GlassHospital has pulled up stakes in the Windy City in pursuit of new adventures out on the plains.

We are leaving the friendly confines of the University of Chicago, our neighborhood in Hyde Park, and family and friends.

We will be joining the faculty at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, OK.

Many acquaintances, upon hearing our news, have responded with bewilderment:

soon'll be livin' in a brand new state!

Why leave a prestigious university?

Why leave a major metropolis?

What about your family?

Your patients?

Oklahoma?

Really?

Making a decision like this involves numerous considerations. As much as anything, though, the decision to move came down to challenging complacency. We wanted to grow by accepting new challenges and reaching in different directions.

The sense of dislocation is profound. I’ve been particularly touched by the reactions from patients. Many of them wrote to thank me for being a part of their lives, and for my service to them over nine years in Chicago.

I hadn’t anticipated these reactions. In U.S medicine today, it often seems like patients change doctors as often as they get the latest cell phone. This is as likely to be because of employer-sponosored health insurance forcing the decision as anything else, but still…

In Oklahoma, we will be part of many new communities. We hope that our service will be worthy of the faith that has been placed in us. Though we are leaving our Chicago communities, the advent of technologies like Facebook and Skype will allow us to stay in closer touch than has been previously possible.

We choose to think of it as extending our communities, rather than trading them or leaving ones behind. And of course, GlassHospital will be coming along for the adventure.

As Horace Greeley said, “Go West, young man.” In my case, more like “Go more toward the middle, midlife man.”