This past week I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely young couple who have recently relocated to the Lakes Region from St Louis, Missouri. Steve and Kristen Marshall’s journey was a challenging one, involving lots of education and hard work. It’s great to see a young couple, at 32 years old, achieve their dreams, and start a family and two medical careers all at the same time.
Steve and Kristen, when did it all start?
S: “We were both 16 at the time and became high school sweethearts in Wayne, NJ, our hometown. Both of us had an interest in the medical and dental fields.”
What happened after high school?
K: “Steve went off to the College of New Jersey and I went to Caldwell College. Both schools were about an hour and a half away from each other and we both decided to study biology during our undergrad years. Each of us got to do our own thing in college and we were able to see each other at least every two weeks. We graduated in 2005, both with biology majors.”
….and after college, Medical School?
K: “From 2005-2009, Steve studied at New Jersey Medical School (Rutgers’s University) in Newark, NJ. I took a year and taught freshman high school biology and then enrolled at New Jersey Dental School (Rutgers’s University) at the same campus as Steve. Both of us lived off campus with separate roommates and there was one constant in each other’s lives that helped both of us get through the grueling process of medical school.”
S: “She was my rock. It was so critical to have someone to always rely on. Our fields were similar to each other and we were able to understand what each of us was going through at the time. There were time restraints and commitment was critical however we made time with each other every opportunity we had. Both of us graduated with degrees from the four year programs.”
The journey continues after med school
S: “We were married in December of 2008. Both of us were on winter break from school for 9-10 days and we timed it perfectly. We were able to take an awesome honeymoon to Kauai, Hawaii. It was refreshing to get away from reality, to relax and prepare for our next stage.”
Steve, what happened after Medical School?
“I took my one year internship in general surgery at SUNY Downstate College in Brooklyn, NY. This was the longest and shortest year of my life from 2009-2010. Kristen was studying for her dental boards at the time. I was commuting 18 miles from NJ which took over 3 hours at times just to get home each day. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. 12-14 hour days were grueling however it was my right of passage and a real test of tenacity. For Kristen she was taking her written and clinical boards at the same time. That was our first full year of marriage. I took my residency in urology. It was a nice balance of medicine and surgery and I enjoyed the human aspect of this specialty field. We lived in Park Slope, which is a bustling neighborhood in northwest Brooklyn. There were unbelievable restaurant choices and lots of culture. At the same time Kristen did a one year general practice residency at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn. After that she worked for several dental offices in NY. I finished my residency urology in 2014. At times we were able to get off and ski together in Vermont, New Hampshire and Colorado.”
S: “Our daughter Claire was born in January 2014 and I started my fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, MO; they had an amazing hospital. Kristen was able to stay home with our daughter in St. Louis, which was a nice city, kind of like a big-small town, compared to NY. From 2014-2015 I completed my fellowship in Genitourinary Prosthetics and Reconstruction, which was very rewarding. We lived in Brentwood, MO at the time.”
After the Fellowship in St. Louis?
K: “We looked all over the country for a place to relocate, start our careers and raise our family. We wanted a place that was family friendly that would offer a good lifestyle and be close to our immediate family in New Jersey and North Carolina. We wanted to live in an area that offered a close-knit community, beautiful outdoor living with recreational resources in a safe and healthy environment. We looked at Colorado, Arizona, Montana, North Carolina, New York and everywhere in between. An opportunity came up in Steve’s area of specialty with the Laconia Clinic Multi Specialty Group with two other urologists, primarily working out of Lakes Region General Hospital. We visited in the fall and the natural beauty of the area was so inspiring. We felt it would be the perfect choice to balance a great career opportunity in such a family friendly area.”
How did you relocate?
“We picked out 10-15 properties to look at; we flew out from St. Louis and within four days we had an offer on a property and found our dream home in Gilford.”
Now that you’re finally settled in…
K: “Time together was always the biggest issue in our relationship. We treasured the moments we could spend together during our taxing journey. Last weekend I went to a craft fair at Gunstock and loved it. Next week we’re planning a quick hike up Rattlesnake Mountain with our daughter for a picnic. Steve has been jogging and we’ve been exploring the beautiful scenery and villages throughout the Lakes Region. I can’t wait for ski season. We haven’t been out on any of the lakes yet and we’re looking forward to that boat ride on Winnipesaukee that you promised us.”
Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith & Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 279-7046