I stood in the middle of Times Square, staring in wonderment at the colorful billboards that glittered in the darkness of night. I was surrounded by loud noises – ambulance with its sirens blaring, car honking and brakes screeching, people speaking in many different dialects – but yet, I felt a sense of calmness and peace. I held my husband’s hand and continued walking towards the subway station.

Welcome to New York City! We are taking our very first steps to achieving our dreams – as a family, career-wise, financially. It was May 2005, and we had moved to New York City, to start my residency in Internal Medicine. We had just graduated university within the last month and got married two months ago. With 2 bags, a box of books, a well-seasoned cast iron pan (which is still in use, almost on a daily basis), $1000 dollars or so in cash, we landed in the City that Never Sleeps. For the next three years, this was home.

Welcome to ForeignBornMD.com

Here, I will write about our family’s financial journey (from $1000 to $2.5 million – and still using the same cast iron pan we carted all the way here!) and share helpful information about immigration issues for those who are now taking the same steps we once did.

America is a land of immigrants. For over 400 years, and despite the current political landscape, this remains the land of opportunity for many. By many measures, I would say I am an example of the American dream coming true.

The Prequel – taking steps to get into a US residency program – USMLEs, United States Clinical Experience and letter of references, the financial aspect and costs of getting all these done. My life prior to this, growing up in Asia and how it affects my financial outlook in life.

The Story – learn the things I did right and things I wished I knew (financially) when I was a medical resident in NY. More information about immigration issues – J1 waiver, national interest waiver, green card, EB-2 (the frugal me researched all these and filed all my immigration papers without an attorney).

The Sequel and Our Live Now – Constantly learning, from other personal financial bloggers, and other financial forums – about life insurance, disability insurance, HSAs, umbrella insurance and more, and still making mistakes – fear of the uncertain, cautiously investing our savings, getting to Financial Independence. Living our debt free life, with 3 kids and primary earner for the family, experiences with a spouse as a Stay-at-Home dad, continuing to build and learn about passive income sources: building on our current net-worth – currently estimated as being in the 2,500,000 range.

New Goals – Achieving Financial Independence, motivating our children to aim for greatness in all they do, setting up a donor fund. If this blog ever turns into a money-making venture, at least 50% of the revenue will be placed in the Donor Advised Fund. Getting more passive income streams. Be a calmer person at work and at home. Empowering others to do the same, or better!

I am an internist, living in the beautiful state of Oregon with my husband and 3 kids. I grew up in Asia and moved to the United States in my mid-20s.

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